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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

This is another british peculiarity I find interesting, these trumpet-scaled stops (and full-lenght) but with bassoon reeds. Seemingly started with Willis and later Harrison & Harrison, these "Trombas" and the kind of Tuba I prefer (smooth, like in Westminster), these stops, while known by Cavaillé-Coll (who was Willis's friend after all) and german builders, where never built on the continent. There may exist some "Tuba mirabilis", but rather free-toned. French reeds are so pervasive that whenever one Trompette is drawn, the rest is at once superseded ; closed-tone reeds just "fills in" a diapason chorus so it may be an useful supplementary step in the crescendo (in an organ built on romantic lines). The smooth Tuba I find very interesting as a solo stop to be pitted against choruses, "demi grand-choeur" or full-Swell. But there are no two Tubas alike, I prefer the smooth ones, not overdone in power and enclosed in a Swell-box (contrarily to the common practice having it the only unenclosed stop of its department). Have such stops been tried in designs that provide "french" reeds too? Most important, are they bound to high pressures to the point they would be impossible to pair with mechanichal action?

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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After having reviewed some books and notes,

I feel I need to add some precisions:

 

By "Closed toned", I do not mean Hope-Jones's excesses.

Bonavia-Hunt classes the reeds in three categories:

-Closed tone (Originally H-J's "Tuba sonora", later H&H Tromba and Horn)

 

-"Normal" (Willis's chorus reeds and Tubas)

 

-"Free" Cavaillé-Coll's reeds

 

That we on the continent know only of the "Free" type, the "normal" type

english chorus reeds sounds "closed" to our ears.

Tough it seems ACC did appreciate Henry Willis's reeds, which does mean

something because he disliked so many ancient or other builder's ones, he never

built something of this kind himself.

When a belgian organist hears (in my hi-fi room for instance) an english reeds chorus for the first time, his/her first reaction may be summerized like this:

"He, what is that???"

So by "closed toned" I mean the Willis type too, that is, all english chorus reeds

since Willis that do not belong to the "free" type.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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  • 5 months later...

Whilst I expect that there was some appreciation of the work of 'Father' Willis by Aristide Cavaille-Coll, I cannot immediately think of a French organ by C-C which displays any Willis characteristics, particularly not in the reeds! Certainly, C-C did not appear to be influenced by Willis in the area of console design!

 

Incidentally, I recommend that you acquire a recording of the H&H at Ripon Cathedral - or better still, go and hear it live. It still has its Arthur Harrison Trombi on the G.O. (although previously, this organ had been rebuilt by T.C. Lewis) and an enclosed Tuba (available at 16- and 8-foot pitch on the Solo Organ. There is, in addition, a really BIG Tuba (8') unenclosed and an Orchestral Trumpet 8' also unenclosed, horizontal and on top of the Swell box, facing west. This stop is brighter than the Tuba and even louder. It can, in fact, be heard from the bus station (which is not next door to the cathedral...)

 

I confess that, whilst accompanying (?!) a visiting choir, I did use the tutti at the end of the Vaughan-Williams setting of 'Let all the world'. Apparently, there were cracks and creaks from the graveyard outside, as some of the occupants mistook the sound for the Last Trump...

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Thanks, Pcnd,

 

Of course what I find interesting with these reed stops isn't the power.

This we have enough -by far- in some romantic and neo-classic organs

in Belgium.

And no, no continental organ builder ever tried to introduce such kind

of tone, save some belgian builders like Anneessens.

But even this builder was content with "in between" stops like

the Tubasson (as it reads, somewhere wetween Tuba and Bassoon).

 

I think of something like this:

 

On Manual I:

 

Contra Tromba 16'

Tromba 8'

Octave Tromba 4'

Scharff (A mixture with Tierce)

 

On Manual II

 

French Basson 16' + Trompette and Clairon harmonique

Progression harmonique (with tierce rank)

 

On Manual III

 

Solo reeds only

 

On Manual IV

 

Solo reeds+ enclosed Tuba of the H&H kind (Tromba-like)

 

Pedal

 

Trombone 16' etc (Less fiercely voiced than a french Bombarde).

 

The aim is not to have cracks in the roof, but variety in tone.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Yes, an interesting point, M. Lauwers.

 

There is, as I mentioned before, that superb Pierre Schyven organ in Antwerp Cathedral - perhaps not quite as exciting as a C-C, but still wonderful! There is also that interesting organ in Sint-Salvatore, Bruges (Cathedral since 1834?). This case is excellent, oak almost black with age. It has some unusual stops. I would be interested to know what the Pommer 16p on the G.O. sounds like - it is listed with the reeds, but the only English examples I know are quiet flues, like Quintadenas. Sint-Niklaas, Diksmuide has the same thing. Is it a reed, or is it a flue?

 

Then there is the Cathedral of Sint-Maarten, in Ieper, which appears to be a romantic-style instrument. Are the reeds more broad in tone?

I would very much like to know!

 

Any help will be gratefully received!

 

Best wishes

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Well, Pcnd,

 

1)- Antwerp's Cathedral: Schyven was the manager of Merklin's workshop in Brussels. When Merklin went to France, he took over. So, like Merklin, Schyven belongs to the Walcker school not the ACC's. Of course french-speaking "upper class" people wanted french organs. So the Schyven organs speak a kind of pidgin french with strong german accents. Did you note the free reeds on the Positive division, including a "Voix angelique"? This was the german "Vox angelica" quite different from the Willis one (which is an Unda-Maris of the Salicional kind). So this organ is not as loud as an ACC, but more refined.

 

2)-Salvatoorkatedraal Brugge. In this somewhat (!) transformed case is a neo-classic Klais organ -of splendid value-. The Pommer is not a reed, but a Quintatön of somewhat larger scale than the normal type.

 

3)- Ypres/Ieper. Well, did'nt you note the link I gave on another thread to MP3s from this organ? This is one of my preffered organs in Belgium.

 

Annessens worked in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and even England. He was one of the very few continental builders to have assimilated something of the british organ. His reeds are mid-way between the english and the belgian ones (Belgian chorus reeds= heavier version of the french ones).

 

So I give this link again. It is a frame. First click above on "orgues", then on the right on: "Cathédrale St-Martin Ypres". You will get pictures, the disposition plus two very interesting MP3 with Elgar's music.

 

http://users.skynet.be/sky25034/fr/index.html

 

Best wishes,

Pierre.

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The Ghent Cathedral organ sounds superb on the website mentioned above - I tried the link and even managed to obtain a copy of the Verschraegen Toccata played there through the good nature of the organist, Edward De Geest - I'd never heard it before. Interestingly the 1889 Anneesens in Bridlington Priory here in the UK (extensively rebuilt since) is about to be brought back into sensible working order by Nicholsons with Paul Hale as consultant - one wonders what sort of Anglo-Belgian combination of sounds might be found there. I have never heard the instrument but believe that the 32' Tuba is colossal! Try the NPOR for the stoplist.

AJJ

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Ideally something like Ieper plus a Solo division...with somewhat multicultural orchestral voices. Something like in Clermont-Ferrand, whose "Positif" is more of a Solo than anything else:

 

http://associationrosj.free.fr/Francais/gr...ueframe_fra.htm

 

This organ is earlier than Ieper's (about 1904, while Ieper is 1931). It needs a restauration and a friend of mine is busy advocating an historic one: original disposition with the original tubular-pneumatic action -Ieper's action is still in excellent order since 1931-.

 

And here is Bridlington's organ:

 

http://www.bridlingtonpriory.co.uk/history/organ.shtml

 

Here too an historic restauration could be advocated. I never heard it, but it seems to have been "overweighted" with voices that should not fit such a characterful style.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Thank you, Pierre, for your information on the Antwerp and Ypres organs.

 

I confess that I cannot remember the free reeds - I was improvising the music for the 12h Mass (at no notice!) and so I just did not have time to get used to the whole instrument. But what I did notice is that it is a superb example of the organ builder's art.

 

I believe that Bridlington Priory organ is either in the middle of a rebuild, or has just been restored. It has, I believe, the largest-scaled 32' reed in the British Isles - 20 1/2" at CCCC. :P

 

The only other thing I know about Bridlington, is that a former organist, Raymond Sunderland, died shortly after playing for the Messe de Minuit, sometime in the mid-1970s.

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Thank you, Pierre, for your information on the Antwerp and Ypres organs.

 

I confess that I cannot remember the free reeds - I was improvising the music for the 12h Mass (at no notice!) and so I just did not have time to get used to the whole instrument. But what I did notice, is that it is a superb example of the organ builder's art.

 

....And you cannot imagine the fight that has been needed in order to avoid Schyven organs to be "corrected"! Antwerpen has been miraculously preserved, thanks to several generations of clever organists. It was the very last large organ Pierre Schyven built with tracker action. He then adopted Carl Weigle's tubular-pneumatic system. Halas, he never sorted the pneumatic action out as masterly as Jean-Emile Kerkhoff so we have today very little that remains.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Well, all I can say is that I am very glad that Antwerp Cathedral organ was saved from 'improvements'. The only thing I would change about it is the nasty strip-light hanging from the case, behind the console and perhaps make a nice wooden container for the untidy sound system by the side of the console. Everything else is wonderful. Oh, and perhaps a mini-bar for those long homilies.... :P

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Ask Rieger to install you a Rauschwerk and those sermons will just fly by!

 

The effect on any Offertoire improvisations may be just as entertaining.

 

Interesting idea indeed. One could imagine a floating division, named "Schreiendwerk-Sermon off", whose tone could reduce any Tuba to a whisper in comparison:

 

Quintadena 8' (very small scale, quint very dominant)

Still Gedackt 4'

Quint 2 2/3'

Superoktav 2' I

Superoktav 2' II

Superoktav 2' III

Terz 1 3/5' I

Terz 1 3/5' II

Terz 1 3/5' III (harmonic)

Quint 1 1/3' I

Quint 1 1/3' II

Quint 1 1/3' III

Sifflöte 1' I

Sifflöte 1' II

Sifflöte 1' III

Heulende Kornett 5 fach (based on 4' not 8')

Mixtur 12 fach (of course without any 5 1/3' resultant!)

Scharff 18 fach

Scharff magna 18 fach (horizontal,15 inches wind pressure)

Acuta 12 fach

Zymbel 6 fach I

Zymbel 6 fach II

Zymbel 6 fach III

Bärpfeife 8'

Klingend Regal 8' (horizontal)

Trichterregal 4'

Apfelregal 4' (horizontal)

Quint Trichterregal 2 2/3'

Zink 2' (horizontal, 15 inches wind pressure)

 

So weit, so gut; when realized, may I ask you to warn the population six days in advance before the inauguration there might happen something like a Tsunami? Thanks!

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I think James Goldrick was referring to the Rauschwerk at (I believe) Ratzeburger Dom. That is a stop which when pulled, opens a drinks cabinet below the key bench containing a stock if gin and whiskey.

 

John Pike Mander

 

:P:P:P This is of course even better!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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:unsure:  :D  :D This is of course even better!

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

 

There are a few others, too. I believe that George Sixsmith & Co. installed a Tibia Liquida on an organ in the north of England. When pulled, a small door opens above the stop jamb, to reveal crystal glasses and whiskey miniatures.

 

How about a Choir to Pub stop, too? Of course, it could be argued that some choirs only sound good if they have had a few drinks.... :P:P

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  • 4 weeks later...

At Lambourn, the organist/organbuilder/composer Anthony Scott installed, in the 60's, a stop called "Great to Pedal II" which connected two halves of a pipe, one end of which terminated under the console at the bass end, and the other of which was fed from a barrel of Wadworth 6X on top of the Swell. It didn't stay long.

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Guest Barry Oakley

There are a few others, too. I believe that George Sixsmith & Co. installed a Tibia Liquida on an organ in the north of England. When pulled, a small door opens above the stop jamb, to reveal crystal glasses and whiskey miniatures.

 

 

You are absolutely correct, George Sixsmith, the Mossley-based organ builder, installed a Tibia Liquida on the four-manual Hill organ he restored about 12-15 years ago at St Pauls, Newcastle-under-Lyme. It is the usual custom for the visiting recitalist, after he has finished his programme, to be commanded to draw this particular stop and take his pick. I can tell you this organ now attracts some very eminent recitalists!

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