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A New Concert Hall Organ for the Gothenburg Symphony


biggestelk
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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!

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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!

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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

 

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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)

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  • 2 years later...

The channel for The Gothenburg International Organ Academy has just uploaded a tour of the new organ of the Gothenburg Concert Hall. The video unfortunately doesn't have any English subtitles but it's still an interesting to see the layout of the inside of the organ.

 

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Did I see the Great Organ, with horizontal trumpets, in a swell box?  

Also, the 32' stopped flute under the floor: is that intended to create vibrations underneath the audience?  (I don't speak Swedish, of course!)

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This organ has a general swell over the whole instrument, which I think is the reason why it looks like the great organ is enclosed. I'm kind of a bit confused by the pipes of the 32' Soubasse being under the floor as I thought the mentioned around 1:14 in the video that these pipes were placed above the organ.

 

The specification of this organ is quite substantial, as the instrument contains over a hundred stops along with an acoustic 64' stop.

 

SPECIFICATION OF THE NEW CONCERT HALL ORGAN GRAND ORGUE

GRAND ORGUE (Manual I)

Montre 16’

Bourdon 16’

Montre 8’

Flûte harmonique 8’

Bourdon 8’

Viole de gambe 8’

Grosse Quinte 51/3’

Prestant 4’

Flûte 4’

Grosse Tierce 31/5’

Quinte 22/3’

Doublette 2’

Cornet (från c1) V

Fourniture (2’) V

Cymbale (1’) IV

Bombarde 16’

Trompette 8’

Clairon 4’

Saxophone (*) 8’

 

POSITIF EXPRESSIF (Manual II)

Quintaton 16’

Principal 8’

Flûte 8’

Cor de nuit 8’

Salicional 8’

Unda maris (from c0) 8’

Prestant 4’

Flûte douce 4’

Nazard 22/3’

Doublette 2’

Tierce 13/5’

Larigot 11/3’

Septième 11/7’

Piccolo 1’

Neuvième 8/9’

Onzième 8/11’

Cornet (from f0) V

Plein Jeu (11/3’) IV

Basson 16’

Trompette 8’

Cromorne 8’

 

RÉCIT EXPRESSIF (Manual III)

Bourdon 16’

Diapason 8’

Flûte traversière 8’

Bourdon 8’

Viole de gambe 8’

Voix céleste (from c0) 8’

Octave 4’

Flûte octaviante 4’

Nazard harmonique 22/3’

Octavin 2’

Tierce harmonique 13/5’

Fourniture (2’) IV

Cymbale (1/2’) III

Bombarde 16’

Trompette harmonique 8’

Basson & Hautbois 8’

Voix humaine 8’

Clairon harmonique 4’

 

ORCHESTRE EXPRESSIF (Manual IV)

Violonbasse 16’

Corno dolce 16’

Violon 8’

Flûte d’orchestre 8’

Bourdon doux 8’

Quintaton 8’

Éolienne 8’

Voix angélique (from c0) 8’

Viole 4’

Flûte d’echo 4’

Piccolo 2’

Harmonia aetheria (22/3’) III

Clarinette (*) 8’

Physharmonica (**) 16’

Physharmonica (**) 8’

 

SOLO EXPRESSIF (‘floating’)

Cor d’harmonie 8’

Violoncelle 8’

Violoncelle céleste (from c0) 8’

Cor anglais 8’

Tuba magna 16’

Tuba mirabilis 8’

Tuba clairon 4’

 

BOMBARDE (‘floating’)

Cor d’harmonie (SOLO) 8’

Tuba magna (SOLO) 16’

Tuba mirabilis (SOLO) 8’

Tuba clairon (SOLO) 4’

Trompette Royale (***) 8’

 

PÉDALE EXPRESSIF

Basse acoustique (****) 32’

Violonbasse (ORCH.) 16’

Corno dolce (ORCH.) 16’

Violoncelle 8 (SOLO) 8’

Violon (ORCH.) 8’

Corno dolce (****) 8’

Physharmonica (ORCH.) 16’

Tuba magna (SOLO) 16’

Tuba mirabilis (SOLO) 8’

Tuba clairon (SOLO) 4’

 

PÉDALE

Basse acoustique [211/3’] 64’

Soubasse 32’

Flûte 16’

Montre (GRAND ORGUE) 16’

Soubasse 16’

Grosse Quinte 102/3’

Flûte 8’

Principal 8’

Grande Tierce 62/5’

Quinte 51/3’

Grande Septième 44/7’

Flûte 4’

Bombarde 32’

Bombarde 16’

Basson 16’

Trompette 8’

Clairon 4’

(*) free reed

(**) free reed with separate swell device

(***) on high pressure

(****) from Corno dolce 16’ (ORCHESTRE)

 

COMPASS

Manuals: C–c4

Pedal: C g1

TWO CONSOLES

Mechanical action console, built-in (movable in up- and downwards direction) Remote, mobile console (electric, proportional key and stop action)

112 stops, incl. 15 transmissions

COUPLERS

Normal couplers, sub- and super-octave couplers; 12 free adjustable couplers

COMBINATION SYSTEMS, ETC

Rieger’s combination system (4 adjustable crescendi; sostenuto; etc.) Additional Swell shutter system, movable panels in the back wall of the stage Rieger’s tuning system and replay system; MIDI

WIND SUPPLY SYSTEM Various pressures for various windchests/groups of stops Flexible wind system for the Grand Orgue (c:a 20–150 mm)

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