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Cavaille-coll, Mutin, Walcker & Steinmeyer


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Well this should please everyone because, in digging around the net for details of Steinmeyer instruments, I came across an un-anticipated delight.

 

Of course, I was hoping to find untouched examples of Steinmeyer's work, but instead, came across an Argentinian organ-site, where scarcity of money has ensured that many organs remain in more-or-less original condition.

 

To add the the delights, there are mp3 samples and recording available on the site, which include sounds from Cavaille-Coll, Steinmeyer, Walcker and Mutin. Incredibly, the site also includes sound-clip examples of organs by Bevington and Forster & Andrews etc.

 

As we have discussed many things about these builders recently, this seems to be an excellent point of reference, so here is the URL:-

 

 

http://www.geocities.com/organos_argentina/indexeng.html

 

MM

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Thank you for that, MM.

 

It looks to be a really interesting site. I have had a brief look and intend to have a better trawl through tomorrow night.

 

I recall that there are one or two C-C instruments in unlikely places - these details look to be good. (Even though we are supposed to be discussing Steinmeyer organs!)

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Thank you for that, MM.

 

It looks to be a really interesting site. I have had a brief look and intend to have a better trawl through tomorrow night.

 

I recall that there are one or two C-C instruments in unlikely places - these details look to be good. (Even though we are supposed to be discussing Steinmeyer organs!)

 

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

 

 

Well, I don't think we need to restrict ourselves to Steinmeyer organs. I have been fascinated to hear the quality of the Mutin organs, which although Cavaille-Coll in nature, sound just that little bit different. Sites like this are unusually interesting when one hasn't heard a particular type of organ live, and being honest, I don't know where I would go to find a Mutin organ.

 

MM

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Some Mutin organs in Paris:

 

1er Arrt.

 

Église S. Leu- S. Gilles (1912) III/P 24 jeux.

 

5e Arrt.

 

Schola Cantorum (1902) III/P 31 jeux.

(This one is listed as 'Cavaillé-Coll - Mutin)

 

6e Arrt.

 

[s. Sulpice - Mutin worked on this organ in 1903, but did little to affect the C-C sound]

 

Chapelle des Soeurs Auxiliatrices (1926) II/P 8 jeux.

 

7e Arrt.

 

Église S. Pierre-du-gros-Caillou [Mutin-Convers*] (1925) III/P 50 jeux.

 

* Auguste Convers succeeded Mutin in 1924, falling foul of his clients by mass-producing instruments with faulty electric actions. On the eve of the world financial crisis, in 1928, his employment was terminated.

 

Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles (1900) II/P 21 jeux.

 

8e Arrt.

 

Église Ste. Madeleine (1927) Substantial work on the C-C instrument. IV/P 62 jeux.

 

Église S. Philippe du Roule (1903) III/P 40 jeux.

(Listed as 'Cavaillé-Coll - Mutin.)

 

9e Arrt.

 

Église Ste.-Trinité (1900) Substantial work on C-C organ. III/P 61 jeux.

 

Église Luthérienne de la Rédemption (1912) II/P 20 jeux.

 

11e Arrt.

 

Église Protestante du Foyer de L'âme (1907) II/P 21 jeux.

(This instrument was apparently manufactured by Mutin himself.)

 

15e Arrt.

Église S. Léon (1920) III/P 30 jeux.

(This instrument was apparently manufactured by Mutin himself.)

 

16e Arrt.

 

Nouvelle Église S. Honoré-d'Eylau (1903) II/P 21 jeux.

(This instrument was apparently manufactured by Mutin himself.)

 

17e Arrt.

 

Nouvelle Église S. François-de-Sales (1920) III/P 35 jeux.

(This instrument was apparently manufactured by Mutin himself.)

 

Église S. Joseph-des-Épinettes (1904) III/P 20 jeux.

(This instrument was apparently manufactured by Mutin himself.)

 

Église Ste. Marie-des-Batignolles (1923) III/P 35 jeux.

(This instrument was apparently manufactured by Mutin himself.)

 

18e Arrt.

 

Basilique Sacré-Coeur Orgue de Choeur (1914) II/P 21 jeux.

 

Église S. Jean-de-Montmartre (1910) II/P 28 jeux.

[Rebuild of C-C (1852).]

 

One of the problems with attempting to identify a Mutin organ is that from 1875, he entered into an appreticeship with Cavaillé-Coll at his works on Avenue de Maine, under C-C's voicer, Joseph Koenig (1846-1926). Koenig later married Mutin's sister. Consequently, it is often difficult to establish exactly how much work was carried-out by C-C and how much was the hand of Ch. Mutin.

 

For example, in 1900, C-C built a grand organ for the Moscow Conservatoire. It is known that Mutin also worked on this instrument.

 

Mutin himself gave the funeral eulogy at the grave of C-C.

 

Although Mutin greatly upset Vierne, he did carry-out a number of alterations and additions to the Grand Organ of Nôtre-Dame de Paris.

 

There is, I belive, a Mutin organ in Toulouse. (Obviously not in S. Sernin or S. Etienne, since they both contain well-known instruments by C-C himself.)

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Guest stevecbournias

"For example, in 1900, C-C built a grand organ for the Moscow Conservatoire. It is known that Mutin also worked on this instrument."-quote from above post

by pcnd5584

 

 

 

Did Cavaillie-coll work on the 1900 organ from the grave? He died in 1899 so how is it you say there is uncertainty how much he did in 1900 and how much Charles Mutin did?

 

In 1898 EM Skinner traveled to England and France under the generous patronage of some unamed person to study the situation of the organ in those countries. He met the Willis' I and II and said later that all he learned about the trumpet family of stops was from them. Upon return to Hutchings in Boston he made a replica pipe of the 16-foot CCC pipe of a Trombone he was so enthused. They took him to see St George's Hall and when he heard the Father Willis Tubas he says he went wild with enthusiasm-thats before grandson Henry III revoiced them on 22" instead of the 12" they were on.

 

In France, and this is IMPORTANT, in 1898 Skinner mentions that Cavaillie-coll NO LONGER came in to the shop so he didn't meet him. So much for C-C doing any work on a 1900 Moscow organ before his death much less afterwards.

 

Also do you know the reason for the great upset Mutin caused Vierne?

Well maybe yes maybe no but for the record Mutin stole Vierne's wife so that should be a bit of a reason wouldn't you think?

 

In 1904 just 4 years after Vierne's appointment to Notre Dame Mutin was hired to add some pipes to the organ. One addition was a Diapason 8 to the Recit. Can't imagine how he did it but some how he managed to cram it in. Also I think Vierne wanted a Fourniture IV added to the Recit but I am not 100% certain . This would explain why in the 1992 rebuild at Notre Dame the mixtures were removed from the Recit- a fatal foolish error to try to go back to 1868.A photo of St Sulpice in 1903 without facade pipes was during a Mutin job. Those facades were formerly manual 32 Montres till 1863 when C-C rebuilt them will you believe to full size Principal harmonique 16's? What a waste!

 

By 1924 the Notre Dame organ needed cleaning not having been done so since 1896.

 

In 1932 additions were requested. Various tales tell of Vierne reluctantly hiring Mutin and others I'm not sure of. If Mutin did the work I can see why Vierne would be less than thrilled with Mutin after seducing his wife away. But then G Donald Harrison's wife left America and came back to you there in the UK to marry Henry Willis III. Harrison married an Italian gal in 1935 who one source claims had a sister that married none other than Senator Emerson Richards of Atlantic City Organ fame in the 1960s the decade of his death thus making Harrison and Richards brothers-in-law.

 

Mutin did business with West Point Military Academy. He supplied a Harmonic

Piccolo 2 via marcel Dupre as a gift in the 1920s to honor Dupre's recital there at Cadet Chapel which stop is lovely and also later an entire chorus of beautiful sparkling stops in the Harmonic Divison that are head over heels compared to other choruses in the same section. Finally Mutin supplied a double-block trompette 8 voiced on 5 " which is wonderful and fiery but not large and was later in 1955 sent to Aeolian-Skinner to have the double-blocks removed.

 

 

Here are the correct details of the work of Mutin on the Notre Dame organ:

 

In 1904, a restoration was carried out by Charles Mutin. Appointed in 1900, titular organist Louis Vierne asked for the Clarinette and the Dulciane from the Récit be replaced with an 8' Diapason, a 4' Octave and, a Fourniture IV. The harmonic lower notes from the Bombarde and Trompette in the Récit division were replaced with full-length pipes. It was the first neo-classical change.

 

In 1924, the blowing system is electrified.

 

In 1932, Joseph Beuchet carried out a second restoration with modifications to the stop list: in the Pedal division, a 16' Violoncelle and a 8' Bourdon are added; in the Grand-Choeur division, an 8' Flute is added; in the Récit division, a Cymbel replaces the Nasard who is transferred to the Positif division replacing the Piccolo.

 

Under the supervision of Pierre Cochereau, in 1963, the following modifications were carried out by Jean Hermann and Robert Boisseau: the Pedal division now has 30 stops with the addition of an 11-stop Small Pedal division; creation of a 32' Plenum in the classical tradition leading to a new layout of the Plein Jeu on the five manuals; creation of a more powerful and more classic Reeds Grand Choeur; creation of a small 2-stop classic Récit; removal of the Barker machines, new console, new electric action, electronic combinator.

 

It seems that Mutin had died in 1931 so he could no longer be a problem for Vierne or be a candidate for organ work at Notre Dame. The archives show that this forum has considered Mutin's work in the UK. He was said to be a manager not an artist and so his work could be thusly distinguished from old C-C's.

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Mutin stole Vierne's wife so that should be a bit of a reason wouldn't you think?

 

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

 

 

Well it could have been worse, he could have stolen Vierne's daughter I suppose!

 

I guess it was a case of Mutiny.

 

The organ-builder Hinsz married Schnitger's wife, but at least he had the courtesy to await his death first!

 

MM

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"For example, in 1900, C-C built a grand organ for the Moscow Conservatoire. It is known that Mutin also worked on this instrument."-quote from above post

by pcnd5584

Did Cavaillie-coll work on the 1900 organ from the grave? He died in 1899 so how is it you say there is uncertainty how much he did in 1900 and how much Charles Mutin did?

 

My apologies - Mr. Bournias is, of course, correct.

 

In mitigation, my post was made late last night, after working yet another fourteen-hour day as part of my normal seventy-hours-plus working week. It is inevitable that some mistakes will occur under such conditions!

 

I did have a nagging doubt in my mind that I had made an error - but I was simply too tired to check my post again!

 

 

In 1904 just 4 years after Vierne's appointment to Notre Dame Mutin was hired to add some pipes to the organ. One addition was a Diapason 8 to the Recit. Can't imagine how he did it but some how he managed to cram it in. Also I think Vierne wanted a Fourniture IV added to the Recit but I am not 100% certain . This would explain why in the 1992 rebuild at Notre Dame the mixtures were removed from the Recit- a fatal foolish error to try to go back to 1868.A photo of St Sulpice in 1903 without facade pipes was during a Mutin job. Those facades were formerly manual 32 Montres till 1863 when C-C rebuilt them will you believe to full size Principal harmonique 16's? What a waste!

 

Indeed. These details concerning the alterations by Mutin to N.-D. I had posted some months ago - Vierne did cause a Fourniture IV to be added to the Récit - he also wanted a Cymbale, but this was not inserted.

 

The order of the claviers was also changed under Vierne's orders. I have also given details of this on this board.

 

I quite agree about the removal of both mixtures from the Récit -it now sounds dull.

 

Here are the correct details of the work of Mutin on the Notre Dame organ:

 

In 1904, a restoration was carried out by Charles Mutin. Appointed in 1900, titular organist Louis Vierne asked for the Clarinette and the Dulciane from the Récit be replaced with an 8' Diapason, a 4' Octave and, a Fourniture IV. The harmonic lower notes from the Bombarde and Trompette in the Récit division were replaced with full-length pipes. It was the first neo-classical change.

 

 

Indeed - full details can be found in the excellent book by Rollin Smith.

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Guest stevecbournias

Evidently Vierne DID get his cymbale for the Recit afterall but NOT in 1904 and not from Mutin, but rather in 1932 ,28 long years later from another individual who made several additions and revisions. Vierne wanted the chamades that Cavaille-coll had done in 1889 duplicated for Notre Dame but alas that did not happen even remotely till the 1960s when Cochereau had some added and quite frankly they fail miserably compared to C-C's models but the more recent 1990s chamade additions are more in keeping with the C-C 1889 specimens that Vierne so dearly loved.

 

Keep in mind that C-C's Recits were still not fully developed in their own right. If you read the books out on his thinking he viewed the Recit as a depository for all of his new inventions namely the harmonic double-length stops so no effort was made necessarily in every instance to develop the section into an independent enclosed principal chorus.

My observation of his; yes friends, SPECIFICATIONS, a dirty word around here; is that you might be fortunate if he threw in a cornet. It appears to me that his principal choruses were to be in the G.O. and POS and maybe GRAND CHOEUR if there was one. The Bombarde and Recit did not necessarily have to be thusly developed. I found it odd myself that he was content to pitch in an old cornet but that was for fattening up the reeds in these sections.

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The "Full Swell" does not exist on the continent.

Sorry, it is a finding of the british romantic

builders -namely Henry Willis I-

No attempt was ever made in France to build one.

Later Fournitures and Cymbales were tought as

neo-classic 8-4-2-Mixtures things.

For Swell effects the reed chorus was used alone.

When I show a specification with a Swell Mixture

the guys ask me what it is intended for.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Guest stevecbournias

For many years USA builders have made a mistake in the pitch of the Swell mixture. By beginning at 1-1/3, or 1 or even 2/3' they are neglecting the dual function of that stop.

 

First it must act to top off a principal chorus. Often the Swell 2' is a flute stop. So logically the Swell mixture needs to start at 2' pitch to compensate for the lack of an independent Swell 15th.

 

Also if the Swell has a true reed chorus at 16-8-4 then the mixture needs to be at 15-19-22 at the minimum to complete the ensemble. When reeds and mixtures are used in combination the tone is called ensemble whereas when the mixture is part of a registration of say 8-4-2 principals then it is chorus tone.

 

Where the luxury of 2 separate Swell mixtures exists i would say go for a Tierce Mixture because the partials in that mixture will be very sympathetic to the Swell reeds even more so than the already present Quint Mixture.

 

Th reeds can work with high-pitched cymbales but i don't feel they enjoy that combination too much as the cymbales tend to overshadow the reeds.

 

A third mixture and rarely so would be a Swell Harmonics with Tierce and Septieme elements. They will glue your ensemble tone tightly togther. Jean Guilliou gave a program at New York's Riverside Church where the Solo has some powerful Trompettes harmonique at 8 and 4 foot pitches. He told then organist John Walker that those reeds would be well-served by greater definition if they had a strong flue mutation to enhance the partial already present. So Tony Bufano then curator had some pipework from the original Aeolian-Skinner organ there that had been removed from the Pedal and he supplemented it and formed a Grossterz 3-1/5 and placed it in FRONT of the Solo shutters as there was simply no more space in the box. The results were demonstrated for me and some others and they were stunning. My own later experiments that resulted from this demo found that Swell and Solo and Great reed choruses are enhanced by individual strong mutations of diapason power at 5-1/3 as well as 2-2/7 and 1-7/9.

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For many years USA builders have made a mistake in the pitch of the Swell mixture. By beginning at 1-1/3, or 1 or even 2/3' they are neglecting the dual function of that stop.

 

First it must act to top off a principal chorus. Often the Swell 2' is a flute stop. So logically the Swell mixture needs to start at 2' pitch to compensate for the lack of an independent Swell 15th.

 

Also if the Swell has a true reed chorus at 16-8-4 then the mixture needs to be at 15-19-22 at the minimum to complete the ensemble. When reeds and mixtures are used in combination the tone is called ensemble whereas when the mixture is part of a registration of say 8-4-2 principals then it is chorus tone.

 

Where the luxury of 2 separate Swell mixtures exists i would say go for a Tierce Mixture because the partials in that mixture will be very sympathetic to the Swell reeds even more so than the already present Quint Mixture.

 

Th reeds can work with high-pitched cymbales but i don't feel they enjoy that combination too much as the cymbales tend to overshadow the reeds.

 

A third mixture and rarely so would be a Swell Harmonics with Tierce and Septieme elements. They will glue your ensemble tone tightly togther. Jean Guilliou gave a program at New York's Riverside Church where the Solo has some powerful Trompettes harmonique at 8 and 4 foot pitches. He told then organist John Walker that those reeds would be well-served by greater definition if they had a strong flue mutation to.....

I agree. I don't think that was a mistake made on just your side of the pond. Plenty of examples of too highly pitched swell mixtures over here in the UK which rather sit atop the foundations and reeds - even on fairly recent instruments. I think perhaps the influence of the organ reform movement has a part to play - that mixtures on the 2ndry chorus should be a scharf above the main chorus mixture, or something like that.

 

didn't most Willis I swell mixtures include tierces, even if they were the only mixture? However, you tend to draw foundations and reeds together on those organs in practice - flue foundations and mixutres alone can sound pretty harsh and uncomfortable without any reeds.

 

Fully agree with your other points...

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The standard Willis swell mixture is: 17-19-22 (1 3/5'- 1 1/3'-1')

The tierce Mixture must be the first one, for the very

reasons Steve mentions.

To have a plain Diapason chorus on the Swell is a luxury; should

you have a second Diapason chorus next to the one on the Great, its place

is on the choir not the Swell.

The true Swell structural tone is the Full Swell, that is,

Fiftheenth-Mixture-16-8-4 chorus reeds.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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The true Swell structural tone is the Full Swell, that is,

Fiftheenth-Mixture-16-8-4 chorus reeds.

There are those who have advocated this, for example, Reginald Whitworth in his book Organ Stops and their Use, but I seriously doubt whether it is true of organs of the symphonic era. During that period registration was entirely additive; you never subtracted stops, so by the time you had built up to full swell it would inevitably include all sorts of flues. Of course it is always possible that how builders designed their organs and how performers actually used them were two entirely different things, but I've not heard anyone suggest any glaring discrepancy.
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Guest stevecbournias

Here in the good ole USA as of say mid- 20th century or even earlier more like the 1940s with Aeolian-Skinner at the helm the Tierce fell by the wayside as to mixtures. Previously it was common to include it no questions asked in both Great and Swell mixtures. But around mid-30s it is noted that the former tierce mixtures give way to quint mixtures as standard . I have a copy of a Casavant contract of an organ that I did tonal work on. The original spec was changed in 1934 while the organ was under construction. The Swell Dolce Cornet III a useless tonal element plaguing American organs for years was written out and a Plein Jeu IV written in beginning at 2' pitch.

 

Since those days the American public and its organists have become allergic to tierce mixtures as sole inhabitants of swell divisions. So realistically the only organs to have these starting in the 1950s were the mega-organs over 100 ranks usually in the Bombarde section to juice up the loud harmoniques 16-8-4 like St John the Divine where Donald Harrison had a Tierce Mixture V-IX beginning at 1-3/5 or Washington Cathedral where there is a terzzymbel on 10" of wind in the Great VI-X again at 1-3/5. I've played both of these humongous stops. They dont go with any one reed chorus. They top off FULL ORGAN in a dramatic way. They add a clang and a tang to the reed-flue full organ that is impressive and dignified. Under THOSE conditions the spoiled American public can enjoy the reedy quality of tierce mixtures.

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The "Full Swell" does not exist on the continent.

Sorry, it is a finding of the british romantic

builders -namely Henry Willis I-

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

I think that William Hill beat Willis to it.

 

Since I am now at school, I cannot immediately recall on which organ - but I will give details later, when I return from work.

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The standard Willis swell mixture is: 17-19-22 (1 3/5'- 1 1/3'-1')

The tierce Mixture must be the first one, for the very

reasons Steve mentions.

To have a plain Diapason chorus on the Swell is a luxury; should

you have a second Diapason chorus next to the one on the Great, its place

is on the choir not the Swell.

The true Swell structural tone is the Full Swell, that is,

Fiftheenth-Mixture-16-8-4 chorus reeds.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Many British organs have a 'plain Diapason chorus' on the Swell - unless I have mis-understood you, Pierre!

 

My own instrument has diapasons up to Fifteenth (a chorus stop, not a flute) and then has an excellent mixture commencing as 22-26-29 at C1. I would not swap this for any tierce mixture - which would be practically useless in the chorus.

 

Personally, I think that this is a fallacy and that FHW did not appreciate the true value or function of mixtures. His chorus reeds do not, frankly, need the help of tierce mixtures and his choruses, to my ears, are not nearly bright enough. One can only get so much brilliance out of 'GO to Fifteenth'. Look at Lincoln - with 'a little mild effervescence on the top'. I cannot now recall who made that statement -no doubt someone will remember.

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On a Willis Swell the flues are so far behind the reeds that one

may shut them without hearing any difference; so why waste

wind? An excellent example is indeed St-Paul Cathedral.

 

The "additive registration" is a neo-baroque idea. Many

a crescendo Pedal not only added, but removed stop too

towards the end of its travel; while adding reeds and Mixtures,

soft 8' and 16' were shut, as using much wind while not contributing

any more to the effect.

The truth is there was no contra-indications melting any stops

togheter; but this was the case by Bach's time already.

Neo-baroque afficionados concluded these stupid romantic guys

simply added all togheter without any aftertought.

This is true with little organs, tough....Like with the baroque

ones!

 

Tierce Mixtures as tutti crowning is a german feature that

exists since very very long a time.

(See Tierce Mixtures topic)

 

Pierre

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The standard Willis swell mixture is: 17-19-22 (1 3/5'- 1 1/3'-1')

The tierce Mixture must be the first one, for the very

reasons Steve mentions.

To have a plain Diapason chorus on the Swell is a luxury; should

you have a second Diapason chorus next to the one on the Great, its place

is on the choir not the Swell.

The true Swell structural tone is the Full Swell, that is,

Fiftheenth-Mixture-16-8-4 chorus reeds.

 

 

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

 

 

I've been fortunate in so much as I have lived with a substantial Fr.Willis organ in original nick, replete with the components Pierre mentions.....the Diapason chorus, the Tierce Mixture and the 16,8 & 4ft reeds. This was, and remains, a splendid sound which is also familiar to anyone who knows the organ of St.Paul's Cathedral, London.

 

However, I've also lived with a substantial Harrison & Harrison, in which the Swell Mixture is entirely a quint one, with the typically fiery Arthur Harrison reeds.

 

Personally, I actually prefer the Arthur Harrison full-swell, but only by the width of an aural gossamer thread.....both are magnificent IMHO.

 

Swimming swiftly across to Haarlem, one hears chorus-reeds which are peculiarly "English" in tone, and again, these blend perfectly with quint mixtures, even though the instrument has enough tierces to satisfy the most discerning.

 

We swim back to England and the work of Hill, Norman & Beard. The Swell reeds on a typical H,N & B are just a tad on the side of "fat" rather than "thin" toned, but still very much Trumpets, whatever they may be labelled. They "just" blend nicely with a quint mixture, but of course, William Hill often had the Sesquialtera in his specifications: sometimes not at all.

 

I wonder if Pierre has heard the Schulze at Doncaster, with it's "improved" Swell reeds (Norman & Beard/possibly Walker re-voicing?), containing harmonic trebles and blown by 6"wg pressure?

 

He would soon realise on playing the organ, that any of the chorus ranks, with or without tierces, blend perfectly with essentially "classical" chorus-voicing derived from the Silbermann pedigree and blown by a mere gnats breath of wind....and so back to Haarlem.

 

I suspect that once "chorus" reeds cross a certain rubicon, they become more and more difficult to bind to a diapason chorus; hence the "Harmonic Mixture with Septieme" route.

 

If Cavaille-Coll reeds don't blend especially well with the chorus-work, then IMHO, this may be due to the fact that Cavaille-Coll didn't make very good flue-choruses.

The climax reeds are superb, the Flutes and Strings magical, the Vox Humana stops virtually peerless.....but the chorus-work is a bit "yuk."

 

Listen to Bach played on a Cavaille-Coll with "classical" registration, and the result is harsh and brittle IMHO. I don't think Bach would have liked it anyway!

 

MM

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Guest stevecbournias

The only crown in a germanic-type chorus of terzzymbel tone is at the very high spectrum where in fact it is discernable; thus the Positiv added to the Riverside Church organ in 1966 originally had an Akuta III at 1/3 but at some point Fred Swann had that ammended to Terzzymbel III at 1/3 and the result is satisfying since at that high pitch the tierce element is not at all excessive nor dissonant as would be a lower one say 1-3/5 or 3-1/5 in certain chords.

 

West Point has recently had a terzzymbel added to the Positiv section and I mentioned it to my friend and collegue there Craig Williams in an unpublished CD he released to me that I could hear it in full organ however he said he had not used it so perhaps my hearing is going afterall!

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I suspect that once "chorus" reeds cross a certain rubicon, they become more and more difficult to bind to a diapason chorus; hence the "Harmonic Mixture with Septieme" route.

(Quote)

 

Yes!

 

 

If Cavaille-Coll reeds don't blend especially well with the chorus-work, then IMHO, this may be due to the fact that Cavaille-Coll didn't make very good flue-choruses.

The climax reeds are superb, the Flutes and Strings magical, the Vox Humana stops virtually peerless.....but the chorus-work is a bit "yuk."

(Quote)

 

Why "judge" (good, not good)? If we feel something does not work the way

we expect it to, then the first reaction we need to have is to wonder why

we do not understand it.

Cavaillé-Coll's fluework is very different from what we find in Germany or

England; the reeds even more so.

The "problem" lies rather there: french reeds are so "free toned" (open shallots

and very lower wind pressure as in Britain) that the blend with the fluework gives

something completely different.

 

Listen to Bach played on a Cavaille-Coll with "classical" registration, and the result is harsh and brittle IMHO. I don't think Bach would have liked it anyway!

(Quote)

 

No romantic organ on the continent is build to allow a pure Diapason chorus

tone. Before pulling a 4', you need to pull all the 8' save the Montre.

This 4' is the Flute.

Then you pull the Montre, then the 16' and the 4' Prestant. The Mixture is the last

thing to add, with the reeds.

Even a Gabler organ was not tought to allow Prinzipal-Okav-Superoktav-Mixture

kind of registration any more...

Now as for what Bach would have tought, we know only one thing for sure: he halas

left without letting us his phone number in heaven.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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The "additive registration" is a neo-baroque idea. Manya crescendo Pedal not only added, but removed stop too towards the end of its travel; while adding reeds and Mixtures, soft 8' and 16' were shut, as using much wind while not contributing any more to the effect.

The truth is there was no contra-indications melting any stops togheter; but this was the case by Bach's time already. Neo-baroque afficionados concluded these stupid romantic guys simply added all togheter without any aftertought. This is true with little organs, tough....Like with the baroque ones!

I can't speak for the continent, Pierre, but as far as England goes this is definitely not the case. For one thing, crescendo pedals have never been popular enough here to become anything like a standard feature of Romantic organs - not in the way they did in Germany. I understand what you mean by the composers of Bach's time mixing stops of the same pitch: it works well with Bach's music on at least some the organs of his area, like the Hildebrandt at Naumburg. However, what I was referring to was the "orchestral" style of additive registration to build crescendos, which is a very different thing. This was in vogue long before the Organ Reform Movement hit Britain. A very elderly organist I know still uses this style; he was taught it in about the 1940s by an elderly organist who had a personal anecdote or two about S. S. Wesley!
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Well, I do not mean the additive registration is a reform's feature, rather

the belief romantic players did that way.

Maybe we have an explanation for that "muddiness" often mentioned?

Actually the organists that succeed registring romantic organs are very

few, and they rarely pull out all togheter.

The british builders rarely built crescendo pedals, but this does not mean

anything; actually, these fixed crescendo pedals allowed me to learn

something in belgian and german-made organs. A side-effect testimony

of the builder's intentions in fact.

 

Pierre

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