Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
biggestelk

A New Concert Hall Organ for the Gothenburg Symphony

Recommended Posts

The Kassel Instrument mentioned in the film is this:

http://www.rieger-orgelbau.com/details/project/Kassel/?lang=en

And the Paris Instrument here:

http://www.rieger-orgelbau.com/details/project/ParisPhil/?lang=en

No mention of the Gothenburg instrument on the Rieger website yet.

 

The Konzerthaus in Goteberg is a wonderful building and an absolute delight to play in. I played the Elgar Concerto in there in the late 1960's - a long time ago!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't it strange how, when all the fine words have been spoken, all concert halls end up with the same sort of huge shouty-frenchy instrument, more often than not built by the same two builders?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly, Klais seems to have built many organs and continues to do so today.

I'm not too sure about Rieger, but that's a distinct possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if the plans for the new concert hall near the barbican in London contain space for an organ? The drawings suggest some sort of grill behind the stage which may hide an organ chamber https://www.culturemile.london/centreformusic/ - scroll to picture of the concert hall and look in the top right corner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hardly a grill surely..but an Architectural indication of a free standing instrument with mechanical action console below ( electrical one hopefully in orchestral area)

With Organs Philharmonie in Paris and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg now realities by Rieger  and Klais and Gothenburg in pipeline,

Barbican architects have clear pointers to new concert hall instruments.

The Hall visual is stunning- lets hope the organ becomes the jewel in this new musical crown!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reading of it is that, at the moment, the whole project is only a vision!

"The City of London Corporation has agreed, in principle, to make this site available for the Centre for Music when the Museum of London fulfils its ambition to move to West Smithfield!

Given that the Centre of Music is a collaboration between the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where, at the moment, it is not possible to 'Major' in Organ as a first study, the Barbican, 

 and the LSO I speculate that it is unlikely that the provision of an organ has ever been considered!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting vision for a concert hall though I'm not sure I'd want to be sitting on the floor in the stalls section during a performance!

What's the point of having a mechanical action organ with second electric console on the stage? Why not save some money and design challenges and have the one electric action console? I've seen and played a number of large concert hall (and church) organs with dual consoles but in every case I've only ever experienced (as in, played myself or seen used in a performance) the electric action moveable console, which to my mind begs the question why go to all the trouble of having a mechanical action organ and console that you never actually use? Wouldn't a detached electric action console be a lot simpler to build, maintain and afford?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Contrabombarde said:

Interesting vision for a concert hall though I'm not sure I'd want to be sitting on the floor in the stalls section during a performance!

What's the point of having a mechanical action organ with second electric console on the stage? Why not save some money and design challenges and have the one electric action console? I've seen and played a number of large concert hall (and church) organs with dual consoles but in every case I've only ever experienced (as in, played myself or seen used in a performance) the electric action moveable console, which to my mind begs the question why go to all the trouble of having a mechanical action organ and console that you never actually use? Wouldn't a detached electric action console be a lot simpler to build, maintain and afford?

Good point.  I have in mind the organ in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, which fits the bill.  I, too, have only ever seen the electric console in use.

Some organists maintain that the use of a mechanical action console gives them the opportunity to 'feel' the pallets which, I suppose, must be true.  But how important is this, I wonder?

Obviously, mechanical actions are to be found in early historical instruments, but are they necessary or even desirable in modern instruments?  As I'm not an organist, I'm not in a position to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we talking about the Barbican here?  Try as I might, I can’t find the smallest hint of an organ in the graphics *, and there is certainly no mention of one in any of the narrative.  Both S_L and innate above doubt that the possibility of an organ had even been considered!  Nor can I find the elusive grille.  (Surely, in any event, in this day and age no one would conceal a concert pipe organ behind a grille?  Ralph Downes fought off that idea at the RFH as long ago as the 1950s.)  In one of the stills there are several objects towards the front of the stage, but clearly none is an organ console.

The need, or otherwise, for both a mechanical action console and an electric-action mobile one at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Christchurch Priory has been discussed on earlier threads and, like the Bridgewater Hall, the reality is that the mobile console is invariably used in recitals (and for services as well at Christchurch!).  I don’t have personal experience, but I have heard that the mechanical action console at Birmingham is sometimes used with large-scale orchestral and choral works, but, significantly, not in the solo organ repertoire!

As S_L points out, the hall is only a ‘vision’ at this stage.  If it comes to pass it will be a very exciting and welcome addition to London’s arts and concerts venues, but at present there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that an organ is contemplated.

*  Postscript:  phillipmgwright’s post above made me look again closely at what he calls “an architectural indication of a free standing instrument with mechanical action console below”, and I have to concede that his interpretation is feasible.  What I had previously dismissed as being the console, being far too small (compared with the adjacent seating), might turn out to be the organ bench, albeit a very unusual one.  Also, the very close proximity of audience members on the same level would, surely, be unusual (and probably undesirable for the organist).  But one must accept that all this is putting ‘an artist’s impression’ under the microscope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Contrabombarde said:

What's the point of having a mechanical action organ with second electric console on the stage? Why not save some money and design challenges and have the one electric action console? I've seen and played a number of large concert hall (and church) organs with dual consoles but in every case I've only ever experienced (as in, played myself or seen used in a performance) the electric action moveable console, which to my mind begs the question why go to all the trouble of having a mechanical action organ and console that you never actually use? Wouldn't a detached electric action console be a lot simpler to build, maintain and afford?

One reason is said by some to be related to prising funding out of certain sources.  Some of them will apparently only provide it for a mechanical action instrument, even if there is also an electric console which in practice is the only one which is used.  There are allegedly several instances of recent (i.e. within the last 20 years or so) organs in the UK where this has happened.  At least one of them apparently has timers showing the amount of time that the respective console has been used - and the figures are said to say it all!  In this case the electric console is moveable within the body of the building and, to all intents and purposes, it is the only one which is used.  The mechanical one is in a ludicrous position in that the organist can't see anything, can't be seen, nor judge the effect of the instrument, the console is covered in dust, yet without it a major source of funding would (allegedly) not have been available.

CEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, AJJ said:

As an aside on the subject of ‘secular’ tracker organs does anyone know if this instrument is used much these days? 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00527

A

Certainly there is nothing on http://www.organrecitals.com/1/diary_ven.php  and the Albert Hall website gives a list of musical events taking place in there in the near future. None of which seem to feature the organ.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies for this clumsy effort (first attempt at inserting a photograph).  This thread started in Gothenburg, moved to the Barbican and then to Bristol!  

Now back to the Barbican.  This is a blow-up of the ‘artist’s impression’ of the (possibly) “architectural indication of a free standing instrument with mechanical action console below”.   The object centre-picture is what might be the organ bench. One can just detect behind it a pair of doors which equally might be an en-fenêtre console.  

If any of this surmise has any substance, the organist has to reach the console via a tortuous route with audience members at unusually close quarters.  Of course that wouldn’t arise if a mobile console was used ‘downstairs’! 

472FDF25-4910-4A7A-BB24-36D8C1CF4A30.thumb.jpeg.e4cffb860585b3789b17be5e34a7b614.jpeg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

If any of this surmise has any substance, the organist has to reach the console via a tortuous route with audience members at unusually close quarters.  Of course that wouldn’t arise if a mobile console was used ‘downstairs’! 

I can think of quite a number of concert halls up and down the country where the organist, sitting at an attached console, is close, indeed very close, to members of the audience. The angle the picture image presents may very well have a entrance or exit to the right of the 'case' - it is just out of shot!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I assume that you now accept that this might indicate an intended pipe organ?  Initially I was just as sceptical as you and innate.  (I thought the ‘pipe display’ was just a fanciful decoration.)

I’m thinking hard about concert halls where audience members are close (or close enough to be a possible nuisance or distraction) to the organist.  Obviously choir members don’t count.  But no matter.  If this project comes to fruition it will be a great enhancement to the London musical and arts scene.  

Far too early, of course, to speculate about a possible builder and stop lists!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I don't accept that at all!

The artists impression of what the hall might be like is nothing more than an artists impression. At the moment the whole concept of the Centre for Music is not even a possibility. The City of London has only agreed, in principle, to make the site available should the Museum of London fulfil its ambition to move. It may, very well, never happen!

Far too early to speculate whether the whole project will come to fruition!!

As for halls where the player is close to the audience - try Huddersfield & Hull City Hall (when the audience uses the choir seating on the stage - which happens frequently), Symphony Hall Birmingham - the attached console!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I think we agree!  I did use the word ‘if’ this all comes to fruition.  

On my last visit to Symphony Hall Birmingham for an evening recital there were only about 300 in the audience, looking decidedly lost in that vast auditorium, but true to form, as discussed above, the mobile console on stage was used.  My visits to Hull CH and Huddersfield TH have only been for lunchtime recitals, so I have no experience of the full-house occasions.  As a southerner, I am very appreciative of the lunch-time recitals at all of these venues - to which I must add Leeds Town Hall and St George’s Hall, Liverpool.  Northerners are spoiled for choice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13/03/2019 at 13:21, AJJ said:

As an aside on the subject of ‘secular’ tracker organs does anyone know if this instrument is used much these days? 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00527

A

My late father  organised a recital there for a foreign organist friend, I recorded it. Was a nice sounding organ, to my ears, but the acoustics, YUK, And it just lost all the piston settings, I had to put them all back from a bit of note paper , for The Suite Gothique ( for a non organist it was nerve wracking)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...