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Six-manual Organs


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How many six-manual organs are there? So far I've found the following and would be most interested to learn of any further examples:

 

1) Wanamaker Grand Court Organ

2) Mainz Cathedral

3) Stiftsbasilika, Waldsassen

4) Duomo di Monreale, Palermo

5) Sejong Cultural Centre, Seoul

6) Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church, Hurricane, West Virginia (the largest draw-stop console ever built, but I believe the organ is mostly digital)

7) Residence of Phil Maloof, Las Vegas (theatre organ console, formerly in Chicago Stadium)

 

By the way, I know that, strictly speaking, not all of these are six-manual organs. Mainz and Waldsassen are really six-manual master consoles that control several organs.

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How many six-manual organs are there? So far I've found the following and would be most interested to learn of any further examples:

 

1) Wanamaker Grand Court Organ

2) Mainz Cathedral

3) Stiftsbasilika, Waldsassen

4) Duomo di Monreale, Palermo

5) Sejong Cultural Centre, Seoul

6) Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church, Hurricane, West Virginia (the largest draw-stop console ever built, but I believe the organ is mostly digital)

7) Residence of Phil Maloof, Las Vegas (theatre organ console, formerly in Chicago Stadium)

 

By the way, I know that, strictly speaking, not all of these are six-manual organs. Mainz and Waldsassen are really six-manual master consoles that control several organs.

 

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

 

 

Now something of a mystery here, which I can neither confirm nor deny; having spent a silly amount of time trying to discover more facts some months ago.

 

However, the elaborate Montjuich Palace, Barcelona, Spain; origionally built for the Olympics, and something of a fascist extravenganza from the 1930's, is reputed to contain a 6-manual Walcker organ, which certainly appears in various Walcker listings. I even have photographs of the console, which looks quite normal, save for an extra manual. I even have photographs of the hall and the organ-facade, but what puzzles me is the total lack of response from Spain when I made enquiries.

 

If the organ really does exist as IU suspect it may, it is possibly in quite a bad state of repair, having being re-built it appears, by the Spanish OESA company, who "enjoyed" a terrible reputation.

 

I'm sure there MUST be someone who knows about this instrument, but as I don't like Spain much, I can't be bothered to travel by Easy Jet to find out for myslef.

 

MM

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Further to my screed about the organ at Montjuich Palace, Barcelona, Spain, the following URL has the photographs:-

 

http://www.magicspain.com/michael/composer.htm#seccion=fotos

 

MM

 

 

Thanks to Musing Muso for this latest posting. The organ certainly does seem to exisit!! Wow!

 

Anyone looking for extraordinary instruments (particularly the larger ones) should be aware of the site in memory of Julian Rhodes on the web.

 

www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/organs.htm

 

They will find there a list run by David Willey which logs eccentric stops and so forth.

I know size isn't everything, but one has to admire what has been achieved in terms of pure effort and resources. If anyone wishes to contact DW, I can forward e-mails to him for you.

 

Off topic mostly:

I won't do it, of course, but I did briefly toy with the idea of enlarging the ex-Tewkesbury Milton console (now mine!) which I am planning to re-employ for my home organ. I happen to have in stock at least two more manuals that exactly match the 1948 Walker (present) five decks. The truth is, apart from this being a rather suspect act (vandalism etc.) even a five-decker is not that comfortable to sit and play - literally a pain in the neck! A six manual organ could well be agony to play for long periods. I know some folks will suggest that all you do is slope the upper sets of keys - this has already been done on the Tewkesbury console and the music desk is still uncomfortably high.

 

Still off-topic:

Off on a further small tangent, I remember seeing a BBC broadcast of a performance of Stainer's Crucifixion which was recorded in The Abbey by (I think) the chorus from BBC Wales with Dame G.W. at the console. The various takes are edited in such a way that in some movements she is seen playing the full five decks with the normal music desk. Just occasionally, in other shots, we see her using Michael Peterson's Heath Robinson-style adaption that provided a lower desk by lodging a rather basic frame over the existing one. This made the top manual unplayable. Anyone out there got a home-recorded video of this broadcast? - I'd love to have a copy.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I won't do it, of course, but I did briefly toy with the idea of enlarging the ex-Tewkesbury Milton console (now mine!) which I am planning to re-employ for my home organ.

 

Very interested to hear that you've got this, you must have a big room!

 

I used to love playing at the 5-manual console - even though so much of it was non-functional. For me the most important thing on arrival was always to locate - and turn off - the double touch canceller. When this was turned on hand registration was something of a gamble. But it was wonderful sitting up there in a cupboard and looking out of a gun port, ah, those were the days.

 

The Kenneth Jones re-incarnation has lost a little of the old-world charm of the Walker setup, but as I've commented elsewhere, has provided the abbey with an absolutely superb organ.

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Thanks to Musing Muso for this latest posting. The organ certainly does seem to exisit!! Wow!

 

Anyone looking for extraordinary instruments (particularly the larger ones) should be aware of the site in memory of Julian Rhodes on the web.

 

www.ondamar.demon.co.uk/organs.htm

 

They will find there a list run by David Willey which logs eccentric stops and so forth.

I know size isn't everything, but one has to admire what has been achieved in terms of pure effort and resources.  If anyone wishes to contact DW, I can forward e-mails to him for you.

 

Off topic mostly:

I won't do it, of course, but I did briefly toy with the idea of enlarging the ex-Tewkesbury Milton console (now mine!) which I am planning to re-employ for my home organ. I happen to have in stock at least two more manuals that exactly match the 1948 Walker (present) five decks.  The truth is, apart from this being a rather suspect act (vandalism etc.) even a five-decker is not that comfortable to sit and play - literally a pain in the neck! A six manual organ could well be agony to play for long periods.  I know some folks will suggest that all you do is slope the upper sets of keys - this has already been done on the Tewkesbury console and the music desk is still uncomfortably high.

 

Still off-topic:

Off on a further small tangent, I remember seeing a BBC broadcast of a performance of Stainer's Crucifixion which was recorded in The Abbey by (I think) the chorus from BBC Wales with Dame G.W. at the console.  The various takes are edited in such a way that in some movements she is seen playing the full five decks with the normal music desk.  Just occasionally, in other shots, we see her using Michael Peterson's Heath Robinson-style adaption that provided a lower desk by lodging a rather basic frame over the existing one.  This made the top manual unplayable.  Anyone out there got a home-recorded video of this broadcast? - I'd love to have a copy.

 

Sorry, Paul, I do not have a copy - but I do remember seeing it at the time of the original transmission!

 

Incidentally, I am desperate to locate some second-hand Walker drawstop heads of 1960s vintage. I need a Gamba 8 (or Viola da Gamba 8, or similar) and a Harmonic Flute 4 (or even, but less likely, a Flûte Harmonique 4), please. In style, they should approximate to St. Michael's, Chester Square, York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, etc. If you (or anyone else) can help, please PM me. Thank you. <_<

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  • 6 months later...

 

 

However, the elaborate Montjuich Palace, Barcelona, Spain; origionally built for the Olympics, and something of a fascist extravenganza from the 1930's, is reputed to contain a 6-manual Walcker organ, which certainly appears in various Walcker listings. I even have photographs of the console, which looks quite normal, save for an extra manual. I even have photographs of the hall and the organ-facade, but what puzzles me is the total lack of response from Spain when I made enquiries.

If the organ really does exist as IU suspect it may, it is possibly in quite a bad state of repair, having being re-built it appears, by the Spanish OESA company, who "enjoyed" a terrible reputation.

I'm sure there MUST be someone who knows about this instrument, but as I don't like Spain much, I can't be bothered to travel by Easy Jet to find out for myslef.

 

I've just stumbled across this. http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/Barcelona/ My German is rudimentary and my Spanish non-existent so I don't know quite what to make of this, but it looks like the instrument began life in 1929 as only a five-manual (with an interesting battery of percussion stops). The photo of the six-manual console seems to confirm your fears about its condition.

Edit: If I read this page correctly it was OESA who expanded the organ to six manuals: http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/inner_c/iberion.htm

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I've just stumbled across this. http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/Barcelona/ My German is rudimentary and my Spanish non-existent so I don't know quite what to make of this, but it looks like the instrument began life in 1929 as only a five-manual (with an interesting battery of percussion stops). The photo of the six-manual console seems to confirm your fears about its condition.

 

Edit: If I read this page correctly it was OESA who expanded the organ to six manuals: http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/inner_c/iberion.htm

 

Thanks for such an interesting posting!

 

This collection of photos is absolutely fascinating - and awfully sad! Some shots show not just a partially wrecked organ but also such dilapidation in the building (e.g. foliage growing through the roof) that I doubt whether much more than pipework would be salvageable even if there were the desire and the funds to put it straight.

 

It looks like a splendid job when originally built - a very fine spec and a good hall to stand in. I imagine in 1929 labour in Germany was pretty cheap too - so effort could be expended (almost without limit) to ensure the success of the finished instrument and thus the prestige of the firm.

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I gave my photos to Mr Walcker, they actually date from 1995

 

On the chamade wind chest, the longest stop is the bombarde (C1 full length !!!!)

 

I have no news about this organ, and do not think it is restored yet. I also wrote a letter in 1995, to try to get people in charge interested (at the time, the Palace was being totally renovated, and they certainly had other things to do...!)

 

Best regards

 

PF Baron

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How many six-manual organs are there? So far I've found the following and would be most interested to learn of any further examples:

 

1) Wanamaker Grand Court Organ

2) Mainz Cathedral

3) Stiftsbasilika, Waldsassen

4) Duomo di Monreale, Palermo

5) Sejong Cultural Centre, Seoul

6) Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church, Hurricane, West Virginia (the largest draw-stop console ever built, but I believe the organ is mostly digital)

7) Residence of Phil Maloof, Las Vegas (theatre organ console, formerly in Chicago Stadium)

 

By the way, I know that, strictly speaking, not all of these are six-manual organs. Mainz and Waldsassen are really six-manual master consoles that control several organs.

 

 

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

 

There's another 6-manual organ not listed in any of the previous posts.

 

I'm not absolutely certain whether the organ is yet completed, due to the fact that one or two photographs seem to be "graphics". However, there are photographs of the main division of the organ, which is certainly complete.

 

The monumental instrument built or being built by Zych organ-builders, Poland, for Lichen Bazylika "Matki Bozej Lichenskiej ".....(The RC Basilica, Lichen, Poland) is, or will be, the 13th largest organ in the world on completion.

 

There are pretty pictures as follows:-

 

http://www.die-orgelseite.de/disp/PL_Lichen_Bazylika.htm

 

Scroll down to no.13 on the list and then click on the little camera as well as the text of the specification just to the right of it.

 

222 ranks and 154 stops!

 

To see the sheer scale of the edifice, go to the following site:-

 

http://www.lichen.pl/

 

 

To the left of the screen, click on Bazylika, and then each of the three sub-sections marked

1. Historia powstania,

2. Dziennik budowy

3. Bazylika

 

The Bazylika was, so far as I aware, designed by a lady architect and built in the 1990's, and is one of the very largest religious building in Europe.

 

Apart from a reputed miracle surrounding the alleged manifestation of the Blessed Virgin in the mid-19th century, the building of such a vast edifice in a relatively poor country, is proof enough, (if proof is required), of the extraordinary bond of adulation and adoration which existed between the very Marian Pope John Paul II and the Polish people.

 

It also a testimony to the growth of Polish identity, nationalism and the new found independence from the grim days of communism and the rise of "Solidarnosk".

 

I'd like to wager that very few know of this organ or the Basillica on this board!

 

MM

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

 

There's another 6-manual organ not listed in any of the previous posts.

 

I'm not absolutely certain whether the organ is yet completed, due to the fact that one or two photographs seem to be "graphics". However, there are photographs of the main division of the organ, which is certainly complete.

 

The monumental instrument built or being built by Zych organ-builders, Poland, for Lichen Bazylika "Matki Bozej Lichenskiej ".....(The RC Basilica, Lichen, Poland)  is, or will be, the 13th largest organ in the world on completion.

 

There are pretty pictures as follows:-

 

http://www.die-orgelseite.de/disp/PL_Lichen_Bazylika.htm

 

Scroll down to no.13 on the list and then click on the little camera as well as the text of the specification just to the right of it.

 

222 ranks and 154 stops!

 

To see the sheer scale of the edifice, go to the following site:-

 

http://www.lichen.pl/

To the left of the screen, click on Bazylika, and then each of the three sub-sections marked

1. Historia powstania,

2. Dziennik budowy

3. Bazylika

 

The Bazylika was, so far as I aware, designed by a lady architect and built in the 1990's, and is one of the very largest religious building in Europe.

 

Apart from a reputed miracle surrounding the alleged manifestation of the Blessed Virgin in the mid-19th century, the building of such a vast edifice in a relatively poor country, is proof enough, (if proof is required), of the extraordinary bond of adulation and adoration which existed between the very Marian Pope John Paul II and the Polish people.

 

It also a testimony to the growth of Polish identity, nationalism and the new found independence from the grim days of communism and the rise of "Solidarnosk".

 

I'd like to wager that very few know of this organ or the Basillica on this board!

 

MM

 

 

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

 

 

Sorry....the photos of the organ can be accessed from the following:-

 

http://www.die-orgelseite.de/orgelliste_e.htm

 

Scroll down to no.13 and then click onto the little camera as described previously.

 

 

MM

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

Sorry....the photos of the organ can be accessed from the following:-

 

http://www.die-orgelseite.de/orgelliste_e.htm

 

Scroll down to no.13 and then click onto the little camera as described previously.

MM

 

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

 

I'll even get the link to the photos of the building right eventually:-

 

http://www.lichen.pl/index.php?t=page&dzial=1

 

To the left of the screen, click on Bazylika, and then each of the three sub-sections marked

1. Historia powstania,

2. Dziennik budowy

3. Bazylika

 

MM

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I'd like to wager that very few know of this organ or the Basillica on this board!

 

I have mentioned this organ before, though not in this thread:
http://web16713.vs.netbenefit.co.uk/discus...opic=353&st=40#


Just to update the list, we now know of 9 six-manual organs:

1) Wanamaker Grand Court Organ
2) Mainz Cathedral
3) Stiftsbasilika, Waldsassen
4) Duomo di Monreale, Palermo
5) Sejong Cultural Centre, Seoul
6) Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church, Hurricane, West Virginia (the largest draw-stop console ever built, but I believe the organ is mostly digital)
7) Residence of Phil Maloof, Las Vegas (theatre organ console, formerly in Chicago Stadium)
8) Palacio National, Barcelona
9) Bazylika Matki Bozej Lichenskiej, Poland

Any more offers?

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I thought that West Point must be a six decker; but apparently not. Only four.

 

Some manuals must look after two or more Divisions?

 

http://www.die-orgelseite.de/disp/USA_West...CadetChapel.htm

 

 

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

 

I think it would be possible to spend a lifetime attempting to work this organ out.

 

With the best part of 800 stop-tabs, this is one "classical" instrument which dwarfs the largest cinema-organ consoles.

 

I cringe to think how long it would take to become familiar with the console, but it should be noted that the Great Organ alone has three sets of stop-keys (actually rocking tablets I believe) controlling three Great Organs.

 

Is this the only organ in the world where a Trumpet can become a Cornet?

 

The idea of big trumpets at 8, 4,2.2/3, 2, and 1.3/5 is certainly....erm...American.

 

Our friend "Vox Humana" will be delighted to note that the Pedal contains a fully fledged "Acoustic 32ft reed"....oh....and an acoustic 64ft as well.

 

Only in America could such a beast be created, and only an American could it be considered a work of art.

 

Still, it is fun.

 

MM

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Our friend "Vox Humana" will be delighted to note that the Pedal contains a fully fledged "Acoustic 32ft reed"....oh....and an acoustic 64ft as well.

 

Not to mention the partial-compass 128' acoustic flue and reed. Lord, what IS the point?

And why on earth bother with a 1' Military Trumpet?

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