Author Topic: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?  (Read 2410 times)

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David Pinnegar

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Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« on: February 14, 2017, 08:21:12 PM »
Is there any point in the existence of this forum?

David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

JBR

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 10:18:53 PM »
Yes, I'm afraid it has been quiet for a few days now.

I could ask all sorts of questions, but I'm not sure there'd be much interest.  We'll see!

How would you describe the difference, tonally, between a Swell oboe and a Solo orchestral oboe?

(Please understand that I am not an organist and any knowledge I have about the instrument is entirely theoretical!)
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JBR

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 10:07:45 PM »
Yes, I think you're right.  It's dead.  It has ceased to be.  It has gone to join the choir invisible!  ;D
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David Pinnegar

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 09:05:46 PM »
Thanks so much for your thoughts.

But perhaps it wasn't quite a valid heartbeat monitor as I'm not at all sure that I could tell you what that difference is that one might expect between the Swell Oboe and an Orchestral Oboe :-)

Most instruments one meets in everyday life don't have the two . . .

Any other ideas?

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Gwas_Bach

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 09:24:58 PM »
I really hope interest in the instrument is not yet dead.  As for this forum, I could not possibly say.

My interest in the pipe organ only really started on going to university.  As a relatively able pianist in my youth, I was dragged onto a couple of rather uninspiring local instruments in my native Mid Wales to play for weddings and funerals.  When I finally heard the instruments at Cambridge (as a Music student at St John's), I was hooked.  Since then, I have become something of an organ nerd, reading stop lists for fun.  My current work, as an apparatchik in the state education system, has hindered opportunities to explore my interest much further than reading all I can about organs.

I would love to contribute more in some ways, yet my knowledge and experience are limited, and I would much prefer to hear from experts in the field.  Perhaps you (David P) could appeal to such experts that you know to open our ears to the less well-known instruments that deserve the attention of passionate amateurs.  There are a number of interesting instruments even in my fairly remote neck of the woods.

In reply to your question, JBR, I can only offer these links.  It does irritate me that the author of the first article cannot tell the difference between "then" and "than"; however, I hope that these are useful.

http://www.organstops.org/o/Oboe.html
http://www.organstops.org/o/OrchOboe.html

JBR

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 10:43:14 PM »
Ah yes.  Those links are to pages of the Stauff 'Encyclopaedia of Organ Stops' aren't they?

Thank you.

I was hoping to encourage some English organists or, better still, organ builders to reply from their perspective and, in that way, encourage some more posts on this excellent web site which seems to be dying!

I sincerely hope not.
I am a missionary from Yorkshire to the primitive people of Lancashire

David Pinnegar

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 07:46:18 PM »
One problem is the ageing of expertise and the reluctance of some of the older generation to engage with the internet. . . .

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Richard Warren

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 12:58:40 PM »
I don't think this forum is dead. I browse through on a relatively frequent basis and usually find something of interest!
I don't think the organ is dead just yet either. I play every Sunday at a small parish church in rural Staffordshire on an arthritic octopod that has its own ways, but I still find that I can coax some good music out of it. I also sub around our local deanery when required.
My current project in the barn is a 3 manual instrument under construction and progressing nicely.
Over the last few years as I have been acquiring bits and pieces for this instrument I have met some truly dedicated people to the instrument and its repertoire. A good 50% of these are under the 45 year old mark. I have been freely given much useful advice and some of these contacts have turned into good friends.
 
regards and best wishes
Richard

JBR

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 10:28:41 PM »
My current project in the barn is a 3 manual instrument under construction and progressing nicely.
Over the last few years as I have been acquiring bits and pieces for this instrument I have met some truly dedicated people to the instrument and its repertoire. A good 50% of these are under the 45 year old mark. I have been freely given much useful advice and some of these contacts have turned into good friends.
 
regards and best wishes
Richard

That's very encouraging.

Do you have a projected specification of your barn instrument?
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Richard Warren

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 11:21:49 AM »
many thanks for the interest!

A rough idea of the spec is as follows, (it keeps having minor tweaks as more material becomes available)

Pedal
16' Open diapason
8' Principal
4' choral bass
16' Violin Bass
16' Bourdon
8' Bass Flute
16' Euphone (Free Reed)

Great
16' Bourdon
8' Open Diapason
4' Principal
2 2/3 12th
2' Fifteenth
19.22.26 Mixture
8' Dulciana
8' Clarabella
8' Rohr Flute
4' Wald Flute
8' Viol de Gamba
4' String stop
8' Trumpet
4' Clarion

Swell (Enclosed)

16' Libelich Gedact
8' Violin Diapason
4' Geigen Principal
8' Gedact
4' Flute
2' Piccolo
17.19.22 Mixture
8' Claribel Flute
8' Salcional
8' Oboe
8' Cornopean
Spare

Choir (Enclosed)

8' open Diapason
4' Principal
8' Stopped Diapason
4' Flute
8' Clarinet
Spare for Vox Humana.

Couplers
Sw to Ped
Gt to Ped
Ch to Ped
Sw to Gt
Sw octave to Gt
Sw Sub to Gt
Sw to Choir
Sw Unison off
Choir to Gt
Choir to Swell
Great reeds to choir

Gt, Swell and pedal on 3" wind
choir on 2 1/2" wind
Direct electric action
Coupling electro mechanical

regards

Richard

David Pinnegar

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 02:46:35 PM »
Most interesting, adventurous and enterprising.

I'd be minded to put Salicional and Viol de Gamba together and with your 4ft String stop with possibly one detuned for Voix Celeste. One would normally put these in an enclosed division . . . wouldn't one?

I don't know the difference between a Clarabella and a Rohr Flute but wonder if your Great has a bit of duplication with stops which might possibly be enclosed and whether possibly one might think of Tierce or Larigot, or possibly a flute based 2ft?

No doubt you're limited by preconditions imposed by existing soundboards . . .

It would be interesting to hear more expert opinion, David Wilde perhaps or PCND?

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Richard Warren

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 01:32:11 AM »
Many thanks for the reply
I hadn't considered a Larigot, possibly because of previous experience in the organs I learned on. It always seemed to potent for the instrument, I suppose it is a question of pipe scale.
The Clarabella I have is open wood stop and the Rohr flute is a metal stop with pierced stoppers.
I have heard both ' on the wind'. The Clarabella is a lovely solid stop and comes from the same instrument as the Great Trumpet. The Swell's Violin Diapason, Principal and Oboe all come from the same instrument. The Greats chorus (apart from the 12th) are all from a Binns instrument, so I guess in a way i'm trying to preserve and give a new life to some thing of these vanished instruments   
The soundboards aren't a limitation as I am constructing my own from scratch.

If anyone has a nice Larigot though it could well be in the picture!
I have a good quality spare fifteenth if any one fancied a swop or what have you.

I welcome all advice and potential debate

Regards and best wishes
Richard

David Wyld

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2017, 02:50:08 PM »
I don't know the difference between a Clarabella and a Rohr Flute but wonder if your Great has a bit of duplication with stops which might possibly be enclosed and whether possibly one might think of Tierce or Larigot, or possibly a flute based 2ft?

It would be interesting to hear more expert opinion, David Wilde perhaps or PCND?

Best wishes

David P

Well I don't know about 'expert' but thanks for the suggestion David!

Looking back,  this thread seems initially to be John asking about the differences between a Swell Oboe and an Orchestral Oboe:   The main differences (at least in our own 'Willis' terms) is construction - the standard Swell Oboe or 'Hautboy' construction is usually a very small-scaled, reverse-conical tube (resonator) topped by a larger, faster gradient, reverse-conical 'Bell'.   The bell is either fully open, fully capped (soldered) or with a full cap left un-soldered to act as a regulating flap.

The invention of the Orchestral Oboe is credited to our own George Willis (brother of FHW) and given the higher pressure usually needed to make these I suspect that that credit is correct - George began the Willis voicing system for reeds which we still follow and without which no reeds can accurately be said (though it doesn't prevent them being said) to be 'Willis-style'!   The construction is a slightly faster gradient - though still relatively small-scaled tube,  without any 'bell';  A Willis Orch Oboe would be fully capped (soldered),  with a 1/3-diameter width slot cut  1/3-diameter down from the cap,  the resulting flap would be scrolled to prevent its being moved inadvertently after voicing and regulating,  and there would be a hole pierced opposite the slot.   

The shallots are also different:  the Swell Oboe would have a Willis 'C' set shallot, either 'filled in' or 'unfilled' dependent on the pressure to be used and the eventual tone required whereas the Orch Oboe would have a special form of shallot - very narrow with an extremely slow taper, open face and with a reverse-beaked end.   This gives a particularly thin - almost string-like - sound and a thick tongue is used in the voicing to bring back, as required, some of the roundness of the true Oboe tone.

Then David P asked about the difference(s) between a Clarabella (or Claribel?) and a Rohr Flute:   A true 'Clarabella' as invented by bishops is wooden,  large-scale,  with the mouth ALWAYS in the narrow side;  a Willis Clarabella (or Claribel flute) can be either wooden or metal- the metal ones are very much like (and often confused with) harmonic flutes,  though I have never seen one with the harmonic holes which some say they are supposed to have!   Because of the large scale there is a paucity of upper partials,  lending the sound a rather hooty, or smooth quality

Rohr flutes are Chimney flutes - Rohr in German means pipe, or tube etc..  The effect can either be achieved in the construction of the pipes themselves by soldering a full cap with a soldered-in chimney onto each pipe,  this of course completely removes the usual method of tuning and pipes so constructed then have 'spaniel ears' - extended, ductile metal ears,  which can be folded across the open mouth area of the pipe in order to tune by shading.  Personally I dislike this method of construction,  however old, traditional, authentic or whatever else it's supposed to be!  An alternative construction is for the chimney to be soldered into a moveable 'canister' which is made to fit over the open end of each pipe,  to provide a means of tuning by moving the canister up or down:  sealing this canister against leakage from the body of the pipe can be a problem,  making the canister either too tight or too slack,  the latter means that they are rarely in tune.

The Willis equivalent,  in tonal terms,  is the Lieblich Gedact - pierced long-handled stoppers provide the same tonal effect and also a perfect means of tuning, as the handle of the stopper is fitted into a deep-sectioned, solid wood or cork plug which fits the internal diameter of the pipe perfectly..

Regarding the specification listed by Richard - I haven't any comment or insight I think,  other than that being for a domestic situation, the inclusion of a Binns 'chorus' might be a little excessive - these pipes will probably be voiced within and inch of their lives!

If there is anything that is unclear from the above I'm happy to answer direct questions by the way.

Regards,

DW

David Drinkell

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2017, 04:00:46 PM »
Just a little footnote to David Wyld's concise and thoughtful account.  Norman & Beard, in their short glory period following the beginning of the 20th century, came up with some interesting flutes.  Colchester Moot Hall has a "Claribel Harmonic Flute" on the Great.  The pipes are of wood, with the mouths on the "narrow" face, and holes at the node, yielding a full, luscious tone.  This is an amazing organ, which deserves to be better known.  I gave the re-opening concerts in 2015 after Harrisons' excellent restoration and return to the original specification, and John Maidment wrote an article in Choir and Organ, May/June 2016.  Although small (the chamber won't allow for any more organ - if they added the pedal reeds, they would have to go somewhere like under the stage), it sounds like a big, grand concert organ of at least twice the resources.  The town council wisely engaged William McVicker (who described it as a "little giant" and a "hidden treasure") as consultant and he arranged a wide range of events to bring the organ to peoples' attention. This impetus is being ably continued by Ian Ray, the Borough Organist.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08698

Richard Warren

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 08:46:51 PM »
The Clarabella I have is indeed open and has its mouth on the narrow side. I think it was from a Nicholson and lord instrument.
The Rohr flute is in Metal with Long turned and Pierced Wooden stoppers and the Claribel Flute is a Binns manufactured stopped metal pipe.
The Binns chorus on it original pressure was rather bold but it performs well on the reduced 3" wind.
The instrument is going in a 80ft long stone built 2 storey barn

regards
 

JBR

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2017, 11:18:57 PM »
Yay!  It's come back to life!

Looking back,  this thread seems initially to be John asking about the differences between a Swell Oboe and an Orchestral Oboe:   The main differences (at least in our own 'Willis' terms) is construction - the standard Swell Oboe or 'Hautboy' construction is usually a very small-scaled, reverse-conical tube (resonator) topped by a larger, faster gradient, reverse-conical 'Bell'.   The bell is either fully open, fully capped (soldered) or with a full cap left un-soldered to act as a regulating flap.

The invention of the Orchestral Oboe is credited to our own George Willis (brother of FHW) and given the higher pressure usually needed to make these I suspect that that credit is correct - George began the Willis voicing system for reeds which we still follow and without which no reeds can accurately be said (though it doesn't prevent them being said) to be 'Willis-style'!   The construction is a slightly faster gradient - though still relatively small-scaled tube,  without any 'bell';  A Willis Orch Oboe would be fully capped (soldered),  with a 1/3-diameter width slot cut  1/3-diameter down from the cap,  the resulting flap would be scrolled to prevent its being moved inadvertently after voicing and regulating,  and there would be a hole pierced opposite the slot.   

The shallots are also different:  the Swell Oboe would have a Willis 'C' set shallot, either 'filled in' or 'unfilled' dependent on the pressure to be used and the eventual tone required whereas the Orch Oboe would have a special form of shallot - very narrow with an extremely slow taper, open face and with a reverse-beaked end.   This gives a particularly thin - almost string-like - sound and a thick tongue is used in the voicing to bring back, as required, some of the roundness of the true Oboe tone.

Regards,

DW

Thank you very much for that, David.

Re. the difference in sound, then, I assume that in simple terms the Solo Orchestral Oboe would have a 'thinner' sound than that of the Swell.  So would the Solo Oboe be any louder than the Swell Oboe (both boxes open, of course)?
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David Wyld

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2017, 01:52:17 PM »
Yes, a Willis Orch. Oboe sound is thinner -  there are others that are extremely pungent,  particularly the Hope-Jones variety.

The volume of a Solo example might tend to be louder simply due to the (possibly) higher pressure,  but the final result is entirely at the whim of the voicer I think.   An over-loud Orchestral Oboe might be a rather unmusical effect?

DW

ajsphead

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2017, 05:36:46 PM »
I play and tune an 1878 FHW with a Claribel Flute on the Gt stopped to B24, tub to F#31 slotted, then harmonic slotted and pierced to the top, scale following on from the tub so the pierced ones are about. The smaller scale Harmonic Flute 4 is not pierced.

David Drinkell

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2017, 07:26:00 PM »
Yes, a Willis Orch. Oboe sound is thinner -  there are others that are extremely pungent,  particularly the Hope-Jones variety.

The volume of a Solo example might tend to be louder simply due to the (possibly) higher pressure,  but the final result is entirely at the whim of the voicer I think.   An over-loud Orchestral Oboe might be a rather unmusical effect?

DW

Someone once remarked that the main purpose of an Orchestral Oboe was to illustrate Psalm 140:3

"They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent: adder’s poison is under their lips."

There is a good one at Belfast Cathedral (Harrison, voiced by W.C. Jones) which, apart from its solo potential, was useful in making other combinations a touch more exotic (as was the Viole d'Orchestre, voiced by Blossom, and the Swell Vox Humana).  Indispensable items when you want to give the ambience of a Cavaille-Coll to an Arthur Harrison.

Ian van Deurne

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Re: Is this forum dead? Is the organ dead?
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2017, 07:34:51 PM »
My own experience of Orchestral Oboes is that the sound is generally  much thinner than the usual type of Oboes found in the Swell division of English organs, although  the wind pressure may be greatly increased when installed on a Solo manual.

As for the Rohrflote, known as Roerfluit in the Netherlands, my own examples are of a fairly wide scale, with detachable soldered hats. Between the hat and the body of the pipe is a strip of felt to ensure an airtight connection. The wide ears are of traditional construction, which is the way I have always tuned this rank, although tuning by tapping the hat with a reed knife is also an option.

As regards Oboes in my organs, they always follow the French style of construction to a certain extent, and so always appear as Hautbois, at either 8' or 4' at the console. The reason for this is that during my apprenticeship I became greatly influenced by the instruments of the family Stumm, who were active from the early 18th until  the early 20th century in the Rheinland area of Germany, more about who I will talk about another time, since they are virtually unknown in England, but whose instruments, many of which are still extant deserve to be better known.

Yes, it's sad that this forum has been quiet for a while and because of this  I have thought that I might write something about some of the greatest organ builders, such as Arp Schnitger in my next post.

With best wishes
Ian.

 


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