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New College Oxford - An intriguing mixture


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I never managed to get into New College Chapel during my visits to Oxford around 20 years ago, so my only experience of hearing its organ has been through Peter Hurford's Bach set. Registrations aren't given, so I'm entirely unable to tell whether or not he uses a stop whose name and composition I've never seen before or since encountering the specification. It has vanished from the current stop list, but you can see it listed as number 47 here

Teint II - 1 1/7, 16/19

What on earth was it there to do?! How loud or soft would it have been? Does anyone here remember hearing it at all? The meaning of the French word would roughly approximate 'tint' or 'colour'. I've googled to try to find out more about it but there seems to be no mention anywhere... intriguing!

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5 hours ago, sbarber49 said:

The none and teint are described on the College website as "experimental" mutation stops.

It's not alone, of course, by any means.
I remember discussing this one from Cologne Cathedral on here a few years ago:
Aliquot  II-III
C     1'  8/11'
f0     8/9'  15/11'  13/13'
cs3   35/9'  15/11'  13/13'

I have no idea what it sounds like, but I'd love to hear it (in context of course) just to find out.

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The 1962 Nicholson in St Michael's, Newquay (subsequently destroyed by fire) had a None on the Choir. With 8,4,2,2 2/3, it made a delightful bell like sound. I remember using it for the opening right hand part in the Rutter Sans Day carol, for example. It added a bit of magic. 

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In the 70s, there was an Abbey Records LP played by Murray Sommerville at New College. I haven't got it any more, but the Teint may well have had an outing on this. One of the pieces for for organ and tape by Richard Stewart. In view of all the weird and wonderful sounds required in this piece, it would seem surprising if an experimental mutation were not employed, but would we know?! 

The noteworthy track on this record was a compelling performance of Reger's Hallelujah! Gott zu loben.

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I remember a None on Peter Collins's organ at Shellingford, Oxon, way back c.1968-9, but I can't remember any more about it other than that I wasn't entirely convinced.  NPOR tells me that it was subsequently replaced by (turned into?) a 1' Sifflöte.

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9 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

I remember a None on Peter Collins's organ at Shellingford, Oxon, way back c.1968-9, but I can't remember any more about it other than that I wasn't entirely convinced.  NPOR tells me that it was subsequently replaced by (turned into?) a 1' Sifflöte.

Were you on that trip too??
I certainly remember being there and hearing (all about) the organ - e.g. how the Lord of the Manor's son had allegedly donated it during his final year at Oxford.

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6 minutes ago, DHM said:

Were you on that trip too??
I certainly remember being there and hearing (all about) the organ - e.g. how the Lord of the Manor's son had allegedly donated it during his final year at Oxford.

You took me there yourself. It was just the two of us, so I think it must have been a second visit for you. I always wondered how you got to hear about it.

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Thanks everyone for the interesting replies! I've been in touch with Goetze and Gwynn who restored the instrument, and have had a reply from one of the staff as follows:

"Yes, I remember the Teint. It was on the Swell, but because it was never used, the 1ft on the Positiv was transferred to the Teint's position, and a much needed Sesquialtera II (copied from the GDB at York University) was introduced to the Positiv.

"The Teint was a high-pitched Aliquot mixture... I don't remember what the pitches 1.1/7 and 16/19 denoted, but they were high up in the harmonic series, and though soft the stop had a sound like tinkling glass! It was intended for music by avant-garde composers like Hugo Distler, though I doubt it was ever much used.....for the last forty years or so one of the ranks was sellotaped silent. I know of no other examples of the Teint in the UK, but builders such as Rieger in Austria probably were the originators."

They also advised me to approach Paul Hale as he was organ scholar there and has written a book about it, and I've just done so. Apparently he regretted the stop's demise!

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I've had a most kind and interesting reply from Paul Hale, as follows:

"The Teint was a gift by Maurice Forsyth-Grant, as was the None (Positiv, now on the Swell) and the 16ft Messing [brass] Regal on the Great (now replaced by G&G with an 8ft Vox Humana).  The pitches are the seventh and ninth harmonics (a flat Bb and a near-D) which can be heard in the harmonic series of a bright reed pipe (particularly the 7th, the ‘Bb’).  However, Maurice didn’t really intend it to be used liked that, but in some North European organ music of the 1950s and 1960s which occasionally calls for ‘aliquot’ stops such as this.  They were commonplace in new North European organs of that period by firms such as Schuke and Rieger  We used it but rarely, though in one section of the Nunc Dimittis of Leighton’s ‘Second Service’ it came into its own for RH ‘bells’ and the published edition of the work (which was registered with NC organ in mind - bonkers!) actually calls for ‘Swell mutations - bell-like’ at that point.

"A Septième rank is sometimes found on French organs and adds a little ‘pepper’ to combinations, so the ninth rank was stopped-off in the 1980s, as Edward recalls, leaving the seventh sounding.  A Sesquialtera 12.17 on the Positiv was long desired, so sadly two ranks had to go - the None and the 1ft.  They are now on the Swell, in place of the Teint, G&G having cleverly divided the Teint slider into two.  They are renamed ‘Sifflet 1ft’ and ‘Neuvième 8/9th ft’.  Ironic that the Septième rank has gone, as it is probably more useful than the Neuvième, though it’s remarkable how much the mutations from 22/3 upwards add to the Full Swell - which they need to as the reeds remain in their 1980s softened state, to my ear impoverishing the organ’s exciting tutti.

"Blackwells have a stock of my book (Positif Press).  It’s the result of many years of occasional research in the college archives and has some fascinating historical material and illustrations, as well as a detailed description of the GDB and what has happened to it since 1969."

Needless to say, I've bought a copy!

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