Author Topic: Malta - more historic organs per square mile than anywhere else on earth  (Read 875 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

David Pinnegar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
  • Karma: +66/-3
    • View Profile
It was a great pleasure a few weeks ago to be the guest of Robert Buhagiar, the organ builder on Malta and Gozo. I'd imagine that few can have curatorship of more historic instruments than he and the two islands are a gem in the organ world.

On https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD3oPDpTFWA I recorded the sound of one of the ancient instruments of 1769, at Hal Ghaxaq.

We went to see another instrument at Qrendi and this was extraordinary, the sound becoming more grand and more profound as more of the upper Ripieno was added. I imagine that the Ripieno harmonics produce beat frequencies as sub-harmonics, creating a very grand sound.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Barrie Davis

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 358
  • Karma: +37/-2
    • View Profile
Please tell us more David

David Pinnegar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
  • Karma: +66/-3
    • View Profile
It's quite well documented in the video. The buildup of sound with the harmonics was surprising and extraordinary. Not piercing and certainly added gravitas. Rather the effect of the French Plein Jeu, but more focussed.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

David Pinnegar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
  • Karma: +66/-3
    • View Profile
The point about the Ripieno is that it's a buildup of octaves and fifths. So 8ft and 4ft Principal, then Nazard, Fifteenth, Larigot, 1ft, fifth above that and the octave above that. Of course they break back to the lower octaves at the upper end of the keyboards.

But perhaps people are familiar with the mock 32ft effect by playing fifths on the pedalboard. A fifth produces a beat note an octave below the lower note of the fifth. So as one starts to add octaves and fifths their beats add notes below them, and if these beats are strong enough, they will add octaves lower still. It's for this reason that the Ripieno adds gravitas whilst apparently going higher.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

JBR

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Karma: +22/-0
    • View Profile
The point about the Ripieno is that it's a buildup of octaves and fifths. So 8ft and 4ft Principal, then Nazard, Fifteenth, Larigot, 1ft, fifth above that and the octave above that. Of course they break back to the lower octaves at the upper end of the keyboards.

But perhaps people are familiar with the mock 32ft effect by playing fifths on the pedalboard. A fifth produces a beat note an octave below the lower note of the fifth. So as one starts to add octaves and fifths their beats add notes below them, and if these beats are strong enough, they will add octaves lower still. It's for this reason that the Ripieno adds gravitas whilst apparently going higher.

Best wishes

David P

But wouldn't you expect the same with quint mixtures and cymbels?  Or is it more to do with the sound quality of Italian principal pipes?
I am a missionary from Yorkshire to the primitive people of Lancashire

David Pinnegar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
  • Karma: +66/-3
    • View Profile
I don't know. It's definitely a result of no tierces in the mixtures and might be psychological as the Ripieno is progressively built up. It was the 1778 instrument at Qrendi which particularly demonstrated the effect. Unfortunately my camera ran out of memory for video.

The place is an extraordinarily progressive culture of preservation which becomes even more valuable when passionately restored and maintained.

http://www.parroccaqrendi.org/old_organs.html

Robert gave me a copy of the CD of many of the Maltese organs
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/May12/Historic_Malta_PRCD1067.htm
and it's very refreshing and charming.

Details of the Qrendi instrument are in the sleeve notes but disc, case and sleeve notes have suffered entropic separation for the moment.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

David Pinnegar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
  • Karma: +66/-3
    • View Profile
The spec of the Qrendi instrument is

Principale 8
Voce Umana 8
Ottava 4
Flauto in XII - 12th
Decimaquinta 2 - 15th
Decimanona - 19th (two octaves and fifth)
Vigesimaseconda - 22nd - 1ft
Vigesimasesta - 26th - (three octaves and fifth)
Vigesimanona - 29th - four octaves - half foot

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

 


Locations of visitors to this page

Organ Design


Latroba Holidays