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New Oxford Aubertin


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Sounds really exciting...

Is there a spec published anywhere - I can't spot one.

 

P.

 

From memory:

 

Recit (top manual)

Viole 8

Unda Maris 8 (tc)

Traversiere 8 (overblowing in treble)*

Salicet 4

Flute 4 (traversiere)*

Quint 1 1/3

Cornet III*

Dulcimeau 8

*=not enclosed

 

Great

Portunal 16

Montre 8 (all on display, none on soundboard)

Flute 8

Gambe 8

Flute 4

Octave 4

Doublette 2 (I don't think there's a twelfth)

Mixture ?IV

Trompette 8

 

Positif

Bourdon 8

Portunal 8 (flutey bass, principally treble)

Flute 4

Montre 4

Nasard 3

2', the name of which I forget

Tierce 1 3/5

Mixture (?III)

Voix humaine 8

 

 

Pedal

 

Bourdon 16

Octave 8

Flute 8

Prestant 4

Mixture 2'+III

Sacbouttte 8

Buzene 16

 

III-II by drawstop

I-II by shove coupler

Appel anches pedal

II-P pedal

Another pedal whose function I didn't ascertain

Balanced Swell pedal

 

Tremblant III, Tremblant I+II

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It certainly looks interesting. I look forward to hearing more about your day sometime soon....

 

I realise that you had but one hour to assimilate many things, but did you find that three unenclosed stops out of a seven-stop Récit resulted in a lack of flexibility? In addition, I note that the only reed on this division is one with which I am unfamiliar. Can you remember what it sounded like, please?

 

I would also be interested to learn whether the 32ft. reed resulted in a rather bottom-heavy sound - particularly with only one chorus reed between the claviers, and that at 8ft. pitch. I do wonder whether, in this comparatively small chapel, a reed at this pitch was strictly necessary.

 

David, I am not trying to pick holes in the scheme, rather I am attempting to understand (admittedly without first hearing and playing the instrument) the thinking behind the choice of some of the ranks - either for accompanimental or solo use.

 

However, I am pleased at the good choice of 8ft. stops, particularly the Gambe on the G.O. Could you describe the sound of the Portunal (either the 16ft. G.O. rank or the 8ft. stop on the Positif), please? I can imagine something of what it may sound like from your brief description, but I would be interested to learn more.

 

Incidentally, what is a 'shove coupler'? And why not also have it as a draw-stop? Is the G.O. the middle or lowest clavier?

 

(I half wish that I had taken up your kind offer, but I could not lie to my boss!)

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What a lot of questions!

 

Shove coupler - the whole of mans II (Gt) and III slide over I to couple II and I by the simple expedient of leathered ramps over the back of the Positif keys. III-II is by drawstop and operates a conventional backfall coupler.

 

I'm only guessing that the SB was a 32 - it wasn't in.

 

A lack of flexibility is the very last thing which springs to mind.

 

Dulcimeau is a cross between Chalmeau and Dulciane - again, couldn't play much because it wasn't tuned, but the bits I heard put me in mind of a rustic Cromorne, or maybe an exceptionally full-bodied and warm-sounding Regal. Just hear it!

 

The Portunal begins in the bass as quite a warm-toned Flute, then as you progress up the compass its tone changes to somewhere between a Principal and a Gemshorn at the top. If you don't mind playing two octaves apart you can use this one stop as solo and accompaniment rolled into one. The other flutes grow so much in character throughout the compass that it is useful to have this stop counterbalancing that effect - Portunal and Flute 4 on the Positif is a sound which changes very naturally and progressively from bass to treble with similar characteristic to the human voice. It will be such a joy to accompany on because you can find so much colour to match and compliment voices and instruments appropriately in different ranges. That is real flexibility.

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"If you don't mind playing two octaves apart you can use this one stop as solo and accompaniment rolled into one. "

(Quote)

 

This typically german idea, which was often found in baroque organs, ended up with

the romantic Dolce.

Originated with the "Dolcan" (like something else I'd better not mention here), it is

an inverted-conical stop which displays a stringy character in the bass, and a flutey one

in the treble.

I see many german traits in Aubertins, like those reeds too, "Buzène 32'", "Napoléon 32' " (Vichy),

hybrids between Cromorne and Regal etc. Not to forget the deep Pedal mutation ranks, like

already mentionned here on another Topic.

 

Pierre

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It certainly looks interesting. I look forward to hearing more about your day sometime soon....

 

I realise that you had but one hour to assimilate many things, but did you find that three unenclosed stops out of a seven-stop Récit resulted in a lack of flexibility? In addition, I note that the only reed on this division is one with which I am unfamiliar. Can you remember what it sounded like, please?

 

I would also be interested to learn whether the 32ft. reed resulted in a rather bottom-heavy sound - particularly with only one chorus reed between the claviers, and that at 8ft. pitch. I do wonder whether, in this comparatively small chapel, a reed at this pitch was strictly necessary.

 

David, I am not trying to pick holes in the scheme, rather I am attempting to understand (admittedly without first hearing and playing the instrument) the thinking behind the choice of some of the ranks - either for accompanimental or solo use.

 

However, I am pleased at the good choice of 8ft. stops, particularly the Gambe on the G.O. Could you describe the sound of the Portunal (either the 16ft. G.O. rank or the 8ft. stop on the Positif), please? I can imagine something of what it may sound like from your brief description, but I would be inerested to learn more.

 

Incidentally, what is a 'shove coupler'? And why not also have it as a draw-stop? Is the G.O. the middle or lowest clavier?

 

(I half wish that I had taken up your kind offer, but I could not lie to my boss!)

 

I think I am right in saying that the Sacqueboute is an 8' pedal reed at St John's. It is a darker version of a Trompette used by Aubertin in more intimate situations. There is also a Quinte 1 1/3' on the Recit to act as a tonal pinnacle. BA explained to me that with the prominent octave harmonics of the 4' Flute (overblowing) the lack of a 2' register is not noticed. There is one in the Cornet of course. To clarify further on the flutes (the beautiful hand written labels don't have enough space!), the GO has a stopped metal 8 and open wood 4, the Positif has a wooden 8 and flute a cheminee 4, the Positif 2' is a Flageolet (described by Bernard as a "luminous" register), both the Recit flutes are wooden and overblowing in the treble (a speciality of his and a quite wonderful sound). The Recit is not to be thought of as a swell in the conventional English way but a third manual of colours at the very top of the organ. Putting the Traversieres and Cornet behind shutters would kill the beguiling effect of these Aubertin pipes.

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I think I am right in saying that the Sacqueboute is an 8' pedal reed at St John's.

 

Of course - daft of me. It's in the main pedal towers for one whereas the 16' is behind the main case. Thank you for picking up other errors and omissions too.

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I think I am right in saying that the Sacqueboute is an 8' pedal reed at St John's. It is a darker version of a Trompette used by Aubertin in more intimate situations. There is also a Quinte 1 1/3' on the Recit to act as a tonal pinnacle. BA explained to me that with the prominent octave harmonics of the 4' Flute (overblowing) the lack of a 2' register is not noticed. There is one in the Cornet of course. To clarify further on the flutes (the beautiful hand written labels don't have enough space!), the GO has a stopped metal 8 and open wood 4, the Positif has a wooden 8 and flute a cheminee 4, the Positif 2' is a Flageolet (described by Bernard as a "luminous" register), both the Recit flutes are wooden and overblowing in the treble (a speciality of his and a quite wonderful sound). The Recit is not to be thought of as a swell in the conventional English way but a third manual of colours at the very top of the organ. Putting the Traversieres and Cornet behind shutters would kill the beguiling effect of these Aubertin pipes.

 

Thank you for this, Robert - this makes more sense now; although, in fairness to David, he had barely an hour to investigate this very exciting instrument.

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... Portunal and Flute 4 on the Positif is a sound which changes very naturally and progressively from bass to treble with similar characteristic to the human voice. It will be such a joy to accompany on because you can find so much colour to match and compliment voices and instruments appropriately in different ranges. That is real flexibility.

 

Now this sounds to be a most useful idea. I would very much like to be able to play this instrument at some point in the near future!

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Shove coupler - the whole of mans II (Gt) and III slide over I to couple II and I by the simple expedient of leathered ramps over the back of the Positif keys. III-II is by drawstop and operates a conventional backfall coupler.

 

Ah - so not entirely unlike the principal of the old 'drumstick' coupler then.

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... Originated with the "Dolcan" (like something else I'd better not mention here), it is

an inverted-conical stop which displays a stringy character in the bass, and a flutey one

in the treble.

 

Pierre

 

But this sounds much more interesting that a you-know-what....

:(

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

I am in Denmark and unable to read everything. But David missed the 1 1/3 Quint or the Recit and the Sacboutte is 8ft on the pedal. Will read everything when I am home from this evening. I have heard that St Johns will host an open day on 8th March. I passed on some readers hopes about this and so there will be a grand day out!.

All the best.

N

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Ah - so not entirely unlike the principal of the old 'drumstick' coupler then.

 

Spec corrected in earlier post. Drumstick couplers are moveable ramps which slot between the keys. Here there is direct key-on-key contact and so no internal moving mechanism or parts which wear, clatter and require adjustment.

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Drumstick couplers are moveable ramps which slot between the keys. Here there is direct key-on-key contact and so no internal moving mechanism or parts which wear, clatter and require adjustment.

 

I know - although I had thought that they looked more like drumsitcks, hence the name. Now I understand the principle - thank you.

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Here is a sound file of a Dolce, which displays this dual character:

 

http://www.aeoline.de/Wemmetsw_MP3/Dolce_HW.mp3

 

Pierre

 

Thank you for this, Pierre. There is a slight change of timbre - but not much. It sounds similar to some English Swell Organ open diapasons I have heard. However, it sounds entirely different to the Dulciana rank which used to reside on the G.O. at my own church.

 

The Pedal Bourdon (or Soubasse, or whatever) is rather 'quinty'.

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Spec corrected in earlier post.

 

Aside from there being three 't's in 'Sacboutte'. In any case, I suspect that Robert (with 'Sacqueboute') has the correct spelling - I am not sure that Nigel's version is accurate either.

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What do you actually use the things for, in any case?

 

:lol:

 

Accompanying other stops.

Blending with an 8' flute to make a different tone quality.

Using with a 4' flute to make an interesting solo combination.

Used on its own for gentle effects when neither string nor flute tone may be wanted.

 

Ok, I'll grant you that Dulcianas aren't perhaps the most useful of stops per se but I've often played on an organ where the Great may just have a couple of diapasons and a fat flute at 8' pitch and nothing suitable for accompanying a solo stop or combination played on another manual. It's in those circumstances that I've wanted a Dulciana or similar.

 

I accept I might be in the minority.

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Accompanying other stops.

Blending with an 8' flute to make a different tone quality.

Using with a 4' flute to make an interesting solo combination.

Used on its own for gentle effects when neither string nor flute tone may be wanted.

 

Ok, I'll grant you that Dulcianas aren't perhaps the most useful of stops per se but I've often played on an organ where the Great may just have a couple of diapasons and a fat flute at 8' pitch and nothing suitable for accompanying a solo stop or combination played on another manual. It's in those circumstances that I've wanted a Dulciana or similar.

 

I accept I might be in the minority.

 

 

Minority maybe, but wrong? No, IMHO.

You've perfectly explained why these stops appear where they do in well-designed 19th and early 20th century organs.

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1)-As for the Dulciana's emergency action, they could be stored

in Belgium, under the status of aesthetic refugees

(Ask the U.N. for details).

 

2)-Besides this, we would be glad to have two or three sound files,

about the lenght of the Dolce's one linked to above, for the Aeoline

Website.

They should illustrate the true english type, not the stringy one.

 

3)- While there are data available in the litterature, it would be interesting

to gather a maximum of "scales and details" from historic stops, before

they all go to the bin in order to make room for Scharffgeigendrasselndedoppelkegelregals.

 

(1)

 

Pierre

 

(1) While 1) and 3) may happen to be, somewhere, and only partially,

rather belgian inspired, this is NOT the case for 2)

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