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Six-manual Organs

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
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?

 

 

You know how it is!

After a while, it must be a challenge for them to think of something they haven't already got.

 

I'm experiencing something of a similar kind as I draw up the new specification for my home organ. I'm determined to have no manual extension, but 'anything goes' on the pedal organ and I want as many things with possible uses as I can get into the wiring derivations. Currently I've planned a 34 stop pedal division, complete from 32' flue (using an old Compton Polyphone for the bottom octave) through to a 2' Trumpet. Why have it?... it's already there - a unit that used to extend to 4' on the manuals in its previous home.

 

Musical uses: in theory a high pitched pedal reed could be used to bring out a cantus firmus in anything pre-Bach, and for later repertoire to give a bit of impact in the plenum. I thought I could run to the wiring to give myself a 5.1/3 reed as well. I did consider having one at 10.2/3 but am not quite so sure. In case you're worrying, there will be four 16 reed ranks on the Pedal, viz.

 

Trombone - c.1910 Bishop rank (large full length wooden resonators)

*Double Trumpet - Rushworth & Dreaper c.1960

Bombarde - downwards extension of the Tuba using a HN&B 16' Diaphone for the bottom octave

+Double Horn - Willis III

 

I have plans to fudge some sort of 32' reed as well - unfortunately, being virtually broke a few months ago, I was persuaded to sell the full length 16' zinc resonators I had earmarked for this... but no doubt something else will come up. I was going to persaude one or other of two friends I have in the trade who know all about reed 32's to help me with the construction of this vital octave of pipes.

 

*Double Trumpet will appear once in the Swell at 16' pitch

where there is also a Stinkens Rankett 16' (on the soundboard i.e. not available to borrow on the Pedal)

 

+The Double Horn is also playable on the Solo organ

 

 

Thes best thing about all this is....

while I have to do the work, (probably years of it)...

nobody else gets a say in any way at all.

All the experts, advisers (and clergymen) in creation can just sling their hooks! As Blaster Bates used to say, you know what an expert is?

'Ex' is somethng that has been, and 'Spurt' is a drip under pressure.

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You know how it is!

 

Musical uses: in theory a high pitched pedal reed could be used to bring out a cantus firmus in anything pre-Bach, and for later repertoire to give a bit of impact in the plenum. I thought I could run to the wiring to give myself a 5.1/3 reed as well. I did consider having one at 10.2/3 but am not quite so sure. In case you're worrying, there will be four 16 reed ranks on the Pedal, viz.

 

Well, that's OK then!    :lol:

 

As Blaster Bates used to say, you know what an expert is?

'Ex' is somethng that has been, and 'Spurt' is a drip under pressure.

 

My favourite "Blaster" Bates comment is, "if I take this stick of gelignite, attach a fuse to this end and give it a bit of a thrutch, it starts to burn....at about 4 miles a second....... and that's just knocking on a bit in any bugger's language."

 

:lol:

 

 

MM

 

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

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

 

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

:lol:

 

I don't think I have ever seen anything as tasteless as this monstrosity. The building is apparently nothing but steel, concrete, plaster, and tons of colour, style and proportion not being involved. It looks like Stalin's biggest hotel lobby. Where's the Smoker's Corner where one might get some Cuban cigars?

 

Having seen this, one might find oneself inclined to give Polish churchgoers free flights to Rome in order to make them recognise the real thing, and that it was designed originally some 500 years ago. Just to give them a chance to see the genius in Michelangelo, and the fake in this huge sugary fabrication.

 

Sorry, but

 

UGH!

 

To make this on-topic, the case of the main organ clearly imitates the front of the Schoenstein at the Mormon Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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

 

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

Good Lord. Did Mr Bournias advise? I rather like the way that the English mutations peter out at the 29th - we're clearly no match for the French in that department. The idea of a 16' Soprano Vox and a 2' Baritone seems a bit oxymoronic.

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One wonders how convenient these six manual consoles are to play.

 

Presumably, the more manuals, the more difficult it is to reach the top one.

 

I would be interested to know some key dimensions, overhangs, etc., and how these differ between three and four manual consoles and those of five or six manuals.

 

Can anyone oblige?

 

John

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For those who found the West Point organ a bit too much, we now travel to the sun kissed West Coast for something infinitely more tasteful !! Again, not a six decker !!

 

http://users.aristotle.net/~crazymidiman/my01004.html

 

Wondering what a 4' Cor de Schuller sounds like ("please be seated", though revt. Shuller doesn't speak at 4' pitch ??).

 

An interesting organ anyway ...

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:lol:

 

I don't think I have ever seen anything as tasteless as this monstrosity. The building is apparently nothing but steel, concrete, plaster, and tons of colour, style and proportion not being involved. It looks like Stalin's biggest hotel lobby. Where's the Smoker's Corner where one might get some Cuban cigars?

 

Having seen this, one might find oneself inclined to give Polish churchgoers free flights to Rome in order to make them recognise the real thing, and that it was designed originally some 500 years ago. Just to give them a chance to see the genius in Michelangelo, and the fake in this huge sugary fabrication.

 

Sorry, but

 

UGH!

 

To make this on-topic, the case of the main organ clearly imitates the front of the Schoenstein at the Mormon Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

 

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

 

I guess Friederich doesn't like it!

 

I'm inclined to agree that it's rather tasteless and completely OTT, but one hopes that the organ will sound good if and when it is finished.

 

It's not a very good advertisement for lady architects, is it?

 

mm

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

I guess Friederich doesn't like it!

I'm inclined to agree that it's rather tasteless and completely OTT, but one hopes that the organ will sound good if and when it is finished.

It's not a very good advertisement for lady architects, is it?

Hmm. Give me Zaha Hadid everyday. Again a suspicion -- I guess it is the combination of Polish Catholicism, decades of suppression of free thought and speech, deep conservatism, and a fatal cultural and artistic ignorance in some quarters, inspired by Radio Marya and the like.

 

I hasten to say that I do not in any way mind the purpose of the building, even though I do not fully understand it (being protestant). But there have been built other pilgrimage churches within the last century -- and by people who are not the least bit less God-fearing -- that responded more actively to contemporaneous means of architectural expression. I don't even have to mention Ronchamps -- I mean, even Guildford cathedral appears a modern building, aware of 20th-century architectural thought, when compared to that contraption.

 

(Just imagine that lady architect's living room!)

 

About the possible sound: I do not envy a voicer who has to make an organ sound good and articulate that is set up in a vast railway station.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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One wonders how convenient these six manual consoles are to play.

Presumably, the more manuals, the more difficult it is to reach the top one.

 

Came across this interesting comment in an old post on the Theatre Organs list, mentioning the ex-Chicago Stadium Barton:

"Recently I have played the Roxy five manual and the Chicago Stadium
six manual organs. I call the top manuals on both Unreachable. I was there
with Kay McAbee, who is over six feet tall, and he thought the same. It took
me two hours to set two general pistons on the Barton. I had the help of a
friend who stood on a step ladder to read the top three bolsters. It's a fine
organ, but must ve played using pistons only as the stop tabs are too far to
reach and most can't even be read when playing."

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Came across this interesting comment in an old post on the Theatre Organs list, mentioning the ex-Chicago Stadium Barton:

 

"Recently I have played the Roxy five manual and the Chicago Stadium

six manual organs. I call the top manuals on both Unreachable.  I was there

with Kay McAbee, who is over six feet tall, and he thought the same.  It took

me two hours to set two general pistons on the Barton.  I had the help of a

friend who stood on a step ladder to read the top three bolsters. It's a fine

organ, but must ve played using pistons only as the stop tabs are too far to

reach and most can't even be read when playing."

 

 

Hmmm, 3-manual organs can be quite unplayable as well (when you're well over 6-feet tall like me) - as many instruments here in Holland prove ...

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For a long time I wondered how West Point would sound. So I recently bought the Joyce Jones CD.

 

I played it once - and sold it on eBay! :lol:

 

I thought it was a poor selection of music - strange recording balance - and perfectly correct playing that was totally boring. I wonder if there is something better to listen to? :D

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Came across this interesting comment in an old post on the Theatre Organs list, mentioning the ex-Chicago Stadium Barton:

 

"Recently I have played the Roxy five manual and the Chicago Stadium

six manual organs. I call the top manuals on both Unreachable.  I was there

with Kay McAbee, who is over six feet tall, and he thought the same.  It took

me two hours to set two general pistons on the Barton.  I had the help of a

friend who stood on a step ladder to read the top three bolsters. It's a fine

organ, but must ve played using pistons only as the stop tabs are too far to

reach and most can't even be read when playing."

 

You have to wonder, just what is the point? :blink:

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For a long time I wondered how West Point would sound. So I recently bought the Joyce Jones CD.

 

I played it once - and sold it on eBay! :blink:

 

I thought it was a poor selection of music - strange recording balance - and perfectly correct playing that was totally boring. I wonder if there is something better to listen to? :huh:

 

 

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

 

Recording balance?

 

Just how CAN they balance anything which is stuck vertically up a tower?

 

In all fairness to Joyce Jones (and we like to be fair, dont we?) that CD is actually worth having for one track alone, which I regard very highly.

 

The Improvisation on "Aka Tombo" (The Red Dragonfly) is superb, and mixes oriental melody with French-style modality in a truly beautiful way.

 

I can't remember what else is played on the disc. Maybe I'm getting older.

 

;)

 

MM

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

 

Recording balance?

 

Just how CAN they balance anything which is stuck vertically up a tower?

 

In all fairness to Joyce Jones (and we like to be fair, dont we?) that CD is actually worth having for one track alone, which I regard very highly.

 

The Improvisation on "Aka Tombo" (The Red Dragonfly) is superb, and mixes oriental melody with French-style modality in a truly beautiful way.

 

I can't remember what else is played on the disc. Maybe I'm getting older.

 

:lol:

 

MM

 

Getting younger would be unusual ! Although mindful of the bard's take on the 7 ages of man one's behaviour might conceivably become more juvenile.

 

Anyway here you are, just to jog the memory - but surely the Red Dragonfly is rendered unfit for organistic consumption by the use of TONAL PERCUSSION stops!

 

BACH: Prelude & Fugue in D; Chorale Nun Freut euch

RHEINBERGER: Intermezzo from Sonata 17; Scherzoso from Sonata 8

PURVIS: Capriccio

IVES: Variations on America

ROBERTS: Pastorale & Aviary

ELMORE: Chorale Seelenbräutigam

TOURNEMIRE: Fantaisie Te Deum et Guirlandes alleluiatiques

DUPRÉ: Noël Variations

JONES: Improvisation on The Red Dragonfly

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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

 

I just happened to be passing Montjuich the week before last, so took the opportunity to look in. The palace certainly is a very fine building, nicely restored, spick and span. In the main hall the pipe display is still present and looks very imposing, but although it is possible to walk right up to it and inspect it at close quarters, I could not tell how much pipework still remains behind it. At least some does, for sure. I could see some metal pipes, mitred at the top and also a wooden rank, but who knows what has really gone on behind the facade? What I could not find any trace of was a console. It seems from the photos in MM's link above that the console was, as one would expect, on the gallery directly below the pipes. That area now is just an empty floor. I can only suppose that the six-manual Walcker/OESA console is no more. :(

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I could not tell how much pipework still remains behind it. At least some does, for sure. I could see some metal pipes, mitred at the top and also a wooden rank, but who knows what has really gone on behind the facade?

 

I should have added that in the photos I took there seems to be an awful lot of sunlight shining through the display pipes from the windows behind. It did rather give me the impression that there is a lot of empty space behind the facade.

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There is also the six-clavier instrument in Monreale Cathedral, Palermo, Sicily. I think that it was last rebuilt by Fratelli Ruffatti.

 

Here are a few links:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3RTTL7FpnM

 

http://flickr.com/photos/saromarina/250685.../pool-discovery

 

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/It...photo750186.htm

 

http://www.ruffatti.com/installations.htm

 

There is a monochrome photograph of the console facing page 368 of W.L. Sumner's book The Organ.

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Thanks for those links, Monsieur. Here are a couple of more pics of the console:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joerouton/2059801625/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/85555439@N00/387156143/

 

Doeas anyone happen to have photo of the console of the Seoul organ? There seems to be rather little information about this organ available on the web. The spec is on Osiris, but otherwise the most I could find was at the bottom of the page here - http://www.naukorea.com/n_pE/pE_03.asp?ob_id=15952 - though I think it lost something in translation.

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Does anyone know much about the 6 manual organ in Seoul, Korea? I read somewhere that it has mechanical action and was built by a German firm I'd never heard of. If so is it larger than Sydney Opera House, and where do you begin with the technical challenges of building a six-manual tracker action?

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The builder is Schuke. Here is the spec as given in the Osiris Archive: ftp://ftp.wu-wien.ac.at/pub/earlym-l/orga...seoul.-.kr.1978

 

This mentions 98 stops; Schuke's website says 97 (and not much else). I've not counted to see which is correct!

 

The order of the manuals is interesting:

 

I Positiv

II Hauptwerk

III Bombardenwerk (a "Grand Choeur" by the look of it)

IV Schwellwerk

V Brustwerk

VI Trompeteria

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The builder is Schuke. Here is the spec as given in the Osiris Archive: ftp://ftp.wu-wien.ac.at/pub/earlym-l/orga...seoul.-.kr.1978

 

This mentions 98 stops; Schuke's website says 97 (and not much else). I've not counted to see which is correct!

 

The order of the manuals is interesting:

 

I Positiv

II Hauptwerk

III Bombardenwerk (a "Grand Choeur" by the look of it)

IV Schwellwerk

V Brustwerk

VI Trompeteria

 

 

I believe this organ survived a pretty severe earthquake not long after its installation - not the best way to treat an organ with mechanical action.

 

JS

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