Author Topic: Are "New England" (US) organs similar to "Old England" (UK) organs?  (Read 3125 times)

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Branchporter

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I've wondered if the organs built in the 1800s by New England builders Hook and Hastings, Johnson, etc were influenced mainly by English organs. Our organ has most of the pipework of the previous 1871 Wm. Johnson organ. Would it be similar to something that might be found in England?
It's stoplist and description can be seen here:
http://www.pennyanfbc.com/organ.html

revtonynewnham

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Re: Are "New England" (US) organs similar to "Old England" (UK) organs?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 09:50:16 AM »
Hi

If the stops marked as original are correct, then there are influences other than the typical English organ of the late 1800's at work.  The Melodia stop for instance is very, very rare over here, except on reed organs!.  The pedal also is more developed than the typical UK example of comparable size, which at best would be Bourdon 16, Open Diapason 16 & Bass Flute 8 or something similar.  http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05180 is a slightly larger example of a stop list from the period from NPOR (the first one of Bishop's that I found on a builder search for organs between 1850 @1890).  The same exercise for other builders would produce broadly similar stop lists - albeit with variations due to house style and customer expectations.

Every Blessing

Tony

Branchporter

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Re: Are "New England" (US) organs similar to "Old England" (UK) organs?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 02:21:07 AM »
Thanks Tony!
I wish I had a stoplist of the Johnson as built. It may have had a mixture, as Johnsons of that size and era usually did. The Johnson pedal division was likely about as you described. Most older Johnsons had two or three pedal ranks. In the present organ, some of the pedal ranks are "borrowed". For instance, the 16' Lieblich Gedeckt and the 8' flute are the same rank, which is also used in the Swell at 16, 8 and 4 foot. Presently, two flute ranks are on unit chests, the rest is straight. While those two flute ranks are great sounding, another flute rank, the 4' Rhor (Chimney) Flute is one of the nicest stops I have ever heard!

I wish the old Johnson tracker was still there and unaltered, it would be a treasure!

revtonynewnham

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Re: Are "New England" (US) organs similar to "Old England" (UK) organs?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 02:53:17 PM »
Hi

Too many old organs have been mutilated beyond all recognition.  http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=E00285 is the instrument in my current church.  Restored just a few years ago, and very nice, if a little limited tonally.  The "new"Stopped Diapason Treble is an amazing stop - a lovely soft sound by itself (perhaps a little too soft for use in hymns), but it works as the only 8ft under Principal & Fifteenth - it just seems to "grow" and fill out the unison.  It also gives me the classic early English "Diapasons" sound - i.e. Open & Stopped Diapasons 8ft.  There are a handful of videos on my You Tube channel - one day I hope to get round to recording some of the Early English repertoire (just not enough hours in the day at present!).

Every Blessing

Tony

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Are "New England" (US) organs similar to "Old England" (UK) organs?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 06:38:32 PM »
How do, Tony?
Just clicked on the NPOR link in your last, and noticed that HW&S converted the former Keraulophon into the St. Diapason treble. Am sure that this stop indeed does give much colour.
Would its scaling be a bit smaller than that of what a stopped metal from that vintage would be?

revtonynewnham

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Re: Are "New England" (US) organs similar to "Old England" (UK) organs?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2014, 10:22:33 AM »
Hi

Yes, despite cutting the pipes down to half-length, the scaling is somewhat smaller than  I would expect - although most likely the original St Diap Treble was a wooden stop.  However, the current stop is an excellent tonal match to the existing stopped diap Bass, and is one of those stops that you can play for hours by itself - just beautiful.  It's a little too quiet to sue by itself for quiet congregational accompaniment (the Dulciana fills that role), but the St Diap seems to "expand" as other stops are added, and even works as the sole 8ft underneath Principal & Fifteenth for an alternative,lighter chorus.

Sadly, the church is closing at the end of next month - but all being well the organ is moving again - this time to an educational project sponsored by an Australian Anglican deanery. I'll miss it.

Every Blessing

Tony

 


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