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The Trumpet Stop


Guest Lee Blick
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Guest Lee Blick

I have an odd question:

 

In organ history when did the Trumpet stop become from being used as a solo to one used in the build up of a pipe chorus.

 

I remember as a teenager being told to use the reeds sparingly. Do we use the chorus reeds too much, especially for early organ music? Should the climax of such pieces be based on drawing a mixture?

 

Sorry if my question appears to be rather naive but I was listening to an mp3 of Edwin Lemare playing J.S. Bach's Gigue in G and throughout the whole piece he was using a flue chorus with a trumpet. It just didn't sound right to me.

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In order to have an answer you should define what chorus:

 

-Diapason Chorus, so Principals from (16)-8-4 etc up to Mixtures+ Trumpet

 

-Or a reed chorus 8-4 (later 16-8-4)+ Cornets and Tierces (Grand jeu);

 

The word "Chorus" applies to both Diapason and reed choruses.

 

Pierre

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Guest Lee Blick

Sorry, I didn't make myself clear:

 

What I meant is when did the Reeds become part of the general pipe chorus, rather than just as solo stops?

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I am no expert on the history of Organs, but I have always believed that the Trumpet was originally intended to be part of the principal chorus, and it wasn't until the improved voicing techniques of the 19th century came along that it was regular enough in tone to be used as a solo. Did not 'Organo Pleno' include a reed?

 

Regards

 

John.

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I have an odd question:

 

In organ history when did the Trumpet stop become from being used as a solo to one used in the build up of a pipe chorus.

 

I remember as a teenager being told to use the reeds sparingly.  Do we use the chorus reeds too much, especially for early organ music?  Should the climax of such pieces be based on drawing a mixture?

 

Sorry if my question appears to be rather naive but I was listening to an mp3 of Edwin Lemare playing J.S. Bach's Gigue in G and throughout the whole piece he was using a flue chorus with a trumpet.  It just didn't sound right to me.

 

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

 

 

The recording of Lemare to which LeeBlick alludes is, I think, "performed" from punched cards on an American orchestral organ possibly in the Boston area (?)

 

This may explain the registration, which will have been chosen by the operator of the instrument. However, as the registration seems to include a Tuba or Tromba throughout, being unkind, I would suggest that the monkey chose the stops.

 

However, let me no detract from the performance, which is absolutely wonderful throughout, and is possibly very, very close to the original; save for the few "edits" which may have taken place post-performance.

 

As for chorus-reeds, this emphasise the value of travelling to hear old organs in Holland, Germany and elsewhere. Add a Trumpet (or whatever they call it....Trommeten?) on a Schnitger such as the TWO big ones at Groningen, and the effect is not one of increased power or thicker tonality, but simply increased richness.

 

So the Trumpets on baroque organs are not solo voices as such (though they can be used as this) but a part of the chorus.

 

However, the glorious pedal-reeds of many baroque organs were designed to be heard in those magnificent Cantus Firmus compositions, and they can be very loud in relation to the whole instrument. When the pedal-reeds are used at St.Lauren's, Alkmaar, they really do "strut their stuff."

 

And who always made the best chorus-reeds?

 

England of course!

 

Especially when a reed-voicer of calibre of the father and son dynasty of Rundle (H,N & B) got to work.

 

MM

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"So the Trumpets on baroque organs are not solo voices as such (though they can be used as this) but a part of the chorus."

 

(Quote)

 

Apologies, but this *could* be not that simple.

Try that with a french classical organ, then we shall

discuss it.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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... but I was listening to an mp3 of Edwin Lemare playing J.S. Bach's Gigue in G and throughout the whole piece he was using a flue chorus with a trumpet.  It just didn't sound right to me.

 

It very much depends on the traditions from which the organ and the music comes, respectively.

 

Pierre is right in that French chorus reeds, be they of baroque or romantic origin, were not intended to do anything in a principal chorus. In the classical organs, the "Grand Jeu" (chorus reeds, Cromornes, Bourdons, Prestants, quintes and thirds, Cornets) was to be used as an alternative to the "Plein Jeu" (principals and mixtures); in the romantic ones, the reeds dominated the Pleins Jeux in the symphonic Grand Chœur.

 

In baroque intruments from Northern Germany, the chorus reeds are sometimes quite round and refined in character, with closed shallots, and were drawn to replace the principals of the same pitch. On the Norden Schnitger, e. g., the Werck (Great) and Oberpositiv make a grand and noble chorus out of Trumpets 16, 8, and 4, Quint, Octav, Rauschpfeiff, Mixtur, and Scharff; the matching pedal then is Posaune, Trommet 8, Trommet 4, Rauschpfeiff, Mixtur. The flue stops simply aren't needed, and if drawn, they would consume too much wind without having an effect on the sound.

 

In listening to modern instruments, with their bright mixturework, I often found it useful to have a not-too-heavy 8-foot trumpet on the Great that blends with the main chorus. It helps the voice-leading in polyphonic music, emphasizing the unison line without bringing the overall volume to the point of being unbearable.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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"So the Trumpets on baroque organs are not solo voices as such (though they can be used as this) but a part of the chorus."

 

(Quote)

 

Apologies, but this *could* be not that simple.

Try that with a french classical organ, then we shall

discuss it.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

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

 

I'm sorry......I just couldn't.

 

I rarely play French music......they don't write fugues very well, they are far too exhibitionist and far too loud.

 

I don't eat French food, I don't drive French cars, and apart from being obliged to go there for the French Grand Prix when I worked for the Formula One motor-racing circus, I really have no desire to visit socially; pretty as it is.

 

That said, I did sneak into the Cathedral at Moulin and take a peep at the organ-case, but the only French organs I've ever played are in England and Holland.

 

MM

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We agree Friedrich,

 

This deals with the sheer stylistic diversity of the organ, to the point any

attempt to imagine anything like a general rule could be contradicted

in ten minutes -the time for me to find something in my papers-.

 

The french classic organ is divided in two parts, as Friedrich mentionned:

 

The Plein-jeu, Principals (16)-8-4-2-Fourniture-Cymbale.

(There are never independant Quints in the french Diapason chorus!)

 

The Grand-jeu, which varied with time. Some include the 8' Bourdons, the

4' flutes, the Prestant 4' (a Principal), the Tierces ("Tierce" meaning the

independant 8-4-2 2/3-2-1 3/5 ranks) and Cornets+ Trumpets 8 and 4 and

the Positif's Cromorne, while Dom Bedos restricts it to Prestant-Tierce-Cornet-reeds.

 

The french romantic organ had a big problem: the french organists did not want

of tierce ranks in the Mixtures.

Cavaillé-Coll tried to introduce tierce mixtures, notably at Notre-Dame Paris, after having met with Eberhard Friedrich Walcker.

The two men had discussions about the way Walcker created the romantic organ

using some of the Abt Vogler's ideas.

But the french organists resisted so that the NDP's mixtures were soon changed.

 

The only alternative was, again as Friedrich says, to have the "Grand-jeu" equivalent

louder as the rest in order to dominate the Tutti.

In this matter the german and english romantic organs have a point against ACC's organs, in that each family of stops contribute to the whole in a more homogeneous manner.

 

The other school with a divided organ was the spanish one:

 

-Lleno armonico: Diapason chorus

 

-Lleno de batalla: Nazardos, Cornetas+reeds

 

.....But I should have say: "castillan", because there was another iberic school,

in Catalogna and the Baleares islands.

This one was influenced by flemish and northern german schools, and did know

the......Tierce mixtures!

This school gave one of the grand Masters of the organ-building, the late baroque

builder Jordi Bosch (amongst other works: Palacio Real, Madrid).

In his organ now in Santanyi, he built a 25-ranks (in the treble) mixture with several tierce ranks!

Such organs permitted to add reeds to the Diapason chorus too.

 

I apologise this may seem obsessive, but this tierce-in-the-chorus question is one of the most important things I ever discovered at the very roots of the organ design

in the course of the history.

Any organ aestetic that allows reeds to be added to the Diapason chorus do know

the seventeenth as a chorus rank, be it in the mixtures or a Sesquialtera or other

mutation stop that belongs to the Diapason chorus.

 

As far as I know, this is of course the case in England since the 18th century at least, where the trumpet was very often added to the Diapason chorus.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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

 

I'm sorry......I just couldn't.

 

I rarely play French music......they don't write fugues very well, they are far too exhibitionist and far too loud.

 

MM

 

AAARRRGGHHH!!!!

 

So you have never heard any Dupré? (Just for a start - I can think of one or two other French composers who wrote pretty good fugues - including Saint-Saëns)

 

I cannot say that I have ever witnessed a French organist being an exhibitionist - Philippe Léfébvre, for example, always looks very dignified when I have seen him play at N.-D.

 

Far too loud? Oh puh-leeze!!

 

What about the numerous quiet movements, often of great beauty, in the organ symphonies of Widor and Vierne? - to name but two.

 

B)

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The french romantic organ had a big problem: the french organists did not want

of tierce ranks in the Mixtures.

Cavaillé-Coll tried to introduce tierce mixtures, notably at Notre-Dame Paris, after having met with Eberhard Friedrich Walcker.

The two men had discussions about the way Walcker created the romantic organ

using some of the Abt Vogler's ideas.

But the french organists resisted so that the NDP's mixtures were soon changed.

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Thank you, Pierre - I was pleased to learn this.

 

I assume you know that the present instrument at N.-D. again has the ability to include tierce ranks in one of the GO mixtures - the Cymbale, I believe. There is an electric switch to annul the tierc rank, should anyone wish to.

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Thank you, Pierre - I was pleased to learn this.

 

I assume you know that the present instrument at N.-D. again has the ability to include tierce ranks in one of the GO mixtures - the Cymbale, I believe. There is an electric switch to annul the tierc rank, should anyone wish to.

 

Yes I know, this was done along the reconstitution of the "Progression harmonique"

mixtures.

By the way, this is again a german influence. The first "Progressiv harmonika" I have a documented quote dates back 1820, in an organ built by.......Hildebrandt! (son, of course).

 

"AAARRRGGHHH!!!!"

(Quote)

Yes again, the more we learn, the less we judge. Just a tought.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Yes I know, this was done along the reconstitution of the "Progression harmonique"

mixtures.

By the way, this is again a german influence. The first "Progressiv harmonika" I have a documented quote dates back 1820, in an organ built by.......Hildebrandt! (son, of course).

 

"AAARRRGGHHH!!!!"

(Quote)

Yes again, the more we learn, the less we judge. Just a tought.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

Well, indeed!

 

Personally, I greatly like French organ music - but I am sure that you all know that!

 

I really must learn more about German organs!

 

I have played a few - the best, I think, were those at the cathedrals of Bonn and Bamberg - the latter is a truly wonderful instrument. Absolutely the only things I would change are: repositioning the drawstops in a more English fashoin on the jambs - they run upside-down, with the reeds at the base of each column. Then I would make the chamades available on the fourth clavier (in addition to on the Hauptwerk, where their only use is to double the output of the tutti!). Oh, and put a 'little boys' room' somewhere between the outside door to the loft stairs and the organ chamber. Otherwise it is a very long walk outside....!

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If you wish to visit Germany again, here are

some of my preffered ones:

 

Andernach near Koblenz.

A well restored Link organ of 1914, with quite

typical Mixtures and Kornett.

 

Essen-Werden

A 1906 Walcker in original state, pneumatic,

III/ about 38 stops.

Gerd Zacher made one of the very best Reger

recording I know on this not that big organ.

 

Giengen an der Brenz

An original late romantic Link in Link's town.

To play it a reservation is needed...

 

Berlin's cathedral

Best preserved, original big Sauer.

Should be under UNESCO's special protection.

 

Hoffenheim.

 

only early E-F Walcker organ preserved in original state,

with a Physharmonika stop.

I posted an MP3 of this one on a german forum, the guys there

refused to believe it was not a french baroque organ so

"grand-jeu"-like this stop colours the whole at full blast...

 

My regret is not having seen this one, and any Trost-organ.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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AAARRRGGHHH!!!!

 

So you have never heard any Dupré?  B)

 

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

 

Oh! All right.....if Pierre wishes to twist my arm a little.

 

Yes I did once learn the "Noel avec variationes" by Dupre and play it in a couple of recitals, but all that dashing about, just to arrive at a half-baked fugue which degenerates into a toccata!

 

How French is that?

 

I love the Vierne "Berceuse" and play it often

 

That's about it really....two works which sum up a nation's approach to organ-playing.

 

 

B)

 

MM

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Guest Lee Blick

I like that Durufle Fugue sur le carillion de la Soissons Cathedrale (or whatever it is called). It's quite fun to play. Yeh, Ok it doesn't have the intellectual depth of any fugue by Bach. Guillmant has interesting fugues too, and Widor and Vierne.

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

 

Yes I did once learn the "Noel avec variationes" by Dupre and play it in a couple of recitals, but all that dashing about, just to arrive at a half-baked fugue which degenerates into a toccata! 

 

MM

 

I was thinking more of the two sets of Préludes et Fugues (Op. 7 and Op. 36) by Dupré - none of these degenerate into toccati, so there is no worry on that score. The construction of these pieces (one of them quite quiet, incidentally) is, in my view, extremely good - the counterpoint seems to me to be intellectually impressive, whilst remaining entirely musical in effect.

 

I fear that it will not just be Pierre who will be twisting your arm Mr. Muso!

 

:)

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I was thinking more of the two sets of Préludes et Fugues (Op. 7 and Op. 36) by Dupré - none of these degenerate into toccati, so there is no worry on that score. The construction of these pieces (one of them quite quiet, incidentally) is, in my view, extremely good - the counterpoint seems to me to be intellectually impressive, whilst remaining entirely musical in effect.

 

I fear that it will not just be Pierre who will be twisting your arm Mr. Muso!

 

:)

 

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

 

I like the G-minor Dupre and Cesar Franck's works........

 

OMG......I'm confessing to being a closet Francophile!

 

There may be a cure, but until I find one, I'll just go and dig some real organ music out of the CD cabinet........Reger.

 

:)

 

MM

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

I like the G-minor Dupre and Cesar Franck's works........

 

OMG......I'm confessing to being a closet Francophile!

 

AHA!

 

I just knew that we could convert you in the end!

 

 

There may be a cure, but until I find one, I'll just go and dig some real organ music out of the CD cabinet........Reger.

 

:)

 

MM

 

.... Now would that be Max - or Janet?

 

:)

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