Author Topic: Organs that train our ears  (Read 21450 times)

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pcnd5584

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2012, 04:00:16 PM »
Ah, quite right too. When I said liturgical accompaniment, I meant precisely what you say, leading a large congregation. The brassy trumpets don't so much give a clear, incisive lead as take an angle-grinder to the West end wall... they're HORRIBLE.

Looking on the NPOR, it's also apparent how much else has been spoiled about the Abbey organ - Large Open Diapason removed (ALWAYS a BAD THING), Choir organ mucked about, split in two with a sort of Positiv department that stands out like a sore thumb, Trombas revoiced and renamed but the Harmonics retained... this organ needs an historic restoration back to its original 1937 ethos. Build a new console for it, too, with six manuals and enough stop-jamb space to reconnect the Celestial (which is only 17 stops, including a split 16ft, a spare slide and two percussions) - or make it a floating department on the existing console, there should be stop-jamb space when all the neoclassical fripperies have been thrown in the Thames (preferably with Conservative Party front bench ministers and News International executives tied to or shoved inside the pipes)...

So you do not like it much, then....?

The success of this instrument is largely dependant on whether or not one views an eclectic organ as necessarily a bad thing. If this is the case, then one would indeed have to attempt to restore it to something approaching its 1937 incarnation. Whilst possibly solving one problem, it might simply create a few new ones. For a start, the G.O. chorus, having been re-balanced, would have to be 'un-balanced' again, as it were, with the re-instatement of the Large Open Diapason - which, I think I am right in saying, was not actually regarded as part of the chorus, even by Arthur Harrison. Incidentally, at least the pipes are still in the building (under the floor of the Choir Organ).

With regard to the G.O. revoiced reeds, although the 'Harmonics' was retained, the existing quint Mixture was, I think, re-balanced and was augmented with a new Sharp Mixture III.

I know one who played this instrument almost daily for about ten years, and who has an extremely high regard for it. The person concerned is also extremely choosy about the type of instrument to be played and thus does not give praise lightly.

I have only played it once, but I thought that it was basically good - although still a little on the tubby side in a few places.
Pierre Cochereau rocked, man

MusingMuso

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2012, 05:02:34 PM »
I recall the Abbey organ from as far back as 1964.

I hated it then, and I hate it now!

MM

MusingMuso

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2012, 11:58:19 PM »
With mention of the Northern England organ-builders inspired by the work of Schulze, I came across the following Youtube video, which wasn;t there the last time I checked.

This is possibly the magnum opus of the Brindley & Foster company, and I was quite surprised by the sound of it, even if the sound recording is not top drawer quality.

Considering the date, 1901, when even Brindley eased themselves towards the orchestral style, there is still a lot of Schulze influence in the sound of this instrument in Pietermaritzburg City Hall, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

I find it quite fascinating!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olksP13myns&feature=fvsr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaXnWtg88IU&feature=channel&list=UL

Here is the sound of a Keates organ in Ireland; another revelation:-


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg5Mjq0Zbng

And of course, the splendidly restored Binns organ at Rochdale Town Hall:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNZwgNlhmG8

Unofrtunately, I cannot find anything to represent arguably the best of them all, Isaac Abbott.


MM

PS: The moral of the above misinformation, is never to to write anything when you've just suffered a fall and you cannot move terribly well. (I lander on my back like a beetle). This organ is actually by Keates of Canada, and not by Keates of Sheffield, and as for "Ireland" it is actually in Illinois.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 09:44:32 AM by MusingMuso »

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2012, 09:29:11 AM »
Zella Mehlis ! Here is another typical thuringian baroque organ, built by a dedicate Rommel,
which provides us with a sophisticated Bach-sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqyJiQmtcX0

Info and Specifications here:

http://www.evangelische-kirche-zella-mehlis.de/home/Kirche%20Zella%20St.%20Blasii.html

MusingMuso

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 11:36:02 PM »
Ina recent post under this heading, I mentioned the Magnum Opus of Brindley & Foster, which is the organ in the Town Hall at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

I've done a little further research about this magnificent instrument, and discovered that B & F actually built two organs for this hall; the first (in 1891) being destroyed in a fire in 1898 which also extensively damaged the hall. The replacement instrument dates from 1901, which co-incides with the start of B & F's venture into a midly orchestral style, but never one dominated by high pressure choruses and still retaining many of the "German" qualities associated with the pipe-voicing of the company.

Naturally, as with all later B & F instruments, the action was pneumatic throughout until 1974, when the organ was slightly enlarged by the firm of Cooper, Gill & Tomkins (Pty) and electrified, using a stop-key console provided by J W Walker & Sons (Ruislip).

What I find interesting about the enlargment and fairly limited tonal-changes, is the way the new upperwork blends particularly well with the 1901 pipework, which shouldn't really come as a great surprise, in view of the company's German inspired pedigree.

However, it does rather contradict my original comment that this organ was pure Brindley & Foster working in the Schulze tradition, from which,
(by 1901), they had started to ease away as a result of changing musical tastes. The organ in its present guise, is clearly a successful blend of old and new. Interestingly, the use of 15" wg for the Solo Tuba Mirabilis, (as it was originally labelled), must have been quite radical departure from the usual B & F style, but whether the reed has been revoiced since, I cannot say.

However, I have found the current and old specifications, which make for interesting reading; the upperwork expanded to what would probably have found approval with Charles Brindley and reversing the less fortunate trends of the period around the turn of the 19th century when the organ was built.

MM



David Drinkell

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2012, 01:21:52 AM »
Ina recent post under this heading, I mentioned the Magnum Opus of Brindley & Foster, which is the organ in the Town Hall at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa....

....Naturally, as with all later B & F instruments, the action was pneumatic throughout until 1974, when the organ was slightly enlarged by the firm of Cooper, Gill & Tomkins (Pty) and electrified, using a stop-key console provided by J W Walker & Sons (Ruislip).

MM

I may be completely wrong on this, but I believe that a further connection with a worthy firm of organ-builders may be made, in that Charles Hele (of the West Country family) moved to South Africa some time after Walkers' absorbed Hele & Son and I think he is still going strong there.  The Walker console may be due to his influence.

MusingMuso

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2012, 11:41:28 AM »
You may well be right David, but the amount of readily available information about organs, organists and organ-builders in South Africa is quite limited.

Beyond the fact that another Brindley & Foster organ was radically altered and re-voiced by Willis, at Durban town-hall, I know very little; though I gather that in organ-building terms, there is quite a strong Hill, Norman & Beard legacy in evidence.

Best,

MM


David Drinkell

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2012, 12:13:45 AM »
Willis IV did a lot of work in South Africa and I think Henry V settled there as a clergyman.  The rebuild at Johannesburg Town Hall remains controversial.  apparently HWIV personally sawed the 32' flue in half to use as a sub bourdon.  'He did some funny things!', said the person (now a very distinguished organ builder himself) who related this.

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2012, 11:45:52 AM »
Another milestone is certainly the 1905 Gebrüder Link organ in Giengen an der Brenz (DE),
with full pneumatic action. Here a 36 minutes long video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlX7YwEAYlY&feature=plcp

Best wishes,
Pierre

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2012, 10:43:03 AM »
Surprisingly good, this 2004 Schantz in Arizona:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDIrrvfTTys&feature=share

Could be a Milestone !

Best wishes,
Pierre

SilberMann

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2012, 09:30:34 PM »
Hi there everyone!

I am new to the forum, and I am from South Africa. I am an organist studying music currently heading towards my second year. I have a great passion for the organ. If there is any questions that anyone would like to be answered with regard to organs in south africa, especially the great british organs, feel free to contact me, I will gladly assist as far as my capabilities goes, and I might even go further to enquire about a certain organ if you would need!

Regards
Stefan

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2013, 12:47:05 PM »
Let's go to Italy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpLnq-HaNPM

This organ dates 1913, and has fully pneumatic action. It still has the traditionnal
Ripieno, but on one slide. You cannot miss it in this video, where it coexists
with the late romantic foundation work.

Specifications, pictures and others videos:
http://www.arteorganisticanelmonferrato.it/giarole.htm

The organ is 100 years old this year, and it should get international recognition.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 12:48:55 PM by Pierre Lauwers »

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2013, 08:49:28 PM »
Gerhard Walcker just discovered the Opus 1367 from Oscar Walcker, in original
condition, in Lettonia. Pictures and two sound files:

http://www.walcker.com/opus/1000_1999/1367-wenden-johanniskirche-latvia.html

The organ dates from 1907, has 41 stops, 3 manuals and Pedal.
The first sound file (Forte) has quite much to tell !!!
(The second , Tutti, somewhat less because the bellows are ruined and are so in need
of a restoration).

Best wishes,
Pierre

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2013, 11:32:24 AM »
An interesting pneumatic organ, not restored, off-tune, with probably many
holes in the winding. But mind the quick, sharp response of the action,
paired with a typical articulation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbNyosfSUik

The Specifications:

http://organy.art.pl/instrumenty.php?instr_id=251

Best wishes,
Pierre

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2013, 01:11:26 PM »
As anyone knows, the Thuringia, during the 18th century,
was a musical desert. As a result, the local builders commited
such awkward things like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJqBSnTiUJ0

(Volckland organ, 1767)

Note the short reverberation time, which is very common in this aera.

Best wishes,
Pierre

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2013, 08:52:27 AM »
The 1894 Dalstein & Härpfer organ of St-Martin Hayingen/ Hayange, Lorraine/ Lothringen,
France (near to the luxembourgish border and the town of Thionville) is a splendid
example of a synthesis style betwwen France and Germany. By no way is it an ecclectical approach, rather a personnal reinterpretation of both.
This organ is a Masterpiece in that the acoustics of the church -a design copied on the one from the Trinité church in Paris- is rather cavernous. In spite of that, there is no mudiness, no roaring basses which engulfs the trebles, in few words, each pipe holds exactly its place in the tonal balance:

http://efwalcker.de/09%20Titel%2009%203.mp3
(Philippe Lefèbvre plays Liszt)

The organ has an excellent pneumatic action and cone wind-chests (Kegelladen).

Picture and Specifications:

http://pipeorgan.fr/Site%20JBG/orgues/contrat%20d'entretiens/fiches%20entretiens/hayange.pdf

Best wishes,
Pierre

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #56 on: March 06, 2013, 11:50:23 AM »
A new video displays the dynamic range of the Gebrüder Link organ of Giengen an der Brenz (DE), a very rare example of an intact late-romantic german instrument
(pneumatic action, cone-chests):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ483jXdExM

The pianissimo of this organ is very notable -ever wondered why bother with soft stops?-

Best wishes
Pierre

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #57 on: March 15, 2013, 05:51:50 PM »
Another one: A little Walcker organ from about 1895-1905, somewhere
in Poland:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ifIwksUx4

This organ has "pneumatischer Taschenladen", i.e. a pneumatic action upon membrane windchests (vertical "pocket" pouches).
In the beginning, we hear a Double-mouthed stop with its typical, deep attacks, with an Aeoline.
The Crescendo is topped by the tierce mixture.

Specifications and picture:
http://www.organy.art.pl/instrumenty.php?instr_id=2201

Best wishes,
Peter
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 06:08:27 PM by Pierre Lauwers »

Pierre Lauwers

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #58 on: March 31, 2013, 09:10:04 AM »
The Rochester, after Casparini organ, and its Principal chorus which resembles
quite closely to what I heard in many places in eastern Germany (Thuringia):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wbQD-tkxLM

Pierre

KB7DQH

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Re: Organs that train our ears
« Reply #59 on: March 31, 2013, 10:40:43 AM »
I have heard local broadcasts of this instrument on the radio, and even pieces of music written specifically for this instrument on the occasion of its inauguration, which I have favorited on my Youtube channel ;D  In fact a couple days ago I randomly selected a program I recorded "off-air" of this very piece of music (3-3-33 by Stephen Kennedy) 

 A great deal of effort has been put into the study of the "original" in Lithuania from which this "exact replica" was constructed, so restoration of the original should be no problem from a technical standpoint as the entire thing was duplicated elsewhere using original construction techniques.  Interestingly enough some of the local organ builders (Paul Fritts and Martin Pasi) were involved in the construction of the "Craighead-Saunders" organ, as part of this "Go-Art" project... 

Your observation that "its Principal chorus which resembles quite closely to what I heard in many places in Eastern Germany (Thuringia)" serves to validate the importance of the success of this project...  The organ students at the Eastman School of Music then have an opportunity to experience an "authentic" example...

Eric
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