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mjgrieveson

17th C Italian Organs

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Armed with RSCM Sunday by Sunday, I went shopping. :lol:

Along with several other things I purchased Vox Humana: Italy (Barenreiter). I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into some of these but I have no experience of the sound of an organ from this region or period.

The preface blurb was long on history but short on practical advice and so I don't quite know what kind of sound I'm aiming for.

Does it matter? (Sorry if that is a silly question.)

 

These are the resources to hand; any advice would be most welcome

 

Ped : Sub Bourdon 32

Bourdon 16

Lieb Bourd 16

Flute bass 8

Violoncello 8

Gt Bourdon 16

Op. Diap 8

H. Flote 8

Princ 4

Har. Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Clarinet 8

Sw Op Diap 8

St Diap 8

Viol d'Amour 8

Princ 4

Cornet III 12.15.17

Cornopean 8

Oboe 8

Tremolo 8

 

Many thanks

 

MG edit - oops - just realised this should have been in the organ and its music section - apologies.

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Along with several other things I purchased Vox Humana: Italy (Barenreiter). I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into some of these but I have no experience of the sound of an organ from this region or period.

The preface blurb was long on history but short on practical advice and so I don't quite know what kind of sound I'm aiming for.

Does it matter? (Sorry if that is a silly question.)

 

I don't know what you should be aiming for, but more knowledgeable contributors may have some suggestions if they know that the book contains organ music from the 18th Century and early 19th

Century by Anfossi, Corbisiero, Cotumacci, Fenaroli, Furno, Leo, Piccini, Sigismondo, Speranza, Valente, and Zingarelli

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Here is a somewhat strange video (you'll see immediately why),

but which features an historic Antegnati organ with the famous

"Ripieno" registration, the most typical of the italian organ:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G81T2aKD_BE...feature=related

 

Another beautiful one:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejaOqy1iXjE...feature=related

 

After the Ripieno, now, on the same organ, another specialty of the italian organ, the Voce umana

(the first undulating stop in the History of the organ):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLY1cfEw84o...feature=related

 

Pierre

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For later organs, these might help a bit:

 

Anonymous organ from 1693:

 

Zipoli's All' Offertorio, played on an organ of c.1700:

 

Anonymous organ from 1750:

 

 

Early nineteenth-century Serassi organs:

 

Not sure how you could reproduce these sounds on the resources at your disposal though!

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I'm grateful for all the clips - there seems to be a distinctive sound to the Italian organ, rather thin to my ears, that I could never achieve on my instrument partly I suppose, because it doesn't have a VH stop. Nevertheless I shall try to bear the reverse and manage without it.

Probably my best bet is to stick to flutes and go easy on the 16'.

Most annoying to watch 12 yr olds playing lengthy pieces from memory, but then they have not accumulated a lifetime of rubbish with which to clutter their minds.

 

I shall start tomorrow.

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"The Registration of Baroque Organ Music" by Barbara Owen may be helpful. It includes details of some Italian organs as late as 1831, at which time many of the organs had similar characteristics to much earlier ones.

 

The first distinctive feature is that all ranks can be drawn independently, i.e. instead of a "mixture" stopknob which draws several ranks together, each of the ranks has its own knob. So you might make a chorus with pipes at 8', 4', 2 2/3', 2', 1 3/5', 1 1/3', 1', 2/3', 1/2', 1/3', 1/4'.

 

The second is that the earlier vox humanas were not reed stops, but just a rank of 8' principals, slightly detuned and drawn with a normal principal for a celeste or unda maris effect.

 

I haven't heard many Italian organs live, but I have heard many recordings, and thought that the distinctive sounds could only be obtained on real Italian instruments. I changed my mind when I heard a young Italian giving a recital on the organ at the University of Sussex

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=N15384

and I was astonished to hear good approximations to the real thing. I don't know what stop combinations were used to achieve this.

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One possibility might be Wayne Leupold (publisher) Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire, Volume 10, Italy 1650 -1725, edited by Calvert Johnson. It's $48.75 plus shipping from the USA.

 

The blurb says "The first portion of each volume contains a preface that discusses all relevant aspects of organ performance practice:

(1) organ specifications and registration practices;

(2) hand positions;

(3) fingering systems;

(4) meter and articulation;

(5) ornamentation;

(6) rhythmic alteration practices;

(7) a bibliography;

(8) a list of original sources and organ tutors;

(9) a list of modern editions; and

(10) definitions of the types of compositions that were used by that national school of composers.

These are arranged in a teaching format.

The second portion of each volume contains attractive and appropriate organ music arranged in a graduated order of difficulty, with some of the easier compositions partially or completely fingered, pedaled, ornamented, registered, and rhythmically altered according to the practices in use at the time and place the music was written. Some of the music is for manuals only, and some for manuals and pedal. It is the intent of this series to explore in some depth the tremendous breadth and variety of styles of music and performance practices that exist for the organ from the last six centuries."

 

Here's the link.

 

https://www.wayneleupold.com/frameset.asp?s...n_teaching.html

 

Best wishes

 

J

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