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Kings College Aberdeen


AJJ
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I have looked on the internet and been unable to find a specification. On the Aberdeen University website, there is lots of information, including pictures of the opening concert with Gillian Weir at the console and photos of the instrument during construction, but no specification. The link below gives a good description of what the organ's character will be:

 

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/newsletter/issue_15/review.hti

 

Jeremy Jones

London NW2

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
I have looked on the internet and been unable to find a specification. On the Aberdeen University website, there is lots of information, including pictures of the opening concert with Gillian Weir at the console and photos of the instrument during construction, but no specification. The link below gives a good description of what the organ's character will be:

 

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/newsletter/issue_15/review.hti

 

Jeremy Jones

London NW2

 

This is the specification. It is really 2 manuals although created into three for numerous reasons. I also apend two of the dispositions which therefore are instantly created by using the reversing coupling system to make two different selections. This allows a Tutti, by the way, to be created on any keyboard. I have all the interior drawings and details of the case (and photograhs) if any people would like to have more of this instrument.

 

MANUAL I

 

Bourdon (Wood) 8

Flûte Traversiére 8

Flûte à cheminée 4

Flageolet 2

Quint 1 1/3

Cornet V

Voix humaine 8

Trompette 8

 

MANUAL II

 

Portunal 16

Montre II 8 (2 ranks in the treble)

Gambe 8

Prestant 4

Grand Tierce 3 1/5

Mixture V-VII

 

MANUAL III

 

Montre 8

Bourdon (Metal) 8

Portunal 4

Nazard 2 2/3

Doublette 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Mixture III

Cromorne 8

 

I/II II/I III/II II/III

Tremblant I & III

Tremblant II

 

PEDALE

 

Principal 16

Octave 8

Prestant 4

Mixture V

Buzéne 16

 

I/Ped sends all sounds playable on I to Pedal

 

Cornamuse Ėcossaise (3 pipes)

 

 

COUPLING II + I / I + II

 

Portunal 16

Montre II 8

Bourdon (Wood) 8

Gambe 8

Flûte Traversiére 8

Prestant 4

Flûte à cheminée 4

Grand Tierce 3 1/5

Flageolet 2

Mixture 2’ V-VII

Quint 1 1/3

Cornet V

Voix humaine 8

Trompette 8

 

III

 

Montre 8

Bourdon (Metal) 8

Portunal 4

Nazard 2 2/3

Doublette 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Mixture 1’ III

Cromorne 8

 

PEDALE

 

Principal 16

Octave 8

Prestant 4

Mixture V

Buzéne 16

 

I/Ped sends all sounds playable on I to Pedal

 

Cornamuse Ėcossaise (3 pipes)

 

 

 

DISPOSITION Number 2:-

for coupling:-

:blink: The 3rd Keyboard down to the 2nd.

or

:D the 2nd Keyboard up to the 3rd.

 

Keyboard I can be coupled to II to make a Tutti

 

 

III + II / II + III

 

Portunal 16

Montre II 8

Montre 8

Bourdon (Metal) 8

Gambe 8

Prestant 4

Portunal 4

Grand Tierce 3 1/5

Nazard 2 2/3

Doublette 2

Tierce 1 3/5

Mixture 2’ V-VII

Mixture 1’ III

Cromorne 8

 

I

 

Bourdon (Wood) 8

Flûte Traversiére 8

Flûte à cheminée 4

Flageolet 2

Quint 1 1/3

Cornet V

Voix humaine 8

Trompette 8

 

PEDALE

 

Principal 16

Octave 8

Prestant 4

Mixture V

Buzéne 16

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Ask for the CD of the Aberdeen organ for Christmas! - on Cantoris Records - Nigel Allcoat and Roger Williams playing - some improvisation too - you'll enjoy it!!

 

http://www.cantoris.co.uk/

 

AJJ

 

PS The version of the website I got from this does not seem to have the Aberdeen CD on it but contact them and it can be obtained!

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Dear Readers/Aficionados,

I might as well say this only once in reply to the messages concerning the Aberdeen organ. I would have to abandon everything to reply individually.

 

I had no idea that a Grand Tierce would create so many headaches! Yes - it does look odd on paper. (Thank goodness there was no Forum when the Horn Quint on Ely's Harrison was first publicized!) But musicians are not suposed to see it but hear it. This rank has inumberable uses. Some listed here. I cannot stress the point enough that all Aubertin pipework is so extraordinary scaled. Miss one rank out from his chorus and it sounds as if a tonal rib has been taken from the torso. Thus the scaling of this particular stop is created by him to be as a part of the whole tonal conception and to be integrated with the other ranks.

 

1. It makes a perfect Grand jeux de tierce when manuals II and III are joined and played with left hand (16, 8, 8, 4, Grand Tierce, Nazard, 2, Tierce) and Cornet V on I for the Right hand.

2. It must remembered that this stop at this pitch belongs to a 16ft scheme. Thus the 2nd keyboard is a Blockwerk style keyboard based upon the 16ft Portunal (a Principalesque stop - more of this later). The addition of the GT to the V-VII Mixture produces a gloriously rich tangy sonority for some Prelude/Fantasia/Fugal movements, especially with a 16ft reed-based pedal division. (The pedal mixture has a telling tierce rank too which provides in the chorus, the illusion of a 4' reed when drawn with the 16ft reed - full length of course).

3. With a Tutti (with the brilliant Trompette of Manual I coupled to the Blockwerk on II), the addition of the GT creates the illusion of a gentle 16ft reed - it reinforces of course certain harmonics of the Trompette. For vigorous congregational singing it is a great boon as it also enables a greater strength to come from the 16ft Portunal.

4. That it goes particularly well with the Voix humaine, 4ft flute and Cornamuse to create delicious Haggis movements, is by the way.

 

The main case is a mirror image West to East and North to South. The 16ft principal is in the West Case (Antechapel) and the Portunal (a gentle Principal which is a particular stoke of brilliance from Aubertin carried forward from his first completely new instrument in Sarrable around 17 years ago) on the East. It changes personality when Principals alone are joined with it. Likewise with Flutes/Bourdons. At 4ft pitch this sort of stop is sensational when space is limited to only one 4ft. It has a great presence on its own too.

 

The ability to couple the Man I to Pedal provides a sort of Résonance department where the flutes, Trompete and Voix H are all available whilst at the same time independently using the other two divisions. It could in those circumstances be seen and heard as being part of the 5 stop pedal division. It is, in this 'mode', outstanding for Cantus firmus movements - Netherlands and North Germany included, not just France. If a smaller Mixture (15 19) is needed before drawing the V rank, the Flageolet and Quint together add a wonderful spirited definition.

 

 

PEDALE

 

Principal 16

Octave 8

Bourdon (Wood) 8

Prestant 4

Flûte à cheminée 4

Flageolet 2

Quint 1 1/3

Mixture V

Buzéne 16

Voix humaine 8

Trompette 8

 

Yes - the Principal is soft enough to play with the softest keyboard register. The addition of the 8ft Octave changes it so much that the fundamental seems increased when a stronger combination is drawn. Likewise with the addition of the 4ft. The harmonics all happily marry.

 

For those commenting on a non-UK builder. The international advertisement which had to be placed under University regulations etc. and read by all organ builders, to my knowledge drew only one specific tender from the UK. All the others were from abroad.

 

It is true. All pipework is made 'in house'.

 

It is also true that there is one rank of Aubertin pipes in a new organ in England. (A secret I think!)

 

I know that Aberdeen is far further than London to Paris (where the latest and largest Aubertin was opened in June) and few people will hear or play it, but most sounds are displayed on the University's CD - recently released. I know Dr Roger Williams is only too happy (and understandably a touch proud!) to show off the organ if time and University circumstances permit.

 

I think that this covers most of the questions!

 

Bask in the sounds. Please don't get indigestion from devouring paper specifications.

 

Best wishes

NJA

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Oh! Sorry. I forgot to answer about the cost and things. As far as I know the Aberdeen cost £280,000 for the organ. The strengthening of the ancient Pulpitum Screen was carried out by the University to plans perpared by Aubertin. The gigantic Paris organ cost £800,000. All his instruments are errected in the workshops and totally playable before they leave. Dr Roger Williams (The Head of University Music) and myself played the organ towards the end of December in its completed state (even with the enormous thistles and decorations) and the next day after Dr Williams was satisfied with all things it was taken down and shipped to Scotland, arriving in the New Year 2004.

The photos that Choir and Organ asked me to supply for their article the other month were mostly taken from this visit to the Aubertin Atelier.

To errect it in Aberdeen it took just over 2 weeks from start to finsh (a few days longer than expected as the University was still finishing off some chapel restoration), with final adjustments and only necessary nominal voicing in situ. It was ready for the new term. Paris was about 3 weeks for its installation and completion.

 

I hope that this helps everyone.

 

Best wishes,

NJA

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