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Simon Walker

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Some nails firmly hit on the head in the above posts regarding mutations on the wrong manuals!

 

Can someone tell me the origin of the name 'Larigot'? Is it something really obvious which I've been too thick to notice, or is it so arcane that no one else knows?

 

Didn't one organ connected with Bach have a 'Largo'?

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The Larigot was a little flûte.

Yes there were "Largo" and the like in Bach organs, which were synthese organs

from about all european areas ! And exactly like in modern synthese organs, those

stops differed sometimes much from the original ones.

 

Pierre

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The Larigot was a little flûte.

Yes there were "Largo" and the like in Bach organs, which were synthese organs

from about all european areas ! And exactly like in modern synthese organs, those

stops differed sometimes much from the original ones.

 

Pierre

 

So folks...

 

If I was ever in the position (hopefully it might happen one day...) to rethink the spec on the instrument I play regularly these days what would you advise me to change. (talking hypothetically about the squeaky stuff here)

 

Swell - All the usual stuff inc. 16,8,4 reeds, includes nazard and tierce.

Great - excellent romantic great, usual chorus + 8/4 reeds. Includes a Mounted Cornet from middle C

Choir - wait for this... I hate it... lovely and original 8' dulciana, 8' unda maris, 8' gedact, 4' chimney flute

awful 1970`s 2' 'spitz principal' larigot 1 1/3, screeching III cymbal 29, 33, 36

Cremona 8' (it's actually a circumcised clarinet - dreadful)

 

Choir box is a modest size. Part of me wonders if all the swell mutations should be moved to the choir, in place of the cymbal. I really want to find a good second hand clarinet one day. The original is ruined.

 

Originally the choir spec was just 88,4,2,8. I like the versatility of a modern spec, but it can never be a true positive as it`s all small scale and theres no 4`principal, the box is too small for that and I LOVE the unda maris which I would definitely not sacrifice.

 

Given this information do you think the choir should be returned to original spec (all I need is a new 2`picolo and clarinet) or do you think there would be any justification in moving the mutations (hopefully aslo gaining a better 2 foot and clarinet also ) ie, 8,8,4,22/3, 2, 13/5, 11/3 clarinet?

 

Your thoughts appreciated! I love this message board.

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Very difficult to say without knowing the organ. We'd really need to hear what the current voicing is like. I think the main thing to grasp about the classical French Tierce en taille is that, while it is more gentle than a Cornet, it is certainly not a soft, delicate Romantic sound. It still has an assertive pungency that typical English (and American?) Romantic mutations do not convey.

 

Having the mutations in a swell box is not helpful in recreating this effect. I would be very surprised if they produce anything like the required sound where they are at the moment on the Swell. On the other hand, since your Choir is enclosed and small scale (from which I assume it's a delicate division) I really can't see much point in moving the mutations around. They're never going to sound like classical French mutations and it would just be six of one and half a dozen of the other.

 

If you can turn your Choir into a proper, unenclosed Positive then that would be a different matter!

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I'd first have the Clarinet back on that Positive, and, if the room permits,

a Dulciana mixture instead of the 5,999.999th nasard and tierce on earth.

(Alternatively; Harmonia aetherea, 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 3/5', Dulciana scales, very soft and sweet)

 

Pierre

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I'd first have the Clarinet back on that Positive, and, if the room permits,

a Dulciana mixture instead of the 5,999.999th nasard and tierce on earth.

(Alternatively; Harmonia aetherea, 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 3/5', Dulciana scales, very soft and sweet)

 

Pierre

 

I personally think it should go back to being a choir. It's a very delicate division, however it speaks quite directly into the congreagation, where as the swell and great less so which face the chancel (though the wonderful acoustic makes it all blend together rather well.)

 

I don't think it should ever be transplanted to a positive - it wouldn't go well with the swell and great and I'd not want to get rid of the 100 year old flutes and dulciana/unda maris which are beautiful.

 

I really miss the clarinet, so definitely think that should go back. It could be nice to have some gentle mutations down on the choir, but I'm undecided. There's only room for upper-work really I think more 8's or 4's is out of the question, it's a very small box. The other option is the dulciana mixture that Pierre suggested. What exactly are these?

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The other option is the dulciana mixture that Pierre suggested. What exactly are these?

 

It is a tipical british late romantic stop made of small scale pipes, treated after the Dulciana manner.

The most cases I have met with did not have a tierce rank, contrarily to the german equivalent

(Harmonia aetherea, though I have seen such stops without tierce as well). The pitches are relatively

low, you can have for example 2 2/3'-2'- 1 1/3' on C.

The effect is an "echo" one, that is, this Mixture, combined with soft 8' and 4' ( not always Dulcianas,

though there is normally at least one at 8'), provides the effect of a complete Diapason chorus

coming from a next room. Really great, and badly needed in modern organs.

 

Pierre

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If you can turn your Choir into a proper, unenclosed Positive then that would be a different matter!

In most cases, what you are actually left with is a sort of Brustwerk - although generally (owing to most positivisers insistence on removing swell boxes/shutters) without any means of adjusting the volume of mf/f registrations to balance singers/other instruments.

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In reponse to Vox's and Paul's posts:

 

What is equally important to consider is placement of the choir organ within the organ - this will help determine the nature of the division.

 

If the Choir Organ is behind the Great Organ or underneath the Swell Organ (as is typical in a 3 manual British organ), this division is going to be best as choir organ in nature. Sticking a load of neo-baroque squeaks and shrills is likely to be counter to the character of this division.

 

If you want a proper unenclosed positive division, you will have to place this division appropriately in the organ. There are a number of options, either in a ruckpositive position, an oberwerk or a brustwerk position. A classical recit division on a French classical organ is a small soundboard above the Grande Orgue, short compass, with quite a telling Cornet on it.

 

The smaller pipes and fractions need to be well-placed if they are to be heard. High frequencies get attenuated by air, are more directional and don't go around corners so they need to be placed well to be heard. We've all come across a pedal mixture on a rebuilt British organ that is next to useless because it is buried deep in the bowels of the organ (I've seen one behind the main reservior at ground level) and the sound doesn't get out. Just as much as understanding the effect you want to achieve with your choir iorgan, it is just as important to understand the structure and placement of the division within the organ and how it works with the rest of the organ - and indeed, if it is consonant with the style of the rest of the organ (although I hope I don't have to say that).

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It has been explained on here that the Sesquialtera (the Baroque type - 2 2/3' 1 3/5') is correctly of Principal pipes, but what about that other North German stop, the Terzian (1 3/5' 1 1/3')?

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It has been explained on here that the Sesquialtera (the Baroque type - 2 2/3' 1 3/5') is correctly of Principal pipes, but what about that other North German stop, the Terzian (1 3/5' 1 1/3')?

 

The Terzian is also made of Principal pipes, and belongs to the Principal chorus.

 

Pierre

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Hello,

YES!!!!

You are right; nobody will find any Larigot on a manual deprived of Nasard

and tierce in any baroque organ.

oh dear, three exclamation marks. I hope you are joking. In 1767, Ferdinand Stieffell made an organ for Neewiller with the following disposition:

 

Salicional 8'

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Flûte 4'

Doublette 2'

Larigot 1 1/3'

Fourniture III

 

Cheers

tiratutti

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Hello,

 

oh dear, three exclamation marks. I hope you are joking. In 1767, Ferdinand Stieffell made an organ for Neewiller with the following disposition:

 

Salicional 8'

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Flûte 4'

Doublette 2'

Larigot 1 1/3'

Fourniture III

 

Cheers

tiratutti

 

....Not in France indeed !!!

 

Pierre

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In 1767, Ferdinand Stieffell made an organ for Neewiller with the following disposition:

 

Salicional 8'

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Flûte 4'

Doublette 2'

Larigot 1 1/3'

Fourniture III

Interesting - that list, apart from the Salicional and adding a Krummhorn, can be seen as the Positive division in any number of neo-classical (or do I mean neo-baroque?) instruments.

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So I started looking in Peter Williams's "The European Organ". The first full specification he gives in the chapter on France is at Gisors in 1580 (by a Flemish builder), and has a Positif of 8, 4, 2, 1 1/3, II, 8. The next full spec given is a 1630 organ in Marseille, which has a Positiv of 8, 4, 1 1/3, III. However, no later specifications given follow this pattern.

 

Lists of suggested registrations quoted from around the same period include such "neo-baroqueries" as 8 + 2 2/3 + 1, and 16 + 2 + 1 1/3, 16 + 8 + 4 + 1 1/3, and even 16 + 1 1/3!

 

I guess this shows how important it is to be precise about the period when being precise about the specifications.

 

Paul

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So I started looking in Peter Williams's "The European Organ". The first full specification he gives in the chapter on France is at Gisors in 1580 (by a Flemish builder), and has a Positif of 8, 4, 2, 1 1/3, II, 8. The next full spec given is a 1630 organ in Marseille, which has a Positiv of 8, 4, 1 1/3, III. However, no later specifications given follow this pattern.

 

Lists of suggested registrations quoted from around the same period include such "neo-baroqueries" as 8 + 2 2/3 + 1, and 16 + 2 + 1 1/3, 16 + 8 + 4 + 1 1/3, and even 16 + 1 1/3!

 

I guess this shows how important it is to be precise about the period when being precise about the specifications.

 

Paul

 

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

 

 

Being genuinely stupid when it comes to French music, I am puzzled by the bit about "Lists of suggested registrations quoted from around the same period."

 

So far as I know, not even Louis Couperin was doing much around this time; he being about 10 years old at the time, so am I right in wondering (rather than thinking), if these references do not relate more to the art of polyphony rather than coloured mannerisms of the later baroque. (We need serious help here......do we have a speicalist in the house?)

 

Idly and stupidly musing away to myself, isn't it the case that later baroque organ music was much less "catholic," and rather more secular in France, with extensive use of rhythmic variations and the sort of musical language and embellishments drawn from the French language, courtly dance and the tradition of lute songs and lute playing?

 

Surely, (he muses out loud), the art of polyphony is about independent voices pitched AGAINST each other, but with a certain vertical concorde (note the use of a French word here) being evident, and probably kept in check by an underlying plainsong, cantus firmus?

 

So, (he deduces), these earlier references must then be essentially Renaissance in character.....strong and piquant voices weaving around the plainsong in a series of independent melismas?

 

That makes sense of these "extreme" registrations, which are the complete opposite to the contrapuntal style, where voices of equal proportion are subject to the rules of contrapuntal linearity, and therefore cannot stand out in a crowd, so to speak. They must also be different to the later, florid, embellished, more improvisatory style of the Couperins and the later French baroque composers for organ, surely?

 

I suppose the only composer we should concern ourselves with from this period, is Titleouze; though I'm sure someone will come up with a dozen others just to confuse me further.

 

It's easy to understand why they needed "Tables de Agreements" to keep organists in check as the baroque period developed, but they're still more "Roux Brothers" than Deliah Smith.

 

There's a lot to be said English and German cuisine, (musn't forget Dutch ham and cheese). At least you don't spend all day Saturday preparing Sunday lunch.

 

MM

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So I started looking in Peter Williams's "The European Organ". The first full specification he gives in the chapter on France is at Gisors in 1580 (by a Flemish builder), and has a Positif of 8, 4, 2, 1 1/3, II, 8. The next full spec given is a 1630 organ in Marseille, which has a Positiv of 8, 4, 1 1/3, III. However, no later specifications given follow this pattern.

 

Lists of suggested registrations quoted from around the same period include such "neo-baroqueries" as 8 + 2 2/3 + 1, and 16 + 2 + 1 1/3, 16 + 8 + 4 + 1 1/3, and even 16 + 1 1/3!

 

I guess this shows how important it is to be precise about the period when being precise about the specifications.

 

Paul

 

1)- The flemish Renaissance organ did not have a Larigot, but a quint 1 1/3';

 

2)- The 1630 Marseille organ belongs to the italian Orgellandschaft, and, there too, this 1 1/3'

is not a Larigot, but belongs to a Ripieno

 

(The italian organ style was dominant in that area up to the 18th century)

 

(Later added): What is interesting with that matter is the distinction between Flute and Principal

mutation stops.

The ancients always made clear distinction between the two, and they never gave the same name to

stops which belonged to one family or another:

 

A 2 2/3' Quint was not a Nasard, or a Nassat

A 1 1/3' Quint was not a Larigot

A three-rank Sesquialtera ( 2 2/3'-2'- 1 3/5') was named Cornet if it were flutey

 

The Flute mutation stops were a specialty of the flemish ancient builders, who invented the Cornet 5r

as we know it. But they were actually limited in number; besides the Cornet, the Nasard and the Tierce,

and the Larigot a bit later, that was it.

The others mutation stops we know (distinct from the Mixtures also) are the Sesquialter(a), the Terzian,

plus the same under some others fancy names, not to mention the single-rank stops (Quint, Tierce-Terz,

Ripieno ranks named after their place in the chorus): all those stops belonged to the Principal chorus, and I guess

that "Bottleneck effects" ("buzzle in a bottle") like 8'- 1 1/3' registrations, though they are documented to have been

known and used in the baroque period, have been but few used.

 

It is also interesting to note that the german late-baroque builders, when they received the french Cornet and Jeu de tierce

( 8-4-2 2/3-2- 1 3/5 in seperate stops) through G. Silbermann, very quickly built them with narrower scales as their french models, so that they were both usable as solo stops AND parts of the Principal chorus; this is a distinctive trait

of the Joachim Wagner organ of Angermünde, for example.

 

And here the neo-baroque period erred completely, hence an huge confusion afterwards; we have countless modern "Sesquialter" that are actually Nasard+ Tierce on the same slide. The neo-baroques could not imagine something

like a tierce in the Principal chorus, so the Sesquialter had to be a Solo stop ! (Dupré having said: "no tierce

in the chorus, the only good tierce is a Flute one", and so on, imagining that the french rules from the 18th century

applied to all baroque organ styles).

A funny, really entertaining experience was to see those 1970 experts presented with a flemish baroque organ with a Sesquialter stop; indeed, the pipes were narrow-scale, obviously principals. Moreover, there was a break towards

the middle of the compass, from 1 1/3'- 4/5' to 2 2/3'- 1 3/5'.....And when you asked them "what was intended with that stop? Chorus or Solo use ?" their only answer was "We do not know, there is nothing documented" !!!!

 

(note: 4 ! today)

Pierre

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What is a Larigot 1 1/3 intended for?

 

Strictly spraking, the Larigot is an optionnal feature of the "Jeu de tierce" on the Positif manual

in a french baroque organ, to be used thus with:

 

Bourdon 8'

Flûte 4' or Prestant 4'

Nasard 2 2/3'

Quarte de Nasard or Doublette 2'

Tierce 1 3/5'

(Larigot)

 

 

And similarly a 1' stop?

 

Seldom in french organs, more frequent in german ones, it can be used for special effects

or as a member of the Diapason chorus.

 

What is the technical difference in sound and usage between a 'cornet de compose' and a sesquialtera?

 

The "Cornet décomposé" is a misnomer, a neo-baroque erring; the "Jeu de tierce" has the same ranks

as the Cornet, thus: 8-4-2 2/3'-2-1 3/5, but as seperate stops. Those stops have full compass; they are not

posted above the soundboard, but are on this one. They belong to the Flute family, but nos as large as the

Cornet, and milder by far; this is actually a soft combination for lyrical music ("Tierce en taille").

 

The Sesquialter (2 2/3'1 3/5, or 1 1/3'- 4/5, with a break to 2 2/3- 1 3/5) has Principal scales,

and is a member of the Diapason chorus. Flutey ones (actually Nasard and Tierce on the same slide)

are a neo-baroque erring;

 

When should one use a V rank cornet? (They often seem far too loud for Bach chorale preludes...)

 

Never to be used in a Bach Choral-prelude, this stop is intended first to reinforce the Trompettes

and the Clairons in the treble, hence their compass limited to the treble part of the clavier. Sometimes

used in rapid music (Cornet voluntaries, "Cornet de récit" or "d'écho" in french organs)

 

What is a Septieme 1 1/7 intended to be used for? And some of the other really high stuff eg... none 8/9's?

 

The Septième was first used as a non-independant rank for corroborating Mixtures, intended to go with the

reeds choruses ( Arthur Harrison, Cavaillé-Coll). Later, in neo-baroque organs, it was used for

"bottleneck effects", ditto the None etc.

 

Pierre

 

Indeed - thank you for this, Pierre.

 

To add just one point. Strictly speaking, a 1ft. stop is not a mutation (i.e., it only sounds at a different octave from the note played, as opposed to sounding a G, when playing a C, for example). I find my 1ft. stop of infinitely greater use thatn the Larigot. It is, as Pierre has stated, useful for special effects. I particularly like the effect of Gedeckt 8ft, Quint 2 2/3ft and Sifflute [sic] 1ft., on my own church organ. It is also useful incombination with the 4ft. Chimney Flute (played down an octave) - the resulting sound is somewhat fuller and more interesting than the Gedeckt 8ft and Blockflute [sic] 2ft.

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... A funny, really entertaining experience was to see those 1970 experts presented with a flemish baroque organ with a Sesquialter stop; indeed, the pipes were narrow-scale, obviously principals. Moreover, there was a break towards

the middle of the compass, from 1 1/3'- 4/5' to 2 2/3'- 1 3/5'.....And when you asked them "what was intended with that stop? Chorus or Solo use ?" their only answer was "We do not know, there is nothing documented" !!!!

 

Pierre

 

Well - granted. So what would one use it for? (Or: what would one have used it for?) I know that the Sesquialter consisted of diapason-scale pipes, but personally, I would not wish to use such a stop in a chorus (particularly with that break); neither would it be any use for solo work - partly due to the scaling, and consequent lack of blend. If I want a reedy chorus, I add a reed, not a mixture.

 

My own church organ has a Sesquialtera on the G.O. (although it must be admitted that it is not quite right; it is too quiet and I suspect that the scale is a little too wide) - and the only use I (or anyone else I know of) have ever found for it, is to add it (with the superb four-rank quint Mixture) for a line or so at the top of the last page of Walmisley, in D minor.

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"what would one use it for?"

(Quote)

 

With a baroque as well with any other organ, one register from the bottom; first, the 8',

last, the Mixture. Not even a neo-baroque player would draw the mixture first, and the 8'

as a climax.....

And where lies the Sesquialter ? Right between the foundation stops and the mixture.

So draw the conclusions for yourself.

 

(Added later):

 

Pierre

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  • 1 month later...

I have wanted to ask a question about Neo-Baroque positifs. I'm sure I've seen several specifications with such divisions, whether as part of a Neo-Baroque organ or tacked onto 19C instruments. Why do so many either lack a 4' Principal or a Fifteenth? I've often seen a Gemshorn as the strongest 4' flue, or something similar at 2'. Can combinations such as the following really work as coherent choruses? (8' Chimney Flute/SD, 4' Principal, 2' Gemshorn, Cymbel;

8' Chimney Flute/SD, 4' Gemshorn, 2' Fifteenth, Cymbel.) I see that in smaller positif divisions the 8' would be stopped or half-stopped, but having a mix of flutes and principals higher up in the pitch spectrum seems rather odd to me. Wouldn't the choir/"chaire" divisions of older English organs always have had at least a principal at 4', then also a fifteenth if a 2' was also called for?

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... having a mix of flutes and principals higher up in the pitch spectrum seems rather odd to me. Wouldn't the choir/"chaire" divisions of older English organs always have had at least a principal at 4', then also a fifteenth if a 2' was also called for?

 

Yes, in this country. However, Werkprinzip = the ideal to which a lot of these things were made = Principals at 16 on ped, 8 on HW, 4 on OW, 2 on Pos. Fractions correspondingly higher as well - frequently mutations at 5 1/3 and 3 1/5 on the HW, Nazard pitch on OW, Larigot/Tierce pitch on Pos.

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