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Organ Specifications


Guest stevecbournias

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I would like to argue with you concerning your description of Organs in Holland.  Obviously I cannot speak of every organ there by any stretch of the imagination, but I have got to know and appreciate several there including both the organs you named. In terms of size, and maybe in terms of romantic expression, the Dutch organs have little to teach us, but in terms of case design, durability of construction, naturalness of voicing, effectiveness of chorus and solo stops, adaptability for most of the repertoire and (most-of-all) general attitudes towards proper historic preservation the Dutch have an unbelievable amount to teach anyone who visits with an open mind. 

 

You suggest that there may only be one or two organs worth playing in Holland - I would counter with an even more sweeping statement: there is barely a single poor musical instrument in the whole country! !

 

===========================

 

 

Oh dear!

 

Steve's posting seems to have disappeared, but I get the jist of his post dated 30th December.

 

I find the comments about organs in Holland truly frightening; like it wouldn't matter if an errant B-52 dropped a few bombs and eliminated them. I have seldom come across such a total lack of respect for a tradition which is at the heart of European organ history, and stand unique in the range and quality of the instruments to be heard.

 

I'd stick my neck on the block and suggest that there isn't a single American instrument which comes even close to the tonal qualities of the Schnitger organs at Groningen or Zwolle, and they've been desperately trying to re-create them in America for decades!

 

The American "tradition" (I have been there Steve!) is more to do with the history of the telephone-exchange than it has to do with organ-building, and quite why they favoured multiple organs scattered around buildings like so much musical confetti, escapes my musical logic and artistic sensibilities.

 

That said, there ARE some wonderful organs in America (and some fine organ-builders at work), but they are not necessarily those with 200+ stops and 5-manuals.

 

Anyway, in the final analysis, who wrote the best music, and for what type of instrument?

 

It certainly hasn't been American composers, has it?

 

And another point concerning Holland and the organ-tradition. Even if Steve doesn't like proper organs, then he may wish to consider the organ-cases, which can, and do, have old-master oils painted on them. They are very often absolutely priceless works of art in their own rights; not works by Andy Warhol!

 

Anyway, I don't think anyone is too upset by Steve's post....I am certainly not, but please "smell the international coffee!"

 

I'm still puzzling about the Vatican spec, and the "Eclat 16".

 

I once owned an Eclat 16v, which went like stink on a gallon of five-star leaded. If it's as exciting as that, I'm all for it!!

 

MM

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Beecham was far less kind to organists!

 

Didn't he once look at Parry's grave, which had an inscription reading something like, "Here lies a fine organist and musician"

 

Beecham turned and said, "How did they get them in the same grave?"

He is reputed to have said this about someone, but I would be surprised if it were Parry. Whatever might appear on his grave, I can't imagine anyone choosing these words to describe the Professor of Music at Oxford and Director of the RCM. I'm not even sure Parry was an organist at all (except in the dabbling sense).
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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
He is reputed to have said this about someone, but I would be surprised if it were Parry. Whatever might appear on his grave, I can't imagine anyone choosing these words to describe the Professor of Music at Oxford and Director of the RCM. I'm not even sure Parry was an organist at all (except in the dabbling sense).

 

'When shown an inscription in a Sussex graveyard saying Here lies a fine musician and a great organist Sir Thomas remarked: "How on earth did they get them both into so small a grave?" - p.64 Beecham Stories - Published Robson Books 1978 ISBN 0-86051-044-1

 

 

NJA with best wishes and thanks for making me get this delightful book off my shelf once more!

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'When shown an inscription in a Sussex graveyard saying Here lies a fine musician and a great organist Sir Thomas remarked: "How on earth did they get them both into so small a grave?" - p.64 Beecham Stories - Published Robson Books 1978  ISBN 0-86051-044-1

NJA with best wishes and thanks for making me get this delightful book off my shelf once more!

 

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I was glad it wasn't Parry.

 

I had no idea what he did for a living.

 

:)

 

MM

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