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pcnd5584

A Rather Small Cathedral Organ

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I have enjoyed greatly the responses to the Eight Stops thread. I have also, on occasion, had a go at designing a really 'small' four-clavier organ which, neverthless, embodies most of the sounds considered to be essential for cathedral-style music.

 

There are a few simple rules:

 

1) It cannot simply be a re-working of (for example) the Grove Organ, or the FHW at Truro Cathedral.

 

2) It has to have a maximum of forty speaking stops. However, to qualify for the prize, one has to present a practical scheme of no more than thirty-five stops. There should be a maximum of eighteen couplers.

 

3) Any action is possible - but there is to be no extension whatsoever - anywhere. The console may be detached.

 

4) The instrument (on paper) should be effective in repertoire from Bach to Healey Willan (in the case of the latter, however, it is assumed that there will be no percussion stops).

 

Here is my own idea. (I am exempt from qualifying from the prize, incidentally.)

 

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Contra Bourdon 32

Open Diapason Metal 16

Sub Bass 16

Violoncello (W+M) 8

Grand Bombarde (W) 16

Choir to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Solo to Pedal

 

Pedal and Great Pistons Coupled

 

 

CHOIR ORGAN

(Unenclosed)

Viola 8

Rohr Flöte 8

Suabe Flöte 4

Cor Anglais 8

Swell to Choir

Solo to Choir

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Double Diapason (W+M) 16

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Harmonic Flute 8

Cone Gamba 8

Octave 4

Wald Flöte 4

Super Octave 2

Mixture (19-22-26-29) IV

Contra Posaune 16

Trumpet 8

Great Reeds on Choir

Choir to Great

Swell to Great

Solo to Great

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Quintatön 16

Open Diapason 8

Flauto Traverso 8

Viole de Gambe 8

Voix Célestes (CC) 8

Geigen Principal 4

Mixture (15-19-22) III

Hautboy 8

Tremulant

Contra Fagotto 16

Cornopean 8

Clarion 4

Sub Octave

Unison Off

Octave

 

SOLO ORGAN

(Enclosed)

Concert Flute 4

Flageolet 2

Corno di Bassetto 8

Tremulant

(Unenclosed)

Grand Ophicleide 8

Sub Octave

Octave

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I would ditch the 4th manual and go for an enclosed choir/solo. So probably not eligible for your prize - but something like this, perhaps:

 

Pedal (Enclosed)

Octobass 32

Violone Bass 16

Stopped Bass 16

Flute 8

Violoncello 8

Serpent 32

Bombarde 16

 

Great (manual 1)

Contra Viola 16

Open Diapason 8

Viola 8

Flute Harmonique8

Octave 4

Superoctave 2

Plein Jeu 12.19.22 3rks

Basson 16

Trompette 8

 

Swell

Bourdon 16

Flute Ouverte 8

Viole 8

Violes Celestes 8

Orchestral Flute 4

Salicet 4

Cornet 12.15.17.19.22 5rks

Bombarde 16

Trompette Harmonique 8

Hautbois 8

Clairon 4

 

Postive (Manual 2, Enclosed)

Salicional 8

Chimney flute 8

Gemshorn 8

Prestant 4

Flute 4

Nasat 2 2/3

Octavin 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Cymbel 22.26.29 3rks

Clarinette 8

Orchestral Trumpet 8

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I have enjoyed greatly the responses to the Eight Stops thread. I have also, on occasion, had a go at designing a really 'small' four-clavier organ which, neverthless, embodies most of the sounds considered to be essential for cathedral-style music.

I like yours very much indeed, M'sieur. I really can't better it, but I hope the following would at least work:

 

Compasses: 61/32

 

Great Organ

Gemshorn 16 [German hybrid type]

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV

Double Trumpet 16

Trumpet 8

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Solo to Great

Swell Organ

Geigen Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedeckt 8

Salicional 8

Voix Celeste 8

Principal 4

Stopped Flute 4

Octavin 2

Mixture (15.19.22.26.29) V

Oboe 8

Tremulant

Contra Fagotto 16

Cornopean 8

Clarion 4

Octave

Sub-octave

Unison Off

Solo to Swell

 

Choir Organ (unenclosed)

Open Flute 8

Gamba 8

Spitzflute 4

Recorder 2

Swell to Choir

Solo to Choir

Solo Organ

Viole d'Orchestre 8

Viole Celeste 8

Concert Flute 4

Clarinet 8

Orchestral Oboe 8

Tremulant

Trompette Royale 8 [very bright, only mildly French]

Octave

Sub-octave

Pedal Organ

Sub Bourdon 32

Open Metal 16

Bourdon 16

Lieblich Bourdon 16

Bombarde 16

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Solo to Pedal

Great & Ped Combs Coupled

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Some very nice schemes so far. Here is my attempt.

 

Great Organ

Double Open Diapason 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Grave Mixture II (12.15)

Fourniture IV (19.22.26.29)

Trumpet 8

Solo to Great

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Great Reed Octave

 

Swell Organ

Lieblich Gedact 16

Violin Diapason 8

Rohr Gedact 8

Echo Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8 (Bottom A)

Octave 4

Fifteenth 2 (from Mixture IV)

Mixture IV (12.15.19.22)

Contra Fagotto 16

Horn 8

Hautboy 8

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

Solo to Swell

Swell Reeds on Pedal

 

Choir Organ Unenclosed

Lieblich Gedact 8

Violoncello 8

Suabe Flute 4

Flageolet 2

Solo to Choir

Swell to Choir

 

Solo Organ Enclosed

Harmonic Claribel 8

Viole d' Orchestre 8

Clarionet 8

Vox Humana 8

Tremulant

Tromba 8

Octave

 

Pedal Organ

Double Open Diapason 32 (Wood)

Open Diapason 16 (Wood)

Violone 16 (Metal)

Bourdon 16

Principal 8 (Metal)

Trombone 16

Solo to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Gt & Ped Combinations Coupled

 

One question, is a Tremulant counted as a coupler?

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Mine.

 

GREAT

Double Diapason 16

Open Diapason 8

Open Flute 8

Principal 4

Conical Flute 4

Twelfth 2-2/3

Fifteenth 2

Mounted Cornet (TC) 2-2/3 III

Mixture 1-1/3 IV-VI

Trumpet 8

 

Swell to Great

Chair to Great

Solo to Great

 

 

CHAIR

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Chimney Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Sesquialtera 2-2/3 II

Mixture1-1/3 III

 

Tremulant

 

Swell to Chair

Solo to Chair

 

 

SWELL

Open Diapason 8

Chimney Flute 8

Salicional 8

Celeste 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2

Full Mixture 2-2/3 IV

Fagotto 16

Trumpet 8

Hautboy 8

Clarion 4

 

Tremulant

 

Solo to Swell

 

 

SOLO (Enclosed)

Harmonic Flute 8

Viola da Gamba 8

Flute Octave 4

Piccolo 2

Clarinet 8

Vox Humana 8

 

Tremulant

 

Tuba Mirabilis 8

 

Great to Solo

 

 

PEDAL

Open Bass 16

Sub Bass 16

Quint 10-2/3

Principal 8

Fifteenth 4

Bombarde 16

 

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Chair to Pedal

Solo to Pedal

Solo to Pedal Octave

 

 

A

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As NZ-ORGANIST has said, there are some very interesting replies here, so far - and with a good variety of schemes.

 

It occurs to me that the fairest way to judge this would be to set-up a poll (if this can be done on this site) and allow contibutors to vote for their preferred response.

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... One question, is a Tremulant counted as a coupler?[/font]

I had intended that this was to be the case. I suppose that, in the interests of clarity, I should have written 'Souplers and Accessories' - although this need not include a list of pistons, etc.

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I would ditch the 4th manual and go for an enclosed choir/solo. So probably not eligible for your prize - but something like this, perhaps:

 

Pedal (Enclosed)

Octobass 32

Violone Bass 16

Stopped Bass 16

Flute 8

Violoncello 8

Serpent 32

Bombarde 16

 

Great (manual 1)

Contra Viola 16

Open Diapason 8

Viola 8

Flute Harmonique8

Octave 4

Superoctave 2

Plein Jeu 12.19.22 3rks

Basson 16

Trompette 8

 

Swell

Bourdon 16

Flute Ouverte 8

Viole 8

Violes Celestes 8

Orchestral Flute 4

Salicet 4

Cornet 12.15.17.19.22 5rks

Bombarde 16

Trompette Harmonique 8

Hautbois 8

Clairon 4

 

Postive (Manual 2, Enclosed)

Salicional 8

Chimney flute 8

Gemshorn 8

Prestant 4

Flute 4

Nasat 2 2/3

Octavin 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Cymbel 22.26.29 3rks

Clarinette 8

Orchestral Trumpet 8

There are several interesting features, here. I note that the entire Pedal Organ is to be enclosed, as is the Positive. Is this for the sake of flexibility with regard to the reeds? I wonder if the instrument would be loud enough (particularly the Pedal Organ and the Positive chorus), in this case.

 

The Orchestral Trumpet - is this to be voiced in the H&H style (All Saints', Margaret Street or The Temple Church), or in the Walker mode (Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral or Wimborne Minster)?

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Some very nice schemes so far. Here is my attempt.

 

 

Great Organ

Double Open Diapason 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Grave Mixture II (12.15)

Fourniture IV (19.22.26.29)

Trumpet 8

Solo to Great

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Great Reed Octave

 

Swell Organ

Lieblich Gedact 16

Violin Diapason 8

Rohr Gedact 8

Echo Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8 (Bottom A)

Octave 4

Fifteenth 2 (from Mixture IV)

Mixture IV (12.15.19.22)

Contra Fagotto 16

Horn 8

Hautboy 8

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

Solo to Swell

Swell Reeds on Pedal

 

Choir Organ Unenclosed

Lieblich Gedact 8

Violoncello 8

Suabe Flute 4

Flageolet 2

Solo to Choir

Swell to Choir

 

Solo Organ Enclosed

Harmonic Claribel 8

Viole d' Orchestre 8

Clarionet 8

Vox Humana 8

Tremulant

Tromba 8

Octave

 

Pedal Organ

Double Open Diapason 32 (Wood)

Open Diapason 16 (Wood)

Violone 16 (Metal)

Bourdon 16

Principal 8 (Metal)

Trombone 16

Solo to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Gt & Ped Combinations Coupled

 

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

I quite like NZ-Organist's attenpt, but I would reduce the manuals to 3, substitute a few things, add a couple of quirks for the sake of individuality and use extension freely on the Pedals, thus:-

 

Major changes indicated in blue.

 

Great Organ

 

Double Open Diapason 16

Open Diapason I 8

Open Diapason II 8

Rohrflute 8

Principal 4

Open Flute 4

Cornet (12:15:17)

Grave Mixture II (12.15)

Fourniture IV (19.22.26.29)

Trumpet Major 8

Clarion 4 (Ext.8ft)

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Swell Organ

Contra Gamba 16 (Bottom 12 notes outside Swell Box)

Violin Diapason 8

Rohr Gedact 8

Echo Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8 (Bottom A)

Octave 4

Fifteenth 2

Sext (12:17)

Mixture IV (12.15.19.22)

Tertian (24:26)

Dulzian 16 (Ext chest)

Trumpet 8

Hautboy 8

Vox Humana 8

 

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

Choir Organ

 

(Unenclosed)

 

Stop't Diapason 8

Flute Celeste 8 Ext Unit A

Gemshorn 4

Nason Flute 4

Nazard 2.2/3

Principal 2

Recorder 2

Tierce 1.3/5 Ext Unit A

Scharf 19:22

Polski Cymbal (Undefined pitches) VI (repeats every octave)

(Enclosed)

 

Harmonic Flute 8

Viola d'Amour 8

Celeste 8

Clarinet 8

Orchestral Oboe 8

Post Horn 8 (Wurlitzer) HP

Swell to Choir

Choir Octave

Choir Sub-Octave

Unison off

 

Pedal Organ

Double Open Diapason 32 (Wood)

Open Diapason 16 (Wood)

Violone 16 (Metal Ext rank)

Gamba (Bottom 12 from Swell)

Bourdon 16 (Ext.rank)

Principal 8 (Metal - Ext rank)

Violoncello 8 (from 16ft Violone)

Flute 8 (From 16ft Bourdon)

Small Octave 4 (From 8ft Principal)

Mixture (19:22:26:29) (Combination of Violone & Principal ranks)

Contra Trombone 32 (Ext. Great Trumpet Major)

Trombone 16 (Ext. 8ft Great Trumpet Major)

Dulzian (Swell) 16

Trumpet Major (Gt) 8

Clarion (Ext Great) 4

Dulzian 4 (From Swell ext)

 

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Gt & Ped Combinations Coupled

 

MM

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Well, all these read as British as they come. :(

 

I like AJJ's attempt at more chorus versatility, and want to try something similar, except for some details. Also, I'll try to remain within the 35-stops range.

 

I Choir (expressive, but placed in the front, above or below the Great)

8' Gemshorn

8' Bourdon

4' Principal

4' Flute

3' Nasat

2' Waldflöte

1 3/5' Tierce

IV Sharp mixture

8' Cromorne

Tremulant

III/I, IV/I

 

II Great

16' Open diapason

8' Open diapason

8' Rohrflöte

4' Principal

II Grave Mixture (2 2/3')

V-VI Mixture

16' Double Trumpet

8' Trumpet

I/I, III/II, Sub III/II

 

III Swell

16' Bourdon

8' Open flute

8' Gamba

8' Céleste

4' Principal

2' Fifteenth

II Sesquialtera

16' Trumpet

8' Oboe

Tremulant

IV/III, Super III/III

 

IV Solo (enclosed in Choir box)

8' Flûte harmonique

8' 'Cello

8' Solo Trumpet (unenclosed, hooded or horizontal)

Super IV/IV

 

Pedal

16' Double Open Metal

10 2/3' Quint

8' Flute

4' Octave flute

32' Basson

16' Bombarde

I/P, II/P, III/P, IV/P

Super III/P, Super IV/P

 

Compasses will have to be 61/32.

 

Now I'd love to add a treble Cornet to the Great, as well as Trumpets of different colour to the Choir, Swell and Pedal, but the 35 are full, so couplers will have to fill in.

 

Tracker action, maybe assisted for the Great couplers, and a case, with the Pedal behind, I thought essential; also, to provide an un-coupled tutti on the Great and Pedal, and to have the Pedal mostly independent by having large-scale, but not too loud flues at 16, 8 and 4; more definition can be provided by the Solo 'Cello. Full Swell might need the octave coupler, a Willan or Whitlock string flood might be obtained by the same and the Swell coupled to the Great at 16.

 

As in all "multum in parvo" attempts, much would depend on scaling and voicing – just think what tasks will have to be met by the three 16' flues alone.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Does this ring any bells?

 

 

GREAT ORGAN

1. Bourdon 16

2. Open Diapason 8

3. Violoncello 8

4. Bourdon 8

5. Octave 4

6. Wald Flute 4

7. Doublette 2

8. Mixture 3 rks

9. Trumpet 8

 

SWELL ORGAN

10. Diapason 8

11. Flûte Traversière 8

12. Viole de Gambe 8

13. Voix Céleste TC 8

14. Gemshorn 4

15. Cornet (15, 17, 19)

16. Cornopean 8

17. Oboe 8

Tremulant

 

CHOIR ORGAN

18. Gedact 8

19. Salicional 8

20. Flûte Douce 4

21. Salicet 4

22. Cor Anglais 8

23. Orchestral Oboe 8

Tremulant

 

SOLO ORGAN

24. Contra Fagotto 16

25. Bombarde 8

26. Clarionette 8

27. Flute Harmonique 8

Tremulant

 

PEDAL ORGAN

28. Contra Bass 16

29. Sub Bass 16

30. Octave 8

31. Flute 8

32. Bombarde 16

 

COUPLERS

Solo to Great

Swell to Great

Solo to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

 

 

 

 

DW

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Now I'd love to add a treble Cornet to the Great, as well as Trumpets of different colour to the Choir, Swell and Pedal, but the 35 are full, so couplers will have to fill in.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

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

 

 

 

35 stops? :(

 

I should have read the rubric.

 

Well, at least I'd condensed mine down from the 200 stop extension scheme I'd planned........I was there is spirit.

 

"Ask for the world and you get a peanut; ask for a peanut and you get nothing." (Rockerfeller?)

 

MM

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There are several interesting features, here. I note that the entire Pedal Organ is to be enclosed, as is the Positive. Is this for the sake of flexibility with regard to the reeds? I wonder if the instrument would be loud enough (particularly the Pedal Organ and the Positive chorus), in this case.

 

The Orchestral Trumpet - is this to be voiced in the H&H style (All Saints', Margaret Street or The Temple Church), or in the Walker mode (Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral or Wimborne Minster)?

 

We are in the slightly artificial situation of having limited stop list, but unlimited funds and space. Enclosing the pedal means we can voice these ranks (flues as well as reeds) fairly powerfully and use the box to give a quieter bass when needed, rather than adding to the stop list. We can also do nice things with the 32's when accompanying or playing certain styles of music.

 

I always think it is useful to have a 2nd enclosed manual division, and assuming adequate space and good design there is no reason why this should have any downside. Here, the postive foundations would be used for accompanying a choir, or solos on the other manuals, and it also houses the only clarinet stop. All good reasons for enclosure. The chorus would be intended to add just a little to the Great.

 

The big trumpet might be unenclosed or even en chamade depending on the building. It would occupy a similar position in the tonal scheme to a Willis Tuba - i.e. big enough for a solo but not overwhelming when added to the chorus - but voiced to sit comfortably with the other reeds. Perhaps with something of the sound of a magnified English low pressure trumpet, or a not too brassy french trompette.

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Does this ring any bells?

It reads a little like a Lewis scheme, but I seem to be far too continental to identify it.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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How about this? You can play Bach on anything right?

 

Ped.

 

16' Open Wood

16' Bourdon

8' Bass flute

16' Trombone

 

Gt.

 

16' Double Diapason

8' Open Diapason

8' Doppel Flute (Wood, double mouths)

8' Gemshorn

4' Harmonic Flute (metal, harmonic)

4' Principal

2 2/3' Twelth

2' Fifteenth

8' Trumpet

 

Sw. (Enclosed)

 

16' Gedact

8' Violin Diapason

8' Stopped Diapason

8' Viola de Gamba

8' Voix celeste

8' Aeoline

4' Flauto Traverso (Wood, harmonic)

2' Harmonic Piccolo (Wood, harmonic)

III Dolce Cornet (12-15-17)

8' Vox humana

8' Oboe

8' Cornopean

Trem

 

Ch. (Enclosed)

 

8' Dulciana

8' Unda Maris

8' Hohl Flute (Wood, open)

8' Open Diapason

4' Rohr Flute (Wood, pierced stoppers)

8' Clarinet

Trem

 

Solo. (Enclosed)

 

8' Gross Flute

8' Gross Gamba

8' Cor Anglais (free reed)

8' Tuba

Trem

 

16' and 4' couplers on every manual, except Gt which would have just a 4' coupler. All manuals C compass, with 67 notes - 5 extra for use with the octave couplers. Electro pneumatic action throughout. Modest wind pressure (c 5 inches throughout, except for Tuba, on a higher pressure.)

 

PS. This is not very original, I don't doubt at least one member here will know what I'm gaining inspiration from... but there are some interesting differences in this kind of 1920's scheme from most British organs. (If extension/duplication was allowed, the swell 16 would be borrowed to the pedal, and the Open Wood would be extended to 8'.)

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I've re-worked mine and cut it down in size.

 

Think Lewis/Schulze with big scales and decent HN&B style reeds, but without terraced dynamics. Would need some very effective swell bozes.

 

 

 

Great Organ

 

1 Open Diapason 8

2 Rohrflute 8 (Big scale)

3 Principal 4

4 Open Flute 4

5 Cornet (12:15:17)

6 Grave Mixture II (12.15)

7 Fourniture IV (19.22.26.29)

8 Trumpet Major 8 7" wg

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

 

Swell Organ

9 Hohl Flute 8

10 Echo Gamba 8

11 Voix Celeste 8 (Bottom A)

12 Octave 4

13 Fifteenth 2

14 Sext (12:17)

15 Mixture IV (12.15.19.22)

16 Dulzian 16

17 Trumpet 8

18 Hautboy 8

 

Tremulant

Octave

Sub Octave

Choir Organ (Enclosed)

 

19 Stop't Diapason 8

20 Gemshorn 4

21 Nason Flute 4

22 Nazard 2.2/3

23 Principal 2

24 Recorder 2

25 Tierce 1.3/5

26 Scharf 19:22

27 Cromorne 8

 

 

Swell to Choir

 

Pedal Organ

 

28 Open Diapason 16 (Wood)

29 Violone 16

30 Bourdon 16

31 Principal 8

32 Flute 8

33 Small Octave 4

34 Mixture (19:22:26:29)

35 Trombone 16 7" wg

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Gt & Ped Combinations Coupled

 

MM

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Ruthin - out of interest are there any recordings available of this?

 

A

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Well, all these read as British as they come. :)

 

I like AJJ's attempt at more chorus versatility, and want to try something similar, except for some details. Also, I'll try to remain within the 35-stops range.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

Thanks - 'wouldn't mind yours to play on Sundays etc. either.

 

A

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How about this? You can play Bach on anything right?

 

Ped.

 

16' Open Wood

16' Bourdon

8' Bass flute

16' Trombone

 

Gt.

 

16' Double Diapason

8' Open Diapason

8' Doppel Flute (Wood, double mouths)

8' Gemshorn

4' Harmonic Flute (metal, harmonic)

4' Principal

2 2/3' Twelth

2' Fifteenth

8' Trumpet

 

Sw. (Enclosed)

 

16' Gedact

8' Violin Diapason

8' Stopped Diapason

8' Viola de Gamba

8' Voix celeste

8' Aeoline

4' Flauto Traverso (Wood, harmonic)

2' Harmonic Piccolo (Wood, harmonic)

III Dolce Cornet (12-15-17)

8' Vox humana

8' Oboe

8' Cornopean

Trem

 

Ch. (Enclosed)

 

8' Dulciana

8' Unda Maris

8' Hohl Flute (Wood, open)

8' Open Diapason

4' Rohr Flute (Wood, pierced stoppers)

8' Clarinet

Trem

 

Solo. (Enclosed)

 

8' Gross Flute

8' Gross Gamba

8' Cor Anglais (free reed)

8' Tuba

Trem

 

16' and 4' couplers on every manual, except Gt which would have just a 4' coupler. All manuals C compass, with 67 notes - 5 extra for use with the octave couplers. Electro pneumatic action throughout. Modest wind pressure (c 5 inches throughout, except for Tuba, on a higher pressure.)

 

PS. This is not very original, I don't doubt at least one member here will know what I'm gaining inspiration from... but there are some interesting differences in this kind of 1920's scheme from most British organs. (If extension/duplication was allowed, the swell 16 would be borrowed to the pedal, and the Open Wood would be extended to 8'.)

 

This looks like a slightly slimmed-down verson of mine (I have a Great Mixture, Swell Double Trumpet, Choir mutations, a good fake 32' and one or two minor oddities, none of which I'd like to be without). In other words, Casavant from the first half of the twentieth century. In my experience, one area in which North American organs have the edge is that everything blends with everything else, so the total is a lot more than the sum of the constituent parts.

 

From some of the writings about German organs since re-unification, it seems that you can indeed play Bach on anything, and what he may have had in mind might surprise us.

 

I should have recognised DW's scheme, but got side-tracked into thinking more French than it was - I even looked up the old organ at Blackburn.

 

One should bear in mind the sort of thing a cathedral organ is required to do, and from there devise what is needed to do it. The most effective jobs allow you to use a lot of organ (sometimes) to accompany the choir, without drowning them out, but at the same time have enough wallop to bear a large congregation along without over-indulgence in the big reeds. Position has something to do with this - if the pipes are relatively high up, you can get away with using more.

 

You need a weighty, fairly anonymous Pedal bass. It doesn't have to be over-loud, but it needs gravity. You can colour it with other stops if you need to. You need a good sprinkling of 'quiet ginger' (Norman Cocker's phrase) - in this respect a proper Fifteenth in the Swell is well-nigh essential, even if you have to fake it with the octave coupler. You need voicing that will be stable and not wearing on the ear with prolonged use.

 

Most of all, you need players who take the time and trouble to seek out what the beast will do.

 

Looking through the other end of the telescope, all members will have met small organs which reflect the ideas of cathedral organists a century ago - quite a lot of pretty stuff, flutes, strings, oboe, which he would use to accompany his choir, and a big diapason for congregational accompaniment. These days, I would hope we would design an instrument as an entity, rather than as a collection of useful voices.

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This looks like a slightly slimmed-down verson of mine

 

David - would you be willing to post some details about your instrument including spec? I'd love to hear a bit more about it - I'm assuming it's quite an original old Casavant. That's very rare here in Toronto. Despite the fact that Casavant built 160 instruments in this city, hardly half a dozen 3 or 4 manual instruments are fully original. The ones that remain 100% intact are almost completely forgotten about. It seems that many people wrote them off years ago as dull and uninteresting, but when used well they needn't be so.

 

When seeing this thread I immediately thought 'Old Casavant' because they actually did produce quite a large number of versatile and impressive sounding small 4 manual specifications - my suggestion was a made up one but not untypical, though the Doppel Flute would have been more unusual in a scheme of this size.

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Is it Stephen's design altogether? Or was it just the case?

Best,

Friedrich

 

The basis of the 'scheme' was the Wadsworth organ designed by and built for James Kendrick Pyne - a sort of cut down version of the Town Hall organ at Manchester, where he was the City Organist (and Organist of the Cathedral too for a time I think) - which he had installed in the concert hall of the College, for practice purposes really. They disposed of it the year he died and then it was mutilated and squeezed into a much smaller place. The Church at Ruthin purchased it and then it sat around in the pews for several years until they engaged Stephen to design a new case - but he took over the whole project. The additions to the Solo organ were our suggestion, as was the addition of the Solo to Great coupler, which previously didn't exist, and the placing of the entire Pedal organ on a new mechanical slider soundboard.

 

DW

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There is a CD (I think that we might still have a few here somewhere). If you PM me I'll see what I can find.

 

DW

 

ps,. there is also a short sound clip on the website at

 

http://www.willis-organs.com/music/music.htm (click on the Ruthin tag).

 

 

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

 

 

I know you can't make judgements on the basis of an mp3 recording, but I get the distinct impression that Auckland sounds like an old Ernest Skinner instrument.

 

MM

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