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PAUL GOODMAN
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Following on from the interesting discussion on Open Diapason/ Principal stops I would like to put forward a conjectural specification for a new two manual 20 stop organ with mechanical action. It will be interesting to see what others consider an ideal 20 stops!! I am sure my lack of mutations will horrify many..........

 

My design is unashamedly conservative, and would be turned out with late Victorian low pressure voicing, perhaps in the style of a Hill organ of the period.

 

Great

 

Open Diapason 8

Claribel Flute 8 (Open metal down to tenor C then stopped)

Viola 8 (Mild string but broader tone than Dulciana)

Principal 4

Stopped Flute 4 (Metal)

Twelfth 22/3

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (19,22,26)III

 

Swell

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diap 8 (Wood)

Salicional 8

Celeste 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2 (Flutey in bass/fifteenth in treble)

Sesquialtera (17,19,22)

Contra Fagotto 16 (half length bottom octave)

Cornopean 8

 

Pedal

Subbass 16

Principal 8 (with Violone quality)

Trombone 16(Metal)

 

If I could add two more stops, they would be a softer 16' on the pedal (making the subbass big scale) and a Trumpet 8 to the Great. That would then be a very satisfactory organ for general and liturgurgical use.

 

What do you think??

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I like it !

 

Just one point : I would not use a Salicional with the celeste (supposedly a Vox coelestis or Voix céleste). The Salicional needs slower beats, so it's good with an Unda-Maris or Vox angelica. You need a narrower-scaled, more stringent -but quiet!- Gamba. Like a french Dulciane ( nothing in common with an english DulcianA) or german Aeoline.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Guest Geoff McMahon

It is always a little difficult to conceive a specification in a vacuum as the use the organ will get plays such an important part in designing it. But that aside, one can make a few comments.

 

Let's start with the physical properties of an organ of this specification. It is quite a large 20 stop organ really, in that the Swell Organ is a full size division. That is not a bad thing in itself, but as the Great only has an Open Diapason as well and there is no Open 16ft on the Pedal (which would make it a very large 20 stop organ!) one would be forced to place the Swell Organ behind the Great Organ which means it would lack the directness the Swell would have if it were placed in the more advantageous position above the Great.

 

I don't think having a Salicional with a Celeste is actually such a bad idea. I rather like broad strings and they can work well. At Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church and St. Andrew's Holborn we have used the interesting Undulant solution where the Swell Open Diapason is fed from a second slide with reduced wind and that really works well in both instances.

 

I feel the lack of a Trumpet on the Great would be felt and also the lack of an Oboe on the Swell which is so useful for the accompaniment of choirs. The enclosed reed does not have the impact of one on the Great which is useful for leading large congregations. You say that there is a lack of mutations, but there is the Twelfth which might be pressed into service and the Sesquialtera on the Swell which can work well.

 

I am not sure how useful the Stopped Flute on the Great would be and maybe that could be swapped for a Trumpet.

 

If you go to the News Section of this web site you can see the specification of the organ recently finished for Sydney Grammar School. That has only 17 "real" stops with four of the Great stops also playable on the Pedal to give a total of 21 "stops". It does have the compromise of the Gedackt/Viola da Gamba combination for the desirable Open Diapason on the Swell, but space completely precluded the possibility of having a real Open Diapason on the Swell. It works remarkably well, particularly when the Principal 4 is added and in chorus you really wouldn't know that the Open is missing. In that modest collection (note it too has the Sesquialtera in the Swell) it has turned out remarkably versatile including a very acceptable vehicle for the performance of the French classical as well as romantic repertoire. It is these two areas which I see as disadvantaged in the specification proposed by Paul Goodwin. It is obviously good for the "classical" repertoire, but to get an equally good romantic sound is less easy. Above all, it is an excellent leader of singing for 400 lusty singing schoolboys.

 

John Pike Mander

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Here is one I wrote 10 years ago for a not too-big church (as an exercise in the vacuum of course).

 

And yes, with such kind of "big-swelled" organ, one has to accept the Swell to stay behind the great, or we shall end up with a huge tower....So suspended action is not possible.

 

Apologies for the "hotch-potch". I live in a little country overflowed with languages, and surrounded by four of the most significant Organ countries on Earth ; so any belgian disposition is likely to be a syntesis, like an alsacian too.

 

Great

 

Bourdon 16'

Open Diapason 8' (not slotted)

Gambe 8'

Flûte harmonique 8'

Bourdon 8'

Octave 4' (not slotted)

Plein-jeu 4 ranks, two repeats (see below)

Trompette 8'

 

Swell

 

Quintatön 16'

Dulciane 8'

Voix céleste 8' T.C.

Flauto traverso 8' (first octave stopped)

Diapason 8' (narrower than great's)

Flûte octaviante 4'

Octavin 2'

Cornet 2-5 ranks (full compass, to begin with 2'-1 3/5')

Basson-Hautbois 8'

Trompette harmonique 8'

 

Pedal

 

Contrebasse 16'

Soubasse 16' (borrowed from Great, Bourdon 16')

Octave 8' (extended from Contrebasse)

Bourdon 8' (borrowed from Great, Bourdon)

Octave 4' (extended from Contrebasse)

Trombone 16'

 

Swell to great

Great to pedal

Swell to pedal

(No octave couplers).

 

The diapason chorus not quite brillant, but rather sweet and silvery.

Plein-jeu:

2 2/3'-2'-1- 1/3'-1'

4'-2 2/3'-2'-1 1/3'

5 1/3'-4'-2 2/3'-2'

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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I'm not an organbuilder and don't tend to think of specifications much, letting other people guide me what would work in the space available, the function, budget, the room, etc. However, my thoughts for a "standard" organ for use in an average Parish Church in this country, seating about 250, no acoustic, for the usual hymnody, Choral accomp and repertoire use, based upon a spec for an organ project I'm currently involved with:

 

Great Organ

 

Bourdon 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Flute 4

Twelfth 2 2/3

Fifteenth 2

Tierce 1 3/5 (principal)

Mixture (n ranks - Quints and octaves only, none too high)

Trumpet 8

 

Swell Organ

 

Open Diapason (grooved to stopped in bass, with helpers) 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Gambe 8 (grooved to stopped in bass, maybe)

Principal 4

Mixture (2' with perhaps a tierce rank as well (depends on the building, tastes of people involved, etc))

Cornopean 8

Oboe 8

 

Pedal Organ

 

Bourdon 16

Principal 8

Trombone 16

 

Usual couplers (no octave couplers), tremulants to Great and Swell organ.

 

The style (scaling, voicing, construction, etc) would be very much Hill/Walker of circa 1870, with some modern design tweaks.

 

I've put the sesquialtera on the Great to get the mutations into the open for ruck-positive solos, rather than pushing them into the swell box - a modern feature I've noticed but can't quite understand (can some illuminate me, please). The swell is very much designed for accompaniment, although the reeds could be used for romantic solos against the quieter great combinations. I've opted for an Open Diapason rather than a celeste on the Swell but I would be interested to pursue the undulant option John Mander mentions to get some celeste sound into the organ.

 

While it's got mutations, I don't know how good it would be for French Classical repertoire because the scales would probably have to be all wrong and there's no Cromhorne. But there's probably enough to get by on most things.

 

There's lot of details to sort out - I've been very unadventourous with flutes for example and I'm sure there are holes to pick elsewhere. There are a number of substitutions that I could think of but it's another starter for 10 for discussion...

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Let us go from 20 to 15 stop ! Please find hereafter an exemple of a really fantastic one (its is a real organ).

 

Of course, its spirit is very different from what has been proposed before this post.

 

Just imagine that it is placed above the west door, in a rather important roman village church. The church in itself is marvelous, and so is the acoustic. The sound of the organ just flies into the building !

 

No need to make a lot of noise, (specially in the bass), and yet, the global effect of this organ is breathtaking.

 

I must say that the 3 sounding plans are very much differentiated, although II and III are on the same soundboard, with alternate grooves (I do not know the proper term in english, but on the soundboard, you have one groove for II, one groove for III, one groove for II, one groove for III, etc...)

 

The idea is that the III is designed as a "Resonnance" in the french sense of the term, i.e. that the corresponding registers can be used as manual registers, or as pedal registers using the corresponding pulldown. This is very economic, and if properly done, works wonderfully.

 

The very celebrated french classical organ of St Maximin, by Isnard, has such a "Résonnance" keyboard, on that same principle (and no pedal registers, the ones from "Résonnance" being intended to serve also as pedal ones).

 

In this organ, this even leads, as the organ has chromatic windchests (!) for great and Résonnance to have the great organ in one half of the case, and the Résonnance symetrically in the other side...

 

....and the left side of the façade consists in the Montre 16 from Great, from CCC, and the other side the Flute 16 of Résonnance from CCC (so a "double" 16-ft front !), this organ being of course a one-off in the french classical period, and its visit remaining a shock for organ builders, or those interested in organ building.

 

 

But back to our 15-stop organ, by Ph. Hartmann, 1977 I think:

 

I Positif de dos (56 notes)

Bourdon 8

Flute conique 4

Principal 2

Larigot 1 1/3

Cromorne

 

II Grand orgue (56 notes)

Gemshorn 8

Prestant 4

Flageolet 2

Plein Jeu VI

Sesquialtera II

 

III Résonnance (56 notes)

Soubasse 16

Montre 8

Flute à cheminées 4

Dulcian 16 (reed stop)

Trompette 8

 

I/II, III/II, III/I, II/III

I/Ped, II/Ped, III/Ped

 

Tremblant Pos.

 

You would not imagine the endless possibilities this instrument provides, and a no moment does it sound "small" !

 

 

This also leads me to some thinking about organs with numerous sounding plans for relatively small numbers of stops. Such organs, if properly designed can give fantastic possibilities.

 

E.g. another "real"organ, this one of course bigger, and really sounding splendidly (the acoustic is fantastic too, and this organ never sounds agressive or "loud", even in the tutti, but with an incredible richness and fullness, supported by very calm, deep, and transparent basses)

 

The 4 keyboards and Pedal are spatially very differentiated, and this reinforces the fact that each keyboard is a world in itself, although complementary of the others. And "only" 42 stops for 4 keyboards.

 

I : Positif de dos

II : Grand orgue

III : Bombarde (altenated groves with II, but the stops on the soundboard are also alternated with the ones of II, in order to avoid that one keyboard tonally masks the other)

IV : Récit expressif : each side of the console

Pedal : behind

 

Suspended tracker action throughout. All the organ cone tuned, excepted the façades, and the Dulciane from IV, slotted in the romantic way.

 

So : Organ by Philippe Hartmann and Jean Deloye, 1981, includind some material by Callinet, and some older pipes (16, 8, 4 of III, and Cornet of II)

 

I Positif de dos (56 n)

Bourdon 8

Montre 4

Flute 4

Doublette 2

Nazard 2 2/3

Tierce 1 3/5

Larigot 1 1/3

Plein jeu IV-VI

Cromorne 8

 

II Grand orgue (56n)

Montre 8

Flute harmonique 8

Prestant 4

Doublette 2

Fourniture VI

Cornet V

Trompette 8

Clairon 4

 

III Bombarde (56 n)

Bourdon16

Bourdon 8

Flute 4

Quarte 2

Sifflet 1

Bombarde 16 (full length basses)

Trompette 8

 

IV Récit expressif (Swell), 56 n.

Dulciane 8 (i.e. Gamba)

Unda Maris 8

Flute conique 8 (open and tapered from C1)

Flute 4

Principal 2

Fourniture IV (with tierce)

Basson 16 (1st octave half length)

Trompette 8

Chalumeau 4

Voix humaine 8

 

Pedal (30n)

Flute 32 (real, open)

Flute 16

Flute 8

Octave 4

Mixture V

Bombarde 16

Trompette 8

Clairon 4

 

I/P, II/P, III/P, IV/P

I/II, III/II, IV/II, IV/III

Appels d'anches II, III, IV, and P

Tremblant doux I

Tremblant fort IV

 

Such a disposition is extremely flexible.

 

It also makes me think of the spirit of the disposition of the Mitchell and Thynne "Grove" organ in Tewkesbury Abbey (which I know only on the paper), also with 4 very concise keyboards.

 

I would say that such organ are "organ builders" instruments, in the sense that the buider was so inspired that he transcended traditions and usual schemes to propose something unique? And the result is so rich that the possibilities are immense.

 

So, finally back to the subject : why not considering a 20-stop organ with 3 keyboards instead of 2 ?

 

I just stop with this a little bit provocating suggestion !

 

Remaining at your disposition,

 

PF Baron

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  • 3 months later...

I am fairly new, here, but this seems to be an interesting point. Small organs are surely much more difficult successfully to design than larger instruments.

 

Mr. Mander also makes the valid point that it is difficult to conceive such a scheme in a vacuum.

 

So, for the record, my scheme is to be placed in a church seating about 200-250 with little appreciable resonance (but no carpet) with standard hymnody and the odd anthem as its accompanimental duties, but being presided over by a fairly competent organist.

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Sub Bass 16'

Violoncello 8'

Open Flute 4'

Posaune 16' (possibly wood)

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Quintatön 16'

Open Diapason 8'

Wald Flute 8'

Gamba 8'

Octave 4'

Harmonic Flute 4'

Fifteenth 2'

Furniture (19, 22, 26, 29) IV

Cremona 8' (CC)

Swell to Great

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Open Diapason 8'

Stopped Diapason 8'

Salicional 8'

Vox Angelica 8' (flat)

Gemshorn 4' (conical, not just slotted)

Mixture (15, 22, 26) III

Hautboy 8'

Trumpet 8'

Sub Octave

Tremulant

 

I am aware that it contains twenty-one stops - I will decide what to leave out and get back later.

 

Incidentally, the action would be totally mechanical - Manders included a Sub Octave on the Solo at Chichester, which is perfectly usable, even with the tutti, so I decided that it would work, here.

 

Also, because I am new, and not used to all the buttons yet, I see I managed to post an earlier truncated version, with no speaking stops at all. I suppose that it might prove to be a suitable vehicle for some of the works of John Cage.

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Hello Pcnd,

 

This is very interesting ; here follows some suggestions:

 

The Stopped Diapason I'd have on the great

The Gemshorn 4' ditto

The Wald flute and the Flûte harmonique (in french "octaviante" as a 4) I'd have on the swell.

Of course this is a matter of the place's acoustic, but maybe the fourth mixture rank (29) on the great would be too much. On the Swell, it could be interesting to give a try to a quite common english design of the romantic period, with a tierce: 17-19-22. This could be effective with the reeds. (Of course such exercises are a game!)

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Sorry, I replied and only managed to post your quote - let's try again...

 

Yes, I did wonder about changing the GO and Swell 8+4 flutes, but I often like a really good open flute on an unenclosed chest, particularly for solos.

 

If I did though, I would also omit the Gambe 8 from the GO and substitute a Viole de Gambe 8 and a Voix Celestes 8 for the present mild strings - but taking the Celeste down to CC, which I believe C-C always did.

 

What do you think?

 

Let's see if I can figure out how to post this one correctly... hmmm.

 

God, I've edited twice - wish I could type better than a panda.

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I would certainly keep the Gamba on the great. It permits to draw all the 8' flues together without mudiness. On the Swell, I prefer a narrower Gamba with the Voix céleste, but the Salicional-Vox angelica ensemble has a tradition in UK so it's well that way .

 

If you want something flutey on the great you could use a compromise I found a splendid example of near here: an harmonic stopped Diapason (three times normal lenght in the treble). This sounds a bit like a diminutive Flûte harmonique, but it's still usable as a stopped diapason too. In England there were such stops under the name "Zauberflöte".

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Yes, I see your point about drawing the three flues on the GO.

 

I actually quite like keener strings on the Swell (but not in the H-J sense of 'keen').

 

I forgot to mention that I would include mechanical stop action, too. I would be quite happy to play an organ of this size which possessed no registration aids - perhaps just hitch-down couplers.

 

I would also prefer a reversed console, again in the C-C manner, I think it is much more practical than always having to look in a mirror or over your shoulder and with this number of stops, seeing over the top should not be a problem.

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We have many such romantic organs in Belgium, about 20/ II, with tracker action and without any registration aids beyond a "calling the reeds" pedal (appel des anches). Interestingly, the mixtures are always on the reeds wind. This design is completely sufficient and satisfying, and the organs quite long-living. Two builder's names famous for this kind of organs are: Van Bever brothers and Pierre Schyven. The formers were pupils of Hyppolite Loret (an admirator of Schlimbach), the second of Joseph Merklin.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Oh Pierre Schyven - brilliant!! I had the privilege of playing for two Masses at Antwerp Cathedral a few years ago, due to the kindness of the Titulaire (Stanislas Deriemaeker) IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!! I would love to play that superb instrument again. I remember that it only had the French-type ventils to control 4 claviers and pedals, with reeds and the GO Barker machine separate. Even so, I had no problems controlling the organ, even improvising the organ parts of the Mass. I found it an exhilarating experience. :)

 

Regards

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Yes.....

I spent something close to considerable time in this organ in order to try to learn something. It was restored about 15 years ago, is in good state and entirely original. Did you note the 4 free reeds stops on the Positif ? (german influence trough Merklin, who came to Belgium directly from the german firm Korfmacher after his training with Walcker, so before the french influence became more important) If you go to Brussels, you may want to visit another Schyven (35/III) at Saint-Boniface. This is an absolute gem, and wholly original too.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A built example by our firm in Washington, D.C. is strikingly similar to several proposals given here. It does, however, exceed by one the given limit of 20 voices.

 

GREAT

Open Diapason 8 (1-25 in facade)

Hohl Flute 8 (1-12 stopped wood, 13-58 open metal)

Octave 4

Harmonic Flute 4

Twelfth 2-2/3

Fifteenth 2

Seventeenth 1-3/5

Mixture IV 1-1/3

Swell to Great

 

SWELL (expressive)

Geigen Principal 8 (1–9 = Sal. + L. Ged.)

Salicional 8

Celeste 8 AA

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2

Mixture III 2'

Bassoon 16 (1-17 L/2)

Trumpet 8

Oboe 8

Tremolo

 

PEDAL

Bourdon 16

Open Diapason 8 (1-4 from Great, 5-14 in facade)

Bass Flute 8 (ext. Bourdon)

Octave 4 (ext. Open Diapason)

Trombone 16 (full length)

Trumpet 8 (ext.Trombone)

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

 

Mechanical key action, electric stop action

 

Further details may be found at http://www.dobsonorgan.com/html/instrument..._rockcreek.html

 

John Panning

Dobson Pipe Organ Builders

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