Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Recommended Posts

It is not that I do not believe you, Pierre, but I would be interested to know the location (and builder) of the organ which possesses a Tromba (in the WCJones/Arthur Harrison form) and a Trompette (in the Cavaillé-Coll sense), for that is, I assume, what we are implying here.

 

Whilst I have never encountered an organ possessed of these two sounds, I remain un-convinced that the Tromba would not obliterate the Trompette, leaving the latter stop simply to add an 'edge' to the tones of the Tromba.

 

Mind you - as a slight deviation - if you listen to Prof. Tom Murray demonstrating the Yale organ on the 2 CD JAV set (fantastic fun - everyone should have this - he goes through everything!) - the big solo Tuba and Trompette Harmonique work wonderfully together. But I suspect that they were designed to!

 

AJJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Mind you - as a slight deviation - if you listen to Prof. Tom Murray demonstrating the Yale organ on the 2 CD JAV set (fantastic fun - everyone should have this - he goes through everything!) - the big solo Tuba and Trompette Harmonique work wonderfully together. But I suspect that they were designed to!

 

AJJ

 

I would like to hear this. I should have thought that it was like mixing oil and water!

 

Did he really need to use both together?!

 

:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I would be interested to know the location (and builder) of the organ which possesses a Tromba (in the WCJones/Arthur Harrison form) and a Trompette (in the Cavaillé-Coll sense), for that is, I assume, what we are implying here."

(quote)

 

Such an organ does not exist -yet-

 

We experimented with such things:

 

Bombarde 16' (smaller scaled than Trompette)

Trompette 8'

Tromba 8'

Clairon 4'

Octave Tromba 4'

 

Pressure on the Trompettes:80mm

On the Trombis: 300mm

 

By the way, such an experiment nearly existed at Toronto in a Casavant organ that was designed by George Dixon. He had the chorus reeds build and voiced in England:

 

http://www.casavant.ca/new_temp/anglais/Hi.../Early/0550.pdf

 

The logical progression seems to be:

 

1)- Tromba 8'

2)-Octave Tromba 4'

3)- Bombarde 16'

4)- Trompette 8'

5)- Clairon 4'

 

....So the free toned reeds after the closed toned ones.

With such a chorus you need a strong Mixture to bind it to the rest: a strong Grand Cornet, H&H Harmonics or a tierce Scharff.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The logical progression seems to be:

 

1)- Tromba 8'

2)-Octave Tromba 4'

3)- Bombarde 16'

4)- Trompette 8'

5)- Clairon 4'

 

....So the free toned reeds after the closed toned ones.

With such a chorus you need a strong Mixture to bind it to the rest: a strong Grand Cornet, H&H Harmonics or a tierce Scharff.

 

Ugh! And precisely what music would you play on THAT?

 

Interesting, the earlier mention of the Romsey tuba - I am told unique in that it has French open shallots. So I'm not quite clear on which school it fits into. Anyone who heard the last few bars of Daniel Moult's voluntary on last Wednesday's R3 choral evensong can judge for themselves.

 

My recent Norwich experience could likewise either clear or muddy the waters for me. There are the Orchestral Trumpets of the Solo which, to me, are probably the most French of the loud reeds. There is also a Tromba unit on the Gt, which mows down absolutely everything in its path (apart from the Tuba). For me, there's no competition, and my previous experience of English Trombi have taught me one thing - they are not there to blend, they are there to provide vast quantities of power. I would also cite Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate - a big Willis/Rushworth instrument with big fat hooty Great reeds which obliterate all that stand before them. St Peter's Bournemouth - ditto but with a bit of Harrison in it too. In each case, my perception at the console was that when one added the Tromba, the chorus got quieter, and in each case I found I was tending to use the 4' first. At Westminster, the Sw reeds are quite bright in tone and also on VERY high pressure (15" if memory serves) and I can attest that, even so, there is absolutely no contest. A more apposite comparison than a stopped flue vs. gamba would seem to be a Hill Open Diapason vs a Bonavia-Hunt SuperDiapason. You might say on paper that the Hill would win because of a more interesting and harmonically rich sound, but that would be just plain wrong. Harmonics blend and enrich; volume is loud and makes everything else disappear.

 

I think the point might be that the perceived power of the French Trompettes comes from a combination of volume and rich harmonic development, which also gives them blending qualities; the actual power of the English comes from lots and lots of pressure and lots and lots of volume and seemingly the intention to blast away all in its path.

Link to post
Share on other sites
"I would be interested to know the location (and builder) of the organ which possesses a Tromba (in the WCJones/Arthur Harrison form) and a Trompette (in the Cavaillé-Coll sense), for that is, I assume, what we are implying here."

(quote)

 

Such an organ does not exist -yet-

 

We experimented with such things:

 

Bombarde 16' (smaller scaled than Trompette)

Trompette 8'

Tromba 8'

Clairon 4'

Octave Tromba 4'

 

Pressure on the Trompettes:80mm

On the Trombis: 300mm

 

 

But if it does not yet exist, arguably experiments in a voicing shop on a voicing machine are not the same thing!

 

 

By the way, such an experiment nearly existed at Toronto in a Casavant organ that was designed by George Dixon. He had the chorus reeds build and voiced in England:

 

 

 

The logical progression seems to be:

 

1)- Tromba 8'

2)-Octave Tromba 4'

3)- Bombarde 16'

4)- Trompette 8'

5)- Clairon 4'

 

....So the free toned reeds after the closed toned ones.

With such a chorus you need a strong Mixture to bind it to the rest: a strong Grand Cornet, H&H Harmonics or a tierce Scharff.

(My emphasis.)

 

None of which this organ possesses! It is, incidentally, the instrument for which Healey Willan wrote his Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue (although he wrote it to prove a colleague wrong over an entirely different matter). The mixture-work on this instrument is as follows:

 

GO: Fourniture (19-22-26-29) and Cymbale (29-33-36).

Swell: Plein-Jeu (15-19-22-26-29)

Choir: Zimbel (22-26-29-33)

Only on the Pedal is there a stop named Harmonics, containing a Tierce at 3 1/5p. All this to fit with WC Jones' reeds which included a family of trombi at 16p, 8p and 4p. three tuba ranks and a mighty Pedal Ophicleide at 16p and a Bombardon at 32p.

 

The only ranks which on paper appear to be French are the Solo Trompette Harmonique and Clairon Harmonique. However, these are not French in style! I quote from a CD booklet: "The chorus reeds of the Swell, Great and Tuba divisions were made by Harrison and Harrison of Durham, and by Frank Wesson and W.G. (sic) Jones, in England." ... "In 1956 a tonal revision and mechanical restoration were performed by Casavant Freres (sic) ... The reeds remained as they had been, and they are considered to be some of the finest examples of English chorus reeds in North America." (My emphasis.)

 

Certainly from the recording, there is nothing whatsover to suggest that this instrument possesses any French-style reeds. Whilst obviously, I do not know whether or not the performer used the Trompette Harmonique or the Clairon Harmonique in the recording, nevertheless, taken with the notes from the CD booklet, I believe that it is a fair assumption that these reeds are largely English in character.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh!  And precisely what music would you play on THAT?

 

Interesting, the earlier mention of the Romsey tuba - I am told unique in that it has French open shallots.  So I'm not quite clear on which school it fits into.  Anyone who heard the last few bars of Daniel Moult's voluntary on last Wednesday's R3 choral evensong can judge for themselves.

 

My recent Norwich experience could likewise either clear or muddy the waters for me.  There are the Orchestral Trumpets of the Solo which, to me, are probably the most French of the loud reeds.  There is also a Tromba unit on the Gt, which mows down absolutely everything in its path (apart from the Tuba).  For me, there's no competition, and my previous experience of English Trombi have taught me one thing - they are not there to blend, they are there to provide vast quantities of power.  I would also cite Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate - a big Willis/Rushworth instrument with big fat hooty Great reeds which obliterate all that stand before them.  St Peter's Bournemouth - ditto but with a bit of Harrison in it too.

 

I think the point might be that the perceived power of the French Trompettes comes from a combination of volume and rich harmonic development, which also gives them blending qualities; the actual power of the English comes from lots and lots of pressure and lots and lots of volume and seemingly the intention to blast away all in its path.

 

Some good points, David.

 

Good morning, by the way!

 

:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Ugh! And precisely what music would you play on THAT?"

(Quote)

 

Apologies for keeping for myself the description of how such a thing -a pile of bits?- sounds.

Same for the music, with an explanation: I am convinced the ecclectic, "repertoire" approach is already a part of the history.

This belongs to the 1930-1970 area, which in french we call "Néo-classique" period with builders like Gonzalez. In britain Coventry Cathedral is a good example of this style

(and a testimony you can build excellent organs that way).

My approach is not ecclectic at all, it is belgian.

We belgians are maybe the only guys who are able to appreciate both french and

british chorus reeds, french and german reeds and Diapason choruses etc.

 

Toronto was "nearly" the same experience because if the reeds are english, the flues aren't, so we are already en route towards a multicultural organ.

 

The high pressure on chorus reeds is not intended for power, but smoothness of tone.

I guess the actual goal was to imitate a huge number of flue, foundation-tone, that sliderchests could not provide -more than 4-5 eight feet flues therupon is difficult to achieve-.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
Same for the music, with an explanation: I am convinced the ecclectic, "repertoire" approach is already a part of the history.

 

The high pressure on chorus reeds is not intended for power, but smoothness of tone.

I guess the actual goal was to imitate a huge number of flue, foundation-tone, that sliderchests could not provide -more than 4-5 eight feet flues therupon is difficult to achieve-.

 

Pierre

 

The repertoire approach needn't be purely eclectic. What on earth is the point in spending hundreds of thousands on an organ which can't play music? It's like developing a car that doesn't drive, for all its seven wheels and three windscreens and four seatbelts per passenger. Mr Bournias could help there. If we sit and dream up specifications without thinking about the music then we're not far away from the Youngstown Fire Department ourselves.

 

As for the high pressure not being intended for power - I would dispute that. Westminster Chapel is in the same sort of category as the RAH, being a Willis instrument of similar vintage which was criticised for lack of power almost as soon as it was finished. Lack of power is probably the most common criticism of organs at that sort of time. Almost no articles in The Organ by Gilbert Benham and suchlike criticise a lack of smoothness, only power. The solution? A whacking great big Open Diapason the scale of a dustbin (done in the Willis III fashion, on its own chest) and some more big reeds. Power is a word which comes up again and again; I think smoothness is just a by-product of the means used to get there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The repertoire approach needn't be purely eclectic"

(Quote)

 

Of course it does not. On my french forum we designed a Titelouze

organ stop-list !

 

As for the music playable on a multicultural organ, there is no need

to worry, as we have nothing else in Belgium, while even having

recitals!

The same is true in the Great Duchy of Luxembourg; here follows

their most splendid example:

 

http://www.amisdelorgue.lu/Orgues/Dudelange.htm

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to hear this. I should have thought that it was like mixing oil and water!

 

Did he really need to use both together?!

 

:)

 

You can still order it from JAV - I think he was just showing that the two together work as a 3rd viable stop combination.

 

AJJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
"The repertoire approach needn't be purely eclectic"

(Quote)

 

Of course it does not. On my french forum we designed a Titelouze

organ stop-list !

 

Pierre

 

For that matter, an eclectic approach isn't always necessarily a bad thing - where an instrument's role isn't necessarily a defined one. For example, Oundle School Chapel - not an instrument I especially hanker to play again, but I imagine possibly one of the most effective general teaching/masterclass instruments in existence. For a cathedral instrument or a concert instrument the approach must be entirely different but still based around the music.

 

But what of the question of power vs smoothness?

Link to post
Share on other sites
"Ugh! And precisely what music would you play on THAT?"

(Quote)

 

Apologies for keeping for myself the description of how such a thing -a pile of bits?- sounds.

Same for the music, with an explanation: I am convinced the ecclectic, "repertoire" approach is already a part of the history.

This belongs to the 1930-1970 area, which in french we call "Néo-classique" period with builders like Gonzalez. In britain Coventry Cathedral is a good example of this style

(and a testimony you can build excellent organs that way).

My approach is not ecclectic at all, it is belgian.

We belgians are maybe the only guys who are able to appreciate both french and

british chorus reeds, french and german reeds and Diapason choruses etc.

 

I disagree, Pierre - I can appreciate both flues and reeds from a diversity of styles. This is why I can enjoy the Walker at Bristol Cathedral, the HN&B/Downes at Gloucester Cathedral, the Willis at Salisbury Cathedral, the H&H at Coventry Cathedral, the Rieger/Glatter-Götz at Bamberg Cathedral, the Klais at Bonn Cathedral, the Schyven at Antwerp Cathedral....

 

Toronto was "nearly" the same experience because if the reeds are english, the flues aren't, so we are already en route towards a multicultural organ.

 

But we were not discussing this aspect of tonal matters!

 

The high pressure on chorus reeds is not intended for power, but smoothness of tone.

 

This is not entirely correct. It is true that Col. Dixon suggested to Arthur Harrison that by increasing the pressure of his chorus reeds, the tone could be 'improved'. However, it was also used as a means to achieve greater power (and also greater stability of tuning) by a number of English builders.

 

I guess the actual goal was to imitate a huge number of flue, foundation-tone, that sliderchests could not provide -more than 4-5 eight feet flues therupon is difficult to achieve-.

 

Pierre

 

Huh....? Pierre, your exact meaning here is unclear. Certainly I can think of several British instruments with more than five 8p flues on the same soundboard. I am unsue as to what you are implying. Do you mean that there was a problem winding adequately massed 8p foundation stops on a common soundboard or do you mean that heavy pressure reeds were intended to supply a similar effect?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Same for the music, with an explanation: I am convinced the ecclectic, "repertoire" approach is already a part of the history.

This belongs to the 1930-1970 area, which in french we call "Néo-classique" period with builders like Gonzalez. In britain Coventry Cathedral is a good example of this style (and a testimony you can build excellent organs that way). ...

 

Pierre

 

What do you mean, Pierre?

 

By what standards would you judge a performer's repertoire to be eclectic? (Or do you intend it to refer to a 'repertoire' of flues and reeds which may be available on a given instrument?)

 

I think that you mean the latter, but I am a little confused by your use of the word 'repertoire'. Would you consider that 'tonal palette' may be an appropriate substitution?

 

If so, to an extent I would agree. Yet, here in England, there are still organs which are being rebuilt (and even built) with some element of eclecticism in the specification - and not just on paper. Having said this, there are a rather greater number of 'themed' organs being built within or imported to these shores.

 

If, however, you originally meant 'repertoire' in the sense of music, then I would have thought that the great majority of performers to-day have an eclectic repertoire. Personally, I woud not wish to attend a recital that was wholly Baroque - or entirely French Symphonic, for that matter. I would prefer to hear music from a mixture of styles, nationalities and periods. I would also expect that the instrument on which the recital was played should be capable of a reasonably convincing performance of a wide spectrum of works.

 

This latter point I realise is subjective. Precisely what constitutes a stylistically appropriate performance (with sounds to match) is, of course, open to great debate. Not just with respect to the music of JS Bach, either. What one would consider the height of good taste may be anathema to another. Yet I believe that there are certain basic ground-rules which, if followed with a reasonable degree of flexibility, will result in performances that may vary considerably in style and content, whilst still being completely musical and valid as interpretations in their own right.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean the ecclectic style in the specifications, in which you have say an enclosed Hautbois for Franck, a Cromorne on the choir for Couperin, etc; an organ which is specified according to what is believed to be necessary for dedicate music sheets from different Orgellandschäfte and periods.

This method belongs already to the history.

 

It is difficult -not impossible- to go beyond four 8' flues on a sliderchest.

You must seperate the unissons on such a chest to avoid problems.

Moreover, the wind is not the same according to the number of stops

you draw.

With a Ventil-chest you do not have these limitations. At Antwerps cathedral you can see

several 8' togheter on the windchests.

 

Tromba tone might have been a solution to obviate this, as a replacement for

massed foundation tone.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
I mean the ecclectic style in the specifications, in which you have say an enclosed Hautbois for Franck, a Cromorne on the choir for Couperin, etc; an organ which is specified according to what is believed to be necessary for dedicate music sheets from different Orgellandschäfte and periods.

This method belongs already to the history.

 

Pierre

 

Not in England!

 

Just one example: my 'own' church instrument. It is best described as eclectic with classical leanings, operated by electro-pneumatic action and with a Solid-State combination system.

 

It is due for a major restoration and rebuild soon. Apart from re-designing the wind supply and the interior layout of the organ, I fully intend not only to keep its the eclectic nature but to develop it further. It has, incidentally, an Hautbois (which is under expression) and there is a Cromorne on the third clavier which, although this is not spelled as such, has French shallots and is superb for Couperin, de Grigny, Marchand, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It is difficult -not impossible- to go beyond four 8' flues on a sliderchest.

You must seperate the unissons on such a chest to avoid problems.

Moreover, the wind is not the same according to the number of stops

you draw.

With a Ventil-chest you do not have these limitations.

 

Pierre

 

Pierre, please explain why this is so. I had understood that the difference between ventil and conventional slider chests was simply that the ranks were separated into jeux des fonds and jeux des combinaisons.

 

Do you mean that, because of the reeds, mixtures and upper-work being separated from the massed 16p, 8p and 4p fonds, there are less problems with winding - and consequently tuning? Or is there another factor which I have failed to consider?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Pierre means that, in slider chests, the note channel poses a limitation to supplying sufficient wind for multiple foundation stops and doubles on the same chest. By "ventil chest", he does not mean Cavaillé-Coll's slider chests which are divided in a "Fonds" and an "Anches" half, but any kind of chest with stop channels instead of note channels. In stop-channel chests, every single pipe has its own small pallett, and the stops are winded separately, which allows for more wind-consuming stops.

 

And sorry, but I just have to write it, just for the record:

 

Tromba (fem.) (ital.), pl.: Trombe

Tromba, if used as a loanword in English: pl. Trombas.

 

I apologize. Must be traumatized by the ongoing discussion on orthography (-fy?) in my home country.

 

Best,

Friedrich

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think Pierre means that, in slider chests, the note channel poses a limitation to supplying sufficient wind for multiple foundation stops and doubles on the same chest. By "ventil chest", he does not mean Cavaillé-Coll's slider chests which are divided in a "Fonds" and an "Anches" half, but any kind of chest with stop channels instead of note channels. In stop-channel chests, every single pipe has its own small pallett, and the stops are winded separately, which allows for more wind-consuming stops.

 

And sorry, but I just have to write it, just for the record:

 

Tromba (fem.) (ital.), pl.: Trombe

Tromba, if used as a loanword in English: pl. Trombas.

 

I apologize. Must be traumatized by the ongoing discussion on orthography (-fy?) in my home country.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

I've only once seen one Pitman chest and it did seem an awfully complicated way of doing things. Though I did once see a 3 rank extension organ by a Mr R. Winn of Melksham, who had provided a seperate BLOWER for each unit - these 3 mini Discus things were beating slightly differently from each other and the result downstairs was like an aircraft carrier coming up the nave.

 

Thankfully there were no trombettas to worry about, though I daresay had he found a secondhand console on eBay with "Tromba" on it we would have cause to worry.

 

It can be done with slider soundboards - my own Gt has a total of 18 ranks, 5 of which are at 8, and 2 at 16 (one open metal, one stopped wood). Quite an achievement. There's also a mini-Willis (I forget where; PcnD will know) with a common soundboard for 3 manuals, coupling being achieved by a vertical slider joining the bars of each section together. Again, no trombines to make me break into an untimely sweat, but a very plentitude of 8' stops.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Friedrich,

 

This is what I mean.

Pitman chests may seem complicated, but they work extremely well,

and for a long time. Same for the Kegellade and the Roosevelt chest.

The Taschenlade cannot go wrong as long as the membranes are in

good condition, which depends on the design but above all the

quality of the leather.

The english and french ( Cavaillé-Coll) romantic builders used the Sliderchest,

but I would not for a romantic organ.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote - David C

There's also a mini-Willis with a common soundboard for 3 manuals, coupling being achieved by a vertical slider joining the bars of each section together.

 

I think the mini Wills is at Kilkhampton Methodist - also while on the subject the Great at my local Methodist has this lot all one one slider soundboard - and very mid 19thC it sounds too:

 

16, 8, 8, 8, 8, 4, 4, 2-2/3, 2, 2, III, 16, 8, 4.

 

AJJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, Friedrich,

 

This is what I mean.

Pitman chests may seem complicated, but they work extremely well,

and for a long time.

 

The english and french ( Cavaillé-Coll) romantic builders used the Sliderchest,

but I would not for a romantic organ.

 

Pierre

 

Perhaps you could come over here and maintain all the ones that are falling apart (those that haven't already been replaced by slider chests) because of damp, dry, cold and hot weather, central heating, and dehumidifiers...

 

Slider chests work well in this climate - ventils can easily be replicated using standard SSL or AJ&L Taylor electrics - stick to 'em!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps you could come over here and maintain all the ones that are falling apart (those that haven't already been replaced by slider chests) because of damp, dry, cold and hot weather, central heating, and dehumidifiers... 

 

Slider chests work well in this climate - ventils can easily be replicated using standard SSL or AJ&L Taylor electrics - stick to 'em!

 

How strange it is then that 1840 Eberhard Friedrich Walcker decided to try

these strange Registerkanzelle that were already in use in southern

Germany since about 1710, because of the troubles the Sliderchest gave

under the russian climate; the tables warped because of the climatic swaps,

blocking the sliders.

The Kegellade proved the solution for the russian climate.

Later, Willis III approved the choice of Casavant of the Ventil chest because

of the canadian climate.

 

And today we say the reverse!

Of course the Sliderchest made progresses in that respect, no doubt; but one cannot

stand thinking we might have here one of these "variable Truths".

To replace a Ventil chest by a sliderchest should be a thing, an idea of the past -as well-.

Wen the german builder Jann restored the Stahlhuth of Dudelange I linked to previously here, he carefully refurbished the original Kegelladen.

That is a modern, up-to-date restoration.

 

Pierre

Link to post
Share on other sites
To replace a Ventil chest by a sliderchest should be a thing, an idea of the past -as well-.

 

 

Pierre

 

Abroad, maybe. In the UK I believe they are exceedingly rare and the only time I have seen one is when it was giving serious trouble, just a few months after expensive restoration by a very good builder. The responsible course of action would seem to be to put in something that works - unless of course you want restoration for restoration's sake.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Each to his own!

 

However, having played an untouched H-J, I cannot agree! It sounded like a sick cow moo-ing into a bucket of porridge. Personally I find French reeds so alive and musical. I hate H&H trombi with a passion - harmonically dead, opaque - just sheer noise.

 

Now I do like Hill reeds, particularly around the end of the nieteenth century. But those French reeds are wonderful. However, I quite understand that to each is given his or her own vision of beauty - in whatever form that should take.

 

I would be interested to know what your views regarding English low-pressure chorus reed of the nineteenth century were, Karl. For example, reeds by JWW Walker or William Hill.

I like 'em.

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...