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What's In A Name?


Malcolm Farr
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The NPOR doesn't show many of his new organs, mainly built to a price, utilising a secondhand console and fitting extension ranks to suit whatever stops he found there.  I know several of them have been removed.

 

I did manage to find the following instruments, which might be of interest. Despite what NPOR says, both are new to the churches they are in:

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=K00050

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D06450

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"Arguably, a French organist (for example) will only half-understand 'Trompette Mirabilis'. What is wrong with 'Tuba Mirabilis'? After all, Cavaillé-Coll used the name 'Tubamagna' for one of the reed stops on the Grand Choeur of the organ at Nôtre-Dame de Paris. "

(Quote)

 

The Trompette Mirabilis exists in France in the Bartholomae/Blési organ of Moyeuvre near Metz.

All french organists will understand what that means: a strong Trompette.

The Tuba-Magna is a Bombarde whose first octave is half-lenght in order to enter a Swellbox, nothing else.

You won't find any true Tuba on the continent, nowhere. Very few late-romantic builders introduced the Willis type: Stahlhuth and Weigle were the most importants. But nothing of these remain to this day.

At Dudelange an attempt has been made to reconstitute it, under 300mm wind pressure, but it is rather a Trompette, not a Tuba!

 

To the point that would I be asked to design a big organ here, I would have the Tuba made in Britain and voiced by a british!

You are sitting on gold, guys...

Pierre

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It may be interesting to share Moyeuvre's stop-list here, a typically multicultural organ:

 

I Grand Orgue (54 notes, C-f''')

 

Bourdon

16

 

Montre

8

 

Floete

8

 

Salicional

8

 

Prestant

4

 

Floete

4

 

 

Quint

2 2/3

Doublette

2

Mixtur

V rgs

 

Trompette

8

Clairon

4

 

II Récit expressif (54 notes, C-f''')

 

Principal

8

Bourdon

8

 

Flûte travers

8

Gamba

8

Voix céleste

8

 

Flûte octaviant

4

Trompette mirabilis

8

Basson & Hautbois

8

Vox humana

8

 

Pédale (30 notes C-f')

 

Contrebass

32

=Violonbass 16 + Quintbass 10 2/3

 

Violonbass

16

Subbass

16

 

Quintbass

10 2/3

 

 

Floetenbass

8

Violoncello

8

 

Bombarde

16

 

Splendid nomenclature, that will be re-used at the console.

 

Pierre

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The Tuba-Magna is a Bombarde whose first octave is half-lenght in order to enter a Swellbox, nothing else.

 

This is not the case at Nôtre-Dame, Pierre. Apart from the fact that this organ has only one enclosed department (the Récit-Expressif), the bass is full-length. The only half-length bass which formerly existed in this organ was the lower part of the GO Bombarde. This was, in any case, given a new (full-length) bass at the time of the most recent restoration.

 

To the point that would I be asked to design a big organ here, I would have the Tuba made in Britain and voiced by a british!

You are sitting on gold, guys...

Pierre

 

But apart from the occasional trumpet tune (or the Cocker) and occasional accompanimental uses, there is arguably no music specifically written for such a sound.

 

Personally, I would happily melt down a tuba and have it re-cast as a ten-rank quint mixture....

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But apart from the occasional trumpet tune (or the Cocker) and occasional accompanimental uses, there is arguably no music specifically written for such a sound.
O come, M'sieur. Howells asks for a Tuba in both his Paean and sixth psalm prelude and surely that must be but the tip of the iceberg?
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There are not many pieces written for a Bourdon 16' either, nor a Quint 5 1/3'.

An organ is not a pile of bits, from which you use that for Jones who asked it

in measure 54 of this piece, and that other for Julius Vandelpimperzee's

Grand choeur monologué, mesures 34 to 71.

 

This is an academical approach, not an artistic one.

An organ needs to be designed after a strong structure; the well-known

Werkprinzip is an example:

Pedal : based on Principal 16'

Great on 8'

Choir (Rückpositiv) on 4'

Brustwerk on 2' (with stopped 8'+ Flute 4')

(or the whole an octave lower)

 

In a romantic organ the Abschwächungsprinzip reigns. You don't write

a stop-name because of measure 55-102 in Sonata N° 13 bis by Adriaan-

Sebastiaan Vandelgrootstekerk, but because it will enter in station number

9 of the Rollschweller, and represent its family on its manual, in relation to the

louder and the softer ones on the others manuals.

In that context we may say:

The Tuba is a good substitute for chamades. Why have chamades then,

if the Tuba is useless?

Anyway, don't melt them. Their value could rise, like with the stock exchange

speculators/predators who "make money" thanks to leakages in Alaska

or "fears" of an Hurricane in the mexican gulf.

 

Pierre (Laughing out loudly!) :lol:

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There are not many pieces written for a Bourdon 16' either, nor a Quint 5 1/3'.

An organ is not a pile of bits, from which you use that for Jones who asked it

in measure 54 of this piece, and that other for Julius Vandelpimperzee's

Grand choeur monologué, mesures 34 to 71.

 

This is not the same thing at all, Pierre. The Pedal Bourdon is of far greater use than the average Tuba - and not simply because of the fact that it is quieter.

 

This is an academical approach, not an artistic one.

An organ needs to be designed after a strong structure; the well-known

Werkprinzip is an example:

Pedal : based on Principal 16'

Great on 8'

Choir (Rückpositiv) on 4'

Brustwerk on 2' (with stopped 8'+ Flute 4')

(or the whole an octave lower)

 

Sorry - what has this got to do with anything? My own church instrument is, to an extent, designed with the Werkprinzip ideal in mind. That is to say, the specification includes many of the features which one would expect to find in such a scheme, but the case and layout are simply standard British dog-kennel. (Yes, I realise that the physical layout is an integral part of the Werkprinzip design). However, if one were to sit at this instrument and register in a text-book fashion, the resulting sound would be most unsatisfying in the building. However, I cannot see how this is related to the use of Tuba stops in certain music.

 

In a romantic organ the Abschwächungsprinzip reigns. You don't write

a stop-name because of measure 55-102 in Sonata N° 13 bis by Adriaan-

Sebastiaan Vandelgrootstekerk, but because it will enter in station number

9 of the Rollschweller, and represent its family on its manual, in relation to the

louder and the softer ones on the others manuals.

In that context we may say:

The Tuba is a good substitute for chamades. Why have chamades then,

if the Tuba is useless?

Anyway, don't melt them. Their value could rise, like with the stock exchange

speculators/predators who "make money" thanks to leakages in Alaska

or "fears" of an Hurricane in the mexican gulf.

 

Pierre (Laughing out loudly!) :lol:

 

Firstly, the Rollschweller might be a standard feature on German organs but here it is extremely rare. In any case, I tend to plan my registration in a far more artistic manner than simply by rolling a pedal with my foot. I would prefer to draw stops by hand, or by pressing a piston. I have never yet played any organ where it was impossible to register (or where I needed to employ the services of a registrant); this includes accompanying Fauré's Requiem and Langlais' Messe Solennelle on a French organ with no usable pistons. All went well, incidentally. I have also played many times on organs with only ventils as registration aids and not experienced any problems.

 

Secondly, a Tuba is entirely different to a chamade (of which, in any case, there is not one typical example). They are definitely not interchangable. I have a chamade, not a Tuba; therefore I am not as unwise as to attempt Cocker's Tuba Tune - that would be gauche. I cannot say that I have missed playing it, either.

 

Pierre, some of your comments seem to come from a text book or at least display a theoretical approach. Do you in fact play yourself?

 

For the record, I have attended quite a number of services in various English cathedrals, just listening, rather than playing. You may be surprised to learn how infrequently the Tuba is used in a number of these places - (and these services usually included loud music). I still find your talk of 'gold' utterly amazing. Personally, I cannot easily think of a less musical sound than the dreadful opaque honking of most of the tubas which I have heard - except perhaps a standard three-rank 19-22-26 mixture by a certain now defunct West Country firm of organ builders.

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This is not the same thing at all, Pierre. The Pedal Bourdon is of far greater use than the average Tuba - and not simply because of the fact that it is quieter.

 

<snip>

Personally, I cannot easily think of a less musical sound than the dreadful opaque honking of most of the tubas which I have heard - except perhaps a standard three-rank 19-22-26 mixture by a certain now defunct West Country firm of  organ builders.

 

OK, pcnd, we know you don't like tuba stops. On the other hand they appear to have been considered essential on all large English organs for a considerable part of the C20 and have certainly been specified in pieces by many of Britain's leading organ and church composers. Whether Pierre actually plays or not is irrelevant to his point here; ditch all tubas at your peril.

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On the other hand they appear to have been considered essential on all large English organs for a considerable part of the C20 and have certainly been specified in pieces by many of Britain's leading organ and church composers.

 

Well, there is the Tuba Tune by CS Lang - and that by Cocker, a couple of pieces (and one or two fragments of service accompaniments) by Howells, Stanford's Nunc Dimittis (in A) and probably a handful of pieces by other composers; but not that many!

 

Interestingly, I have played the Stanford (and other accompaniments where a Tuba is either specified or is widely utilised) on a number of cathedral organs for visiting choirs and have found, without exception, that, unless the choir is large and capable of singing lustily, the GO 8p reed is more than adequate. A Tuba would have swamped most of the choirs in a somewhat inartistic manner. (When such an effect is employed on Radio Three's Choral Evensong, it is often possible only due to the ability of the technicians to alter the balance as perceived on the broadcast. The same is usually true of the use of 32p reed stops - that at Winchester is notoriously powerful, with a strong fundamental.)

 

Whether Pierre actually plays or not is irrelevant to his point here; ditch all tubas at your peril.

 

Arguably not - insofar as his comments on registration are concerned, I actually think that it is the crux of the matter. One cannot postulate or adopt a didactic approach from the standpoint of theoretical knowledge alone - this is simply a hypothesis in a vaccuum.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Well, there is the Tuba Tune by CS Lang - and that by Cocker, a couple of pieces (and one or two fragments of service accompaniments) by Howells, Stanford's Nunc Dimittis (in A) and probably a handful of pieces by other composers; but not that many!

 

Interestingly, I have played the Stanford (and other accompaniments where a Tuba is either specified or is widely utilised) on a number of cathedral organs for visiting choirs and have found, without exception, that, unless the choir is large and capable of singing lustily, the GO 8p reed is more than adequate. A Tuba would have swamped most of the choirs in a somewhat inartistic manner. (When such an effect is employed on Radio Three's Choral Evensong, it is often possible only due to the ability of the technicians to alter the balance as perceived on the broadcast. The same is usually true of the use of 32p reed stops - that at Winchester is notoriously powerful, with a strong fundamental.)

Arguably not - insofar as his comments on registration are concerned, I actually think that it is the crux of the matter. One cannot postulate or adopt a didactic approach from the standpoint of theoretical knowledge alone - this is simply a hypothesis in a vaccuum.

 

 

I take it then, pcnd, that if you were appointed organist of a church with a large organ boasting a Tuba that you would never draw the stop? Rubbish! I don't believe you.

 

There are good Tubas and bad Tubas - some are (yes, I totally agree) honking great noises. I was rehearsing at Doncaster Minster on Thursday and their Norman and Beard Tuba currently sounds very poor by comparison with the Schulze reeds (which MM will remind us have been revoiced since installation). There are other Tubas that peal over full organ like shafts of gold. Even in the wrong music these can sound totally awesome. The best one I know is at Blenheim Palace, but I could name others.

 

I deplore the tendency (maybe dying out) of coupling Tubas to Full Great and Swell, but then coupling a Chamade can sound equally unpleasant....... even those installed by J.W.Walker in the 1960's!

 

Even so, just because you have no use for a stop this is not a sufficient reason for denying others the pleasure of using theirs!

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OK, pcnd, we know you don't like tuba stops. On the other hand they appear to have been considered essential on all large English organs for a considerable part of the C20 ...

 

As were 'Large Open Diapasons' and Open Wood stops with the scale of a small room. Then there were string ranks so small-scaled that the resulting sound could be used to fashion ornamental glass objects d'art. Not to forget flutes so wooly and cloying that one could almost imagine wearing them in the depths of winter....

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I take it then, pcnd, that if you were appointed organist of a church with a large organ boasting a Tuba that you would never draw the stop? Rubbish! I don't believe you. 

 

This is indeed the case, Paul! I cannot remember the last time I used a Tuba in accompaniment. As I mentioned, unless one is accompanying a choir with the decibel output of the Chorus from Welsh National Opera, the GO 8p reed is usually perfectly adequate.

 

I have not played the Cocker piece for about a decade - and frankly, I have not missed it!

 

... There are other Tubas that peal over full organ like shafts of gold. Even in the wrong music these can sound totally awesome. ...

 

But why would you wish to dominate the entire full organ with just one other stop? The very idea fills me with horror! :lol:

 

I deplore the tendency (maybe dying out) of coupling Tubas to Full Great and Swell, but then coupling a Chamade can sound equally unpleasant....... even those installed by J.W.Walker in the 1960's!

 

Even so, just because you have no use for a stop this is not a sufficient reason for denying others the pleasure of using theirs!

 

My lovely chamades?! But no, I would not remove a Tuba stop - and I would have it tuned so that others can use it, should they so desire. I have no interest in spoiling the fun for organists who actually like the things.

 

On the other hand, it was getting rather dull, here....

 

:P

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Dear pcnd,

 

Which text-book I use I do not know, since there are none -or Audsley maybe?

Wedgwood?-

But yours I have, at least a french version. "L'Art de la registration à l'orgue",

by Cellier, from the 50's.

 

Let us be clear there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. This is a genuine, worthwhile style. It gave us splendid pages like Duruflé's, Messiaen's.... But a style is not a Truth, rather a page in the history.

 

And the history of the styles, that is my little area. Since 35 years.

 

Pierre

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
This is indeed the case, Paul! I cannot remember the last time I used a Tuba in accompaniment. As I mentioned, unless one is accompanying a choir with the decibel output of the Chorus from Welsh National Opera, the GO 8p reed is usually perfectly adequate.

 

I have not played the Cocker piece for about a decade - and frankly, I have not missed it!

But why would you wish to dominate the entire full organ with just one other stop? The very idea fills me with horror!  :blink:

My lovely chamades?! But no, I would not remove a Tuba stop - and I would have it tuned so that others can use it, should they so desire. I have no interest in spoiling the fun for organists who actually like the things.

 

On the other hand, it was getting rather dull, here....

 

B)

 

Dear pcnd,

Since I wrote my last little post (early this morning) I'd been worrying that I'd overstepped the mark and given offence, I'm glad you haven't taken it that way. Thanks.

 

P.

 

You ask for musical uses of a Tuba, apart from Tuba Tunes, and other 'English' uses.... do you play any Reger or Karg Elert? Bringing out a LH melody on a traditional English Tuba can be the equivalent of Wagner giving his big melody to the French Horns! Once again, the resulting sound is pretty 'fat', but then we are talking about real romantic music from the romantic era.

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there is arguably no music specifically written for such a sound.

Walton The Twelve, last section. I remember the first performance at Ch Ch. Interestingly when he orchestrated it, the Tuba part went to the glockenspiel; so perhaps the tonality was not fundamental, just the ability to stand apart from whatever other noise is going on!

 

Paul

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I tend to plan my registration in a far more artistic manner than simply by rolling a pedal with my foot. I would prefer to draw stops by hand, or by pressing a piston.

 

Secondly, a Tuba is entirely different to a chamade (of which, in any case, there is not one typical example). They are definitely not interchangable. I have a chamade, not a Tuba; therefore I am not as unwise as to attempt Cocker's Tuba Tune - that would be gauche. I cannot say that I have missed playing it, either.

 

Personally, I cannot easily think of a less musical sound than the dreadful opaque honking of most of the tubas which I have heard - except perhaps a standard three-rank 19-22-26 mixture by a certain now defunct West Country firm of  organ builders.

 

My heart-stopping Tuba moment generally comes at the end of a hymn, when I reach down to the Choir Stopped Diapason for a Harmonics of 32. Occasionally, others see the lack of Tuba on the general pistons as an oversight or mistake and helpfully put it back on again... the day WILL come when the 32 is more devastating than I originally intended...

 

As for crescendo devices, there are places where such a thing is very useful indeed and indeed the ability to set its operation equally useful. Speaking particularly as someone who has wide feet, and has only closely spaced toe generals made to look like composition pedals which are invisible to the player, I would be thankful for anything that meant I could get the effect I wanted in a reliable manner. The accuracy and musicality of accompaniments suffers dreadfully through 90% of attention having to be focussed on locating the far reaches of General 9.

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"there is arguably no music specifically written for such a sound......"

 

See also Howells' 2nd Rhapsody, and also his Epilogue from the Hovingham Sketches - I'm pretty certain he specifies the Tuba in these pieces. And please, no tongue in cheek comments as to whether Howells actually wrote music! (He did, though....... :blink: )

 

And I think Bairstow specifically asks for the Tuba in the last few bars of his Prelude on Vexilla Regis. Good stuff too.

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"You ask for musical uses of a Tuba, apart from Tuba Tunes, and other 'English' uses.... do you play any Reger or Karg Elert? Bringing out a LH melody on a traditional English Tuba can be the equivalent of Wagner giving his big melody to the French Horns! Once again, the resulting sound is pretty 'fat', but then we are talking about real romantic music from the romantic era."

 

(Quote)

 

This is an excellent example of the way I understand the romantic organ

and its registration.

 

Pierre

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"You ask for musical uses of a Tuba, apart from Tuba Tunes, and other 'English' uses.... do you play any Reger or Karg Elert? Bringing out a LH melody on a traditional English Tuba can be the equivalent of Wagner giving his big melody to the French Horns! Once again, the resulting sound is pretty 'fat', but then we are talking about real romantic music from the romantic era."

 

(Quote)

 

This is an excellent example of the way I understand the romantic organ

and its registration.

 

Pierre

 

But Pierre - this is an obvious thing. This one small facet of registration I have been doing for years! The difference is, I will use a chamade. (No, I do not believe that you can truthfully say that it does not work, until you have heard me play the fugue from Reger's Chorale Fantasy on Wachet Auf! - on my 'own' church instrument. On the last two pages, I use the chamade (in octaves), with the full Positive chorus and with the full Swell coupled, on which I play the chorale melody, as laid-out in the score.)

 

The point which I was making earlier was that many of your comments seem to come from the standpoint of a theoretical knowledge - rather than as a practical, working organist. I still do not know whether you in fact actually play the organ! I would personally find it relevant to this discussion. I am not being deliberately antagonistic - I would just like to know!

 

I have had the privilege of playing organ recitals in several cathedrals and greater churches - and of playing for concerts and services in many more. I this capacity, I have to be able to make virtually any instrument sound convincing for whatever music has been programmed. This includes such instruments as Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Here, one has to work considerably harder at the accompanimental 'effects' than at Bristol Cathedral, for example.

 

Pierre, I do not wish unduly to labour the point, but there is far more to the art of registration than playing a few solos on a Tuba - or even employing a Dolce Cornet for some etherial effect.

 

Whilst we are on the subject - I have no argument with the use of solo effects where appropriate, per se - my preference is simply not to use a Tuba, purely because I dislike the harmonically dead, opaque sound that many such stops produce.

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Dear pcnd,

Since I wrote my last little post (early this morning) I'd been worrying that I'd overstepped the mark and given offence, I'm glad you haven't taken it that way. Thanks.

 

P.

 

You ask for musical uses of a Tuba, apart from Tuba Tunes, and other 'English' uses.... do you play any Reger or Karg Elert?  Bringing out a LH melody on a traditional English Tuba can be the equivalent of Wagner giving his big melody to the French Horns!  Once again, the resulting sound is pretty 'fat', but then we are talking about real romantic music from the romantic era.

 

Not at all, Paul - but thank you!

 

Please see my post immediately above this one for the answer!

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O come, M'sieur. Howells asks for a Tuba in both his Paean and sixth psalm prelude and surely that must be but the tip of the iceberg?

 

Yes, VH - you are correct.

 

But I bet that this particular iceberg is not big enough to sink the Titianic - or was it the Olympic....

 

Sorry, a bit of a conspiracy theory crept in, there.

 

:blink:

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"The difference is, I will use a chamade. "

 

(Quote)

 

That was my point when I said the Tuba was a chamade's substitute....

As for my little person, I said it all in the dedicated thread on this

discussion board; no need to pollute this one with me.

I will copy the link...

 

Here is it:

 

http://web16713.vs.netbenefit.co.uk/discus...p?showtopic=734

 

Join us, pcnd!

 

Pierre

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Dear pcnd,

 

Which text-book I use I do not know, since there are none -or Audsley maybe?

Wedgwood?-

But yours I have, at least a french version. "L'Art de la registration à l'orgue",

by Cellier, from the 50's.

 

Pierre

 

Um.... I do not use a text-book, Pierre - I use my ears. (I do, of course, try to ensure that I am appraised of the relevant style and take due note of traditions within countries and historical periods.)

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"The difference is, I will use a chamade. "

 

(Quote)

 

That was my point when I said the Tuba was a chamade's substitute....

As for my little person, I said it all in the dedicated thread on this

discussion board; no need to pollute this one with me.

I will copy the link...

 

Here is it:

 

http://web16713.vs.netbenefit.co.uk/discus...p?showtopic=734

 

Join us, pcnd!

 

Pierre

 

 

But Pierre, I am not remotely interesting. I do not have a vast repertoire or a lot of recordings to my credit. I just bumble along in my own church - and also enjoy the times when I get to play some really sexy instruments....

 

:blink:

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But I bet that this particular iceberg is not big enough to sink the Titianic - or was it the Olympic....
It certainly does seem strange, when you consider the number of Baroque "trumpet voluntaries", that more composers have not written Tuba Tunes. Lang and Cocker are the only two I can think of. Perhaps it suggests that organists have always known that the stop is more effective the less it is used.
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