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Making the pipes in sections would increase their strength and they would be far less likely to warp and split the longitudinal joints, which in today's constantly heated cathedrals is an important consideration. It is also likely that the cost of several shorter planks of wood is less than one long one and putting them through the planing machine would be a lot easier.

As the sound is generated by alternating compression and rarefaction of the air at both ends of an open pipe, a few minor changes in density or flexibility at any lateral glue bond would not make any difference to the sound produced. Any vibration of the body of the pipe is not moving anywhere near as much air as that going in and out of the mouth.

I suspect the reason there may be more 'composite' pipes recently is also linked to PVA glue being tougher than traditional hot glues which are not terribly strong in tension.

(When not 'doing organs' I'm a materials physicist)

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Responding to Rowland's question, pipes have to be made to withstand, without their walls flexing, the high vibrational pressures which occur at the pressure antinodes along the standing wave which is set up within the enclosed air column.  If there is even a tiny leak or if the pipe walls are not strong enough, especially at these points, the pipe might not speak at all as Damian mentioned, or it might do unexpected things.  (When stopped wooden pipes sometimes go off speech it is often because the tightly-fitting stopper at the top has started to open the joints, sometimes before this can be detected by eye.  Pipes simply will not work properly if there is any leakage).  This explains why the holes used in harmonic flutes only need to be minute to get the pipe to speak an octave higher because the pressure at these points is so high (the hole allows the pressure at the fundamental frequency to leak away, therefore the pipe cannot form an antinode at this frequency, therefore the lowest frequency sounded by the pipe is the second harmonic - the octave - rather than the first harmonic - the fundamental).  Pipes whose walls flex too much exhibit similar problems to those in which there are leaks in that the nodal pattern is degraded - this happened more often in the early days of organ building, when some centuries-old pipes with thin walls can be difficult to put back on speech.

I should imagine that the best organ builders will know all this, either from hard experience if not from physics, so if they construct their pipes from several sections, perhaps they arrange the joints so they are likely to result in minimum disturbance to the internal pattern of standing waves.  Having said that, the massive construction of a 32 foot pipe means that the odd joint or two here and there is probably unlikely to have much effect.   It's an interesting question all the same Rowland.

PS This is my take on the matter, also as a physicist(!), written before I saw Lausanne's above.  However it might be nice to get an organ builder's view.  John Mander contributed above; maybe he also has a view on this aspect as well?

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2 hours ago, Colin Pykett said:

I should imagine that the best organ builders will know all this, either from hard experience if not from physics, so if they construct their pipes from several sections, perhaps they arrange the joints so they are likely to result in minimum disturbance to the internal pattern of standing waves. 

Thank you both.  Colin has summarised in this sentence what caused my question : as a non-physicist having only a vague recollection of nodes and anti-nodes from physics lessons more than 60 years ago, and distant memories also of diagrams of standing waves patterns.

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11 hours ago, John Pike Mander said:

This was a repeat of what happened when the Town Hall was built. The Open Wood 32' pipes for that were delivered by canal barge. Those were the pipes which HW4 cut up with a chain saw for some inexplicable reason, leaving parts of the sawn up pipes in the organ.

NPOR states that in 1979 the bottom 8 pipes were removed 'to improve access'.

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I'm not sure if this a question many people would know the answer to but it's worth a try. So anyway some of you may have seen a video by the Youtuber Fraser Gartshore demonstrating both an French and English Romantic style organ, but one thing I can't get my head around is how the English organ contains so much in such a modest amount of space.

I suspect some of the stops are clearly extensions or borrowed as I can't imagine that each stop listed is an independent rank. But what I really can't get my head around is the three 32' stops. A 32' reed I think would be possible to fit into a tight space but a 32' Contra Bourdon even if it were an extension I just can't imagine would be possible to fit inside that organ unless it was located somewhere out side of the case.  

So my question is does anyone think that the 32' Contra Bourdon and Double Open Bass in this organ could be real or are either resultants or digital samples?    

 

 

 

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Interesting question. Here's the original case:

https://www.orgelbau-krawinkel.com/organ-projects/organ-relocation/organ-st-bartholomaeus-gackenbach.php

This is what it looks like after it was relocated from the UK to Germany and converted into a four manual instrument:

http://orgel-gackenbach.de/die_orgeln/

That case has clearly been put on steroids but doesn't look big enough for three 32 foot stops. But no mention of "cheating" on the disposition list:

https://www.orgelbau-krawinkel.com/organ-projects/organ-relocation/organ-st-bartholomaeus-gackenbach.php

The church also boasts a two manual Cavaille-Coll style instrument on its west balcony - lucky them!

 

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Besides the mystery surrounding the 32' and the use of extensions in the Nelson organ and St. Bartholomaus I still find the specification of this instrument pretty incredible for an organ of this size two have three open diapasons on the great and a trumpet on each manual.

One thing about the website for the organ builder Elmar Krawinkel is that there does appears to be different listing for the two organs at St. Bartholomaus under the German translation of the website, only this one is more up to date and does have a detailed description of the instruments.

Unfortunately there still isn't any mention of the 32' contra bourdon and double open bass and if any of the stops are extensions but it does state quite clearly that a 32' contra bombard was add to the Nelson organ 2011.

https://www.orgelbau-krawinkel.de/orgelprojekte/transfer/orgel-st-bartholomaeus-gackenbach.php

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The chuch has two instruments. A French CC-style instrument on the west gallery by Gockel. The greatly enlarged Nelson instrumnet is in the south transept. Both organs are playable from the Nelson console

 

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1 hour ago, Choir Man said:

The chuch has two instruments. A French CC-style instrument on the west gallery by Gockel. The greatly enlarged Nelson instrumnet is in the south transept. Both organs are playable from the Nelson console

 

And all very clearly explained in the video 'Wow! What an organ' posted by Niccolo above!

Well worth a watch!

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I think that's a very good question. The whole thing seems to be out of a different universe. The Krawinkel website talks as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Its not the only English Organ they seem to have doubled in size either. Is it all a massive joke? There seems to be no other mention anywhere. Mr Gartmore seems curiously obscure as well. 

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His name is Fraser Gartshore, and he has a website telling more: frasergartshore.com.  Among other things, this tells us that he hails from Scotland, but for 20 years has lived in Germany, and that cars are his other main interest.  I must say that I thought some of his driving in the opening shots of the video was a bit hair-raising!

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Actually, searching his name on Google brings up seven pages, but not all entries are about him.  At first, I wondered whether this was an April 1st thing - there was a splendid one last year, from Contrabombarde, if I remember correctly.  But the other websites rule that out.  From random dipping in the seven pages, his ‘core repertoire’ does seem rather unorthodox . . .

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16 hours ago, ptindall said:

Yes, I've read all that. But apart from that he has no Internet presence whatsoever, and I've never met anyone who has heard of him. Strange. 

found this, it was set up a few weeks ago, and his U Tube channel has been going for a year or so  https://pipesandposts.com/

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If one scrolls down nearly to the bottom, Fraser Gartshore didn’t recognise Norwich Cathedral, thinking it to be ‘a college’, but it’s clear that he and the website are largely orientated in Germany.  I was intrigued that the opening YouTube video was from Salisbury Cathedral, and the rather critical comment (in German) about the playing, then discovering that this was on a ‘Hauptwerk’ realisation of Salisbury.

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19 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

If one scrolls down nearly to the bottom, Fraser Gartshore didn’t recognise Norwich Cathedral, thinking it to be ‘a college’,

To be fair, I think he was making some sort of joke about the silly helter skelter - hence the inverted commas around college. I don’t think he seriously mistook the cathedral for one. Possibly makes more sense in German ....

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Fraser has become a staple in the German online organ community over the last one to two years. What I like about him is how he embraces the many facets of the German organ culture, as you can easily see from his many organ portraits. They cover a huge spectrum, including organ reform instruments, your basic seventies or eighties parish church German organ, organs built specially for contemporary music, the pseudo-French giant at Bonn-Beuel and now Gackenbach. I suspect you won't find many colleagues of German origin with such open enthusiasm and relaxed attitude to diverse concepts and repertoire.

About Gackenbach, it might be interesting to look here to see how the Nelson was originally installed there, i. e. in its original case and with only modest additions. I guess the original specification might have been along these lines: 8 8 8 8 4 2 — 8 8 8 8 4 8 — 16. The foremost addition seems to be an unenclosed, floating Trumpet division (or unit?) 16 8 4, extended to 32 for the pedal. The Pedal flues might well be extensions of the one Bourdon: plus 12 pipes for the Bass flute, plus 12 wired Quint combinations for the 32-foot. About the “Contra Trumpet” extension, I am a bit out of my wits—perhaps another wired Quint (which sometimes works really well), or they managed to really hide twelve half-length resonators somewhere.

As to the enlarged organ, on the builder’s page you can easily spot the new Solo box in the enlarged case, fenced in by the new 16-foot façade pipes. The Solo apparently adopted the Great Mixture and got its own Trumpet; the rationale being perhaps to complement the otherwise over-used floating Trumpet division (or unit). The new Killinger Tuba is hidden behind the enlarged case. On the builder’s page the second 32-foot is listed as “Harmonik Bass” (instead of “Double Open Bass” as it reads elsewhere), and I suspect this is the single Open Diapason 16, available in the Great as well as in the Pedal, with a wired Quint for the lowest 12. 

There is a very fine recording of the instrument available from Aeolus. It gives a vivid impression of the Tuba (for another one, see here). It really is huge, though at 300 mm still musical, and generous in character rather than brutal. It apparently forced the overall volume level of the recording down quite a bit!

All best wishes
Friedrich

P. S. About the Norwich puzzle, Fraser might have taken a glance at the stamp-sized picture and have mistaken it for King’s College Cambridge. Would have been only slightly less bad, admittedly.

P. P. S.
It was confirmed to me today from someone in the know: The Open Diapason 16’, Double Open Bass 32’ (and Open Diapason No. II) are the same rank, and the Trumpets 32 to 4 are one unit. The 32-foot octaves are organised as guessed above.

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Someone from the German Pfeifenorgelforum commented yesterday on how cute the ears looked on the bottom right pipe. Indeed. 
 

Best wishes,

Friedrich

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To confess there probably isn't that much of a mystery surrounding the specification of the Nelson organ at St. Bartholomaus as some of the stops such as some of the stops probably are extensions. And the 32' Contra Bourdon and Principle probably are resultants, and I guess the 32' Bombard could fit if it had half length resonators.

I feel like I kind of got a little obsessive over the design of this organ as the specification doesn't list any additional information about some of the stops.

Sometimes I wonder if I underestimate how much you can fit into an organ case.

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Hello Niccolo,

someone got back to me and helped clearing matters up a bit.

There are several extended ranks or units: Trumpet 32-16-8-4, Double Open Bass 32-Open Diapason 16-Open Diapason II 8, Bourdon 32-16-8. The first 12 of the 32-foot flues are actually wired Quint combinations. The Trumpet 16-8-4 unit went in when the organ was first installled in 2008 in its original case, the 32-foot octave was added with the later enlargement. The Tuba has its own short chest just between the case and the southern wall of the transept.

About what fits, or may fit, into a case, opinions differ quite a lot between organists and builders. The people to ask, I believe, are the builder's service-and-maintenance staff! There is a very readable piece by the late Stephen Bicknell about that, which I will try to dig from the Piporg-L archives. (In short, I guess he would have taken a glance at the oddly-shaped case and quickly left the site.) I tend to feel a bit uncomfortable when seeing a case and having to wonder where it all went.

All best wishes
Friedrich

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Thank you Sprondel

The bit about maintenance is good point as I have seen pictures of the odd house organ where on the out side it looks like an attractive instrument until you see pictures of the inside where the pipes are packed in as tight as the Xbox 360.

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