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Does anyone know what the specification is for the proposed rebuild of the organ at Peterhouse?  Apparently both Flentrop and Klais are involved.  The mock-up seems to show two consoles in the case, one at the front and the other at the side.  How would that work from an engineering perspective?

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I'm not one for knocking, you can see the rationale behind this even though it's unusual. It's just as well that the description emphasises the importance of access for maintenance !

It wouldn't be the first time that an organ has two consoles for different purposes. Southampton's Guildhall Compton springs to mind. The original proposal for the Willis organ at the Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden had two consoles, the original mechanical en fenêtre, and then a larger electric console to play all of the original organ, plus a planned solo division and some other parts. By the way, that organ sounds superb in that building.

Recently a couple of organs here in the Netherlands have had an additional single manual console provided, one on electric action, one actually a mechanical console connected to the rest of its organ's mechanical action, both enabling the organist to accompany the choir from a selection of stops on the organ as a continuo instrument.

But if you can't afford, or have no space for, two separate organs, then of course the place to go to for inspiration is Japan. This is astonishing:

https://www.geigeki.jp/english/house/organ.html

And I recommend watching the video at the bottom of the page.

 

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Having mentioned it, it took time to find. Here's a link to a description of Bernhardt Edskes' reconstruction of the Schnitger organ in the Lutheran Church in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands. It describes in particular the continuo keyboard, set forward of the organ, by the gallery ballustrade, so the organist can accompany and direct the choir. It mentions that Bach himself had a similar arrangement in the Thomaskirche from 1730,  though that keyboard was on a gallery below the organ. Not much new, is there?

http://www.orgelnieuws.nl/gereconstrueerd-schnitger-orgel-lutherse-kerk-groningen-gebruik/

 

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I have just discovered that Klais restored the organ of Maria Himmelfahrt in Niederschönenfeld. This has two keyboards on opposite sides of the case playing at different pitches...

The organ is on a west gallery and which was originally divided and had a parish side and a nuns side. The keyboard on the parish side was used for congregational singing and was at a lower pitch. Whilst the keyboard round the back of the case was used for accompanying the nuns who sang form the gallery at higher pitch. To accommodate the challenges of playing different keys in non-equal temperament there were separate pipes for B flat and E flat to each manual, but the other pipes were shared.

https://klais.de/m.php?sid=491

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