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Most bizarre specifications?

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It was pretty unusable, though. The Dulciana cornet was completely feeble, and I couldn't discern any worthwhile purpose in it.

 

Paul

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The Pusey House, Oxford, organ referred to above could have been very interesting, but everyone I know who had experience of it, from Bernard Edmonds onward, said that the constituent ranks were too gormless to make any impression. A departure from the usual Rest Cartwright stuff, which tended to be run of the mill (although his organ in St. John's Glastonbury was "different" - anyone else heard of a reed called "Reim"?) http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06861 and others looked a bit Hope-Jonesey, like Terrington St. Clement in Norfolk (a small organ for a church the size of a cathedral) http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06695.

 

Pusey House wasn't the only odd beast in the Oxford organ menagerie - Sir Hugh Allen's scheme at the Sheldonian Theatre was odd, too. He wanted a "diapason organ" but Henry Willis III managed to ameliorate his ideas a little (as did Henry Ley, who wanted a Tuba) http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N11003

 

Anything designed by Jean Guillou looks pretty bizarre....

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The Pusey House, Oxford, organ referred to above could have been very interesting, but everyone I know who had experience of it, from Bernard Edmonds onward, said that the constituent ranks were too gormless to make any impression. A departure from the usual Rest Cartwright stuff, which tended to be run of the mill (although his organ in St. John's Glastonbury was "different" - anyone else heard of a reed called "Reim"?)

 

 

There is a modern 32ft Contra Reim here See details of N10177 at Milton Abbey in Dorset.

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Is it in fact spelled “Reim”?

I’m wondering, because the only builder who ever came up with a similar name was Johann Friedrich Schulze (father to Edmund). In 1847/9, he included a “Riem 16'” in his large organ at Bremen cathedral. The stop was a Bassoon with wooden reeds (in the previously given source, it’s plainly called “Fagott”), an idea which is supposed to have been brought up by cathedral organist Wilhelm Friedrich Riem, after whom the stop was christened. It can't have been terribly successful, as it was exchanged for a more traditional reed in the second half of the 19th century.
I am asking because Schulze was to be such a big name in England, and – pardon my frankness – many English writers don't get the German ie/ei (ee/eye) thing right.
All best wishes,
Friedrich

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Definitely "Reim" in all the versions of the stop-list I've seen, but Cartwright or the original transcriber could have got it wrong. There are some odd spellings on stop-knobs. The organ I played at St. John's, Newfoundland until I moved to New Brunswick a few weeks ago had a "Lieblick" on the Swell, duplicated on the Pedal with the same spelling, and the Irish Organ Company habitually spelled the same word "Leiblich". Wells-Kennedy, an otherwise irreproachable firm, provided a "Pasaune" at least once.

 

Drinkstone Parish Church, Suffolk, assembled by Gildersleeve of Bury St. Edmunds and brought here from Thurston when the Father Willis arrived there, has a "Stopt Base", a "Liblick Gedact" and a "Fiftienth", and the Swell Principal 4 is labelled "8" (as is the similar stop at Somerton). Various builders use "Gedeckt", "Gedackt", "Gedacht" and "Gedact", although rarely in the same instrument....

 

You'd think the engraver would have spotted and corrected it, but they seem to have been like the printers who do the menus for Chinese restaurants.

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There's an organ here that has a 4' Schalmie. I'm sure I've come across Salcional more than once too. My last pipe organ had some linguistically confused stopknobs: Gedackt Flute, Spindle Flöte and Sifflote (without the umlaut); apart from the names the specification was straightforward though.

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Is it in fact spelled “Reim”?

 

Reim.

 

As far as I'm aware, in German 'Reim' translates as 'rhyme'.

 

On the other hand, I googled 'reim' and it is, apparently: "A strip of oxhide, deprived of hair, and rendered pliable, - used for twisting into ropes, etc."

 

Neither seems to bear any resemblance to organ pipes unless, of course, they were made from a type of shaved and pliable ox hide (I wonder how well they would keep in tune), or if they might rhyme - sound similar to - another stop!

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There's an organ here that has a 4' Schalmie. I'm sure I've come across Salcional more than once too. My last pipe organ had some linguistically confused stopknobs: Gedackt Flute, Spindle Flöte and Sifflote (without the umlaut); apart from the names the specification was straightforward though.

Henry Willis 4 had a pet stop he called "Spindle Float" and spelled without the umlaut. "Salcional" is quite common. Didn't our hosts use it at St. Andrew's, Holborn, rather than the rather unpleasant (and possibly alchemic) looking "Keraulophon".

 

Regarding the oxhide, when J.J. Binns died, they found a rhinoceros hide in his stor, but that seems a little over the top....es. No one knew what he had it for. Binns organs were famously well-built.

 

Ballywalter Presbyterian in Co. Down has a "Bra Flute", Lord knows why. It's even more strange in that the instrument was largely assembled by the local Minister.

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Henry Willis 4 had a pet stop he called "Spindle Float" and spelled without the umlaut.

 

Bingo! Yep, it was a Willis IV (in its last incarnation) - but that particular stop did have the umlaut.

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St Peter's, Eaton Sq, London:

 

Viola Felix

 

I have a lurking memory that this is something to do with somone's cat, though I did play this instrument shortly after its inauguration and it didn't sound particularly feline as I recall. Maybe it had been doctored.

 

St Anne's, Moseley, Birmingham:

 

Flauto Magico

 

CEP

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St Peter's, Eaton Sq, London:

 

Viola Felix

 

I have a lurking memory that this is something to do with somone's cat, though I did play this instrument shortly after its inauguration and it didn't sound particularly feline as I recall. Maybe it had been doctored.

 

St Anne's, Moseley, Birmingham:

 

Flauto Magico

 

CEP

There are two cats in the St Peter's organ, according to the second post on this page; the Viola Felix and the Tibia Sylvestris: http://mander-organs-forum.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/588-cats-and-organs/page-3

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St Peter's, Eaton Sq, London:

 

Viola Felix

 

I have a lurking memory that this is something to do with somone's cat, though I did play this instrument shortly after its inauguration and it didn't sound particularly feline as I recall. Maybe it had been doctored.

 

St Anne's, Moseley, Birmingham:

 

Flauto Magico

 

CEP

Not too uncommon. The almost defunct organ in my childhood's church has one:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N02680

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Just another name for Zauberflöte perhaps?

 

I believe it was HW IIIrd’s hardly concealed adaptation of Skinner’s stop. Just like his Sylvestrina, which as far as I know is not much different from an Erzähler.

 

Best wishes

Friedrich

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Wimbotsham in Norfolk had something similar, dating from 1906:

 

Manual: Lieblich Bourdon tc 16, Open Diapason Treble 8, Open Diapason Bass, Gamba 8, Salicional 8, Flauto Traverso 4

Octave coupler

 

Pedal: Bourdon 16

Manual to Pedal

 

As far as is known, this was the only organ built by William Bertram Cowing of Barnet when working on his own, although he was at one time in partnership with Robert Spurden Rutt.

 

In 1988, Holmes and Swift replaced the Gamba with a Principal, which made sense. Before that, with the octave coupler, one could at least get a semblance of a chorus, but otherwise it was much the same as the organ quoted by Gwas Bach, with a 4' flute as the only upperwork and no 8' flute to go with it.

 

I remember a chance remark by the late, great Richard Galloway of Holy Rude, Stirling, one well-lubricated evening at the Scottish Organists' Summer School: "My dad was fond of 16' tone on the manuals". People were in those days, to a much greater extent than we have been in the last 40 years or so. Marmaduke Conway, in "Playing the Church Organ" advocated a manual 16' before a Fifteenth, and Gordon Slater liked 16' Dulcianas, to the extent of specifying one as a second Great double in a not-so-big two-manual organ. Dick's remark made me think - in the way that passing comments often do - and since then I have made a lot more use of doubles than I did before, when it seemed appropriate. I find open doubles, like Contra Geigen, Double Dulciana, Double Open, to be the best, even with a stopped bass. I've never got to liking most manual Bourdons or Quintatons.

 

It does seem strange that builders would specify a 4' flute with no 8'. There are some (mostly enclosed) opens that carry the 4' flute nicely, but it's not "normal" registration, and neither is drawing a 4' flute over a gamba or salicional, although it might sound nice as an occasional effect. But it was quite common, especially among builders in the North of England to provide Open, Gamba and perhaps even Celeste at 8' but only a Flute at 4', even when there was a Mixture and maybe a Piccolo as well.

 

Flauto Magico was fairly commonly used by Brindley and Foster - in fact, the presence of one is virtually a giveaway as to the builder. I don't know if they were zauberflotes. I don't recall Henry Willis III using the name unless he was rebuilding a Brindley.

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Wimbotsham in Norfolk had something similar, dating from 1906:

 

Manual: Lieblich Bourdon tc 16, Open Diapason Treble 8, Open Diapason Bass, Gamba 8, Salicional 8, Flauto Traverso 4

Octave coupler

 

Pedal: Bourdon 16

Manual to Pedal

 

As far as is known, this was the only organ built by William Bertram Cowing of Barnet when working on his own......

There is/was a Cowing organ at Barnet Baptist Church....

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14527

 

...and interestingly Spurden Rutt worked at both the Methodist and Congregational Churches there. Barnet is my home town but I do not know the up to date state of organs in these churches currently. The Methodist church was sold for redevelopment many years ago however.

 

A

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St Peter's, Eaton Sq, London:

 

Viola Felix

 

I have a lurking memory that this is something to do with somone's cat, though I did play this instrument shortly after its inauguration and it didn't sound particularly feline as I recall. Maybe it had been doctored.

 

St Anne's, Moseley, Birmingham:

 

Flauto Magico

 

CEP

Stephen Ridgeley-Whitehouse's cat?

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