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Guest Lee Blick

40 Stop, 3 Manual Organ

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"Would it not have been interesting if one were to make the specifications to a rather small chappel? Say 12*6*8m? In which case one would be able to write down all the mixtures, specify scales (more or less precisely), voicing and the tone one would want to obtain?"

(Quote)

Dear Rodrigo,

 

You may open a new thread with it then.

Pierre

 

Dear Pierre:

 

Too soon, I am quite new here and want to see what seems to interest most members. Moreover I do not want to give the impression I am only interested in hypothetical organs. But thanks for the suggestion.

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Re post #32...we have al been busy over the last few days!

§ Please note, if anyone rubbishes my scheme, I will take it like a man and not resort to abuse (!).

 

 

Actually, I like quite a lot of this. I agree that a Swell Bourdon is useful in accompanying. However, I think that I would find a Voce Umana less useful!

 

I quite like an undulant to be fairly assertive. Something that can’t just be flung on in every quiet piece, but makes its presence felt in appropriate repertoire. As an aside, isn’t it interesting how relatively infrequently French romantic and 20C composers actually specify the V.C?

 

 

Whilst I do find a 4p flute useful for accompanying, I also like a good unison diapason. My preference would be to replace the Hohlflöte with the Harmonic Flute (converted to 8p pitch, with a non-harmonic bass), add an Open Diapason 8p, keep the Viola on the softer side and get the undulant to beat with that.

 

I reasoned that would be good to have 8, 4 & 2 flutes on two divisions.

 

 

Insofar as the Positive and GO mixtures are concerned, the GO I would prefer as 19-22-26-29; I have never met a more useful GO mixture - if artistically voiced. 15-19-22 adds little in the way of brightness. 19-22-26 is acceptable, but my preferred option is the IV-rank mixture.

 

Left to myself, I would have specified iv rks. 19.22.26.29 on the Gt. I thought about specifying a Hill-style 17.19.22 on the Pedal. The organ as it stands has a 22.26.29 on the Swell, breaking exactly as the Gt 19.22.26.29. The Sw Mixture appears to have been voiced with no consideration for the rest of the fluework and sounds foul unless the reeds are also drawn.

 

 

The Positive is more of a problem. If Denys Thurlow were to voice it, I would suggest a 22-26-29 mixture. However, there is no principal-toned stop above 4p pitch and therefore, to add such a mixture would need a highly-skilled voicer; otherwise it will stand apart like oil on water.

 

Fair enough, but doesn’t that run the risk of having the secondary chorus sounding too similar to that of the Gt? I’m also assuming a voicer skilful enough to make the 2’ sit on top of both the flute and the Principal.

 

 

The action? Sod tracker - have the couplers!

 

How about Barker lever to the Great?

 

 

Thanks for your observations, pcnd.

 

 

The only comment that I would add is that anyone wishing to hear a completely outstanding, newish 40 stop scheme would do well to get themselves over to St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. I had the opportunity to play it a couple of years ago and was completely blown away by it.

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Greetings,

 

    Now don't laugh, but I thought one of my first attempts at designing an instrument fit pretty closely to the task here so I post it with all humility.  I think it's a hair larger at 42 speaking stops (not including duplexing for instance), but I designed it complete with drawings for a specific chamber for a specific large Episcopal Parish Church which seats about 1200-1300 with a tall clerestory and no padding whatsoever...  The bulk of the instrument would be in a floor-to-ceiling chancel chamber with the Unenclosed Choir on the opposite side under a deep arch with built-in English-style console (thank you).

 

         - Nathan

 

Great Organ - Manual I/II, 4" w.p.

 

16' Double Open Diapason - Ext. Second Open Diapason

8' First Open Diapason - 42 scale, common metal, 1/4 mouth

8' Second Open Diapason - 44 scale, common metal, 1/5 mouth

8' Claribel Flute - 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" scale, open wood, standard mouth

4' Principal - 55 scale, spotted metal, slotted, 1/4 mouth

4' Octave - Ext. Second Open Diapason

4' Flute D' Amour - 2 3/16" x 3" scale, wood, pierced stoppers

2' Fifteenth - 68 scale, spotted metal, 1/4 mouth

IV Fourniture - 8-12-15-19

8' Tromba - 4" scale, spotted metal

8' Clarinet - Duplexed from Choir

 

Swell Organ - Manual III, Enclosed, 6" w.p.

 

16' Contra Gamba - 44 scale, spotted metal, 1/4 mouth, slotted, 1-12 Haskellized

8' Open Diapason - 43 scale, common metal, 1/5 mouth

8' Salicional - 61 scale, spotted metal, 2/9 mouth, slotted

8' Voix Celeste - 61 scale, spotted metal, 2/9 mouth, slotted

8' Rohr Floete - 50 scale, common metal, 1/4 mouth, pierced mushroom stoppers

8' Aeoline - 58 scale, spotted metal, 1/5 mouth, slotted

4' Fugara - 56 scale, common metal, slotted, 1/5 mouth

4' Flute Triangulaire - Skinner Style

2' Flageolet - 68 scale, spotted metal, 2/9 mouth

IV Plein Jeu - 12-22-26-29

16' Waldhorn - 5" scale, spotted metal

8' French Trumpet - 4" scale, spotted metal

8' Vox Humana - 2" scale, spotted metal

4' Clarion (Ext. Waldhorn)

 

Unenclosed Choir - Manual I/II, 3" w.p.

 

8' Principal - 45 scale, spotted metal, 1/4 mouth

8' Bourdon - 52 scale, common metal, 1/4 mouth, canisters

4' Octave - 58 scale, spotted metal, 1/4 mouth

4' Koppel Floete - 58 scale, common metal, 1/4 mouth

2 2/3' Twelfth - 64 scale, spotted metal, 2/9 mouth, 1/2 taper

2' Block Flute - 68 scale, spotted metal, 1/5 mouth, 1/2 taper

1 3/5' Tierce - 74 scale, common metal, 1/5 mouth

1 1/3' Larigot - 72 scale, common metal, 2/9 mouth

1 1/7' Septieme - 76 scale, common metal, 1/4 mouth

III Scharf - 22-26-29

Choir Organ - Manual I, Enclosed, 5" w.p.

 

8' Gamba - 56 scale, spotted metal, 2/9 mouth, slotted

8' Melodia - 3" x 4" scale, open wood, inverted mouth

8' Bois Celeste -  3" x 4" scale, open wood, inverted mouth

4' Gambette -  70 scale, spotted metal, 1/4 mouth, slotted

4' Harmonic Flute - 58 scale, common metal, 1/5 mouth, harmonic at Middle C

2' Harmonic Piccolo - 72 scale, spotted metal, 2/9 mouth, harmonic at Tenor C

III Dolce Cornet - 12-15-17

8' Clarinet - 2" Scale, spotted metal, slotted

 

Pedal Organ - 5" w.p.

 

32' Resultant Bass - Bourdon + Lieblich Gedeckt

16' First Open Diapason - #1 scale, open wood

16' Second Open Diapason - Great

16' Bourdon - #1 scale - stopped wood

16' Lieblich Gedeckt - 5 1/2" x 7" scale - stopped wood

16' Contra Gamba - Swell

8' Octave - Ext. First Open Diapason

8' Cello - Swell

8' Gedeckt - Ext. Bourdon

8' Dolce Flute - Ext. Lieblich Gedeckt

4' Super Octave - Ext First Open Diapason

32' Fagotto - Ext. Swell Waldhorn

16' Trombone - Wood, 10"x10" scale, 10" w.p.

16' Waldhorn - Swell

8' Tromba - Great

4' Clarinet - Choir

 

Quite a lot of good points here, Nathan. Obviously a Romantic bias (on paper) - but there is nothing inherently wrong with that!

 

I have a few points which I would consider worth changing:

 

The GO Mixture starts far too low - it will not add much in the way of brilliance, but will only re-inforce the 4p, 2 2/3p and 2p ranks. Even if it did not break back (apart from, perhaps, the 19th rank), it will contribute little to the ensemble. A better course might be to take the Swell mixture starting-scheme (19-22-26-29) and use that for the GO. In addition, make the Swell mixture different, possibly 22-26-29. If this was done, the Choir Scharf could become 26-29-33; it is not very 'scharf' at 22-26-29!

 

Alternatively, if one wished for a more Romantic mixture scheme on the GO and Swell, make the GO 15-17-19-22 and the Swell 17-19-22. I do not personally like tierce mixtures, but in a scheme such as yours, they may serve to help brighten the Tromba and other chorus reeds.

 

It is good to see a Septième rank included in the Choir Organ. This little-specified rank is a good colourant - in a chime-bar kind of way! There is a 'secret' Septième on the fourth clavier of an English cathedral organ. It was re-stacked from another mutation pitch at the last rebuild.

 

One other point - the Pedal Resultant Bass - far better to take the Bourdon down in stopped pipes as low as possible. It sounds as if the chamber is quite lofty, so I would personally prefer this to an acoustic - which is almost always unsatisfactory.

 

The Bois Céleste - why not call it Unda Maris, which is (properly) a flute céleste?

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Re post #32...we have al been busy over the last few days!

§ Please note, if anyone rubbishes my scheme, I will take it like a man and not resort to abuse (!).

Actually, I like quite a lot of this. I agree that a Swell Bourdon is useful in accompanying. However, I think that I would find a Voce Umana less useful!

 

I quite like an undulant to be fairly assertive.  Something that can’t just be flung on in every quiet piece, but makes its presence felt in appropriate repertoire.  As an aside, isn’t it interesting how relatively infrequently French romantic and 20C composers actually specify the V.C?

Whilst I do find a 4p flute useful for accompanying, I also like a good unison diapason. My preference would be to replace the Hohlflöte with the Harmonic Flute (converted to 8p pitch, with a non-harmonic bass), add an Open Diapason 8p, keep the Viola on the softer side and get the undulant to beat with that.

 

I reasoned that would be good to have 8, 4 & 2 flutes on two divisions.

Insofar as the Positive and GO mixtures are concerned, the GO I would prefer as 19-22-26-29; I have never met a more useful GO mixture - if artistically voiced. 15-19-22 adds little in the way of brightness. 19-22-26 is acceptable, but my preferred option is the IV-rank mixture.

 

Left to myself, I would have specified iv rks. 19.22.26.29 on the Gt.  I thought about specifying a Hill-style 17.19.22 on the Pedal.  The organ as it stands has a 22.26.29 on the Swell, breaking exactly as the Gt 19.22.26.29.  The Sw Mixture appears to have been voiced with no consideration for the rest of the fluework and sounds foul unless the reeds are also drawn.

The Positive is more of a problem. If Denys Thurlow were to voice it, I would suggest a 22-26-29 mixture. However, there is no principal-toned stop above 4p pitch and therefore, to add such a mixture would need a highly-skilled voicer; otherwise it will stand apart like oil on water.

 

Fair enough, but doesn’t that run the risk of having the secondary chorus sounding too similar to that of the Gt?  I’m also assuming a voicer skilful enough to make the 2’ sit on top of both the flute and the Principal.

The action? Sod tracker - have the couplers!

 

How about Barker lever to the Great?

Thanks for your observations, pcnd.

The only comment that I would add is that anyone wishing to hear a completely outstanding, newish 40 stop scheme would do well to get themselves over to St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham.  I had the opportunity to play it a couple of years ago and was completely blown away by it.

 

You are welcome!

 

I would agree - with some reservations.

 

I would query the 'Hill-style' Pedal mixture (17-19-22) - I am not sure that he ever used these intervals for a Pedal mixture. (MM will probably prove me wrong, but I am currently in school and I do not have any means of checking this presently to hand!)

 

Barker-lever is possible - but I do not think that a Unison Off is possible with Barker-lever. At least, I cannot think of an instrument in which this was attempted. There is no original Cavaillé-Coll with a Unisson Muet which springs to mind!

 

I would be interested to play the organ at St. Chad's. I have read a lot about it and it certainly looks good. I assume that it is not just a 'builder's (JWWW) house-style' organ, then?

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Couple of things to add to this:

 

To help with the brief, perhaps it would be good to suggest a suitable parish sized church. How would say, St. Thomas in Salisbury, be for a suggestion? Very nice church but the organ has some very old pipes in it, part of the old Cathedral organ, I believe. But perhaps this would be a good place to think of for the spec in the context of this academic exercise if you assume for now it doesn't have an organ.

 

Re. the interesting discussion about quints/twelfths. I agree with Rodrigo (welcome, Rodrigo, btw) that they help to bind the chorus and help to clarify the unison. I haven't found they muddy counterpoint unless they are poorly voiced or are in an intimate acoustic so I don't agree on that point. I find 12ths are an option in the chorus: they give the organist an option of colour in the pleno extra to the mixture. I don't want a "one size fits all" chorus for Bach P&Fs - I want ways of colouring it. Also they are an important part of the harmonic series as the 3rd partial so I find it slightly odd if you have separate stops for the 2 partial and the 4th but not for the 3rd. Finally, 12ths are not replaced by the mixture which is normally smaller scale and adds brightness and doesn't have that slightly fifthy "tang" of the twelfth. So I find it a useful stop, in the chorus or as a solo stop.

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It is good to see a Septième rank included in the Choir Organ. This little-specified rank is a good colourant - in a chime-bar kind of way! There is a 'secret' Septième on the fourth clavier of an English cathedral organ. It was re-stacked from another mutation pitch at the last rebuild.

 

I have a feeling there might actually be two residing on IVth manuals of English cathedrals.

 

See also (though I think it could be due for a 'rehash' soon - 'needs a case too - I think this could be also part of the plan. The new tower looks good though - especially from the ring road!):

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00956

 

AJJ

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I would query the 'Hill-style' Pedal mixture (17-19-22) - I am not sure that he ever used these intervals for a Pedal mixture. (MM will probably prove me wrong, but I am currently in school and I do not have any means of checking this presently to hand!)

 

 

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

 

 

 

Wrong!

 

Eastbrook Hall, Bradford....V rks Sesqiultera on the Pedal.

 

Organ now in Methodist Church, Cambridge.

 

Happy to oblige!!

 

:( (Smug smile)

 

MM

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I have a feeling there might actually be two residing on IVth manuals of English cathedrals.

 

See also (though I think it could be due for a 'rehash' soon - 'needs a case too - I think this could be also part of the plan. The new tower looks good though - especially from the ring road!):

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00956

 

AJJ

 

Interesting - this alteration had escaped my radar....

 

So, Alastair - do you know where the other one is?! (If you do, answers on a PM to me, please - since I am fairly certain that the DOA concerned does not know!)

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

Wrong!

 

Eastbrook Hall, Bradford....V rks Sesqiultera on the Pedal.

 

Organ now in Methodist Church, Cambridge.

 

Happy to oblige!!

 

:(   (Smug smile)

 

MM

 

Thank you, MM - but as it is said: "One swallow does not a summer make". Can you only come up with one example?!

Piffle!

 

:D (Fairly smug smile.)

 

It would also be interesting to know what the ranks are. I know that Wm. Hill did occasionally include a V-rank Pedal mixture on some of his instruments.

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Thank you, MM - but as it is said: "One swallow does not a summer make". Can you only come up with one example?!

Piffle!

 

Ashton-u-Lyne PC. Hill 1845. 17.19.22.26.29

N10992. Radically rebuilt twice. Now in poor condition.

 

Preston PC. Hill 1889. 17.19.22.

N10712. Tonally almost unaltered.

 

Great George Street Chapel. 'Sesquialtera V'.

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Thank you, MM - but as it is said: "One swallow does not a summer make". Can you only come up with one example?!

Piffle!

 

Ashton-u-Lyne PC. Hill 1845. 17.19.22.26.29

N10992. Radically rebuilt twice. Now in poor condition.

 

Preston PC. Hill 1889. 17.19.22.

N10712. Tonally almost unaltered.

 

Great George Street Chapel. 'Sesquialtera V'.

 

The last I knew (and had temporarily forgotten) about. I am interested to learn of the others.

 

I know that Wm. Hill occasionally included separate tierce ranks at 1 3/5p and even 3 1/5p pitch. However, I presume that the Pedal Sesquialtera V at Great George Street did actually contain a tierce rank? At this time, it was not uncommon for a mixture labelled as Sesquialtera to consist solely of unison and quint ranks.

 

There was also Christ Church, Newgate Street (London), which Gauntlett had rebuilt by Hill, in which the Pedal Organ consisted of the following synoptic stop-list: 16. 16. 16. 8. 5 1/3. 4. V. V. 16. 8. I do not have a table of the intervals of the Pedal mixtures, but on paper, this looks to be incredibly impressive for the 1840s. However, the compass of this latter Pedal Organ was disappointingly short, being one octave only, for the most part. This is rather strange, since the compass of the pedal-board is given as thirty-two notes.

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Curious, I feel quite the contrary. A quint 3 is usefull in counterpoint, especially if you draw the Quintadena 16 also. It strengthens the 8' tone and I actually find it usefull in counterpoint. That said, I do not like it all that much. Obversely, I very much like the sound of the II Rauschpfeiffe. The octave is stronger than the twelfth (at least that is how I like it). I do not like a 8 4 2 principal chorus in the Great Organ, but rather like a 8 4 3 2 or alternatively, 8 4 II. The penultimate variation of Von Himmel Hoch (Bach) sounds marvelously well with this registration on the right hand (in a good, clear organ).

 

 

Each to his own!

 

I prefer to add other 8p ranks to a chorus in order to strengthen it - as opposed to relying on a twelfth, for example. On my own church instrument, it is necessary to use practically all the 8p foundation stops in the chorus; simply using one diapason does not work in the building - it is difficult to tell which voice is on top.

 

Personally, I strongly dislike the twelfth in a chorus, particularly if it is only an 8. 4. 2. chorus. All I can usually hear in such cases, are parallel fifths. I greatly prefer the purity (to my ears) of a straight 8. (8.) 4. 2. IV (19-22-26-29) chorus.

 

However, one of the interesting things about this board, is that there are many different viewpoints. In this respect, no-one is right or wrong - just another facet of the same coin, as it were.

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There was also Christ Church, Newgate Street (London), which Gauntlett had rebuilt by Hill, in which the Pedal Organ consisted of the following synoptic stop-list: 16. 16. 16. 8. 5 1/3. 4. V. V. 16. 8. I do not have a table of the intervals of the Pedal mixtures, but on paper, this looks to be incredibly impressive for the 1840s. However, the compass of this latter Pedal Organ was disappointingly short, being one octave only, for the most part. This is rather strange, since the compass of the pedal-board is given as thirty-two notes.

 

Presumably there was some sort of mechanical transmission, similar to that employed at St Luke's, Cheetham Hill, manchester, (N02068), before its rebuild in the 1880s by Jardine.

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Barker-lever is possible - but I do not think that a Unison Off is possible with Barker-lever. At least, I cannot think of an instrument in which this was attempted. There is no original Cavaillé-Coll with a Unisson Muet which springs to mind!

 

I was thinking more in terms of Sw-Gt octave and suboctave.

 

I would be interested to play the organ at St. Chad's. I have read a lot about it and it certainly looks good. I assume that it is not just a 'builder's (JWWW) house-style' organ, then?

 

Can't really say, as I haven't had enough experience of the house style. JWW hasn't supplied many new organs in the grim northern towns (or even the leafy Cheshire ones) where I have operated for most of my career. Blackburn Cathedral belongs to an earlier generation of course. In any case, I imagine that it is a 'one off'.

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Each to his own!

 

However, one of the interesting things about this board, is that there are many different viewpoints. In this respect, no-one is right or wrong - just another facet of the same coin, as it were.

 

Yes, absolutely! It would be a very dull board if we all agreed with each other. Like music, you need dissonance, which creates tension, which in turn creates interest and people writing back, wondering what people are going to say next, etc and it's then very much nicer when people finally do agree on something.

 

One of the things I've noticed is that we've all had very different experiences and it shows when we offer an opinion and it probably informs our opinions to a greater extent. And yes, no-one is right or wrong about these things!

 

Interesting to read your comments about the relatively unassertive foundation stops on the organ you play. Which organ is it? I made a brief recording of mine before it went and the thing that hit me the most was the relative hugeness of the foundation stops compared to the upperwork.

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The last I knew (and had temporarily forgotten) about. I am interested to learn of the others.

 

I know that Wm. Hill occasionally included separate tierce ranks at 1 3/5p and even 3 1/5p pitch. However, I presume that the Pedal Sesquialtera V at Great George Street did actually contain a tierce rank? At this time, it was not uncommon for a mixture labelled as Sesquialtera to consist solely of unison and quint ranks.

 

There was also Christ Church, Newgate Street (London), which Gauntlett had rebuilt by Hill, in which the Pedal Organ consisted of the following synoptic stop-list: 16. 16. 16. 8. 5 1/3. 4. V. V. 16. 8. I do not have a table of the intervals of the Pedal mixtures, but on paper, this looks to be incredibly impressive for the 1840s. However, the compass of this latter Pedal Organ was disappointingly short, being one octave only, for the most part. This is rather strange, since the compass of the pedal-board is given as thirty-two notes.

 

 

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

 

Now this is where history and circumstance work against me, because I really haven't come into contact with all that many Hill organs in original condition; the exception being Gt.George Street, Liverpool when I was all of 14 years-of-age, but still recall as a rather dark sound, but an impressive one. That "darkness" of tone possibly resulted from the use of the tierce mixtures.

 

However, flawed memory and conjecture apart, I am struggling to actually recall the exact details of what Hill, under the influence of Dr.Gauntlett, used to do, but I probably have it on disc somewhere (I am no librarian!)

 

Even the splendid Eastbrook Hall organ, Bradford, had been re-built twice by the time I got to know it, and in the process, had lost much of the independence in the Pedal organ, which once included a V rks Sesquialtera.

 

However, I seem to recall that the usual thing was for a Great (manual) "Sesquialtera" to drop the Tierce component at some point in the compass.....possibly at middle C (?)

 

I also seem to recall that those organs which had a CC - f (or g?) compass on the pedals, often had pull downs to the Great, with only an octave or so of independent pedal ranks. At the time, the GG compass was the normal one, and some may quote the Ward organ at Doncaster PC, which Hill was converting to CC compass when it was destroyed by fire.

 

Knowing that the tierce was usually to be found at the bottom end of the compass of the manuals, when a Sesquialtera was specified, I would suggest that the tierce component would be there on the pedals also; either within the Sesquialtera or possibly as a sepeartely drawn rank.....maybe even as a 3.1/5 rank. This would be especially true of those organs with only one independent octave of pipes, which used pull-downs for the remaining compass.

 

The problem is one of archeology, because so many of these instruments were radically altered in later years.

 

I suspect that Hill had no hard and fast "rules" as such. I think he responded to the various pedal-organ experiments and "Germinisations" admirably, but his usual style was probably a lot more conservative. Because many organists resisted the "German movement" and opposed the introduction of the C compass and the independent pedal-organ, Hill seems to have had a foot in both camps at the same time.

 

With regard to tierce mixtures generally, and knowing that they were often misnamed as Cornet or Sesquialtera (even when they weren't anything of the sort), a trip around the Pendle area of Eastern Lancashire is especially interesting. Here can be heard quite forceful tierce mixtures which hark back to an older tradition and perhaps the influence of Snetzler.

 

Whilst everyone has a chance to absorb this and come up with other examples, I'll have a dig in my files and see if I can find anything more specific.

 

Without William Hill, life would have been a lot easier......and poorer!

 

MM

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

 

Now this is where history and circumstance work against me, because I really haven't come into contact with all that many Hill organs in original condition....

 

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

 

No sooner had I wrote about Hill, than I recalled the work of Mander organs at St.Mary-at-Hill, London.

 

If people care to check out the organ in the Portfolio section of this site, they will see a VERY enlightened scheme indeed. Mixture 24,26,29 no less!

 

MM

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The last I knew (and had temporarily forgotten) about. I am interested to learn of the others.

 

I know that Wm. Hill occasionally included separate tierce ranks at 1 3/5p and even 3 1/5p pitch. However, I presume that the Pedal Sesquialtera V at Great George Street did actually contain a tierce rank? At this time, it was not uncommon for a mixture labelled as Sesquialtera to consist solely of unison and quint ranks.

 

There was also Christ Church, Newgate Street (London), which Gauntlett had rebuilt by Hill, in which the Pedal Organ consisted of the following synoptic stop-list: 16. 16. 16. 8. 5 1/3. 4. V. V. 16. 8. I do not have a table of the intervals of the Pedal mixtures, but on paper, this looks to be incredibly impressive for the 1840s. However, the compass of this latter Pedal Organ was disappointingly short, being one octave only, for the most part. This is rather strange, since the compass of the pedal-board is given as thirty-two notes.

 

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

 

 

I'm struggling a wee bit, but I've come up with a few interesting snippets which have relevance to the saga of Tierce Mixtures in Hill organs, and those of others, as well as those who called things by Tiercey sounding names which were nothing of the sort.

 

First of all the masquaraders.......

 

I recently mentioned (I think it was on the Corcelina thread) the great Brindley & Foster organ at Dewsbury Centenary Methodist Church, West Yorks, which was scrapped some time ago. This organ had stops labelled Cornet and Sesqiualtera, but ALL the Mixtures were Schulze-inspired quint ones without exception.

 

So there is proof of mis-labelling in the 1870's for a start.

 

Here is an interesting quote from Mark Quarmby in Australia, where a number of William Hill organs ended up:-

 

"Tierce Mixtures on the Great are very common on 19th century Hill organs.

Often the Tierce rank was only present in the bottom ocatve or so. Other

Great Mixtures had the Tierce rank running the whole way through. There

are four Great Mixtures on the Hill in the Sydney Town Hall and two of them

have tierce ranks. Down the road at Christ Church St Laurence the Hill

there has a Tierce in the bottom octave of the Great Mixture and then

becomes a Quint Mixture: perhaps it was for coupling to the pedal."

 

------------

 

The last phrase is of great interest, for it ties in with that to which I alluded earlier; namely, the importance of the manual bottom-octave in relation to the pedal-organ.

 

To understand this, I would quote the following, which appeared in a BIOS journal:-

 

"As early as l859 Hill was recommending (to J.W.Fraser of Manchester) The need for a Pedal compass C to f for playing Bach, whilst more conservative clients were still demanding GG manuals with an octave of pulldowns; the last GG organ was for St Mary Sheffield in 1855

 

For a brief period circa 1840 Hill proposed manuals from CC with pipes only from C, the bass keys playing twelve 16ft pipes of a two-octave Pedal keyboard.

 

It took till the mid-century for English organists to accept C manuals and C to f pedals (the "German Plan") in preference to a GG Great organ and a tenor c or tenor g Swell."

 

--------------------

 

Thus, there is real evidence to support two views. Firstly, where pedal organs were installed, perhaps many organists used the manuals only as was then traditional. That is certainly supported by the part of the above quote which states, "For a brief period circa 1840 Hill proposed manuals from CC with pipes only from C, the bass keys playing twelve 16ft pipes of a two-octave Pedal keyboard."

 

It also supports the possible conclusion that English organists would use the manual to pedal couplers most of the time, and the addition of the Tierce in the bass-octave or so, of the manual Sesqiultera, would really be a way of adding to the rich and individual quality of the pedal notes.

 

I presume that English organists of the period were highly adept at using divided compass stops and, it seems, a bottom-octave on the manuals which served a quite different purpose to that which we would recognise to-day.

 

It might also be argued that English organists, when faced with a pedal-board, would have regarded it is simply a bass-underpin rather than as a quite separate clavier on which tunes could be played.

 

I find myself being reminded of the organist/Rotal Astronomer William Herschel and his "Voluntary with the weights" which Nick Bennett will be glad to tell us all about, I feel sure.

 

("Pray tell me Sir William, how is Uranus this night?")

 

I digress.......

 

 

It ain't quite so simple, because on certain Hill organs, the tierce ranks ran right the way through the manual compass, and possibly the pedal one too, where specified. In fact, the evidence seems to suggest that the Tierce rank is MOST likely to be present on the pedal-organ, considering that it was often restricted to the bottom octave or so of the manuals.

 

In New Zealand, we find an organ by Hill as late as 1905 which contains tierce mixtures: St.Paul's, Christchurch, which has both Swell and Great 3 rks Mixtures of 17,19,22.

 

The organ-builder Bishop installed a new instrument in 1883, (later rebuilt in 1909 by Norman & Beard) which contained a 3 rks 17,19,22 Great Mixture and 12:17

2 rks on the Swell.

 

What conlusions we draw I am not quite sure, but certainly, Herny Willis inherited the tierce ranks and used them all the time. The organ tradition of a "terzchor" goes right back to Trost and the organs known by Bach. Tierce ranks are included at St.Laurens', Alkmaar as part of the chorus Mixtures, and also at St.Bavo, Haarlem. I think, if I can recall exactly, these colourful tierce Mixtures were an alternative to the quint mixtures, suggesting that there were at least two different chorus sounds available.

 

In the British tradition, the tierces really only ever departed the scene when the organ became more and more orchestral (though they were always retained by Willis) after about 1910, when Mixtures were frowned upon. Harrison & Harrison revived them with the infamous "Harmonics," but ever so discreetly and with great refinement.

 

The only other times were the immediate post-Schulze era, where people became infatuated with the powerful quint mixtures of Schulze, and when the "orgelbewebung" practioners told us that they were "verboten" in the true baroque chorus, which we now know to have been false.

 

I like tierce mixtures personally, especially those which incoporate the octave tierce at 4/5ths pitch....but each to his own.

 

MM

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Tierce Mixtures were the custom in the baroque area, and quint

Mixtures the exception.

They were essentially to be find in France, Italy and a part

of Spain (not Catalonya and Baleares islands: there you have

tierce Mixtures).

It may be entertaining to know that when french builders came

in Belgium, they founded little "schools" training natives; these

pupils started then to build french-style organs....But always with

the Sesquialtera added!

(1 1/3'-4/5', with one break to 2 2/3'-1 3/5', Principal scale)

 

The Terz-Verbot is a 100% neo-baroque idea.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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On the Tierce mixtures theme, an organist friend once commented on how strong the Tierce Mixtures at Beverley Minster were (on hearing the organ for the first time during a recital - and since its most recent rebuild when all Tierce ranks were removed from the Chorus mixtures). I pointed out that there were no Tierce mixtures left - the sounds were those created by the (predominantly) 18th Century Snetzler pipework, which produces a strong fifth harmonic and sounds as if a Tierce is drawn - and quite glorious it is!

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On the Tierce mixtures theme, an organist friend once commented on how strong the Tierce Mixtures at Beverley Minster were (on hearing the organ for the first time during a recital - and since its most recent rebuild when all Tierce ranks were removed from the Chorus mixtures).  I pointed out that there were no Tierce mixtures left - the sounds were those created by the (predominantly) 18th Century Snetzler pipework, which produces a strong fifth harmonic and sounds as if a Tierce is drawn - and quite glorious it is!

 

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

 

I'm not absolutely sure how the organ at Beverley unfolded over the centuries, but certainly, the Snetzler hostoric pedigree is still very much in evidence. It is also said that Thomas Hill carefully matched new pipework to the old, which lends this particular instrument a quality of tone found in few instruments.

 

However, if anyone cares to check the original specification, it become apparent (I think) that the "original" Snetzler sound would have included tierce ranks rather than pure quint mixtures.

 

At some point there was even a VII rks mixture on the Solo organ!

 

The trouble is, without specific knowledge, I cannot say whether the tierces which are there now (Pedal and Choir organs + a 4 rks Cornet to Great) are Snetzler, Thomas Hill or H.N & B. It's a while since I spoke to Dr.Alan Spedding about the last re-build, but I seem to recall that he was anxious not to change what was originally either Snetzler or Thomas Hill, so it may be that the H.N & B pipes were the ones to be removed or altered.

 

Anyway, it's a magnificent instrument which has a unique personality not found elsewhere.

 

And what a pretty building......easily the best if not the largest Minster in Yorkshire.

 

MM

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Tierce Mixtures were the custom in the baroque area, and quint

Mixtures the exception.

They were essentially to be find in France, Italy and a part

of Spain (not Catalonya and Baleares islands: there you have

tierce Mixtures). ...

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

 

This is indeed the case for France in the Baroque era!

 

(Upon reading your post more carefully, I have slightly edited my original post, since I think your post states that quint mixtures were essentially to be found in France - I hope that I have interpreted your meaning correctly!)

 

Whilst it is entirely possible that, in the Renaissance period, some mixtures may have contained tierce ranks (for example the French Blockwerk, in which the Cymbale# possibly anticipated the Dutch Terzzimbel), Peter Williams in The European Organ states that [by 1660] 'to some extent the composition of the Mixtures was standardized'.

 

As a result of this, Dom Bédos was able to prescribe certain rules, which included:

* No Mixture had a rank higher than 2p at c'''.

* The number of ranks depended on the size of the Montres.

* Breaks and duplications (of ranks) were systematised, viz.: the Fourniture broke once in an octave, whilst the Cymbale broke twice.

* There are no third-sounding ranks.

In addition, there were no Twelfths (i.e.: separate 2 2/3p quint stops), save for those which occurred naturally in the compound stops.

 

This results in a 16p division having a Fourniture of 15-19-22-26-29 at CC. A correlating Cymbale of three ranks commenced at 29-33-36. If the latter register were of four ranks, then it began with a 26th.

 

At this time, it also became standard practice to arrange the breaks of the Fourniture at f and f', thus leaving a middle range about c' free from change.

 

# It is possible that the Mixture (or the Cymbale) could have been separated from the Blockwerk, if desired by the performer.

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Yes Pcnd,

 

Quint Mixtures are a french thing.

There were Tierce Mixtures there (Sesquialteras) up to about Mersenne

(about 1650) after Langhedul.

Then the french organ became divided into two parts.

 

Dom Bedos is a representative of the late-baroque in France, not

"the whole thing"!

Pierre

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Dom Bedos is a representative of the late-baroque in France, not

"the whole thing"!

Pierre

 

At which point, we come to the interesting matter of when one would view the Renaissance period becoming the Baroque period - and when this became late Baroque. If we allow, for the sake of argument, that the Baroque period began roughly at the beginning of the seventeenth century, then Dom Bédos (1709-1779) surely qualifies as belonging to virtually the entire period.

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