Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Skinner Organ Co Opus 563


Guest stevecbournias
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest stevecbournias

opus 563 free-standing gallery organ plus echo was for 4th presbyterian new york new york 1927

 

no indications that don harrison was involved tho i never have seen the shop notes

 

1951 4th church sold out to greek orthodox church of the annuciation

 

they still meet there but skinner ORGAN is unplayable and needs total overhaul

 

liturgical needs do not require full resources of this mighty organ

 

choral accomp is primary and solo use secondary for post liturgical use during tithes and offerings and postlude also wedding music b4 during and after wedding ceremonies

 

church officials wish organ restored to factory quality

 

however unauthorized members have buried the echo grille and covered it over with icon-art so that sound can not egress for soft echo to be heard

 

future capitol campaign must raise at least 500000 dollars usa to cover meticulous restoration effort

 

organ has 3m and circa 40 or so rks including so-called "willis" mixture in the swell which is now thought to be a misnomer since skinner actually was inspired by lewis at westminster cathedral great 5 rks grand chorus in 1922 in london rc church then in the hands of willis-3 but designed presumably by lewis at earlier time??? prior to lewis being absorbed by hostile corporate takeover ??? or friendly ????

 

 

 

GREAT

 

BOURDON16...PEDX

DIAPASON-I-8...leathered lips

DIAPASON-II-8

CLARIBELFLUTE8

OCTAVE4

FLUTE4

FIFTEENTH2

FRENCHHORN8*

TUBA8*

CHIMES-ECHO

 

SWELL

 

BOURDON16

DIAPASON8

ROHRFLUTE8

SALICIONAL8

VOXCELESTE8

FLAUTODOLCE8

FLUTECELESTE8

OCTAVE4

FLUTETRIANGLULAIRE4

BLANK KNOB

MIXTURE-IV

WALDHORN16

CORNOPEAN8

OBOEDAMORE8

VOXHUMANA8

TREMOLO

 

 

CHOIR

 

CONCERTFLUTE8

GAMBA8

DULCIANA8

FLUTE4

NAZARD2-2/3

HARMONICPICCOLO2

CLARINET8

TREMOLO

HARP

CELESTA

 

 

ECHO

 

CHIMNEYFLUTE8

VOXHUMANA8

TREMOLO

CHIMES

 

 

PEDAL

 

RESULTANT32

MAJORBASS16...open bass scale but stoppered so may be like tibia

BOURDON16

ECHOLIEBLICH16-SW

OCTAVE8X

GEDECKT8X

STILLGEDECKT8-SW

FLUTE4X

TROMBONE16-wood mostly and metal at 4ft C;bass notes mitred 90 degrees

WALDHORN16-SW

TROMBA8X

 

GT FRENCH HORN, TUBA R ON 10 INCHES ENC IN CHOIR

PED TROMBONE UNIT IS ON 10 INCHES BEHIND THE CASE IN THE BACK IN FRONT OF THE REAR STAINED GLASS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one should be restored as an historic organ, that is, even a nail changed should be the same...

 

Willis III Mixtures were tierce-Mixtures.

Later E-M Skinner's designs included these Swell Quint Mixtures that are

rather to be linked with the Schulze-Lewis school, but with a difference tough:

it was intended at "just another color" (Ambrosino) that could be dropped

against or with many combinations. So not a true chorus Mixture.

Such a design existed in France too up to the late 50's. Tournemire and

Messiaen's use of the Mixtures reflect that way.

A Victor Gonzalez Cymbale could be used with a simple 8' Bourdon.

I guess Walter Holtkamp's Mixtures could have shared this peculiarity.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

opus 563 free-standing gallery organ plus echo was for 4th presbyterian new york new york 1927

 

no indications that don harrison was involved tho i never have seen the shop notes

 

1951 4th church sold out to greek orthodox church of the annuciation

 

they still meet there but skinner ORGAN is unplayable and needs total overhaul

 

liturgical needs do not require full resources of this mighty organ

 

choral accomp is primary and solo use secondary for post liturgical use during tithes and offerings and postlude also wedding music b4 during and after wedding ceremonies

 

church officials wish organ restored to factory quality

 

however unauthorized members have buried the echo grille and covered it over with icon-art so that sound can not egress for soft echo to be heard

 

future capitol campaign must raise at least 500000 dollars usa to cover meticulous restoration effort

 

organ has 3m and circa 40 or so rks including so-called "willis" mixture in the swell which is now thought to be a misnomer since skinner actually was inspired by lewis at westminster cathedral great 5 rks grand chorus in 1922 in london rc church then in the hands of willis-3 but designed presumably by lewis at earlier time??? prior to lewis being absorbed by hostile corporate takeover ??? or friendly ????

GREAT

 

BOURDON16...PEDX

DIAPASON-I-8...leathered lips

DIAPASON-II-8

CLARIBELFLUTE8

OCTAVE4

FLUTE4

FIFTEENTH2

FRENCHHORN8*

TUBA8*

CHIMES-ECHO

 

SWELL

 

BOURDON16

DIAPASON8

ROHRFLUTE8

SALICIONAL8

VOXCELESTE8

FLAUTODOLCE8

FLUTECELESTE8

OCTAVE4

FLUTETRIANGLULAIRE4

BLANK KNOB

MIXTURE-IV

WALDHORN16

CORNOPEAN8

OBOEDAMORE8

VOXHUMANA8

TREMOLO

CHOIR

 

CONCERTFLUTE8

GAMBA8

DULCIANA8

FLUTE4

NAZARD2-2/3

HARMONICPICCOLO2

CLARINET8

TREMOLO

HARP

CELESTA

ECHO

 

CHIMNEYFLUTE8

VOXHUMANA8

TREMOLO

CHIMES

PEDAL

 

RESULTANT32

MAJORBASS16...open bass scale but stoppered so may be like tibia

BOURDON16

ECHOLIEBLICH16-SW

OCTAVE8X

GEDECKT8X

STILLGEDECKT8-SW

FLUTE4X

TROMBONE16-wood mostly and metal at 4ft C;bass  notes mitred 90 degrees

WALDHORN16-SW

TROMBA8X

 

GT FRENCH HORN, TUBA R ON 10 INCHES ENC IN CHOIR

PED TROMBONE UNIT IS ON 10 INCHES BEHIND THE CASE IN THE BACK IN FRONT OF THE REAR STAINED GLASS

 

 

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

 

 

Steven has got a few things right here, I think.

 

Westminster Cathedral, so far as I am aware, was a Lewis conception and not a Willis one. The Great does indeed have a large Quint Mixture, but the Swell organ has a 17,19,22 Mixture....more usually a Willis composition, but in this case, possibly with more than a hint of Lewis.

 

The take over of Lewis by Willis was aggressive in the extreme, once the Lewis company failed financially. I don't think Willis III had the slightest respect for anything Lewis did, but history demonstrates that Lewis was an organ-builder and Willis III was not!

 

Willis more or less eradicated all traces of the Lewis company in the most ruthless way, and took on board some of the outstanding contracts, including one, I believe, destined for Stockport in Cheshire.

 

The Lewis company had been propped up for years by the Courage Brewing organisation, and the Courage household had a very large within, which Dupre knew well as a guest of the family. Courage paid, I believe, for the organ of Westminster Cathedral.

 

Oddly enough, I have a spooky connection with the Lewis/Southwark Cathedral affair, because I used to live right alongside the old Courage brewhouse on the Southbank of the Thames and worked in senior management at Courage Breweries. I later discovered that the Southwark Cathedral organ, by Lewis, had been stored in the warehouses around Horsleydown Square, where Courage had their old stables for the dray carthorses.

 

I lived in one of the old converted warehouses where the organ had been stored prior to installation!!

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

 

Correction to previous post:-

 

The Courage family home had a large Lewis organ within.

 

I missed the word 'organ' out.

 

Also, a further point concerning G Donald-Harrison, who was greatly influenced by the Lewis organ at Southwark Cathedral. Lewis himself had been greatly influenced by Schulze, so the G.Donald-Harrison 'American Classic' has more than a hint of the Anglo/German about it, after England had enjoyed its' "German organ period.'

 

Interesting that Skinner demonstrated an interest in Lewis, and equally interesting that Willis III should be so influenced by the work of Skinner!!

 

There's a delicious irony there, don't you think?

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

 

Correction to previous posts:-

 

Having written wot I writ, I thought it best to just check my notes on the subject of Westminster, Willis and T C Lewis.........memory proved a little fickle.

 

A lot of the facts turn out to be conjecture on my part and on the part of others, but not entirely so. I could foam at the mouth with apologies or flail myself with a cat o'nine-tails, but better still, I'll try and set the record straight.

 

I was right in so much as Courage Brewries underwrote the finances of Lewis; John Courgae being an organ-builder and enthusiast. However, it wasn't Willis who took over Lewis, but technically, Lewis who took over Willis....if that makes sense.

 

I forgot to mention, but did know, that in the process, Lewis was ousted from the firm. The company then became something like Lewis & Co incorporating Henry Willis, but as Lewis was out on his neck and unable to have any control over the company which bore his name, the board-members (which included the Willis family members) soon re-established the Willis name and dropped the Lewis name. In any event, Lewis was out of step with the late romantic orchestral fashion, which Willis 3 adopted with enthusiasm, even if it meant that he built organs without genuine chorus-work and which included many ideas drawn from E M Skinner.

 

In essence, what I stated was correct, in that Willis aggressively eradicated the Lewis legacy and name, but the exact details were a little more complex.

 

So far as I can tell, it was only at Liverpool that Willis 3 managed to make an organ with good chorus mixtures!!

 

Pity that Willis lost G.Donald-Harrison to America.....Skinner's (and America's) gain was England's loss, I suspect.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far as I can tell, it was only at Liverpool that Willis 3 managed to make an organ with good chorus mixtures!!

 

Indeed - but they were either subsequently altered in composition or uncharacteristically generally without tierce ranks.

 

 

Apparently, Harry Goss-Custard hated tierce mixtures, preferring instead the clear, non-reedy tones of quint mixtures.

 

In June 1912, the firm of Henry Willis and Son was awarded the contract for the building of the Great Organ in Liverpool Cathedral. The stop-list was subsequently published. Henry Willis III claimed that it was his own design ('The Rotunda', September 1925) and Harry Goss-Custard, the first Cathedral Organist, confirmed that the scheme was "drawn up by Mr. Henry Willis in 1911" ('The Rotunda', September 1926). There was, however, evidence of the involvement of the donor's nephew and Henry Willis II. By the time the organ was installed (between 1923 and 1926) a significant number of alterations had been made, thus making the contract stop-list interesting in its own right. [This information os drawn from that which can be found on Julian Rhodes' Dream Organs site. Since Julian Rhodes is now deceased, I am unable to request permission to quote the text verbatim, I have instead paraphrased it.]

 

I have been unable to ascertain exactly when HG-C was appointed. If it was before the mixtures were cast and voiced, then presumably he was able to exert his influence and insist upon having quint mixtures. However, if he was appointed after this, then I assume that the compositions of the chorus mixtures were re-arranged after they had been installed.

 

I do know that H&H carried-out some restoration work on the organ in 1977. I belive that this included the alteration of some of the mixtures; however I do not know if these alterations were reversed more recently.

 

Certainly, when I heard it last summer, the mixtures definitely appeared to be quint mixtures (excepting one or two obvious examples). After the recital, I questioned Ian Tracey in the pub concerning this matter - which is when he told me about HG-C's vehement dislike of jangling tierce mixtures.

 

If anyone is able to shed further light upon this subject, I would be both interested and grateful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Barry Oakley
I have been unable to ascertain exactly when HG-C was appointed. If it was before the mixtures were cast and voiced, then presumably he was able to exert his influence and insist upon having quint mixtures. However, if he was appointed after this, then I assume that the compositions of the chorus mixtures were re-arranged after they had been installed.

 

 

According to my ferreting, Harry Goss-Custard was organist at Liverpool Cathedral from 1915 to 1955. His successor was Noel Rawsthorne.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can, if you want.

 

In "Entwicklungsgeschichte der Orgelbaukunst", Emil Rupp gives the full specification of this organ.(1929)

 

The much to be regretted choir Dulciana Mixture had two tierce ranks, 3 1/5' and 1 3/5';

 

The great Mixture had the same two tierce ranks among its five ranks;

 

The great Sesquialtera had a flat 21st rank;

 

The Swell Lieblich Mixture had a 17th rank;

 

The Swell Full mixture had 17th and flat 21st ranks;

 

The Pedal Mixture had 3 1/5' and 2 2/7' out of three ranks;

 

The Pedal Fourniture had a 2 2/7' among five ranks.

 

So if you call that "correct chorus mixtures accordings to the Holy Truths of

the Saints of the mandatory organ neo-reform", we shall be good friends, because that's exactly the kind of Mixture design I want to see back!

 

Thanks and best wishes!

Pierre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can, if you want.

 

In "Entwicklungsgeschichte der Orgelbaukunst", Emil Rupp gives the full specification of this organ.(1929)

 

The much to be regretted choir Dulciana Mixture had two tierce ranks, 3 1/5' and 1 3/5';

 

The great Mixture had the same two tierce ranks among its five ranks;

 

The great Sesquialtera had a flat 21st rank;

 

The Swell Lieblich Mixture had a 17th rank;

 

The Swell Full mixture had 17th and flat 21st ranks;

 

The Pedal Mixture had 3 1/5' and  2 2/7' out of three ranks;

 

The Pedal Fourniture had a 2 2/7' among five ranks.

 

So if you call that "correct chorus mixtures accordings to the Holy Truths of

the Saints of the mandatory organ neo-reform", we shall be good friends, because that's exactly the kind of Mixture design I want to see back!

 

Thanks and best wishes!

Pierre

 

I think that you have details of the Tender Specification, Pierre.

 

As built, the Pedal mixtures were: Mixture (17-19-22) and Fourniture (15-19-22-26-29); GO mixtures were: Mixture (12-17-19-flat 21-22) and Fourniture (19-22-24-26-29); Swell mixtures were: Mixture (15-19-22-26-29) and Sesquialtera (10-12-17-19-22) - [the Lieblich Mixture was replaced by the V-rank quint mixture]. In addition, the proposed Bombardons (8p and 4p) on the Clavier des Bombardes were displaced in favour of the Grand Chorus (Subunison-1-5-8-12-15-19-22-26-29).

 

However, thank you for your reply!

 

Any further details will be most welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is of course possible Rupp gave a theoretical scheme, and that the organ was actually build differently; between its construction and its opening, *some* years passed, and the tastes changed.

But maybe a good plan would be to restore it to *the original thinking*; after all, such an organ will never equal any north-german one for Buxtehude.

And Willis organ= reed-dominated tone.

Such Mixture designs are obviously tought to build Diapason and reed choruses played togheter. Which is peculiarly british since the 18th century.

 

Why buy a british car with a japanese engine? We all know where such marketing fools ended. If I buy a Norton I want it torquey from 2,000 RPM. Of course the Lucas "Queen of the darkness" electrics could be revised.

 

The same goes with organs such as this one. Nobody expects it to be fit for Bach, but it must be representative -THE example- of the Willis tradition.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Why buy a british car with a japanese engine? We all know where such marketing fools ended. If I buy a Norton I want it torquey from 2,000 RPM. Of course the Lucas "Queen of the darkness" electrics could be revised.

 

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

 

 

Stick to organs Pierre!

 

Norton motorbikes bled like S.Sebastian, so some of us fitted Triumph engines into the frames.

 

I have a Rover 600 with a Honda engine....145,000 miles (232,999Km) and it is totally reliable. I WISH it would die, and then I would have an excuse to replace it, but like certain organs, it just goes on, and on, and on......it's even got very reliable Lucas electrics.

 

Don't knock the Nips....they've been brilliant engineers since the 18th century, made some of the finest clockwork ever seen, have the second oldest car manufacturer in the world and designed a war plane almost the equal of the Spitfire!!

 

I guess this is off-topic....ooops....sorry!

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...