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innate

Just a bit of fun with a pipe dream spec.

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I know many frown on this sort of thing but the board is hardly overwhelmed with posts at the moment so here goes:

An Organ for a Large Parish Church

GREAT (II)

Bourdon 16'

Open Diapason 8'

Stopped Diapason 8'

Gamba 8'

Principal 4'

Flute 4'

Fifteenth 2'

Mixture IV 1⅓' (19, 22, 26, 29)

Swell to Great

Choir to Great

Bombarde to Great

Cymbelstern

 

SWELL (III—enclosed)

Open Diapason 8'

Stopped Diapason 8'

Salicional 8'

Voix Celestes 8' (from AA)

Gemshorn 4'

Fifteenth 2'

Sesquialtera II 2⅔' (12, 17)

Bassoon 16'

Oboe 8'

Tremulant

 

CHOIR (I)

Chimney Flute 8'

Principal 4'

Flute 4'

Nazard 2⅔'

Gemshorn 2'

Tierce 1'

Sharp Mixture IV 1' (22, 26, 29, 33)

Cremona 8'

Tremulant

Swell to Choir

 

BOMBARDE (IV)

Flute 8'

Flute 4'

Cornet V 8' (from Ten F/mid C?)

Tremulant

Bombarde 16'

Trumpet 8'

Clarion 4'

 

PEDAL

Open Diapason 16'

Subbass 16'

Principal 8'

Mixture IV 4' (15, 17, 19, 22)

Trombone 16'

Swell to Pedal

Great to Pedal

Bombarde to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

 

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You’re not wrong, Jonathan! I love the enclosed Resonance division at St Michael’s; I’m in two minds about enclosing the Bombarde here. Obviously with the lack of a large chorus reed at 8' in the Swell it would be useful in the late romantic repertoire to have the Bombarde reeds under expression but there’s something exhilarating about unenclosed and untameable (?) fiery reeds. Maybe the flues in the Bombarde division could be enclosed and the reeds not; a little like at St John’s, Oxford.

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Great - Make 4’ Flute ‘harmonic’, add 12th 2 2/3.

Swell - Change 2’ to Flageolet, add 15.19.22 Mixture, add Cornopean 8, add Vox Humana 8’ add Clarion 4.

Choir - Add Dulciana 8’, add Larigot 1 1/3 and maybe even enclose.

Pedal - Add Violone 16’, add Flute 8’, take 4’ from Mixture and make independent 15th, add Contra Bassoon 32’.

Couplers - Add Bombarde to Swell

i don’t usually do these things......

A

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I don’t know whether any of this was consciously (or unconsciously) inspired by the organs of G Donald Harrison in the US.  He built instruments without Great reeds, sometimes large ones like the Tabernacle organ at Salt Lake City, relying on coupling the Bombarde to the Great.  That was reversed at Salt Lake City in the subsequent rebuild by Schoenstein, but I’m sure there are other GDH organs still in their original format. 

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It would have to be an unconscious reference to GDH! I do have a copy of a book about the American Classic Organ (or whatever it’s called) but reading it made very little impression on my thinking. The separating of the big reads from the Great is to allow Trumpet voluntaries and other music that needs the reeds to be separate. I didn’t say, but I would want this instrument to have mechanical key action and this design is a sort of mechanical Gt Reeds duplexed on Choir!

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37 minutes ago, AJJ said:

Great - Make 4’ Flute ‘harmonic’, add 12th 2 2/3.

I hadn’t thought that Harmonic Flutes would necessarily fit the “sound” of this slightly more “classical” (for want of a better word) instrument. But certainly worth considering.

Swell - Change 2’ to Flageolet, add 15.19.22 Mixture, add Cornopean 8, add Vox Humana 8’ add Clarion 4.

Hm. Lot of extra stops there. I was aiming for a slightly leaner feel. 2' flute would be useful. Probably because of the repertoire I generally play I never find myself saying “I wish this organ had a Vox Humana.”!

Choir - Add Dulciana 8’, add Larigot 1 1/3 and maybe even enclose.

I used to play an organ that had a Choir Dulciana amongst an otherwise “Baroque” stoplist. I hardly ever used it. Sometimes useful in Reger or Howells. Larigot would be nice but, again, an extra stop.

Pedal - Add Violone 16’, add Flute 8’, take 4’ from Mixture and make independent 15th, add Contra Bassoon 32’.

Making the 4' independent, or a half-draw, might work. The idea was that you could couple from any manual to the pedals if you needed 8' or 4' flutes. Two open 16's are quite extravagant these days, and there might not be space … Same reasoning for nit having a 32' reed.

Couplers - Add Bombarde to Swell

Yes. I didn’t want to overload the spec with couplers, although I see that some large all-mechanical instruments have many more couplers than used to be considered possible 40 or 50 years ago. This coupler might obviate the need for chorus reeds on the Swell. If more couplers were possible I’d be tempted by a Swell or Choir 8ve to Pedal.

i don’t usually do these things......

So I see …

A

 

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St Mary's Twickenham has a lovely mechanical action and a swell sub octave coupler which might mean you didn't need the bassoon.

 

I sometimes wonder about this 4' harmonic flute business. Doesn't it mean if you want that as a solo colour you have to play down the octave. It's a different timbre for the 8+4 combination, but I'm not sure I'd much to have a 4' harmonic over an open 4'. More open 8' flutes would be good though. I remember playing at St Michael's Highgate and being overwhelmed by 3 stopped flutes at 8' and no harmonic flutes at all! I had assumed your 8' flute on the bombarde would be harmonic.

 

I miss a mixture under expression. I don't miss a third pedal 16' flue.

 

I occasionally regret not going for a vox humana on the recit at Bedford Park. One was mooted, and after we added the Basson it was just about the only other possible addition, but at the time I couldn't see the point. Ah well, I've left that for my successor to do.

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There’s a Swell sub-octave to Great at the Swiss Church, Endell Street, which really beefs up the potential. Some have said that the Gt. 8' flute at St Michael’s Highgate, an organ I know quite well, although identified on the stop knob as Stopped, is in fact an open flute at least in the upper register.

Thanks for the inside info.

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This was my list of omissions from when I made the spec:

 

Omissions

Tuba/Chamade solo reed

Voix Humaine

2' flute

1⅓'

1'

Choir: 8' Dulciana or Open Diapason, Larigot

Great: 8' Open Flute, Twelfth, Cymbale

Swell: 16' flue, 4' flute, “standard” Mixture, chorus reed

Pedal: 32' Reed, 32' flue, 3rd 16' flue, Quint 10⅔', 8' flute, 4' flue, 8' or 4' reed

Octave couplers (mechanical)

eg Sw/Gt Suboctave; Sw/Gt Superoctave; Sw/Ped Superoctave; Ch/Ped Superoctave

Enclosed Choir

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6 hours ago, AJJ said:

Choir - Add Dulciana 8’, add Larigot 1 1/3 and maybe even enclose.

Just to add my four penn'orth, I do agree with the Larigot as I have always seen the Choir organ (in modern organs) as a 'colour' division to supplement the usual Great and Swell (and Solo, but in a different way).  I'd go further, though, and add a Septime 1 1/7' as well, and even a 1'!

I have to disagree with enclosing the Choir, though.

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From personal experience one has to take care with ‘all things to all people’ stoplists that what one actually needs to play actual repertoire does actually work. As an example I recently played a comprehensive two manual where everything ‘looked’ splendid but in fact nothing on the Great was quiet enough to accompany the Swell Oboe or 8’, 4’, 2 2/3 & 1 3/5 combination. The Swell Mixture was also too high to be used properly in choral accompaniment and also sounded decidedly weird coupled down to the Pedals in combination. Likewise deviously fiendishly put together stoplists can often often defeat their own purpose namely to play music or accompany liturgy...speaking as a frequent inventor of such in my misspent youth!

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