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John Sayer

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MusingMuso    0
A well thought out scheme for the breaks in the mixture composition must surely be essential to acheive this type of wonderful effect?

 

 

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

 

If we are contemplating Polish type Cymbels, there is somewhere a post from a Polish organist describing how they work.

 

However, so far as I know, there are no breaks (the pipes are placed on a single block, and just sound whenever a note is pressed), and the pipes are not tuned at all.

 

That's the important point I'm making, because the end result just sounds shrill and gritty, and the ear has no idea what notes are being played; hence it is enharmonic and very effective at the same time.

 

 

The enharmonic Cimbel is heard at the end of the Fugue.

 

MM

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kropf    0
============================

 

 

I can't get away from the depressng experience of driving old Volvos, before Ford showed them how to make proper cars which didn't trundle along like old trucks.

 

I do not now which age you are referring to, but more recent examples proof nearly the opposite... :rolleyes:

 

However..........leaving behind logs, chemical fertilisers and ice-cream, what exactly is innovative about this instrument?

 

Believe it or not, it has all been done before, and in the organ-world, John Compton could have done the same thing with maybe 4 or 5 ranks placed on an additional "mutation chest." I can't imagine he would have been stupid enough to waste 20 or more ranks to achieve very little.

 

Well, my "pro"-arguments are already written, and maybe you are right with your criticisms. Well, if Compton would still be be active, he might have got the Swedish job, or at least a section of it.

The current voicing and assembling is limited to the "classical" part of the organ, so first it is not more and not less then a very large Woehl instrument. (In Germany you will find several 3 and 4m organs by him, their reputation is not equal, but they are all regarded as "good" up to "very fine".)

 

I'm happy that I'm not responsible for this project, so I can share with so many other people every sort of benefit from somebody else spending the money to install such a "beast".

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MusingMuso    0
I do not now which age you are referring to, but more recent examples proof nearly the opposite... :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Well, my "pro"-arguments are already written, and maybe you are right with your criticisms. Well, if Compton would still be be active, he might have got the Swedish job, or at least a section of it.

The current voicing and assembling is limited to the "classical" part of the organ, so first it is not more and not less then a very large Woehl instrument. (In Germany you will find several 3 and 4m organs by him, their reputation is not equal, but they are all regarded as "good" up to "very fine".)

 

I'm happy that I'm not responsible for this project, so I can share with so many other people every sort of benefit from somebody else spending the money to install such a "beast".

 

 

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

 

 

Volvo cars got good after 1999. Before that; just reliable, indestructible old bricks on wheels.

 

Just a thought about John Compton, which has always fascinated me. I don't know whether Karl is aware of the fact that during WWII, John Compton was posted to Italy, and while he was there, he spent time experimenting on old Italian organs. I don't think he had much sense of preservation, and I can only guess at what he did to them. However, many of his tonal experiments were undertaken at this stage, leading him to a wonderful knowledge of synthesising and blending different sounds; perhaps in quite a scientific way. This is why John Compton was quite unique, and incredibly clever at what he did.

 

Now I have read somewhere that in the tonal scheme of his (derived) Mixtures, the stop-name may say Cornet V rks, but actually include many more pitches and even aliquots. My problem is that I've never had the opportunity of investigating this, but if I can find the reference, I'm fairly certain that the information came from the late Stephen Bicknell.

 

I didn't pluck Compton's name out of the air in relation to the Swedish organ, because his dual knowledge of pipes and electronic sine-wave synthesis must have been based on sound scientific principles and careful experimentation, and he was, of course, head boy at the King Edward 5th school, Birmingham; one of the most technological and scientific schools in the UK at a rather special time, when technology reigned supreme in the Birmingham area. Add to this his time with the German (Schulze) influenced firm of Brindley & Foster, who used innovative factory manufacturing techniques, and John Compton had both the technical and scientific basis for his remarkable work.

 

MM

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AJJ    0
============================

 

 

Volvo cars got good after 1999. Before that; just reliable, indestructible old bricks on wheels.

 

Just a thought about John Compton, which has always fascinated me. I don't know whether Karl is aware of the fact that during WWII, John Compton was posted to Italy, and while he was there, he spent time experimenting on old Italian organs. I don't think he had much sense of preservation, and I can only guess at what he did to them.

 

I have this strange vision of a baroque Italian organ somewhere with a Compton lighted stop head console..............!!

 

Now I have read somewhere that in the tonal scheme of his (derived) Mixtures, the stop-name may say Cornet V rks, but actually include many more pitches and even aliquots. My problem is that I've never had the opportunity of investigating this, but if I can find the reference, I'm fairly certain that the information came from the late Stephen Bicknell.

 

Ian Bell also mentioned this.....and most of the other mixtures too .

 

MM

 

A

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kropf    0
============================

 

 

Volvo cars got good after 1999. Before that; just reliable, indestructible old bricks on wheels.

 

Just a thought about John Compton, which has always fascinated me. I don't know whether Karl is aware of the fact that during WWII, John Compton was posted to Italy, and while he was there, he spent time experimenting on old Italian organs. I don't think he had much sense of preservation, and I can only guess at what he did to them. However, many of his tonal experiments were undertaken at this stage, leading him to a wonderful knowledge of synthesising and blending different sounds; perhaps in quite a scientific way. This is why John Compton was quite unique, and incredibly clever at what he did.

 

MM

While disagreeing regarding the value of old Volvos, I share your Compton fascination! Meeting the Derby Cathedral organ completely changed my opinion about unification, still preferring straight pipework though... :o

Currently I am fascinated by reading "The American Classic Organ - A History in Letters" as part of my "research" regarding Fritz Heitmann (who travelled the US in those days). It is great to read the warm words between Willis and Skinner, and learning they sent each other's products across the Atlantic to share their knowledge. Did not know about J.C. in Italy - interesting! Could have been similar to the projects and research of Abbe Vogler, though more acceptable.

 

While having fun with fine new and old organs, I have growing interest in discovering the 1st half of the 20 century and its organ culture (certainly because of beeing responsible for a quite large instrument of the time), which seems to be of noticeable higher level as was told to us on university... Greetings to Pierre!

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Did not know about J.C. in Italy - interesting! Could have been similar to the projects and research of Abbe Vogler, though more acceptable.

 

Hi

 

IIRC there's an account of Compton's Italian sojourn in "The Organ" magazine just after the war. I know I've read something about it, and I've probably got a copy - but without knowing what no. it was in, it'll take a while to find.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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MusingMuso    0
While disagreeing regarding the value of old Volvos, I share your Compton fascination! Meeting the Derby Cathedral organ completely changed my opinion about unification, still preferring straight pipework though... :o

Currently I am fascinated by reading "The American Classic Organ - A History in Letters" as part of my "research" regarding Fritz Heitmann (who travelled the US in those days). It is great to read the warm words between Willis and Skinner, and learning they sent each other's products across the Atlantic to share their knowledge. Did not know about J.C. in Italy - interesting! Could have been similar to the projects and research of Abbe Vogler, though more acceptable.

 

While having fun with fine new and old organs, I have growing interest in discovering the 1st half of the 20 century and its organ culture (certainly because of beeing responsible for a quite large instrument of the time), which seems to be of noticeable higher level as was told to us on university... Greetings to Pierre!

 

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

 

 

Having spent some time in America, and having had the great privilege to play a number of Skinner & Aeolian Skinner organs, as well as those greatly influenced or worked upon by Larry Phelps (Boston 1st Scientists), I too am fascinated by the evolution of the American Classic, which seems to embrace so many gigantic names in the organ world. Fritz Heitmann was one, as we know, but there was also Ralph Downes, G Donald Harrison (very much influenced by T C Lewis/Schulze),

E.Power Biggs and numerous others. The connection and inter-connections between Germany, America and England were remarkable, and as we know, it all fell apart to some extent during WWII, but then gathered momentum again after hostilities ceased. Of course, behind all this was that great interest in early music and the Dolmetsch influence, which found a ready and receptive musical public in the most educated circles.

 

Of course, we must never forget the great Walcker organ at Methuen, which really set the scene for the deveopment of the American classic. Even though it has been altered, it is a quite magnificent organ by any standards. Also, Steinmeyer did work in America, and the Cathedral at Altoona is one of the best surviving examples of their work outside Germany.

 

Here my history goes a little off course. Berhardt mentions "Willis," but that must surely have been Willis III?

 

Stephen Bicknell claimed, if I recall correctly, that Skinner was the superior mind who had much influence over Willis than Willis had over Skinner, and from what I've heard, I suspect that this is very true. A visit to Yale to hear the Newberry Memorial Skinner is a "must" in America, because this really is the perfection of Skinner's orchestral style, with the most extraordinary strings, celestes, flutes and orchestral reeds.

 

I think it's easy to see why this style moved out of fashion, but I simply cannot fathom how such superlative organ-building could be discarded or ruined by excessive alteration, as has been the case in America.

 

I don't know if Bernhardt has yet stumbled across the influences on G Donald Harrison, who was very much an independent thinker. To understand the American Classic, it is first necessary to know the work of Schulze in the UK, and the devotion to that style by T C Lewis, which Harrison adapted to his own style, under the influence of E Power Biggs.

 

What I find curious, is how two Englishmen came to have so much influence in America, and guide organ-building towards the German style; especially since they would have been familiar with all things English, and would have learned to play or build organs on such instruments.

 

Part of the fascination with America, has been the ability to fufill dreams, by building new organs in so many varieties of style; from so many differenmt source influences.

 

MM

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kropf    0

Dear MM and members,

 

we talked about all these Americans visting European old organs some years ago. When I was holding the post of organist at Hamburg-Neuenfelde (Arp Schnitger 1688, II/34), I started to photograph the precious guestbook, dating from the start of the organ concert series there in 1954. I just made eight pictures which I want to publish now. I think and hope my successor will make the book available to others, as the many pages not depicted keep much more interesting entries (and some less interesting, of course.)

 

Among the eight pages available here there are legible entries of Helen Fountain (Oberlin), E. Power Biggs (Cambridge MA) 2x, Gotthard Arner (Stockholm), Fenner and Jane Douglas (Oberlin), Cor Edskes (Groningen), Luigi F. Tagliavini (Bologna), Arthur Howes (Andover, who travelled Germany and Neuenfelde frequently), Rune Franzen (Stockholm).

 

www.marien-musik.de/guest1.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest2.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest3.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest4.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest5.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest6.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest7.jpg

www.marien-musik.de/guest8.jpg

 

 

It is not a complete "Who is Who" of Organ Art, but there will be few such guestbooks in Europe. Would be nice to have the book online, maybe somebody will make it.

 

 

As far as I know, they are definately starting the Neuenfelde restauration there. There were rumors about a Hendrik Ahrend job (talented son of legendary Jürgen Ahrend), but I am not sure yet.

 

Have Fun - KBK

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Genau, Mr Kropf,

 

That period is one of the richest, fast-moving in the history of the organ.

The approximate period is: 1890-1930.

From the dissepearing of the leaders of the 19th century to the spread

of the Orgelbewegung worldwide.

 

Cavaillé-Coll, Willis I, E-F Walcker etc were gone, their successors could innovate

without having to fear them any more !

And as E-M Skinner wrote, the modern organ actions had removed the limitations

in organ design, enabling more creativity.

 

This is what I call (with my teacher Jean-Pierre Felix) the "Post-romantic" organ.

 

Those organs display a wide variety of experimental styles, from Hope-Jones to

the first neo-baroque organs (1921!).

Today, if we happen to encounter such an organ in original state, it convinces

most of us...An Arthur Harrison, a late Sauer, an Oscar Walcker from before 1930,

A Willis III, or indeed an E-M Skinner; nobody would still advise to get rid of such

an organ. (save maybe some british patients ?)

 

Halas, already during that period, some people had a dream: to invent new rules

and enforce them in order to get their place in the History.

 

And so one of the experimental, post-romantic styles won the game: the "Neo".

 

With the incredible, but true, fact that 1960 Mixtures, for example, still had

more in common with E-M Skinner's than with true baroque ones...

 

The organ you are in charge of today sits right between those two periods,

and, as such, has a strong historical significance.

 

Pierre

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kropf    0
The organ you are in charge of today sits right between those two periods,

and, as such, has a strong historical significance.

 

Pierre

 

Well, such words help me out a little from a small depression I entered into yesterday evening. After a half-hour recital (not played and registrated really well), a man found very critical words regarding the tonal expression of the instrument. I recognised him, a quite succesful writer, book and cd publisher of the organ scene, so he's not somebody without ears and mind.

But it interferes with very positive words from the guest musicians from one week before.

For such situations, it would be easier if our Sauer-Organ (which one?) would be a little more pure - the optically stunning, acoustically critical organ case and the re-use of baroque soundboards* do not completely generate that sound (yet), which would make a lover of this Oscar Walcker / Victor Gonzalez / Donald Harrison epoque praise it...

 

*Reading the Fritz Heitmann biography again, I think he might have decided to keep the old soundboards not only for reasons of unavailability of new material in 1938 - it could have been his "artistic will", too, if I read between the lines of his essays on some organ projects of his time.

 

Oh, once again we have gone quite off-topic... To set a bridge, I hope that the Woehl organ of Pitea and its rich specification (even wihtout the special harmonics division) will be used not only in the orchestral way, but also to create colors and build them up by creative use of the "normal" mutations - and I hope, their voicing invites to do so.

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As no organ is perfect, be it "historical" or not, there will always be

critics, whatever would be done.

We already discussed that particular organ; there are several possible

ways to go in that case without sacrifice of any historical "Substanz".

 

Pierre

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kropf    0

Some of us may already be aware (or have even followed the voicing process via webcam), that the large Woehl organ beeing built for Pitea University has now its facade completed.

www.acusticumorgel.se

It is interesting to compare it with the facade of the Woehl of Herz Jesu Kirche München (Munich Sacred Heart), shown here. (Scroll down for lowest pic).

 

Let's hope Woehl has an agreement with the prominent architect for the re-use, as it is identical expect a slight enlargement in width...!

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justinf    0

Apologies for resurrecting such an old thread, but there seems to be no better place for this. I stumbled across the spec at Klais for a new/expanded organ in Malmö (2018) with mutations up through the 19th partial on the 4', 8', 16', 32', 64', and -- wait for it -- 128' series: http://www.orgelbau-klais.com/m.php?tx=225

 

Apparently you can have your "Neuvième mineur 7 9/17" and eat it too. What I don't understand in the more detailed PDF (http://www.orgelbau-klais.com/_klais/bilder/pdf/Malmoe_Pipework.pdf) is how some of these mutations can be drawn from the same rank. Are the 11th and 13th partials similarly off-unison that rank "N" can provide them both at various octaves? Can an 8' flute also provide the 19th partial accurately (unlike those theater organs that drew their tierces from unison ranks)? I always thought that such mutations had to be tuned absolutely pure to be effective, though I'm not sure how slight the fudging is here.

 

More to the point, how would someone use all of these mutations? I appreciate that additional harmonics may strengthen a Cornet -- perhaps most usefully in the pedal where a sufficient number can give a convincing 32' effect -- but beyond that I am at something of a loss as to how to use them. I don't wish to stand athwart progress, but until I hear the thing my mind keeps returning to Stephen Bicknell's comments about "angry birds and alarm clocks."

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And in view of the difficulty of keeping it all in tune, I can only assume the instrument comes with its own permanently-resident tuner who lives in a neat little one-bed apartment tucked away inside.

 

:D

CEP

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According to the klais webiste: "the concept of the choir organ is far from the traditional structure of an organ. Rather, the entire pipework should be considered as a sound pool that can be fully managed by the Generale Console. So each sound can be assigned to each of the seven keyboards of the new console. Besides a wide range of warm foundation stops almost all harmonics within the octave will be individually available. Thus sounds can be assembled which are hitherto unheard of."

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According to the klais webiste: "the concept of the choir organ is far from the traditional structure of an organ. Rather, the entire pipework should be considered as a sound pool that can be fully managed by the Generale Console. So each sound can be assigned to each of the seven keyboards of the new console. Besides a wide range of warm foundation stops almost all harmonics within the octave will be individually available. Thus sounds can be assembled which are hitherto unheard of."

 

It would seem that another organ builder once had similar thoughts. Among other things, he said:

 

"By this means [basically, additive synthesis] any kind of timbre can be exactly reproduced, and the tone of each stop is mathematically the same from the top to the bottom of the compass. In saying any tone, we must understand not only those which existing organs, orchestras, and voices have rendered familiar to us, but also an infinite variety of new tones, some of them most charming" (The italics are mine).

 

He also proposed the system whereby any rank in a sound pool of pipework can be used at any pitch on any manual and pedal division. His name? Robert Hope-Jones, who gave a lecture on these matters to the RCO in 1891. (Being more precise, they were not 'royal' then and they were just called the College of Organists). The quotation above is taken from the transcript of that lecture though in fact, and presciently, it referred to additive synthesis using electrical sound generation and reproduction rather than using pipes. And his 'sound pool' concept of 'warm foundation stops' (not that he called it that as far as I know) became the key underlying technology of the future theatre organ of course.

 

And as for "sounds assembled which are hitherto unheard of", surely there is little scope left for innovation here in view of the many decades over which electronic sound synthesis has been practiced? If anything, the digital music industry has long since grown away from its early and somewhat juvenile enthusiasm to invent new sounds. It now concentrates more on trying to synthesise ever more accurately the sounds of real acoustic instruments electronically, as evidenced by the amount of investment being poured into techniques such as physical modelling. In other words, it's a case of been there, done that. So why should there be a market, and therefore paying audiences, for starting again just to do it with pipes?

 

I might have got hold of the wrong end of the stick here, but I am having trouble seeing the rationale of it all.

 

CEP

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