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‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it !’


This is a truly international story: Grenzing is an Austrian building in Spain for a major French radio station. Imagine the national furore (especially on the pages of such as the Daily Male), if a French builder was to win a similar contract for the BBC.


There is a generous provision of photos and videos of some distinguished executants on the website. Yet, owing to my interweb incompetence, I couldn’t find out if there was a sound-management system (‘reverb’) in the place where it is (to be ?) installed- presumably a large hall/studio at Radio France HQ. One would have imagined it was in the plans: after all, IRCAM was established nearly forty years ago.


pcnd5584 recently attested on here to the qualities of this builder’s Almudena instrument. His design and specifications are usually interesting plus and the sound of those instruments I’ve heard more than approaches the ‘authentic’ ideal of whatever national tradition they are supposed to inhabit.


However, such a huge spec. (approaching a ton of stops), and yet no Clairon on the G.O. I think mostly of the French Baroque repertoire.


“four 16's on the recit” . . . and sub-octave couplers !


This may well be in the initial planning stages of my itinerary, the next time I visit this lovely city.


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If youve got it, flaunt it !


This is a truly international story: Grenzing is an Austrian building in Spain for a major French radio station.

True, Grenzing is one of the most interesting builders, and it's really exciting that he now gets so much attention internationally. Just for the record -- he is not Austrian, but East-Prussian by birth. He was born in Insterburg (perhaps confused with Innsbruck?), which is now a small town within the Kaliningrad enclave by the name of Chernyakhovsk (not as easy on the throat, that one). He apprenticed with Rudolph von Beckerath, and his organs show traits of this upbringing, e. g. slider chests arranged in major thirds, generous cases, top-quality tracker action, solid choruses with a true North-German ring.


Grenzing himself claims that his major inspiration, apart form his Beckerath training, are the historic organs from Spain and Catalonia, especially those built by Jordi Bosch. Grenzing's style of scaling and voicing of both flues and reeds, and consequently his stoplists, can be surprising for someone from the English tradition. E. g., a 4' Clarion just might not be necessary within the sonic frame of his Great, or even his Swell.


Grenzing uses generous scaling, but voices on relatively light pressures, even for large spaces. At the core of his recipe seems to be blend rather than power. His reed construction and voicing leans heavily on what he learned form restoring Iberian instruments, and I think the results are wonderfully musical, and show great variety soundwise. His largest organs, of near-identical design, were Niigata concert hall and Madrid Almudena, and after that Brussels cathedral, the latter with some quite original solutions architecturally.


What I find most interesting with Grenzing is the mixture of organ reform achievements, by now a rather conservative trait, and his innovative approach about what he learned from older instruments and applied to his new ones.


The Radio France instrument will be his largest to date. From what i have heard, he might even be considered for an even more spectacular job coming up in Northern Germany, but that is still just a rumor. It would be the crowning glory of every organbuilder's work, though.


Best wishes


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Ah ! Thanks for the correction, sprondel.


This, I mis-remembered. However, I would hope not to listen with ‘English’ ears, as they would then be a different nationality from the rest of me !


Wearing my beret, a horizontally-striped sweater and carrying a string of onions, though, I merely reiterate that most large French instruments of the Baroque period possess a 4’ Clairon on the Grand Orgue. I note also that the two G.O. reeds have a Germanic spelling.


It’s about time we had ‘a Grenzing’ here.


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