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En Chamade


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I wish to commend one of my favourite big solo reeds: viz. the splendid Fanfare Trumpet at Brecon Cathedral. The story goes that David Gedge's son used to be in the choir at St.John's College Cambridge and for many years David had nursed an ambition to have a similar solo reed at Brecon. His patience was rewarded in 1996 when Percy Daniels rebuilt and slightly enlarged the instrument. Frankly, I think he got a better stop than the Cambridge one!  Very sensibly, it is wired in such a way that it cannot be coupled to the remainder of the organ. The present Dean also plays the organ and at his request a 4' extension has been provided, this is marked Dean's Clarion 4'.

Off at a tangent again:

 

Yes - a friend informed me that this is indeed an excellent stop.

 

What a shame it is not possible to add it to the rest of the instrument....

 

B)

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Regarding the chamades, I know exactly what you mean. I used to experience the same thing with the Solo reeds (Orchestral Trumpet and Clarion) at Windsor. They were not en chamade, but were (and are) brilliant stops and most certainly voiced to complement Full Organ - and the Clarion has French shallots too. Thus you can have a reasonably traditional English Full Organ with the Full Great plus Full Swell, or a quite French one by adding the Solo reeds. These two distinctly different full organ sounds come over brilliantly in John Porter's recording, recently re-released by Priory: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001XAR0...v=glance&n=5174.

 

As far as adding the Tuba to the ensemble is concerned, I refer you once again to our local four-decker Rushworth & Dreaper - you know the one I mean. Here the Full Great and Swell is a very "round" (i.e. "lugubrious") sound. The Great reeds are a 16, 8, 4 Tromba chorus and the Great Mixture is a Harmonics that, far from adding any vertical perspective to the chorus, is clearly designed to do no more than keep the fundamental tone alive. Adding the Tuba to the Full Organ is no big deal. It doesn't swamp anything because there's nothing to swamp except other reeds - it's just the next logical step up in volume.

 

(I'll be lynched by our locals for this - they think the organ is totally magnificentl.  B) )

 

Do not worry, VH - I will not tell JB that you said this....

 

Incidentally, I thought that Deane Organs (or someone else) had added a IV-rank Quint Mixture to the GO on a separate chest (or a clamp). Also, that the existing GO Mixture had been reduced to three ranks (17-19-22), with the flat twenty-first annulled - is this not correct?

 

B)

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The mystery continues.

 

A colleague has helped to tune and regulate this rank  (Tuba Mirabilus - York Minster)

 

 

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

 

He did WHAT?

 

Shame on him!

 

Half the fun of the York party-horn was playing the game,"Spot the notes that most resemble the Tubas of other instruments"

 

In the Cocker "Tuba Tune", it went something like:-

 

Hull City Hall (D), Southbank Wurlitzer (F#) Halifax PC (A) etc etc

 

Devoid of any musical use, it's the sort of rank of which Homer Simpson would have approved.

 

MM

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Regarding the chamades, I know exactly what you mean. I used to experience the same thing with the Solo reeds (Orchestral Trumpet and Clarion) at Windsor. They were not en chamade, but were (and are) brilliant stops and most certainly voiced to complement Full Organ - and the Clarion has French shallots too. Thus you can have a reasonably traditional English Full Organ with the Full Great plus Full Swell, or a quite French one by adding the Solo reeds.

 

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

 

One of my favourite instruments!

 

It is SUCH a clever design throughout, and so completely musical.

 

MM

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Well, personally I would dispute that! I was using ours earlier today (for the end of the Duruflé Choral Varié sur ... Veni Créator) and I just find them so exciting and full of life and energy.

 

I believe that it was Norman Sterrett who (rather fancifully) described the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral chamades as 'crackling like summer lightning'. There is some truth in this; these stops seem to have an energy, a vitality which I personally find lacking in stops of the tuba class.

 

Incidentally, the only distant chamades on 'romantic English-sounding organs' of which I can think are the examples at the west end of our national cathedral; these are however only three or four hundred feet away from the main instrument. I presume you also mean to include continental (or possibly even American) instruments which have an English-style sound - and some (nasty) chamades.

 

Insofar as repertoire for tuba stops is concerned - well, there are of course the Cocker and the Lang pieces and also a few pieces which call for occasional chords, or intermittent lines played on the tuba. However, as Ralph Downes said (in reference to Norman Cocker's piece) "... I don't think  we can take that sort of thing - a pastiche, after all - too seriously as organ music, by the side, say, of Liszt, Franck, Reger, Hindemith, Vierne, Messiaen, etc ?"*

 

He goes on to state: "I don't think any Tubas have surpassed the Willis types used at Salisbury or the Chancel Tubas at St. Paul's. These, even, are inclined to 'honk' in the tenor, but I suppose that is inevitable." †

* p. 105, Ralph Downes: Baroque Tricks. Positif Press, Oxford (1983).

 

† Ibidem.

 

Well, it's all a matter of taste in the end. And it's very unwise to make value judgements on the quality of art. Who was listening to/playing JSB in the years after his death, etc. etc.? Last night I heard Duke Bluebeard's Castle at the ROH, a masterpiece which only entered the Covent Garden repertory in 2002...

 

I'm a great admirer of Ralph Downes, but he was a man of his time, and we all react against a previous generation's views. There's a whole body of British romantic music which is being re-discovered by performers and audiences: Alcock, Whitlock, Lemare, Harwood, Willan, Bairstow, Harris, Howells etc. There are many more than 'a few pieces' here.

 

The English parish/cathedral instrument spends most of its time in accompaniment, like it or not. In the spirit of 'historically informed' performance, shouldn't we think about what sounds HH might have expected for his Coll Reg (for example)?

 

Downes was working in a different tradition (tho' the Oratory is still the place to go to hear glorious orchestral masses 'realized' on the organ!), and I seem to remember that he was extremely disapproving of Cochereau's modern chamades at NDdeP... His ideal were those on the masterpiece at Toulouse.

 

And I'm afraid I disagree about American instruments. Seems to me that the percussive chamades found overe there do actually blend with the American Classic sound very well.

 

Horses for courses.

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Last night I heard Duke Bluebeard's Castle at the ROH, a masterpiece which only entered the Covent Garden repertory in 2002

The recording of this from the 2004 Proms has the best climax at the fifth door of any recording (at least, out of the twelve I have), largely because of the power added by the RAH organ.

 

Paul

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Well, it's all a matter of taste in the end. And it's very unwise to make value judgements on the quality of art. Who was listening to/playing JSB in the years after his death, etc. etc.?

 

 

Boelly? 

 

Poles listening to Seger's transcribed Bach, played on short-octave pedals, where the baroque period lived on for a considerable period of time ?

 

 

There's a whole body of British romantic music which is being re-discovered by performers and audiences: Alcock, Whitlock, Lemare, Harwood, Willan, Bairstow, Harris, Howells etc. There are many more than 'a few pieces' here.

 

Alcock, Whitlock (delightful) and Lemare are all fairly lightweight.

 

Harris & Howells ramble on forever; though the "Flourish" (Harris) and the "Master Tallis" (Howells) have a certain something.

 

Harwood and Bairstow tend to leave me cold with their love of predominantly non-polyphonic chromaticism, which leaves the Willan masterpiece as the sole really worthwhile work in the UK repertoire I suppose.

 

Not many people seem to play Francis Jackson's works, which is a pity. The "Diversion for Mixtures" is, I think, almost unique in the organ repertoire.

 

The English parish/cathedral instrument spends most of its time in accompaniment, like it or not. In the spirit of 'historically informed' performance, shouldn't we think about what sounds HH might have expected for his Coll Reg (for example)?

 

There are lots of suitable organs still around.....Liverpool is perfect. Beyond that, I care not to think too much about HH

 

 

And I'm afraid I disagree about American instruments. Seems to me that the percussive chamades found overe there do actually blend with the American Classic sound very well.

 

We agree on something!

 

 

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Incidentally, I thought that Deane Organs (or someone else) had added a IV-rank Quint Mixture to the GO on a separate chest (or a clamp). Also, that the existing GO Mixture had been reduced to three ranks (17-19-22), with the flat twenty-first annulled - is this not correct?
I'm not sure of the previous history or composition of the compound stops, but the Great Mixture is now a two-rank 19.22, having been reduced from 3 ranks in 1988; I assume it was a 17th that was removed. Deane's did add a 4-rank Fourniture in 1993, but it's not very assertive (hence my momentary lapse in calling it a Harmonics - it's actually the Sw Mixture that's called that). There is nothing remotely resembling a baroque chorus on this machine; you can't even get close. It's an out and out orchestral instrument.
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Erm, wasn't Boely born in 1785...? Which means that he was playing Bach... from about fifty years after Bach's death?

 

And I think you've illustrated the subjectivity point pretty well if you think the Willan is the only piece of romantic British organ music worth playing... (and I didn't even mention Parry, Stanford or the Elgar Sonata). B)

 

I agree about Francis Jackson tho'. So that's two things. (Except that the Diversion isn't unique. How about the Langlais Dialogue sur les Mixtures?)

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Erm, wasn't Boely born in 1785...? Which means that he was playing Bach... from about fifty years after Bach's death?

 

And I think you've illustrated the subjectivity point pretty well if you think the Willan is the only piece of romantic British organ music worth playing... (and I didn't even mention Parry, Stanford or the Elgar Sonata).  B)

 

I agree about Francis Jackson tho'. So that's two things. (Except that the Diversion isn't unique. How about the Langlais Dialogue sur les Mixtures?)

 

This might be up your collective street, chamade fans -

 

http://www.orgelsindrenthe.nl/engels/index.htm - follow links to organs, then to Havelte hermorvde kerk, tower.....

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And I'm afraid I disagree about American instruments. Seems to me that the percussive chamades found overe there do actually blend with the American Classic sound very well.

 

Horses for courses.

 

Actually, I made no comment on American organs, save to make the assumption that you had also meant to include them in your post, since I can, as I stated, only think of one English cathedral organ with chamades a few hundred feet from the main instrument.

 

Your original comment was unclear to me.

 

I was interested to read your point regarding Downes' dislike of the chamades added by Robert Boisseau to the Nôtre-Dame instrument. I was unaware of this. Of course, N.-D. now has its own pair of 'Toulouse chamades' - added by Jean-Loup Boisseau in the most recent restoration and copied directly from those at S. Sernin. Perhaps Downes would have approved of those!

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Actually, I made no comment on American organs, save to make the assumption that you had also meant to include them in your post, since I can, as I stated, only think of one English cathedral organ with chamades a few hundred feet from the main instrument.

 

Your original comment was unclear to me.

 

I was interested to read your point regarding Downes' dislike of the chamades added by Robert Boisseau to the Nôtre-Dame instrument. I was unaware of this. Of course, N.-D. now has its own pair of 'Toulouse chamades' - added by Jean-Loup Boisseau in the most recent restoration and copied directly from those at S. Sernin. perhaps Downes would have approved of those!

 

Well, to be honest I was using a bit of your old rhetorical hyperbole in criticizing English organs with chamades tacked-on away from the rest of the instrument, but I think I've done this to death now... B)

 

I've only heard the NDdeP organ live once. I turned up in Paris a couple of years ago, and by chance Thomas Trotter was playing in a series entitled 'The English Organist', and we were treated to the Bairstow Sonata...

I was used to various Cochereau/Latry recordings, so in the flesh the instrument amazed me; such an elegant and lucid sound. The Tocc Adag + Fugue in C came over brilliantly. RD was spot on.

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I've only heard the NDdeP organ live once. I turned up in Paris a couple of years ago, and by chance Thomas Trotter was playing in a series entitled 'The English Organist', and we were treated to the Bairstow Sonata...

I was used to various Cochereau/Latry recordings, so in the flesh the instrument amazed me; such an elegant and lucid sound. The Tocc Adag + Fugue in C came over brilliantly. RD was spot on.

 

Interesting, Goldsmith!

 

N.-D. does sound different, now. However, I am still slightly confused by your last comment. Did TT not use the Boisseau chamades in his recital? (You would definitely have noticed if he had - even downstairs.)

 

It does sound more rounded, although arguably less exciting. It now sounds a little like King's, Cambridge! (Not an asset, as far as I am concerned.)

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Interesting, Goldsmith!

 

N.-D. does sound different, now. However, I am still slightly confused by your last comment. Did TT not use the Boisseau chamades in his recital?  (You would definitely have noticed if he had - even downstairs.)

 

It does sound more rounded, although arguably less exciting. It now sounds a little like King's, Cambridge! (Not an asset, as far as I am concerned.)

 

I heard the organ after the latest rebuild, with its new CC-type chamades, which are about as far away from the KCC tuba as you can get... ;)

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I heard the organ after the latest rebuild, with its new CC-type chamades, which are about as far away from the KCC tuba as you can get...  ;)

 

No - I was not thinking of the tubas at King's - just the general ensemble!

 

Having heard the new chamades at N.-D. (both from the Nave and directly underneath the pipes) I do not think that they are that far away in timbre from, say, the GO reeds at King's. The new chamades at N.-D. are much more rounded and fuller in tone than the ranks which Robert Boisseau added in about 1970.

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Erm, wasn't Boely born in 1785...? Which means that he was playing Bach... from about fifty years after Bach's death?

 

And I think you've illustrated the subjectivity point pretty well if you think the Willan is the only piece of romantic British organ music worth playing... (and I didn't even mention Parry, Stanford or the Elgar Sonata).  ;)

 

I agree about Francis Jackson tho'. So that's two things. (Except that the Diversion isn't unique. How about the Langlais Dialogue sur les Mixtures?)

 

 

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

 

 

Boely was indeed born in 1785, but he was taught Bach by a pianist who obviously encouraged his pupils to play the music. Boely is, of course, the link between German baroque counterpoint and French romantic counterpoint.

 

That apart....an apology.

 

I suggested that Ferdinand Seger was Polish, when in fact he was based in Prague (now the capital of the Czech Republic).

 

The following is quite interesting:-

 

Josef Ferdinad Seger was an organist, composer, and educator based in Prague. He was considered to be one of the greatest organ virtuosos of his time. His toccatas, preludes, fugues, and fughettas illustrate a Baroque polyphonic broad-mindedness with Pre-classical simplicity. His scores were copied by hand and distributed in Bohemia and Germany and were printed and published in the last decade of the 18th century. He also composed choral church music (masses, motets, litanies, psalms). His students include Kozeluh, Myslivecek, Pichl etc.

 

The fact that Seger went to the trouble of transcribing some of Bach's organ-works to fit the short-octave pedals, suggests that he too kept the Bach tradition alive.

 

I have the distinct feeling that the organ was abandoned by "modern" composers of the classical period, simply because opera was the prime expression of a new enlightenment, which ran contrary to the values of the "old ways" of a church in the pocket of "rulers" and theocrats.

 

What DID small town and village organists play in church during the classical period?

 

I would suggest that Bach's music never really died a death.

 

Considering that Bach had a friend in Gdansk, that Bach expressed interest in moving there (a letter in his hand exists in Poland) and that the "baroque" lingered on there for at least half a century later than Austria and Germany, tends to suggest that the Bach-style may well have lingered also, but not in the "society" places and not in the minds of "progressive elements".

 

Aren't organists in England doing the same to-day with Parry, Howells and Bairstow?

 

Sometimes it is good to be old-fashioned, irrelevant and outside the thrust of the main-stream.

 

MM

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Someone suggested that they didn't like American Chamade trumpets, but I came across something interesting about their origins.

 

Apparently, the FIRST chamades in America were imported from England; the organ in question being built by Jardine of Manchester, 1859.

 

;)

 

MM

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Someone suggested that they didn't like American Chamade trumpets, but I came across something interesting about their origins.

 

Apparently, the FIRST chamades in America were imported from England; the organ in question being built by Jardine of Manchester, 1859.

 

;)

 

MM

 

Now that is interesting, MM!

 

If you were referring to a previous post which I made, I was not decrying American chamades - merely asking if the originator of the previous post was including American organs in his comment....

 

However, we could go around all day like this!

 

The only US chamade of which I have a recording is the State Trumpet at St. John the Divine (curently wrapped in a large plastic bag) - and very fine it sounds, too.

 

;)

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Now that is interesting, MM!

 

If you were referring to a previous post which I made, I was not decrying American chamades - merely asking if the originator of the previous post was including American organs in his comment....

 

However, we could go around all day like this!

 

The only US chamade of which I have a recording is the State Trumpet at St. John the Divine (curently wrapped in a large plastic bag) - and very fine it sounds, too.

 

B)

 

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

 

It is interesting, because I've recently being trying to investigate the parallel development of the romantic-organ in France, Germany and England; which really began in England first.

 

It was when I started to look at the work of Jardine in Manchester, (who were at the forefront of the "German" system pioneered by Hill/Gauntlett), that I began to realise that they were also active in America.

 

I also discovered that they made theatre organs of which "pcnd" would have approved, with "normal" specifications!

 

The discovery of the early, low-pressure "sun-burst" chamades by Jardine in America, was certainly an unexpected bonus.

 

Add the influence of the Methuen organ by Walcker, and we're getting quite close to the concept of the "American Classic".

 

Actually, the St.J-the-D chamades are unusually piercing and bright, which reminds me of an amusing story I once heard told of them.

 

Apparently, in the days when Stokowski was assistant there, Sir William McKie (Westminster Abbey) was to play a recital at St.John the Divine. When he arrived, he was "given the tour" and shown, variously, "the biggest enclosed space on earth", "the highest pulpit in the world" and a stained-glass window which was "the size of a whole tennis-court".

 

Eventually reaching the organ, Sir William began to play, his host awaiting the moment when he would discover "the loudest stop ever made".

 

Sir William drew the stop, pressed a chord and waited.

 

The sound which screeched down the building and almost removed heads off shoulders, took Sir William completely by surprise, and with a start he exclaimed, "Good heavens!"

 

His host smiled smugly, saying, "Yep, Sir Bill! That's the loudest organ stop ever made, which we call the State Trumpet; an' I bet you haven't got a stop like that at Westminster."

 

Sir "Bill", obviously ruffled by this familiarity, removed himself from the organ-bench, and being a military-man with a DSO, stood there and jutted out his jaw.

 

He replied, "Young man, I do NOT have a stop like this at the Abbey for one very good reason. At the side of the console I have a telephone, and on the rare occasions when I require a State Trumpet, I telephone the palace and bloody-well ask one to come round!!!!"

 

:blink::P:P

 

 

MM

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

 

I also discovered that they made theatre organs of which "pcnd" would have approved, with "normal" specifications!

 

MM

 

Well, " ' MM ' " , are you certain that I really would like them? Did they have sensible choruses with quint mixtures, separate mutations, a wide choice of flutes and wonderful, incisive, French-style reeds?

 

If so, then perhaps I might.

 

Oh - and I hope that there was none of this 'coming-up-out-of-the-floor' nonsense...

 

... and absolutely no 'tonal percussion' frippery....

 

:blink:

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Well, " ' MM ' " , are you certain that I really would like them? Did they have sensible choruses with quint mixtures, separate mutations, a wide choice of flutes and wonderful, incisive, French-style reeds?

 

If so, then perhaps I might.

 

Oh - and I hope  that there was none of this 'coming-up-out-of-the-floor' nonsense...

 

... and absolutely no 'tonal percussion' frippery....

 

:blink:

 

They were more 'organs in cinemas' that the `Mighty Wurlitzer' type of thing.

 

FF

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Well, " ' MM ' " , are you certain that I really would like them? Did they have sensible choruses with quint mixtures, separate mutations, a wide choice of flutes and wonderful, incisive, French-style reeds?

 

Oh - and I hope  that there was none of this 'coming-up-out-of-the-floor' nonsense...

 

... and absolutely no 'tonal percussion' frippery....

 

:P

 

 

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

 

 

Oh yes!

 

V rks Full Mixture Gt

IV rks Sharp Mixture Gt

 

IV rks Swell

 

V rks Pedal Mixture

 

Ice-cream Cornet on the Hoofd......with bells to announce the arrival thereof.

 

Honest!

 

:blink:

 

MM

 

 

PS: You like French Reeds? Why not the Wurlitzer one at St.Paul's?

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

Oh yes!

 

V rks  Full Mixture Gt

IV rks Sharp Mixture Gt

 

IV rks Swell

 

V rks Pedal Mixture

 

Ice-cream Cornet on the Hoofd......with bells to announce the arrival thereof.

 

Honest!

 

B)

 

MM

PS:  You like French Reeds?   Why not the Wurlitzer one at St.Paul's?

 

The first few sound good, but why would I like the Wurlitzer one in St. Paul's, if I like French reeds - surely this is a dichotomy?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wurlitzer

 

I cannot immediately think of a French rank which sounds similar - not even the Boisseau (c.1970) chamades at Nôtre-Dame, Paris.

 

 

:P:blink:

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The first few sound good, but why would I like the Wurlitzer one in St. Paul's, if I like French reeds - surely this is a dichotomy?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wurlitzer

 

I cannot immediately think of a French rank which sounds similar - not even the Boisseau (c.1970) chamades at Nôtre-Dame, Paris.

:P  :blink:

 

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

 

Aw shucks!

 

Well try this for size. I'm sure there's a reed you'd emjoy somewhere, if you can find it!

 

MM

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