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Pistons


John Robinson

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A Lotus 7, a beautiful and fine car.  :)

 

In the hands of a good driver I’ve no doubt a speedy and pleasant journey would be had but too much right foot on a wet roundabout, ouch.  :P

 

You don’t have to understand technology to embrace it.  You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) replace all things mechanical with modern technology.  But if it’s there, why not use it?  :D

I've been there in a Lotus 7 on a wet roundabout :P - thankfully not driving it - therre was someone I think could be The Stig driving it. However, I vividly remember driving in central Southampton in this thing with all four wheels locked and blue smoking and the car in front so close ... and also driving under a tunnel with the engine at 8,000 rpm and screaming like an F1 car... :D Wonderful contraption :)

 

...actually, I've probably got the hearing of an 80 year old from the experience....

 

I'm rather looking forward to the "Lotus 7", built by Rolls-Royce, arriving in the next 2-3 months. I'm just hopeful I'll be able to do the thing justice when it arrives.

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A Lotus 7, a beautiful and fine car.  :)

 

In the hands of a good driver I’ve no doubt a speedy and pleasant journey would be had but too much right foot on a wet roundabout, ouch.  :)

 

 

I drive one very regularly - a Caterham 7, at least, as Lotus haven't made them for years. Fantastic machine. I'm a little too wide for it, but there's nothing quite like it, especially at this time of year.

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I'm rather looking forward to the "Lotus 7", built by Rolls-Royce, arriving in the next 2-3 months. I'm just hopeful I'll be able to do the thing justice when it arrives.

 

If you come up to my part of North Hampshire, watch out for `Mummy', late as usual, going too fast to pick up her little darling from school in her `Safari' Range Rover.

 

Isn't amazing how easily (and interestingly) we are able deviate from the original subject - but then, a car does have pistons.

 

FF

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I drive one very regularly - a Caterham 7, at least, as Lotus haven't made them for years. Fantastic machine. I'm a little too wide for it, but there's nothing quite like it, especially at this time of year.

 

====================

 

It's only when you've been chauffered by a wealthy waste-paper merchant who also did serious Rallycross-driving, that you appreciate the music of a Ferrari.

 

I think this is possibly why they don't feel the need to have many fine organs in Italy.

 

There we are.....back to organs again!

 

:)

 

 

MM

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Just a thought: Do Italian organists toot their clergy if they dawdle during the services?

 

:) I never encountered this... My particular favourite Italian habit was the communion "queue". I saw many surprising things in the communion queue - people smoking, reading the paper, queue jumping, 4 lanes forming to get to one distributor, to name but a few. Quite outstanding.

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Tut tut! People really shouldn't bring their driving habits into church...  :D

 

Ah, so back to cars then?

 

Did anyone see 5th gear last night? One of the girls from Girls Aloud crashed her race prepared Ferrari into a parked MPV. I’m sure what she said afterwards was “Oh pistons”. Weak link I know, sorry. :P

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Ah, so back to cars then?

 

Did anyone see 5th gear last night?  One of the girls from Girls Aloud crashed her race prepared Ferrari into a parked MPV.  I’m sure what she said afterwards was “Oh pistons”. Weak link I know, sorry.  :P

 

==================

 

 

That's what happens when you ask a blond to play the pedals and cross her hands!

 

:D

 

MM

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Guest Andrew Butler
==================

That's what happens when you ask a blond to play the pedals and cross her hands!

 

:D

 

MM

 

Perhaps this belongs in the "Female Organists" topic? :P

 

I have heard said that there is an attractive blonde organ scholar at Chelmsford Cathedral............ :P

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==================

 

There was a time when you could just jump on an organ, draw stops and play something.

 

Nowadays, we have electronic everything and levels of memory which exceed all the know organ-repertoire ever written.

 

What is the point of this?

 

I was driving my friend's new sports-car the other week. It has everything a man, his partner and his dog could ever require......electric mirrors, automatic seat positioning, GPS navigation, gearbox mode switching, traction control, ABS, cruise-control.

 

It also cost about the same as a modest two-manual organ.

 

I drove a 100 miles, and it took 3 hours to get there....and why?

 

Simply because it took me an hour to work everything out, half-an-hour to find the radio station I wanted, and then the actual drive to my destination.

 

I don't want all this electronic stuff, because I don't understand it. If my life is made better by something I am happy to go along with it, but the motoring equivalent of the "simple" tracker-organ, would be arriving at the destination in an old Lotus 7, grinning from ear to ear with flies stuck in my teeth.

 

I would have done that journey in about an hour and a half I guess.

 

As Pierre points out, there is no progress!

 

MM

 

On the other hand, there are a number of famous instruments on which it is not possible effectively to play many pieces of standard repertoire without either a severely-compromised registration or hours of careful preparation with the aid of registrants. I think in particular of your own description of how Jos van der Kooy plays at Sint Bavo.

 

I am fairly certain that I could set a couple of channels of general and divisional pistons and stick a few fragmented Post-it® notes in the score quicker that you could register and rehearse, say the Final from Vierne's Sixième Symphony on the organ at Sint Bavo - and my instrument has all the required notes at the treble end of the compass....

 

However, I think that it would be undignified to enter into a p***ing contest, so I will merely state that there are, of course, advantages (and disadvantages) on both types of instrument - depending on the repertoire to be performed.

 

:D

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.......there are, of course, advantages (and disadvantages) on both types of instrument - depending on the repertoire to be performed.

 

:D

 

If pistons were available on the instruments the composers had to hand, would they have composed (registered) the pieces differently? :P

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On the other hand, there are a number of famous instruments on which it is not possible effectively to play many pieces of standard repertoire without either a severely-compromised registration or hours of careful preparation with the aid of registrants. I think in particular of your own description of how Jos van der Kooy plays at Sint Bavo.

 

 

However, I think that it would be undignified to enter into a p***ing contest, so I will merely state that there are, of course, advantages (and disadvantages) on both types of instrument - depending on the repertoire to be performed.

 

:D

 

 

================

 

I think I should have clarified what I actually meant.

 

It's the electronic sequencers and things which I find so pointless (and a tad lazy); not divisional pistons and generals. (I stated this in a previous post)

 

What I have found useful are switchable memories, where an organist can be left a free channel to set-up things as he/she sees fit, without disrupting the regular set-up........that's progress.

 

When faced with very large consoles, such as Hull City Hall and St.Bride's, Fleet Street (both of which I have "recited" upon), it can take a very long-time indeed to re-set things, and then re-set them back again afterwards.

 

As for Sint Bavo, that remains one of the artistic miracles of registration and the ultimate sleight-of-hand of a master illusionist.

 

I feel strangely drawn to catch a plane again.

 

MM

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Guest Andrew Butler
================

St.Bride's, Fleet Street MM

 

Showing my ignorance again; just looked at the spec of St Bride's on NPOR. What does the pedal "Grand Cornet 32, VIrks" sound like / do ? I know there are other similar pedal stops around, eg St George's cathedral, Southwark, Wakefield cathedral I think.......

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Not unless they also happened to have a pet llama.

 

:P ???????

 

Isn’t early organ music a product of its time or the registration aids available at that time? If Bach had modern instrument would his works reflect this or would they remain the same? :P

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Showing my ignorance again; just looked at the spec of St Bride's on NPOR. What does the pedal "Grand Cornet  32, VIrks" sound like / do ?  I know there are other similar pedal stops around, eg St George's cathedral, Southwark, Wakefield cathedral I think.......

 

====================

 

I'd have to check the details elsewhere, but essentially, the Grand Cornet 32ft is a type of derived (?) mixture which provides the harmonics generated by a 32ft reed. When used with a 16ft reed, the illusion of adding a 32ft reed is quite convincing; especially at St.Bride's, which is probably the best example ever made.

 

The one at Wakefield is very good too.

 

MM

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Guest Andrew Butler

Talking of "illusions" perhaps someone can answer another long-standing query of mine: in John Norman's "Organs Of Britain", the spec of St Lawrence Jewry, Coty of London, has a "Musette 8 (synthesized)". Can anyone enlighten me please?

 

Incidentally, I can remember as a boy in Bristol playing a 2 manual Daniel extension organ in Oakfield Rd Unitarian Church, that had on the swell among other thiongs a Salicional and a nazard. The resident organist showed me that combining the two gave a reasonable illusion of an Orchestral oboe.

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====================

 

I'd have to check the details elsewhere, but essentially, the Grand Cornet 32ft is a type of derived (?) mixture which provides the harmonics generated by a 32ft reed. When used with a 16ft reed, the illusion of adding a 32ft reed is quite convincing; especially at St.Bride's, which is probably the best example ever made.

 

The one at Wakefield is very good too.

 

MM

 

 

It is possible to "try this at home" (or at your local church). Draw a "full" combination on at every manual except one and draw full pedal. On the other manual draw a 16' or 8' flute (preferably one containing lots of fundamental and very little harmonic development). Play a chord of C major with the right hand and pedals on the loud combinations (feet on octave Cs for best effect) and then play Tenor E G, Bb and the D, E, F above those with the left hand on the flute (this assumes that the flute is 16' - if it's 8', everything goes down the octave). You should hear something akin to a soft 32' reed. Obviously the notes can be transposed into other keys as necessary and it is no substitute for a real 32'. But there are occasions when the technique can be used effectively. Curiously Compton put a V rank "Harmonics of 32' on the organ of Hull City Hall even though there already was (and still is) a fine 32' reed.

 

Other places with these devices are Derby Cathedral (called Contra Trombone); Wolverhampton Civic Hall and Downside, where the stop was called Baryphone! According to Laurence Elvin (in "Pipes and Actions") it consisted of a violone at 16' pitch, flutes at 8 , 4 and 5+2/3' and "Harmonics" of which no further details are given, but which almost certainly included flutes at 17 19 21b (from 32').

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Curiously Compton put a V rank "Harmonics of 32' on the organ of Hull City Hall even though there already was (and still is) a fine 32' reed. 

 

 

=====================

 

Correction, the 32ft "reed" at Hull City Hall, is nothing of the sort. It is a diaphonic rank, very heavy in tone and smooth.

 

In fact, those of us who know this organ well, also know that the 32ft Diaphone simply does not blend with the full-organ when the Pedal 16ft Tuba is drawn.

 

That 16ft Tuba has ENORMOUS power and rasp.....possibly un-rivalled anywhere in the UK. If the 32ft Diaphone is drawn at the same time, it sets up the most awful hetrodyne sound, like a mega-celeste.

 

The only recourse is to draw the 32ft Cornet (Harmonics?), which blends perfectly, and forget about the Diaphonic rank.

 

Still, not a bad organ though!

 

MM

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:P    ???????

 

Isn’t early organ music a product of its time or the registration aids available at that time?  If Bach had modern instrument would his works reflect this or would they remain the same?   :P

Possibly not, in the case of Bach. He seems to have transribed music as he wished for the instruments at his disposal - for example the fugue in D minor, BWV 539 started life as a fugue for solo violin. A different argument, but I often feel he writes the same for voices as he does for strings. Also, in works such as the art of fugue, it seems to be music for music's sake, completely devoid of being written for any medium - string quartet, organ, etc, although they work well in those mediums, despite technical difficulties performing them.

 

So perhaps Bach was influenced more by the music and musicians he heard and came into contact with.

 

And perhaps this was the case with the romantic organist/musicians, too.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
=====================

 

Correction, the 32ft "reed" at Hull City Hall, is nothing of the sort. It is a diaphonic rank, very heavy in tone and smooth.

 

 

Are you sure? I only ask because I have played this job, heard it many times and this is not the impression I have.

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Guest Andrew Butler

Sorry, this is TOTALLY irelevant to the topic, but can anyone tell me why I keep getting logged-out of the forum, even though i have "checked" the "remember me" box on the sign-in page, and have not touched any cookies :P

 

(Apart from the one I ate with my last cup of coffee? :P )

 

Off to the crem in a minute; various permutations today of only 3 hymns: Crimond, Abide with me and All things b & b!

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Are you sure?  I only ask because I have played this job, heard it many times and this is not the impression I have.

 

 

======================

 

Well, I "think" it was Peter Goodman who informed me so, but having trawled the "net" I can only find a few references to it, and most of them are mine! Not even Stephen Bicknell shot me down in flames, so I think I am probably on the right track.

 

However, searching under Compton, there are a couple of other references to the existence of such a rank at Hull City Hall, and to my ears, it certainly DOES sound diaphonic.

 

I think, that if Paul draws any of the stops marked "Bombarde" on manuals or pedals, he will discover that they all derive from the same rank, and they are very, very smooth-sounding throughout. So far as I am aware, at 16ft and 8ft, much of the pipe-range is diaphonic.

 

Then again, the original F & A certainly had a 32ft Bombarde, which would almost certainly be a reed, but considering how generally "average" were the reeds of F & A (Courcelle/Palmer?), I think Compton would have made a lot of tonal changes to them.

 

So, if not quite a mystery, we need Paul to go inside the organ at the City Hall and just check this out for us....enquiring minds and all that.

 

I "think" he will find that John Compton "Diaphonised" the reed (is that a new word?)

 

If it turns out to be, this would be the very last working 32ft Diaphone in a classical instrument in the UK, surely?

 

MM

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