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What Would You Do?


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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Seated one day at an organ where I was only a stand-in, the vicar rather unexpectedly asked me to draw up a plan for a rebuild. He said that he thought the nature of the organ was the reason he couldn't attract an organist. He was (in this case) not the problem - rare I know, but please continue to suspend your disbelief!

 

By the way: if anyone out there knows the organ either before or since my interventions, please don't give the game away too soon!

 

Having listened to about twenty sermons in my life and sat through several thousand, redesigning stop-lists is a fairly regular pastime.... so this invitation caught me rather unawares, but a great challenge ... what would you do?

 

The job was: (stops names changed here and there to spare the innocent)

by a well-known Midlands organbuilder from the 1880s - by this time already radically rebuilt at least once and now boasting an effective electropneumatic action. Please note: No un-used space inside whatsoever - no room to add even one small rank without losing something else.

 

Great

Open Diapason 8 (huge)

Clarabella 8

Dulciana 8

Wald Flute 4

Principal 4

Piccolo 2

Trumpet 8 (TC - replacing, I assume an earlier TC Clarinet)

 

Swell

Libelich Bourdon 16 (also on Pedal)

Geigen Diapason 8 (bass outside the box!)

Gamba 8

Celeste 8 (TC)

Harmonic Flute 4

Oboe 8

 

Choir (unenclosed)

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Dulciana 8

Keraulophon 8

Suabe Flute 4

Clarinet (TC)

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32

Big Bourdon 16

Lieblich Bourdon 16

Bass Flute 8

 

usual couplers incl. Swell to Great octave and suboctave

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Seated one day at an organ where I was only a stand-in, the vicar rather unexpectedly asked me to draw up a plan for a rebuild. He said that he thought the nature of the organ was the reason he couldn't attract an organist.  He was (in this case) not the problem - rare I know, but please continue to suspend your disbelief!

 

By the way: if anyone out there knows the organ either before or since my interventions, please don't give the game away too soon!

 

Having listened to about twenty sermons in my life and sat through several thousand, redesigning stop-lists is a fairly regular pastime.... so this invitation caught me rather unawares, but a great challenge ... what would you do?

 

 

Almost impossible to say without 1) hearing the stops 2) seeing the pipes!

 

On the face of it, looks rather like a case for warmer Abbruch - warm demolition?

 

Incidentally, since we are being asked to play "self-appointed expert" here, and Paul reoprts elsewhere on HW4's disdain for such people, I must say that I repeatedly experience over here too that bad organ builders tend to be particularly vehement on this point. Especially when they are the offspring of better builders than they are.

 

Cheers

Barry

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Seated one day at an organ where I was only a stand-in, the vicar rather unexpectedly asked me to draw up a plan for a rebuild...

 

Having listened to about twenty sermons in my life and sat through several thousand, redesigning stop-lists is a fairly regular pastime...

I sat through a rather dull chapter meeting yesterday night and designed a really exctiting concert hall instrument, soundboard layout, front & all ... speaking of pastime.

... what would you do?

 

This scheme seems quite hopeless to me. It appears to be very idiomatic, which makes me shy away from any change.

 

There are of course some issues in the stoplist to address, e. g. the lack of a chorus mixture, and of a unison flute on the Swell. If I brought myself to suppress my bite inhibition, I would ask what the Keraulophon does for you, and, if you wouldn't come up with an answer within three seconds, suggest to get it out and put in a mild Nasard instead.

 

Next on my list would be the Wald Flute, one of three 4-foot flutes. Perhaps it could give way for a Twelfth, or even a two-rank Mixture 2 2/3' + 2' (that might start out as 2' + 1 1/3' and break at middle C -- but then, the "huge" Diapason might refuse to co-operate).

 

Another issue: the Swell unisons. I would hate to do anything to them, but there still is no 8-foot flute under expression. So I would ask if the Swell could live with the Gamba alone, and replace the Geigenprincipal by a Gemshorn, with a well-defined bass and a fluty treble.

 

Now: Is the "Acoustic Bass" a wired extension? If not, what is it doing in an organ with no double on the Great (and, originally, not even a single chorus reed)? A 16-foot Violone, maybe with the lowest five, eight or even twelve notes combined as 8' + 5 1/3' (here I go again), would give some mild definition to the Pedal that might come in useful as soon as there is a mixture on the Great. The space doesn't seem to be very big, after all.

 

And now there they sit, Wald Flute, Geigenprincipal, and Keraulophon, with the Acoustic Bass sulking in the background, eyeing me accusingly. "Baroque Tricks", they would mumble under their breath as if it was "Mein Kampf", "we heard about it but would never have thought it might happen to us."

 

So I would sigh guiltily and recommend to have that organ restored with no change at all, and raise some funds to get one of those charming box organs, or to have a II/15 classical organ someplace else in the church.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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"So I would sigh guiltily and recommend to have that organ restored with no change at all, and raise some funds to get one of those charming box organs, or to have a II/15 classical organ someplace else in the church."

 

(Quote)

 

Good idea, that I share.

If there is some money available, but no place left, why not

simply make the best of what obtains?

If we add anything, we must scrap something of the old material.

And maybe in some years there will be anew interested organists.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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I can see what the vicar meant. I don't know this organ, but does your comment that it now boasts an effective electro-pneumatic action imply that previously it had an ineffective one? It does all look very Hope-Jonesish to me (maybe the Principal is a later addition?)

 

Without hearing the organ in situ I really wouldn't know where to start. And the critical question is the current voicing. If, as it appears, it's an out-and-out Romantic instrument, it might not take too kindly to being reconstructed with a "vertical" specification (i.e. choruses).

 

If it really was a Hope-Jones, I'd probably advice restoring the original tonal scheme. Be that as it may, the vicar has decreed otherwise. If money wasn't an object I'd probably ditch the Choir Organ altogether in favour of an enlarged Swell, but for a minimalistic approach I might be thinking along these lines:

 

Scale down the Gt Open Diap.

Replace the Piccolo with a Fifteenth

Replace the Dulciana with a full-compass Trumpet (is this practical, though?)

Put a Ten C Twelfth in the present Trumpet's place.

Replace the Swell 4ft flute with a Gemshorn

Replace the Choir Dulciana with a Voix Celeste - or simply mistune the Dulciana.

 

All this wouldn't turn it into a mucial instrument, though...

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I can see what the vicar meant. I don't know this organ, but does your comment that it now boasts an effective electro-pneumatic action imply that previously it had an ineffective one? It does all look very Hope-Jonesish to me (maybe the Principal is a later addition?)

 

Without hearing the organ in situ I really wouldn't know where to start. And the critical question is the current voicing. If, as it appears, it's an out-and-out Romantic instrument, it might not take too kindly to being reconstructed with a "vertical" specification (i.e. choruses).

 

If it really was a Hope-Jones, I'd probably advice restoring the original tonal scheme. Be that as it may, the vicar has decreed otherwise. If money wasn't an object I'd probably ditch the Choir Organ altogether in favour of an enlarged Swell, but for a minimalistic approach I might be thinking along these lines:

 

Scale down the Gt Open Diap.

Replace the Piccolo with a Fifteenth

Replace the Dulciana with a full-compass Trumpet (is this practical, though?)

Put a Ten C Twelfth in the present Trumpet's place.

Replace the Swell 4ft flute with a Gemshorn

Replace the Choir Dulciana with a Voix Celeste - or simply mistune the Dulciana.

 

All this wouldn't turn it into a mucial instrument, though...

 

Hi

 

Before considering ANY changes, I would want to know the original builder & stop-list, and the history of the organ. Perhaps it should go back to its original form. Too many organs have been spoiled by well-meaning changes and attempts to be fashionable!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Personally I do not think one can come to any real judgement based solely on a stop list. I have played a number of instruments which had the most unpreposessing looking stoplists but turned out to be utter gems. 'Big Bourdon' does worry me a bit - it doesn't exactly put you in mind of a builder from the top drawer, but nevertheless I think the ears should have the final say. (Oh dear! :) )

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Personally I do not think one can come to any real judgement based solely on a stop list. I have played a number of instruments which had the most unpreposessing looking stoplists but turned out to be utter gems.  'Big Bourdon' does worry me a bit - it doesn't exactly put you in mind of a builder from the top drawer, but nevertheless I think the ears should have the final say. (Oh dear!  :D )

 

The builder was Nicholson - the rebuilder (quite possibly rebuilder no.2 so Tony's suggestion doesn't really wash) was Osmonds of Taunton. Big Bourdon is simply called Bourdon - I merely told you all what it actually does!

More suggestions please! - Just intrigued to know where some of you would start - Friedrich has made a serious start, anyway.

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I haven't a clue about the practicalities of rebuilding organs, but here goes:

 

Great

Open Diapason 8

Clarabella 8

Principal 4

Harmonic Flute 4

Wald Flute 2

Mixture (15.19.22)

 

Swell

Geigen Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedeckt 8

Gamba 8

Voix Céleste (TC) 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (22.26.29)

Bassoon 16

Trumpet 8

Oboe 8

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32

Bourdon 16

Bass Flute 8

Bassoon (sw.) 16

Oon (sw.) 8

Octave Oon (sw.) 4

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Great

Open Diapason 8 (huge)

Clarabella 8

Dulciana 8

Wald Flute 4

Principal 4

Piccolo 2

Trumpet 8 (TC - replacing, I assume an earlier TC Clarinet)

 

Swell

Libelich Bourdon  16 (also on Pedal)

Geigen Diapason 8 (bass outside the box!)

Gamba 8

Celeste 8 (TC)

Harmonic Flute 4

Oboe 8

 

Choir (unenclosed)

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Dulciana 8

Keraulophon 8

Suabe Flute 4

Clarinet (TC)

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32

Big Bourdon 16

Lieblich Bourdon 16

Bass Flute 8

 

usual couplers incl. Swell to Great octave and suboctave

 

Paul - this is an interesting proposition.

 

I note comments made by various contibutors and of course there is much sensible advice. Having said that, I am going to 'stick my head above the parapet' and suggest that there are probably a number of things that could be done to improve the instrument. Now, of course, when it comes down to it, a full survey of the instrument and (obviously) a knowledge of the acoustic properties of the building will be essential.

 

However, I am concerned about one or two points which have been mentioned. It is all very well saying that it should not be altered - just restored. The fact remains that they need an organist now - not at a possible future time when such instruments may again become fashionable. It is so easy to cry "hands off - just restore", particularly if one does not have to play it every week. I am also not convinced that it is not possible to judge which instruments are meretorious and which are not. In the case of a well-known builder with a history of building good-quality instruments, of course one would tread carefully - preserving as much as possible. However, I have played many organs which do not fall into that category and I would have little hesitation in recommending a rebuild with alterations. If it does not carry out the task which it is required to do - and it proves difficult or impossible to attract an organist due to the state of the instrument, I can see no point in retaining the status quo. I understand Pierre's point in a previous post regarding one's qualification to judge a particular instrument. Nevertheless, I think that there are sometimes clear-cut cases where a competent organist of some experience and with a knowledge of organ building and indigenous design would be qualified to make judgements about an instrument.

 

Sorry to be so long-winded. My purpose is neither to dictate or offend - only to be clear.

 

Anyway, my scheme:

 

I suggest, somewhat radically, that a reasonably-sized two-clavier organ would be likely to prove more useful than the present somewhat sketchy three-clavier instrument.

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Open Diapason (M; Haskelled bass) 16

Bourdon 16

Quint (Bourdon) 10 2/3

Principal (Ext.) 8

Flute (Ext.) 8

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Swell 4p to Pedal

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Open Diapason (New) 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Gamba 8

Principal 4

Harmonic Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Mixture (22-26-29) III

Swell 16p to Great

Swell to Great

Swell 4p to Great

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Open Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedeckt 8

Salicional 8

Vox Angelica (AA) 8

Gemshorn 4

Flageolet 2

Mixture (15-19-22)

Corno di Bassetto 16

Hautboy 8

Trumpet 8

Tremulant

Sub Octave

Unison Off

Octave

 

COMBINATIONS

 

Pedal and Great Pistons Coupled

Generals on Swell Foot Pistons

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Greetings,

 

Not knowing anything about the organ or how it sounds, my inclination would simply be to unit some of the Swell stops; play the Lieblich at 8' pitch pulling some notes out of the 4' to fill the top octave, and probably make the Gamba to play at 4' Pitch.

 

Bob's your uncle.

 

- Nathan

 

P.S. I'd enclose the other two divisions as well! :D

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Greetings,

 

    Not knowing anything about the organ or how it sounds, my inclination would simply be to unit some of the Swell stops; play the Lieblich at 8' pitch pulling some notes out of the 4' to fill the top octave, and probably make the Gamba to play at 4' Pitch.

 

    Bob's your uncle.

 

    - Nathan

 

    P.S.  I'd enclose the other two divisions as well!  :D

 

 

 

Thnaks for your suggestions, folks - but I should remind you - the action is fine but there's absolutely no room. You couldn 't get even an upperwork rank in the swell box without taking something else out.

 

This was the challenge, and one which prompted a bit of fairly radical thinking. The church boasts a good choir and an excellent acoustic for music.

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The builder was Nicholson - the rebuilder (quite possibly rebuilder no.2 so Tony's suggestion doesn't really wash) was Osmonds of Taunton. Big Bourdon is simply called Bourdon - I merely told you all what it actually does!

More suggestions please! - Just intrigued to know where some of you would start - Friedrich has made a serious start, anyway.

 

Hi

 

The question now becomes "how much of Nicholson's original remains?". Is there enough to use that as a basis for a rebuild, removing the later problem ranks and replacing with something more in keeping? It does rather sound as if a total reversion to 1880 Nicholson is not really practical.

 

The other option, of course, is to dispose of it and start again!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Certainly not an easy problem to solve, especially when we're so much in the dark. But here are a few thoughts -

 

In my view, the Choir is of new real value except for the Clarinet, the Suabe Flute, the soundboard and the space saved by removing the remaining stops. So I'd reduce the organ to two manuals, for a start.

 

The Great has got the basics, even though it's based on an Open Diapason that might, by the sound of it, be just a bit too big for any real chorus building. (Any thoughts on offsetting pipes and reducing the scale?) I'd move the Clarinet here, and have the Dulciana playing as a TC 16' rank. (As you'll see, I end up with a few TC ranks, especially in the Swell, but I think that's a price to be paid for getting something workable.) We could fit in a small mixture on the partly-vacated Choir soundboard.

 

The Swell is still a problem, 'cause we can still fit only six ranks. But with a couple of stops moved out, we can transfer the Trumpet, and add a Fifteenth to create at least a miniature full Swell effect. I suspect the Great Wald Flute, relocated to the Swell as a TC 8' stop, might combine well with the Harmonic Flute.

 

The Acoustic Bass seems a bit much on a scheme this small, so I'd put it out the door along with the Bourdon. I'd prefer a slightly lighter flue bass, using the old Swell Lieblich Bourdon. And we could add a 1/2 length Bassoon 16' for good definition. This means we'd be using the old Choir soundboard for a couple of Great Stops, and a couple of Pedal stops. I've heard of gerrybuilding this sort of thing where there's a direct electric action, although I don't know how it would go here.

 

So what I'd end up with is something like this -

 

Great

Contra-Dulciana, 16' (TC) (former Great 8')

Open Diapason, 8'

Clarabella, 8'

Gamba, 8' (former Swell 8')

Principal, 4'

Piccolo, 2'

Mixture, II 15:19 - 12:15 (new, after Friedrich's thought above)

Clarinet, 8' (TC) (former Choir)

 

Swell

Geigen Diapason, 8' (bass still unenclosed)

Wald Flute, 8' (TC) (former Great 4')

Harmonic Flute, 4'

Fifteenth, 2' (new)

Contra-Oboe, 16' (TC) (former Swell 8')

Trumpet, 8' (TC) (former Great 8')

 

Pedal

Lieblich Bourdon, 16' (former Swell 16')

Bass Flute, 8'

Suabe Flute, 4' (former Choir 4')

Bassoon, 16' (new)

 

Okay, it would probably be quite awful, but I'm no designer of small organs. Still, it's a bit of fun to go through the exercise.

 

Rgds,

MJF

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Umm, there's really far too little information here to give it any valid thought. Does the organ do the job it's supposed to? Is it mechanically in a good, sustainable state of repair? Is it an effective musical instrument? Without more history and background of its provenance it's really not possible to give any advice.

 

The swell organ strikes me as tiny for a 3 manual instrument, though.

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Thnaks for your suggestions, folks - but I should remind you - the action is fine but there's absolutely no room.  You couldn 't get even an upperwork rank in the swell box without taking something else out.

 

This was the challenge, and one which prompted a bit of fairly radical thinking. The church boasts a good choir and an excellent acoustic for music.

 

Point taken, Paul; but my scheme is actually one rank smaller, insofar as the GO and Swell are concerned. By amalgamating the Choir with the Swell, I think that it would make the instrument more flexible. Whilst the box would have to be enlarged, with the removal of the Choir soundboard (but possibly re-utilised in the Swell), there may well be room to re-dispose the interior layout and fit most of my scheme in! I realise that I am theorising, since I have probably never seen this church or organ!

 

I understand that it is possible that the Pedal Open Diapason would not fit in - but with the re-ordering of the interior layout, it might be possible to squeeze it in somewhere.

 

As a matter of interest, are funds also limited?

 

If so, I suggest the following:

 

PEDAL ORGAN

 

Bourdon 16

Quint (Bourdon) 10 2/3

Flute (Ext.) 8

Flute (Ext.) 4

Choir to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Swell 4p to Pedal

 

CHOIR ORGAN

(Unenclosed)

 

Lieblich Gedeckt 8

Keraulophon 8

Vox Angelica (TC) 8

Suabe Flute 4

Bass Clarinet 16

Tremulant

Sub Octave

Octave

Swell to Choir

 

GREAT ORGAN

 

Open Diapason (New) 8

Rohr Flute 8

Principal 4

Wald Flute 4

Fifteenth 2

Quartane (19-22) II

Trumpet (CC) 8

Choir to Great

Swell 16p to Great

Swell to Great

Swell 4p to Great

 

SWELL ORGAN

 

Gamba 8

Stopped Diapason 8

Gemshorn 4

Harmonic Flute 4

Flageolet 2

Hautboy 8

Tremulant

Sub Octave

Unison Off

Octave

 

COMBINATIONS

 

Pedal and Great Pistons Coupled

Generals on Swell Foot Pistons

 

Due to its nature, the design may well have to be a little unconventional - like the unenclosed undulant - which I would prefer to not having one; also the 16p reed on the Choir.

 

Bell has gone - I am teaching. I will finish this one later.

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Having listened to about twenty sermons in my life and sat through several thousand, redesigning stop-lists is a fairly regular pastime.... so this invitation caught me rather unawares, but a great challenge ... what would you do?

 

The job was:  (stops names changed here and there to spare the innocent)

by a well-known Midlands organbuilder from the 1880s - by this time already radically rebuilt at least once and now boasting an effective electropneumatic action.  Please note: No un-used space inside whatsoever - no room to add even one small rank without losing something else.

 

Great

Open Diapason 8 (huge)

Clarabella 8

Dulciana 8

Wald Flute 4

Principal 4

Piccolo 2

Trumpet 8 (TC - replacing, I assume an earlier TC Clarinet)

 

Swell

Libelich Bourdon  16 (also on Pedal)

Geigen Diapason 8 (bass outside the box!)

Gamba 8

Celeste 8 (TC)

Harmonic Flute 4

Oboe 8

 

Choir (unenclosed)

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Dulciana 8

Keraulophon 8

Suabe Flute 4

Clarinet (TC)

 

Pedal

Acoustic Bass 32

Big Bourdon 16

Lieblich Bourdon 16

Bass Flute 8

 

usual couplers incl. Swell to Great octave and suboctave

 

 

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

 

My words, this IS a difficult one, but the fact that Paul establishes the fact that there is a huge Diapason AND a Clarabella, suggests to me that the organ is dominated by the Great. The date of 1880 is also suggestive of the typical terraced dynamics of the day, and I would lay odds on the Swell being softer than the Great and the Choir being quite a small sound, possibly buried somewhere inside the instrument.

 

Also, it is made more difficult by the fact that Paul doesn't tell us what sort of windchests and layout the instrument has, but I will assume slider-chests for the manuals and a separate 16 & 8ft extension chest for the Pedal Bourdon., which would be fairly typical for the original date.

 

The use of a Swell Bourdon duplicated on the Pedal opens up an interesting possibility, of which, more shortly.

 

However, even without knowing or hearing this instrument, I just KNOW how dominant those 2 Great 8ft stops will be, and I think I would actually drop them in a skip unless they were important examples by Schulze, Hill or some other. I would then try to obtain a good English 2nd Diapason second-hand, plus a nice, early Stopped Diapason, which would be the foundation for the revamped instrument.

 

Paul suggests that the instrument has an effective EP action, which implies a decent console, and with economy in mind, I would retain the existing layout and action, which would not necessitate a new console or extensive (and expensive) re-working of the present one.

 

The Swell Organ is the biggest challenge, with just 6 slidespaces available, and the actual physical layout remains unknown. IF the lowest 30 or so notes of the Lieblich Bourdon are conducted off in some way, that would be very different to them being on an entirely separate chest or pair of chests. One must also assume that the Bourdon is physically at the back of the box, which has certain implications as regards access for tuning if the slider is to be used for something else. HOWEVER, with cavalier disregard for the possible problems and obstacles, this is what I would WANT to do:-

 

 

 

GREAT

 

Open Diapason 8 (2nd hand or re-scaled rank)

Stopped Diapason 8 (2nd hand or new rank)

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2 (new rank?)

Tierce (TC) 1.3/5 (Old ranks re-cast?)

Mixture (19:22) 2 rks (New)

 

Trumpet 8 (12 new bottom notes)

 

 

SWELL

 

Bordun 8 (from old 16ft.- new top pipes)

Gamba 8

Voix Celeste 8

Principal 4

Flageolet 2 (Possibly old Gt. 2ft?)

Bassoon 16 (12 new pipes, placed on old Bourdon rack?)

 

CHOIR

 

Lieblich Gedact 8

Saube Flute 4

Principal 2

Quint 1.1/3

Clarinet (TC) 8

 

Pedal

 

Bourdon 16

Geigen 8

Bass Flute 8

Flute Octave (ext?) 4 (new 12 top-note chest)

Bassoon (Sw) 16

 

 

The lack of a Swell Mixture is deliberate, dictated by three factors.

 

a) 16ft Bassoons do not usually sit happily with bright Mixtures.

:D Indpendence of manuals is guaranteed with the unenclosed Choir Organ

c) The "small full swell" effect can be obtained with the 4ft Principal and 16ft reed

alone, using couplers for the bigger effect.

 

The last thing an organ like this needs are bright Mixtures, since there would always be a "hole in the middle" effect with the sort of voicing associated with a typical organ of the period.

 

Essentially, this re-design retains as much as possible, offers two independent manuals, a colouring/expressive/accompaniment manual (Swell) and something approaching an independent pedal.

 

I could live with it.....just!

 

MM

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Thnaks for your suggestions, folks - but I should remind you - the action is fine but there's absolutely no room.  You couldn 't get even an upperwork rank in the swell box without taking something else out.

 

Greetings,

 

I believe my simple plan of deriving an 8' stopped rank from the Swell 16' wouldn't require moving a single pipe!

 

Best,

 

Nathan

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

 

My words, this IS a difficult one, but the fact that Paul establishes the fact that there is a huge Diapason AND a Clarabella, suggests to me that the organ is dominated by the Great. The date of 1880 is also suggestive of the typical terraced dynamics of the day, and I would lay odds on the Swell being softer than the Great and the Choir being quite a small sound, possibly buried somewhere inside the instrument.

 

Also, it is made more difficult by the fact that Paul doesn't tell us what sort of windchests and layout the instrument has, but I will assume slider-chests for the manuals and a separate 16 & 8ft extension chest for the Pedal Bourdon., which would be fairly typical for the original date.

 

The use of a Swell Bourdon duplicated on the Pedal opens up an interesting possibility, of which, more shortly.

 

However, even without knowing or hearing this instrument, I just KNOW how dominant those 2 Great 8ft stops will be, and I think I would actually drop them in a skip unless they were important examples by Schulze, Hill or some other.  I would then try to obtain a good English 2nd Diapason second-hand, plus a nice, early Stopped Diapason, which would be the foundation for the revamped instrument.

 

Paul suggests that the instrument has an effective EP action, which implies a decent console, and with economy in mind, I would retain the existing layout and action, which would not necessitate a new console or extensive (and expensive) re-working of the present one.

 

The Swell Organ is the biggest challenge, with just 6 slidespaces available, and the actual physical  layout remains unknown.  IF the lowest 30 or so notes of the Lieblich Bourdon are conducted off in some way, that would be very different to them being on an entirely separate chest or pair of chests. One must also assume that the Bourdon is physically at the back of the box, which has certain implications as regards access for tuning if the slider is to be used for something else. HOWEVER, with cavalier disregard for the possible problems and obstacles, this is what I would WANT to do:-

GREAT

 

Open Diapason                  8      (2nd hand or re-scaled rank)

Stopped Diapason              8      (2nd hand or new rank)

Principal                            4

Fifteenth                            2      (new rank?)

Tierce   (TC)                    1.3/5   (Old ranks re-cast?)

Mixture    (19:22)              2 rks  (New)

 

Trumpet                             8      (12 new bottom notes)

SWELL

 

Bordun                                 8   (from old 16ft.- new top pipes)

Gamba                                 8

Voix Celeste                         8

Principal                               4

Flageolet                              2   (Possibly old Gt. 2ft?)

Bassoon                              16    (12 new pipes, placed on old Bourdon rack?)

 

CHOIR

 

Lieblich Gedact                      8

Saube Flute                           4

Principal                                2

Quint                                   1.1/3

Clarinet (TC)                          8

 

Pedal

 

Bourdon                                16

Geigen                                   8

Bass Flute                               8

Flute Octave     (ext?)              4  (new 12 top-note chest)

Bassoon         (Sw)                 16

The lack of a Swell Mixture is deliberate, dictated by three factors.

 

a) 16ft Bassoons do not usually sit happily with bright Mixtures.

:D Indpendence of manuals is guaranteed with the unenclosed Choir Organ

c) The "small full swell" effect can be obtained with the 4ft Principal and 16ft reed

    alone, using couplers for the bigger effect.

 

The last thing an organ like this needs are bright Mixtures, since there would always be a "hole in the middle" effect with the sort of voicing associated with a typical organ of the period.

 

Essentially, this re-design retains as much as possible, offers two independent manuals, a colouring/expressive/accompaniment manual (Swell) and something approaching an independent pedal.

 

I could live with it.....just!

 

MM

 

I quite like this one, MM - with minor exceptions. I would not bother with a Tierce, personally - without a Nazard, 4p or 2p flutes, it will have limited use, other than making the GO chorus sound a bit reedy. There also may not be room for the Pedal Geigen.

 

Apart from that, I too could just about live with it - but probably only for a while.

 

Incidentally - I suppose that it is possible that the Swell Lieblich Bourdon is on the soundboard (but possibly with the lowest few pipes conveyed off) and with a separate under-action.

 

My only reservation about having the Oboe transformed as a Bassoon 16p is that I find it at least as useful to have the stop at 8p pitch - particularly when accompanying a choir - of which, apparently there is a good example here!

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I quite like this one, MM - with minor exceptions. I would not bother with a Tierce, personally - without a Nazard, 4p or 2p flutes, it will have limited use, other than making the GO chorus sound a bit reedy. There also may not be room for the Pedal Geigen.

 

Apart from that, I too could just about live with it - but probably only for a while.

 

Incidentally - I suppose that it is possible that the Swell Lieblich Bourdon is on the soundboard (but possibly with the lowest few pipes conveyed off) and with a separate under-action.

 

My only reservation about having the Oboe transformed as a Bassoon 16p is that I find it at least as useful to have the stop at 8p pitch - particularly when accompanying a choir - of which, apparently there is a good example here!

 

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

 

The Tierce would be very much a chorus Terz, with solo possibiltities certainly, but really acting as colourful binder for the whole in the house-style of Fr.Willis/Wm.Hill. The fact I have kept it as a separate rank, means that it doesn't have to be in the ensemble all the time. Oddly enough, by coupling the Swell through to Great, with the Tierce, it SHOULD produce quite a convincing full swell effect. That is WHY I include the Tierce, and indeed, would be bereft of hope without it. :D

 

No room for the pedal Geigen? :D

 

Pin it to a wall, cover it with thin drapes and make a feature of it! If Harrison & Harrison could do that at Manchester Cathedral with a 32ft Ophicleide, this is not a problem.

 

Think positive, I say! :D

 

MM

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

 

No room for the pedal Geigen?    :D

 

Pin it to a wall, cover it with thin drapes and make a feature of it!  If Harrison & Harrison could do that at Manchester Cathedral with a 32ft Ophicleide, this is not a problem.

 

Think positive, I say!    :D

 

MM

 

So - what exactly did they do with it there?!

:D

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

 

My words, this IS a difficult one, but the fact that Paul establishes the fact that there is a huge Diapason AND a Clarabella, suggests to me that the organ is dominated by the Great..(edited CH)..... I just KNOW how dominant those 2 Great 8ft stops will be, and I think I would actually drop them in a skip unless they were important examples by Schulze, Hill or some other.  I would then try to obtain a good English 2nd Diapason second-hand, plus a nice, early Stopped Diapason, which would be the foundation for the revamped instrument.

 

Paul suggests that the instrument has an effective EP action, which implies a decent console, and with economy in mind, I would retain the existing layout and action, which would not necessitate a new console or extensive (and expensive) re-working of the present one.

the diapasons would need revoicing for EP action - and if it's a proper early stopped diapason, a very bad thing to do - you could too easily rob it of all its character.

The Swell Organ is the biggest challenge, with just 6 slidespaces available, and the actual physical  layout remains unknown.  IF the lowest 30 or so notes of the Lieblich Bourdon are conducted off in some way, that would be very different to them being on an entirely separate chest or pair of chests. One must also assume that the Bourdon is physically at the back of the box, which has certain implications as regards access for tuning if the slider is to be used for something else. (edited CH)

 

 

GREAT

 

Open Diapason                  8      (2nd hand or re-scaled rank)

Stopped Diapason              8      (2nd hand or new rank)

Principal                            4

Fifteenth                            2      (new rank?)

Tierce  (TC)                    1.3/5  (Old ranks re-cast?)

Mixture    (19:22)              2 rks  (New)

 

Trumpet                            8      (12 new bottom notes)

SWELL

 

Bordun                                8  (from old 16ft.- new top pipes)

Gamba                                8

Voix Celeste                        8

Principal                              4

Flageolet                              2  (Possibly old Gt. 2ft?)

Bassoon                              16    (12 new pipes, placed on old Bourdon rack?)

 

CHOIR

 

Lieblich Gedact                      8

Saube Flute                          4

Principal                                2

Quint                                  1.1/3

Clarinet (TC)                          8

 

Pedal

 

Bourdon                                16

Geigen                                  8

Bass Flute                              8

Flute Octave    (ext?)              4  (new 12 top-note chest)

Bassoon        (Sw)                16

The lack of a Swell Mixture is deliberate, dictated by three factors.

 

a) 16ft Bassoons do not usually sit happily with bright Mixtures.

:D Indpendence of manuals is guaranteed with the unenclosed Choir Organ

c) The "small full swell" effect can be obtained with the 4ft Principal and 16ft reed

    alone, using couplers for the bigger effect.

 

The last thing an organ like this needs are bright Mixtures, since there would always be a "hole in the middle" effect with the sort of voicing associated with a typical organ of the period.

or periods.....
Essentially, this re-design retains as much as possible, offers two independent manuals, a colouring/expressive/accompaniment manual (Swell) and something approaching an independent pedal.

 

I could live with it.....just!

 

MM

I think this is a good scheme. I agree with PCND on his 2 points -

 

Great Tierce really should have a 2 2/3 first. I would have a 12th. I think what you're suggesting is just a bit too offbeat.

Have the Swell reed at 8' pitch. You can do the full swell thing with octave couplers off this easily - it would work well for that and it's so much more useful to have it fit in with the 8' swell foundations - you just don't have that option with 16' reeds unless you have a taste for thick mud...

 

You would have to put the Great mixture on the 4' flute slide - I don't know whether it would fit. You might also have a problem with a full compass 12th on the dulciana slide.

 

I would be less inclined to develop the choir organ too much vertically. I would probably change it to

 

Choir (unenclosed)

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Keraulophon 8

Suabe Flute 4

Piccolo 2 (on old Dulciana slide)

Clarinet 8 (TC)

 

So only one alteration. This gives - to me - a better balence between upperwork and more 8' options for romantic music and fits better with the bias of the instrument.

 

Just thinking about it, you might have space on the grid of the swell soundboard to put a mixture (starting at 2' pitch, probably) on in the place of the proposed 2'. Just an idea.

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the diapasons would need revoicing for EP action - and if it's a proper early stopped diapason, a very bad thing to do - you could too easily rob it of all its character.

or periods.....

I think this is a good scheme. I agree with PCND on his 2 points -

 

Great Tierce really should have a 2 2/3 first. I would have a 12th. I think what you're suggesting is just a bit too offbeat.

Have the Swell reed at 8' pitch. You can do the full swell thing with octave couplers off this easily - it would work well for that and it's so much more useful to have it fit in with the 8' swell foundations - you just don't have that option with 16' reeds unless you have a taste for thick mud...

 

You would have to put the Great mixture on the 4' flute slide - I don't know whether it would fit. You might also have a problem with a full compass 12th on the dulciana slide.

 

I would be less inclined to develop the choir organ too much vertically. I would probably change it to

 

Choir (unenclosed)

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Keraulophon 8

Suabe Flute 4

Piccolo 2 (on old Dulciana slide)

Clarinet 8 (TC)

 

 

I quite like your Choir Organ - just the one change (although I think that I would miss a Céleste).

 

I am puzzled about your comment regarding the Stopped Diapason on electro-pneumatic action. My own organ has an 18th century example, playing on a forty-year-old electro-pneumatic action and it sounds gorgeous!

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So - what exactly did they do with it there?!

:blink:

 

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

 

 

Although I regularly go to Manchester, it is YEARS since I last went in the lovely, small (almost square) cathedral there.

 

However, when the organ was the asbolutely vast H & H as designed by Norman Cocker (100+ speaking stops), the only place for the highly convulated 32ft Ophicleide, was in the Lady Chapel behind a curtain, behind the altar.

 

Amusingly, when I was about 14, I went to hear the great Melville Cook play a recital, and getting there extremely early, he was practising. He very kindly showed my friend and myself the console, and even allowed us to watch him playing through the Reger (I actually forget which one).....a big work. Towards the end, we sloped off and sat in the aisle next to the organ-console, like two little (but perfectly formed) gargoyles coming inside to get warm.

 

So there we were, sat side by side, enjoying the sound of that enormous instrument get louder and louder, just waiting for the pedal entry towards the end of the fugue.

 

Well, the pedal entry certainly came.......from just behind us....big style!

 

We both SCREAMED !! :huh:

 

It was about the only time I ever saw Melville Cook laugh, but what a stupendous organist he was.

 

In fact, when the 32ft reed was used, the curtain behind which it was hidden (about 20ft long) used to waft every so slowly backwards and forwards.

 

I hope it's still there to scare future generations of school-children.

 

MM

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