Jump to content
Mander Organs
Guest Andrew Butler

Unda Maris

Recommended Posts

So are we agreed that if we come across an Unda Maris in Britain we can reasonably expect it to be flute toned? If so, how do these stops compare with American Flûtes célestes? The latter I find a very useful colour, albeit not one I would want to use every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Echo Gamba
So are we agreed that if we come across an Unda Maris in Britain we can reasonably expect it to be flute toned? If so, how do these stops compare with American Flûtes célestes? The latter I find a very useful colour, albeit not one I would want to use every day.

 

So when would you use it? I can imagine using it at the end of the Vierne Berceuse; I usually reduce to an 8' flute at the end, adding the tremulant if suitable...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So are we agreed that if we come across an Unda Maris in Britain we can reasonably expect it to be flute toned? If so, how do these stops compare with American Flûtes célestes? The latter I find a very useful colour, albeit not one I would want to use every day.

 

Actually I am pretty certain that the majority of Unda Maris stops I have encountered have either been flat tuned Salicionals, Aeolinas, Dulcianas or Dolces! (it's just that the Liverpool Cathedral one is an example of a flute celeste). There is no rule - you get what you find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are welcome, Alsa, no problem, I do not fear any "rudeness",

the ideas and the facts are what count, not the Egos.

 

I am interested with the original design, mainly, because it was extremely

interesting, innovative. This organ should have been a milestone in the

History of the organ, like Görlitz or Saint Denis were.

That between the time of its construction and its erection, several years elapsed,

and that in the meantime, Mr Dupont, Durand or Smith, wanted changes to be made

because the "repertoire" changed, is for me Nebensache, quite unimportant

local stories; I am an historian, not a player involved in the competition between the players

in the context of a dedicated style/ School of playing.

 

And this organ is one of those which really should be returned to their original design,

like Alkmaar was during the last restoration, like *one certain Schulze organ in Britain*,

like *one certain somewhat to the west* should have been, among others.

 

Hence a certain stubborness on my behalf -no doubt-. But it is my job to be stubborn

at times !

 

Pierre

 

Do you really think that the specification changed because the repertoire changed at that time. I'm not so certain. I suspect that the specification was drawn up in the abstract and that when it came to building it practical issues came to the fore - principally about using the organ in the services, accompanying a choir and a large congregation in that vast space in the same service on the same instrument, and more than likely a huge amount of personal preference of the organist an organ builder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So are we agreed that if we come across an Unda Maris in Britain we can reasonably expect it to be flute toned? If so, how do these stops compare with American Flûtes célestes? The latter I find a very useful colour, albeit not one I would want to use every day.

 

Now if you want a really interesting example of a flute celeste then see this:

 

http://www.organstops.org/l/Ludwigtone.html

 

I have only encountered one example of this stop and it was very beautiful indeed.

 

I find a lot of the standard American (Skinner inspired) Flauto Dolce and Flute Celestes rather insipid and sickly in effect - reminscent of the organ music you'd hear in a funeral scene in an American TV series from the 1960s and 70s (and you'll hear this sound reproduced quite faithfully on many an Allen or Rodgers electronic instrument in this country).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually I am pretty certain that the majority of Unda Maris stops I have encountered have either been flat tuned Salicionals, Aeolinas, Dulcianas or Dolces! (it's just that the Liverpool Cathedral one is an example of a flute celeste). There is no rule - you get what you find.

Fair enough. As I think I said earlier in this thread, I have encountered hardly any here and cannot remember even those clearly.

 

So when would you use it? I can imagine using it at the end of the Vierne Berceuse; I usually reduce to an 8' flute at the end, adding the tremulant if suitable...

Flûtes Célestes are usable in much the same sort of contexts that you would use a Voix Céleste. I admit that, given the choice, my preference would nearly always be for the latter, but I have played at least one American organ where the former was the only céleste available. It seems to be a very common stop over there, so can be freely used in American repertoire if nothing else! The tone doesn't shimmer like Voix Célestes do; the beats are somewhat slower so the effect is more of an undulation. It is an altogether more lugubrious sound. I have used them in psalms occasionally and in improvisations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now if you want a really interesting example of a flute celeste then see this:

 

http://www.organstops.org/l/Ludwigtone.html

 

I have only encountered one example of this stop and it was very beautiful indeed.

The only Ludwigtone I have encountered was on an American gentleman's house organ, the ranks of which he had largely acquired from the Organ Clearing House. Perhaps it wasn't a good example, but I found its tone distinctly uneven. I think I read somewhere that they are quite difficult stops to voice in a stable manner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if anyone's mentioned Bath Abbey's Klais here, but there's an instrument on which the difference can be heard in a matter of moments - there's a Voix Celeste on the Swell and Unda Maris on the Solo.

 

Peter King describes the latter (with its neighbouring Salicional) as the "quieter set of strings" on the organ; it just melts into the woodwork when the box is closed! The Swell strings have a more luxurious sound. Both stops are quite easily affected by the other 8s in their departments, however: just pull out the Solo Stopped Diapason with the strings and they cease to be as effective. However, couple all strings to the Great Gamba and you can have a (sonic) Turkish bath that not even the Bath Spa can provide...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't know if anyone's mentioned Bath Abbey's Klais here, but there's an instrument on which the difference can be heard in a matter of moments - there's a Voix Celeste on the Swell and Unda Maris on the Solo.

 

Peter King describes the latter (with its neighbouring Salicional) as the "quieter set of strings" on the organ; it just melts into the woodwork when the box is closed! The Swell strings have a more luxurious sound. Both stops are quite easily affected by the other 8s in their departments, however: just pull out the Solo Stopped Diapason with the strings and they cease to be as effective. However, couple all strings to the Great Gamba and you can have a (sonic) Turkish bath that not even the Bath Spa can provide...

 

Similar effects can be found on the new Worcester organ - also at Southwell - if you like that sort of thing (I do!) all kinds of magic can be worked with massed 8's and celestes etc. They seem to be building nice ones again these days!

 

A ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
all kinds of magic can be worked with massed 8's and celestes etc.

There is a certain style of composition that positively cries out for massed 8's on all manuals coupled (though omitting the Gt Opens, except where extra body is needed). Thalben-Ball's "Edwardia" is a good example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a certain style of composition that positively cries out for massed 8's on all manuals coupled (though omitting the Gt Opens, except where extra body is needed). Thalben-Ball's "Edwardia" is a good example.

 

I have a recording (on JAV I think) of Thomas Murray working miracles at Yale with an arrangement of the Larghetto from the Elgar Serenade for Strings - all exquisit taste but complete submersion in all the strings he could find on that incredible organ. I have an easy but very effective arrangement (Animus publish it) and can get surprisingly good effects even at home. With multiple strings and quiet 8's even down the road at the local church one can do it proud. The test of a good transcription is surely if it works as a piece of bona fide organ music - this arrangement does.

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pardon my ignorance again! I have been playing for 40 + years but have only once actually played an organ withan Unda Maris. As I was about 8 at the time and I am now 50, I have forgotten what it sounded like.

 

I know the difference between a Voix Celeste and a Vox Angelica, but part from it being an undulating rank, I am in the dark. Can anyone enlighten me please?

 

Incidentally, the organ concerned was in Wilmslow United Reformed Church (then Congregational). The pipe organ has gone in recent years - don't suppose anyone remembers it? (3 manual with fine casework as i remember - Unda maris was on the Choir)

I remember playing the (now) defunct organ in Holy Trinity, Coventry way back in the 80's, and it had an Unda Maris on the Solo Organ, and that was a flute celeste - makes a change from some of the the more usual "stringent" celestes we hear by more modern builders these days

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...