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Organ registration => Organ registration => Topic started by: organforumadmin on April 17, 2010, 01:13:46 PM

Title: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: organforumadmin on April 17, 2010, 01:13:46 PM
Hi!

I'm wondering if one can design a really exciting organ with minimum spec?

Recit
Salicional
Voix Celeste
Principal
Cornet V - in seperately registerable ranks
Trompette
Bombarde

Grande Orgue
Montre 8
Principal 4
Bourdon 8
Flute 4
Fifteenth 2
Sifflot 1
En Chamade trumpet 8

Positif
Quintadina 8Flute 8Flute 4Tierce Piccolo 1Cromorne 8

Pedal
Bourdon
Bombarde from Recit

Oh dear - that comes to over 20 ranks . . . £500k ? One might enclose Recit and Positif . . .

Temperament - Kellner or D'Alembert?

Best wishes

Forum Admin
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: KB7DQH on April 17, 2010, 02:11:17 PM
We are talking about "small" organs, right ??? ??? ???

Well, I gave  this one a listen today...http://members.cox.net/subbass16/opus8.htm (http://members.cox.net/subbass16/opus8.htm)

It sounds a bunch bigger than it might appear at first glance... A couple times I had to tell myself I wasn't in Lagerquist Hall 8) 8) 8)  and I give much credit to the skill of the organist.  This instrument has no couplers or combination action,  the organist making registration changes between verse changes in the hymns... the "hard" way ;)   Moreover, she chose to register the instrument differently for each piece of music for which the organ was used, and during the service  it got used a lot!   And I still believe it would take a great many services to hear all this instrument is capable of. 

The "post-accident" rebuilt instrument came in at USD$125,000 8) 

And USD well-spent!
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: organforumadmin on April 17, 2010, 04:52:40 PM
We are talking about "small" organs, right ??? ??? ???
Will have to give this one a listen one day...http://members.cox.net/subbass16/opus8.htm (http://members.cox.net/subbass16/opus8.htm)
The "post-accident" rebuilt instrument came in at USD$125,000 8)

Hi!

Interesting. It would be super if you might be able to quote a stop list.

So can anyone reduce my bigger "smal" spec and still retain diversity and excitement?

Best wishes

Forum Admin
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: KB7DQH on April 17, 2010, 05:42:36 PM
HTML can do strange things... Assuming your internet works like mine, the link brings up a picture at the top of the page of the completed instrument, followed by the stoplist, (which I copied and hand-typed below 8)

Pedal                           Manual I                            Manual II

Subbass         16         Stopped Flute  16              Chimney Flute    8
Principal           8          Principal             8              Gamba               8
Stopped flute   8          Stopped Flute   4               Celeste              8
Choral Bass     4          Octave               4               Principal             4
Bassoon         16         Chimney Flute    4               Nasard            2 2/3
Bassoon           8         Octave               2               Block Flute          2
                                    Mixture           III                 Tierce             1 3/5
                                    Trumpet             8               Clarinet               8




 then below a picture of what the organ looks like after a motor vehicle drives through the wall of the church,  thence the console, and comes to rest beyond, displacing a few rows of pews in addition to the organ...



Links on that page will take you to other news articles and photos of that unfortunate event...

Eric
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: revtonynewnham on April 18, 2010, 09:08:12 AM
Hi

Try and get hold of the 3 volumes of "the Classical Organ in Britain"  (Positif Press) - they are full of stop lists of small tracker organs.

The stop list really depends on what you want to play.  The minimum is 1 stop -  Open Diapason 8ft (or a Stopped Diapason of Stopped Flute)!

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: NonPlayingAnorak on May 05, 2010, 12:57:53 AM
Hi!

I'm wondering if one can design a really exciting organ with minimum spec?

Recit
Salicional
Voix Celeste
Principal
Cornet V - in seperately registerable ranks
Trompette
Bombarde

Grande Orgue
Montre 8
Principal 4
Bourdon 8
Flute 4
Fifteenth 2
Sifflot 1
En Chamade trumpet 8

Positif
Quintadina 8Flute 8Flute 4Tierce Piccolo 1Cromorne 8

Pedal
Bourdon
Bombarde from Recit

Oh dear - that comes to over 20 ranks . . . £500k ? One might enclose Recit and Positif . . .

Temperament - Kellner or D'Alembert?

Best wishes

Forum Admin

Simples... http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=P00563 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=P00563)

There simply never has been a 16-stop organ that versatile before. It does pretty much everything convincingly. Now, it just needs an acoustic to speak into...
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: KB7DQH on May 22, 2010, 10:59:53 AM
Listening to an MP3 of this gem...  http://www.magle.dk/pipe-organ-jorlunde-church.html (http://www.magle.dk/pipe-organ-jorlunde-church.html)

Click on the links and give it a listen... 

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: NonPlayingAnorak on May 24, 2010, 09:51:22 AM
Listening to an MP3 of this gem...  http://www.magle.dk/pipe-organ-jorlunde-church.html (http://www.magle.dk/pipe-organ-jorlunde-church.html)

Click on the links and give it a listen... 

Eric
KB7DQH

Still not as versatile as the Petersham organ, judging by the spec - more stops, but only two manuals, not three... I'm currently at college, deprived of sound, so I shall have to reserve judgment on the instrument's sound - but I can comment on the instrument's appearance. What a pity that what would still appear to be a very good little organ has been given such a horrible 1960s-style non-case (tone cabinet?), especially in the historic and aesthetically sensitive surroundings of a beautiful 11th century church. Something truly wonderful could have been achieved, but, by bringing architects into the equation, they've spoiled it with a piece of horrible modernism. This is one of my pet hates - as a would-be architect myself, I aim to upset the applecart comprehensively, with a big anti-modernist bent. Such ugliness is unforgivable: the Richard Rodgers and Norman Fosters and Le Corbusiers of this world should never have been allowed to practice as architects... it particularly sticks in my gullet when they, having foisted such ugliness on the world, then attack the likes of Quinlan Terry and Prince Charles for exposing them for what they are!   >:(

Bring back the old concepts of elegance, beauty, human scale... I'm no classicist, indeed I loathe most Classical architecture, and would gladly raze most Wren churches to the ground, I'm more of a Norman/Gothic man, with a soft spot for the Victorian Arts & Crafts, but the logic and proportion of classical architecture still embodies a lesson which modern architects could do with learning.
/rant

 :)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: KB7DQH on May 24, 2010, 11:12:57 AM
Well, the in-progress installation herehttp://acusticumorgan.com/specification (http://acusticumorgan.com/specification)
 is nothing to look at either ;) ;)  but based on the artists conception it seems to visually fit better than
the Jorlunde church organ...

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 12, 2011, 12:23:32 AM
Hi!

I'm wondering if one can design a really exciting organ with minimum spec?

Recit
Salicional
Voix Celeste
Principal
Cornet V - in seperately registerable ranks
Trompette
Bombarde

Grande Orgue
Montre 8
Principal 4
Bourdon 8
Flute 4
Fifteenth 2
Sifflot 1
En Chamade trumpet 8

Positif
Quintadina 8Flute 8Flute 4Tierce Piccolo 1Cromorne 8

Pedal
Bourdon
Bombarde from Recit

Oh dear - that comes to over 20 ranks . . . £500k ? One might enclose Recit and Positif . . .

Temperament - Kellner or D'Alembert?

Best wishes

Forum Admin

Simples... http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=P00563 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=P00563)

There simply never has been a 16-stop organ that versatile before. It does pretty much everything convincingly. Now, it just needs an acoustic to speak into...

I am not sure about this.

To take the Récit first: there is a solitary Principal 4ft., but no 8ft. Diapason - or even an 8ft. Flute (it would be extremely unusual for the Cornet to sound below G20 at the lowest). The Bombarde is presumably of 16ft. pitch. This could be rather heavy in a small instrument. There is no quiet 8ft. reed, such as an Hautbois.

The G.O. is a little better, although the idea of a chamade reed on a small instrument which, whilst not original,* is probably unnecessary.

On the Positive Organ, there is a Tierce, but no Nazard. This is almost pointless. As another contributor has stated on a different thread, the Tierce was never used in French Classical music without the Nazard. It is of little use in any other repertoire without the companion Nazard - or at least a wide-scaled Quint. In addition, there is another 1ft. stop. One in such a small scheme is perhaps a luxury - two I consider to be wasteful, particularly since there is apparently no 2ft. stop on the Positif. Whilst the Quintadena will (or should) be voiced to accentuate the twelfth, this is not at all the same as a separate mutation rank at 2 2/3ft. pitch.

The Pedal Organ is simply too minimal, when the size of the other departments is taken into consideration, even with the dubious asset of the Récit Bombarde duplicated on this department.

Even if this scheme were carried-out with the services of a really good voicer, I do not think that it would either hang together convincingly, nor be particularly practical.


* There are innumberable Spanish organs of small size which contain (if that is the correct word) a loud chamade reed. Having played one or two examples in concert (usually after minimal rehearsal time), I remain entirely unconvinced of the perceived usefulness of such a rank.

To keep to a similar size, but spread over two claviers and pedals, I should prefer something along the following lines:

PEDAL ORGAN

Violone  (W) 16
Bourdon 16
Quint  (Std. W) 10 2/3
Violoncello (M) 8
Stopped Flute  (Ext.) 8
Bassoon  (W) 16
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell 4ft. to Pedal


GREAT ORGAN

Open Diapason 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Principal 4
Harmonic Flute 4
Fifteenth 2
Cornet  (12-15-17: G20/C25) III *
Tremulant
Swell 16ft. to Great
Swell to Great
Swell 4ft. to Great


* This stop can be electrically divided to stop either at G20 or C25, in order that, if desired, it can be accompanied on its own clavier.

SWELL ORGAN

Open Diapason 8
Flauto Traverso 8
Viola da Gamba 8
Voix Célestes  (AA) 8
Gemshorn  (Conical) 4
Mixture  (15-19-22) III
Hautboy 8
Trumpet 8
Tremulant
Sub Octave
Octave

Pedal to Great Pistons
Great to Pedal Pistons


Tuning: equal temperament.

NOTES

The Violone could be of metal, with the lowest notes Haskelled, if necessary.
The Quint should be voiced as 'dull' as possible, and is intended to be used in conjunction with the Violone.
The G.O. Cornet would be of wide scale, voiced with good blending qualities. In addtition to providing a useful solo voice (in combination, of course), it would also help to compensate for the lack of a chorus reed.


Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 12, 2011, 01:38:35 AM
To take the Récit first: there is a solitary Principal 4ft., but no 8ft. Diapason - or even an 8ft. Flute (it would be extremely unusual for the Cornet to sound below G20 at the lowest). The Bombarde is presumably of 16ft. pitch. This could be rather heavy in a small instrument. There is no quiet 8ft. reed, such as an Hautbois.

Hi!

Thanks so much for picking up on this thread - the issue is one worthy of deeper consideration.

You're very right about the 8ft here. At the time perhaps I was thinking of a bigger than usual Salicional nearer to being a Diapason and in fact (from memory) the Frobenius at Kingston Parish Church might have something of this nature.

Quote
The G.O. is a little better, although the idea of a chamade reed on a small instrument which, whilst not original,* is probably unnecessary.

:-) A little sparkle . . . ! Possibly depends on whether the acoustic of the building can make use of it.

Quote
On the Positive Organ, there is a Tierce, but no Nazard. This is almost pointless. As another contributor has stated on a different thread, the Tierce was never used in French Classical music without the Nazard.

This is a peculiarity which depends on the quality of the Quintadena as 8ft but providing a significant 12th and this suggestion arises from experiment by dint of necessity at Hammerwood where in the unequal temperament section of the organ, on the Positif a Jeu de Tierce is obtained by coupling down the Quintadena from the Solo and using a Bourdon and 4ft Flute with the Tierce. The result is reasonably successful.

Quote
In addition, there is another 1ft. stop. One in such a small scheme is perhaps a luxury - two I consider to be wasteful, particularly since there is apparently no 2ft. stop on the Positif.

Yes - agreed.

Quote
Whilst the Quintadena will (or should) be voiced to accentuate the twelfth, this is not at all the same as a separate mutation rank at 2 2/3ft. pitch.

Forgive my having been a little adventurous! I was trying to effect an economy, which might not be fully successful in practice . . .

Quote
To keep to a similar size, but spread over two claviers and pedals, I should prefer something along the following lines:

PEDAL ORGAN

Violone  (W) 16
Bourdon 16
Quint  (Std. W) 10 2/3
Violoncello (M) 8
Stopped Flute  (Ext.) 8
Bassoon  (W) 16
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell 4ft. to Pedal


GREAT ORGAN

Open Diapason 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Principal 4
Harmonic Flute 4
Fifteenth 2
Sesquialtera  (12-17) II
Tremulant
Swell 16ft. to Great
Swell to Great
Swell 4ft. to Great


SWELL ORGAN

Open Diapason 8
Flauto Traverso 8
Viola da Gamba 8
Voix Célestes  (AA) 8
Gemshorn  (Conical) 4
Mixture  (15-19-22) III
Hautboy 8
Trumpet 8
Tremulant
Sub Octave
Octave

Pedal to Great Pistons
Great to Pedal Pistons


Tuning: equal temperament.

NOTES

The Violone could be of metal, with the lowest notes Haskelled, if necessary.
The Quint should be voiced as 'dull' as possible, and is intended to be used in conjunction with the Violone.
The G.O. Sesquialtera would be of wide scale, voiced with good blending qualities. In addtition to providing a useful solo voice (in combination, of course), it would also help to compensate for the lack of a chorus reed.


[/font]

Um. Yes - very interesting - perhaps a lot of us might be salivating at such a scheme. Well worthy of further consideration. One might possibly be thinking of a teaching instrument or a subsidiary instrument for a school concert hall.

Subsequent to originating this discussion, I have experienced the surprisingly interesting genre of single manual French instruments, which one wonders if one could enlarge just slightly onto two manuals to be useful. Another instrument, near to Aix en Provence is at Bouc Bel Air by Jean Daldosso, having stops assignable to either manual at will, with a sideways action. http://www.orgueboucbelair.com/lorgue-jean-daldosso.html gives details but the recording that plays with the website hardly does justice to the instrument in real life.

As a larger instrument the Mander organ at Cranleigh http://www.mander-organs.com/portfolio/cranleigh-school.html is interesting in addition having a 3rd manual onto which the other two are permanently coupled. The choice of Kellner gives really nice thirds in B flat - F-C-G and should make the Tierce and mounted Cornet very beautiful in Couperin and the like.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 12, 2011, 10:05:52 AM
Hi!

I really don't recommend going to bed thinking of an organ specification for if one does . . .

The origin of this thread started possibly with the recent excitement of experiencing St Maximin . . . which gave a particular slant to the concept.

I wondered about going back to basics, square 1 and something simpler . . . and recalled the image of the instrument destroyed by bulldozer which was the instigation of the events that led to the creation of this forum:

(http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/organ/stops1.jpg)(http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/organ/stops2.jpg)

Swell:
Viole di Gamba 8
Voix Celestes 8
Rohr Flute 8
Gemshorn 4
Dulcet Mixture II
Oboe 8

Great:
Open Diapason 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Dulciana 8
Harmonic Flute 4
Principal 4
Piccolo 2

Choir:
Salicional 8
Lieblich Gedakt 8
Lieblich Flute 4
Clarinet 8

With the French Baroque the Dulicana with Stopped on the Great would serve as Montre, the Clarinet could be a fruitier Cromorne and with a 2ft on the Swell with what I assume might have been a Sesqualtra, one would have the Cornet, especially beefed up by the oboe which could veer towards trumpet. One might have a Trumpet on Great. . .

In the French Baroque, a characteristic is a chiffy 4ft flute with a smoother 8ft, the 4ft providing the greater definition.

The instrument was an interesting arrangement of just 17 stops on three manuals . . .

Could such an instrument be tweaked to do justice to a wide repertoire? Could one do with anything less? Could anything more add greatly?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 12, 2011, 10:28:31 PM
I am assuming that we're talking here of an instrument designed for liturgical use, some impressive voluntaries and maybe some recitals. Shall we say 20 ranks? Here's my nearly-all-enclosed take:

Pedal
1 -   Acoustic Bass 32' (unison from Great Bass, quint from Dulciana)
2 -   Great Bass 16' (open wood pipes, large scale, high pressure)
3 -   Dulciana 16' (from GO)
4 -   Bourdon 16' (from Swell)
5 -   Octave 8' (ext. Great Bass)
6 -   Flute 8' (ext. Bourdon)
7 -   Flute 4' (ext. Bourdon)
8 -   Trombone 16' (ext. GO Posaune)
9 -   Baryton 16' (from Swell)
10 -   Posaune 8' (from GO)

Great
11 -   Dulciana 16' (unenclosed)
12 -   Open Diapason I 8' (leathered, high pressure)
13 -   Open Diapason II 8' (unenclosed)
14 -   Hohl Flute 8'
15 -   Principal 4' (unenclosed)
16 -   Octave Flute 4'
17 -   Fifteenth 2' (unenclosed)
18 -   Mixture IV (19.22.26.29) (unenclosed, to be installed when funds permit more ranks)
19 -   Posaune 8' (enclosed in own box)

Swell
20 -   Lieblich Bourdon 16'
21 -   Viole d'Orchestre 8'
22 -   Voix celeste 8'
23 -   Lieblich Gedact 8' (independent of L.Bourdon)
24 -   Lieblich Flute 4'
25 -   Flautina 2'
26 -   Baryton 16'
27 -   Cornopean 8'
28 -   Hautboy 8'
29 -   Vox Humana 8'
30 -   Clarinet 8'

Choir
31 -   Dulciana 16'
32 -   Viola 8'
33 -   Celeste 8'
34 -   Hohl Flute 8'
35 -   Lieblich Flute 8'
36 -   Unda Maris 8' (from 8ft flutes)
37 -   Octave Flute 4'
38 -   Lieblich Flute 4'
39 -   Flautina 2'
40 -   Baryton 16'
41 -   Vox Humana 8'
42 -   Hautboy 8'
43 -   Clarinet 8'
44 -   Posaune 8'
45 -   Cornopean 8'

Solo
46 -   Open Diapason 8' (from GO No1)
47 -   Viole d'Orchestre 8' (from Swell)
48 -   Hohl Flute 8' (from GO)
49 -   Octave Flute 4' (from GO)
50 -   Trombone 16' (from Pedal)
51 -   Cornopean 8' (from Swell)
52 -   Solo Posaune 8' (from Great Posaune)
53 -   Clarinet 8' (from Swell)

The Unda Maris (a flute celeste) might be a cheat, but it ought to work, the two ranks beating slightly against each other - an idea nicked from PCND5584's post on the Mander forum of Jan 2 2006... The unenclosed Great diapason chorus would be along Lewis/Walcker lines, the rest more Norman & Beardish... and if you think that won't work, go and hear the 1902 N&B in Colchester's Moot Hall! Lewis was working for N&B at the time and so it's a lot brighter than you'd expect. Also, if you wish to quibble with the widespread use of pedal ranks on the manuals, or the placing of the Vox Humana on a separate manual (as at Saint-Brieuc) go and complain to Monsieur Cavaillé-Coll!  ;) This one is admittedly borrowed from the Swell, but could be used thereby either as a solo stop or in alternatim with other Swell stops. The whole Choir is, actually, derived from other manuals, as per Mercklin practice, with the exception of the Clarinet (Belgian-style free-reed?). The Baryton stop is a sort of 16ft Vox Humana, used by Willis, C-C, Brindley & Foster and others - useful not only as a chorus reed but also for the full Wurlitzer effect!

So, a four-manual (sort of), 53-stop instrument, all from just twenty ranks, without any manual extension (except the Solo Trombone/Posaune)! I've modified the post several times and it's turned into a sort of Audsleyesque concept, albeit without a load of floating departments (though I suppose each manual department could be floating, so it could be assigned to any manual). I guess the next step would be to go down the Compton route and extend everything... or is that cheating?

I'm sure the high-pressure reeds and leathered diapasons will please PCND  ;)

Actually, I doubt that any of this would please me. Now, to dissect the scheme.

The PEDAL ORGAN - only one independent rank. This is inadvisable. Whilst Col. Dixon and later, Arthur Harrison,  recognised the usefulness of making certain 16ft. clavier stops also available on the Pedal Organ, they generally provided a little more in the way of independent 16ft. ranks. There is no chorus here to speak of. This would be quite unsatisfactory. This department needs more pipework of its own - and in a logical order.

The Acoustic Bass is unlikely to work. The quint needs to come from a fairly pure flute with, for want of a better term,  'neutral' harmonics. A Dulciana is no good at all - there will be too much edge to the tone, albeit quiet.

Extending the G.O. reed down an octave to provide a Pedal reed is acceptable.

The CHOIR ORGAN. whilst one could cheat and provide a flute céleste, by adding an extra drawstop to control both ranks simultaneously - why bother? It is just as easy to draw both stops at once. However, this is not the only problem. One of the ranks, either the Hohl Flute or the Lieblich Flute (this should be called Lieblich Gedeckt, or Gedackt, at 8ft, pitch) will have to be tuned sharp (preferably not flat) to beat with the other unison rank; this will inevitably preclude its use as a solo stop, or in combination with the other ranks on this department.

With regard to the reeds, it appears that they are simply borrowed from the Swell Organ. Again - why bother? I can see little value in so many stops being made to draw on multiple divisions. It may perhaps be useful to have a solo reed * (or perhaps the G.O. reeds) available as a separate drawstop on another department - but not whole swathes of stops. The Swell Organ has one or two quieter ranks (on paper), which would be suitable to provide an accompaniment to the Clarinet, for example. The Hautboy should be on the Swell Organ only.

The GREAT ORGAN. So here, where there is the only real attempt on paper to design a diapason chorus, the only compound stop is apparently prepared-for. Again, this is highly unsatisfactory. There is a large, leathered Open Diapason - quite simply: why? It has been proven that excellent results can be obtained without recourse to this little trick. Then we have another Hohl Flute and Octave Flute - or perhaps they are also borrowed from the Choir Organ. If not, why duplicate the tonality?

In addition, it would be preferable to have the G.O. reed on an open soundboard. Otherwise, virtually the entire instrument will sound as if it is situated in the next town.

The SWELL ORGAN. This is sheer nonsense. No Diapason chorus - in fact, no Diapason at all. No mixture. Just another collection of flutes. The reeds are available on two other departments. In addition, the Viole d'Orchestre and companion undulant would need skilful voicing in order to blend with the family of Lieblich Flutes. Such keen strings generally mix better with more orchestral type flutes (Claribels, Flauti Traversi, Hohl Flutes, Flûtes Harmoniques, etc). The Lieblich type pipes blend better with Salicionals and Vox Angelicas - as FHW well knew.

The SOLO ORGAN - a mere collection of stops from the other divisions, available on yet another clavier - forget it!

It is difficult to discern what use such a scheme is likely to be. What were the thoughts behind this design? As it stands at present, on paper it is capable of little more than some pretty sounds and a seamless crescendo up to a somewhat thick and dull-sounding full organ. I can think of no voluntaries, impressive or otherwise, which I should wish to play on such an instrument.

You cite Lewis and HN&B in defence of your scheme, but the tonal ideals (and their subsequent realisation) are worlds away from the above. You apparently give no credence to the fact that that the Colchester Moot Hall Pedal Organ (of four stops) actually has more independent pipework than your own scheme, there is a secondary Diapason chorus (including a total of eight ranks of mixture-work §), there is also considerably less borrowing - or duplication. In fact, this type of late-Romantic voicing only works because of two factors. Firstly, at that time, HN&B employed good voicers (or in some cases, contracted-out to people such as William Cyples Jones). Secondly, despite a close association with the style of stop-list and voicing favoured by Robert Hope-Jones, HN&B never lost sight entirely of the chorus structures of William Hill.

Give me time to get some food, and I shall try to produce a re-working of your scheme.

I am going to need a really big skip, though....


* This arrangement currently obtains on the H&H instrument in Wells Cathedral, for example.

§ True, these probably both contained tierce ranks, and one may even have included the anti-social flat twenty-first.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 12, 2011, 11:01:20 PM
To keep the same number of stops for each division (but also dispensing with the borrowed Solo Organ), I suggest the following:

PEDAL ORGAN

Contra Bass  (W+M) 16
Bourdon 16
Quintatön  (G.O.)  16
Quint  (Std. W) 10 2/3
Octave  (M) 8
Stopped Flute  (Ext.) 8
Fifteenth 4
Grand Bombarde  (W) 16
Bass Trumpet  (Swell) 16
Trumpet  (W+M; ext.) 8
Choir to Pedal
Choir Octave to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal

Pedal to Great Pistons
Great to Pedal Pistons


CHOIR ORGAN
(Enclosed)

Lieblich Bourdon 16
Open Diapason 8
Flûte Harmonique 8
Violoncello 8
Violoncello Céleste  (CC) 8
Lieblich Gedeckt 8
Gemshorn  (Conical) 4
Suabe Flöte 4
Flageolet 2
Mixture  (15-19-22)
Cor Anglais  (73 pipes) 16
Corno di Bassetto 8
Tremulant
Sub Octave
Unison Off
Octave
Swell to Choir


GREAT ORGAN

Quintatön 16
Open Diapason I 8
Open Diapason II 8
Rohr Flöte 8
Octave 4
Wald Flöte 4
Super Octave 2
Mixture  (19-22-26-29) IV
Posaune 8
Reed on Choir
Choir to Great
Swell to Great


SWELL ORGAN

Open Diapason 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Salicional 8
Vox Angelica  (AA) 8
Geigen Principal 4
Fifteenth 2
Sharp Mixture  (22-26-29) III
Hautboy 8
Tremulant
Double Trumpet 16
Cornopean 8
Clarion 4
Sub Octave
Unison Off
Octave


NOTES

The Great Organ is entirely unenclosed.
I have reduced the Choir Organ in size, rationalising and re-apportioning the reed stops.
All stops are of complete compass, unless otherwise stated. No ranks are prepared-for.




Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 12, 2011, 11:40:55 PM
Dear VC and PCND

This thread is a very interesting exercise - we might have to split it into two however for a good comprehensive instrument and a small instrument :) but these specifications are nonetheless most instructive.

As a comment in passing rather than in any way considering the schemes comprehensively off the cuff, I'm not quite sure of the value of a 16 Quintaton as the main 16ft base for the manuals as the 5th close to the 8ft is out of the 8ft harmonic series and will muddy it up. It all depends on how subtle it is, I suppose. . . but presumably it will provide a richesse. However, I use one successfully on pedals with a Grand Tierce in absense of the Grand Nasard.

Reverting to an earlier discussion about the use of a high quint content 8ft within the Jeu de Tierce rather than a Nasard here's an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C16HE2uw3_U Apologies for playing - I was exploring the rhythmic emphasis of Mary Pratt Molinier at Albi* compared with the Temp Inegal. It's a heresy but one which could save a rank in a small instrument. However, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1YcEjz8Xro will have been registered with the appropriate 12th.
Best wishes

David P

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5GIPTPyGzI
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 12, 2011, 11:53:59 PM


... As a comment in passing rather than in any way considering the schemes comprehensively off the cuff, I'm not quite sure of the value of a 16 Quintaton as the main 16ft base for the manuals as the 5th close to the 8ft is out of the 8ft harmonic series and will muddy it up. It all depends on how subtle it is, I suppose. . . but presumably it will provide a richesse. ...
Best wishes

David P

The JW Walker insrument at Wimborne Minster has such a stop as the only G.O. sub-unison flue. It is, quite simply, superb; and I would not exchange it for a second. It is something of a chameleon, being able to provide a suitable foundation for the full G.O., yet also blending well with the flutes. It is a most versatile stop - even effective played an octave higher as a solo.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Brian Daniels on July 13, 2011, 12:34:30 AM
The Quintaten is very useful inter alia for the LH acct. in CPs when the CF is in the pedal at 4ft pitch as in
JSB's Wol soll ich fliehen hin BWV646. Properly voiced it can resemble a contrabass deftly played!

Brian Daniels
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 13, 2011, 08:36:16 AM
The JW Walker insrument at Wimborne Minster has such a stop as the only G.O. sub-unison flue. It is, quite simply, superb; and I would not exchange it for a second. It is something of a chameleon, being able to provide a suitable foundation for the full G.O., yet also blending well with the flutes. It is a most versatile stop - even effective played an octave higher as a solo.

Hi!

Interesting. One of Colin Pykett's researches to which some of my posts yesterday pointed looks at the way in which some stops fit harmonics into others. An example of this that he talks about is the way in which a 4ft Principal fits its harmonics into the gaps of the harmonics of the 8ft Stopped Diapason. It's for this reason that on small instruments one does not need two Open Diapasons. One supposes that the Quintadena does this sort of thing in a particularly coloured way setting up the chorus at 16ft pitch giving the instrument the gravitas of a much larger Seize Pieds instrument.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 13, 2011, 10:54:08 PM
The JW Walker insrument at Wimborne Minster has such a stop as the only G.O. sub-unison flue. It is, quite simply, superb; and I would not exchange it for a second. It is something of a chameleon, being able to provide a suitable foundation for the full G.O., yet also blending well with the flutes. It is a most versatile stop - even effective played an octave higher as a solo.

Hi!

Interesting. One of Colin Pykett's researches to which some of my posts yesterday pointed looks at the way in which some stops fit harmonics into others. An example of this that he talks about is the way in which a 4ft Principal fits its harmonics into the gaps of the harmonics of the 8ft Stopped Diapason. It's for this reason that on small instruments one does not need two Open Diapasons. One supposes that the Quintadena does this sort of thing in a particularly coloured way setting up the chorus at 16ft pitch giving the instrument the gravitas of a much larger Seize Pieds instrument.

Best wishes

David P

Indeed. In some ways, such a rank is preferable to a Double Open Diapason, which can be somewhat heavy and consequently, of limited use.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: organforumadmin on July 14, 2011, 06:21:37 PM
Moderators have expressed concern at the long post above but I have approved it as discussion of the foundations of organ design is so educational particularly to the upcoming generation and, hopefully, leading to exploration and enthusiasm for such.


The thread has strayed from a minimum or a small organ specification but these posts can always be split out onto a new topic in due course and PCND might contemplate this at the appropriate time . . .


In relation to pedal stops, experience at St Maximin is interesting as between the Great and the Recit manuals, there's the Resonnance (amnesia on spelling - please excuse or someone correct for me if necessary) to which pedal is permanently coupled and which can be shared with the Great. Pedal has no dedicated stops. Clever concept which could be more widely employed. I'd love to experience the Dom Bedos instrument at Rieti.


Best wishes


Forum Admin
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: revtonynewnham on July 14, 2011, 07:08:08 PM
Hi

As I understand it, the Resonance division is full compass, whereas the Bishop had an additional manual, to the left of the main keyboards, allowing another player (with strong fingers!) to play the pedal line if the main player wasn't able to use the pedals (a far from uncommon situation when the organ was built).

As far as I know, the Bishop is unique in this regard.  Another approach to strengthening a possibly inadequate pedal department can be seen on the organ in Haslingfield Parish Church - see http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=C00877

This is another Bishop - but rebuilt here by Peter Bumpstead in 2001.  The original organ had a Tenor C swell - which has been retained, but rather than the "Choir Bassw" (i.e. the lower 1 1/2 octaves of the Choir manual) having just an unenclosed Stopped Diapason (or a permanent coupling to the Gt St Diap) as typical, they have 3 stops, playable on both pedal and "choir bass" (an octave apart).

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 14, 2011, 10:49:10 PM
... The Acoustic Bass on that stupendous instrument uses Dulciana pipes for the Acoustic Bass's independent quint rank (the unison being, I believe, borrowed from the 16ft Open Wood) and they blend very well, providing a satisfying soft 32 for when the colossal Double Open Wood is too big. A true flute would be far too prominent - I remember vividly encountering the organ at Petworth PC where the unison was Open Wood and the quint was taken from the Bourdon. The effect was the same as playing on a 4ft flute and Nazard, only further down - no 32ft effect, just a 16ft fundamental and masses of quint.

Although, as far as I know, this is the only such example. However, I can think of many examples where the quint was taken, either from the Bourdon or a separate rank of stopped wooden pipes. Yes, of course it depends on the scale and voicing of the pipes (and the acoustics of the building), but there are a number of examples which are quite satisfactory. The organ of Chichester Cathedral is one; Gloucester Cathedral is another. In fact, the new Pedal mutations on this instrument were most favourably reviewed, following the opening concert (at which I had the privilege of acting as page-turner and occasional registrant to David Briggs). True, they included the Tierce (6 2/5ft.) and Septième (4 4/7ft.) - but the Quint was derived from the Subbass. It is simply not correct to say that 'A true flute would be far too prominent.'

For the record, one of the most effective (partly) quinted 32ft. stops I have encountered, is that on the organ of Saint James the Great, Kilkhampton, Cornwall. In 1892, T.C. Lewis added a 32ft. Sub-Bass. In 1958, Roger Yates rebuilt this instrument as a twenty-stop neo-Classical instrument, adding a French Bombarde to the Pedal Organ in 1962. The 32ft. is 'real', down to G (that is to say, it consists of fairly wide-scaled Bourdon pipes). Below this, it is 'quinted' on itself - but a fourth below. Whilst one may baulk at this (on paper, it should not work); yet, in this comparatively intimate church, with no appreciable resonance, the effect is superb, right down to the bottom note.


Fair cop on the extra drawstop on the Choir. I also hadn't thought of the possible tuning problems with the Flute celeste! How does yours at Wimborne work? As for the way the Choir and Solo are borrowed - Mercklin often borrowed stops to form a Choir organ, Schulze did something similar with the Doncaster Solo organ... The Hautboy is there for a reason - they can be very useful on the Choir. That on the Ewell Willis (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D08165 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D08165) (admittedly an Orchestral Hautboy) could be very useful and blended well with the honky Corno di Bassetto to provide a moderately convincing Cromorne.

You have mis-read my description of the Wimborne flute céleste. We do not actually have such a stop. It is simply a lucky fluke. It is almost impossible to tune the Swell Stopped Diapason 'dead' to the G.O. Rohr Flute - the result, whilst sounding absolutely fine in combination with other ranks, is a pleasant undulating flute effect, which is both restful and useful.

I am sure that one could make a case for all sorts of derivations and borrowings; however, on most English organs, the Hautboy/Hautbois/Oboe is placed in the Swell Organ - where it is also very useful. I have played a number of instruments which possessed an Oboe on the Choir Organ; such stops have invariably been of the orchestral variety - and often not at all the same thing as a Swell Oboe. The Hill/HN&B organ at Saint Stephen's, Walbrook is a case in point. I wish that the former Clarinet had been retained instead.


A Mixture isn't a necessity when the basic chorus has been voiced sufficiently brightly. I remember reading that one former organist at Southwark Cathedral rarely went as high as a Fifteenth and never used Mixtures and I can well understand why. Full Great to Mixture at Southwark is like stepping under a cold shower - very nice, but not to be used all the time. The reason for the leathered open diapason is that no other OD can give such warmth, power and prompt speech all in one. Schulze's big-scaled ODs are very nice but they do come on rather slowly. Those flutes were intended to be part of the Great, with all Choir stops borrowed, as Merklin often did.

I would dispute this, as a matter of personal preference. In any case, the chorus up to 2ft. in the G.O. at Southwark is not particularly strong on its own - it is when the IV-rank Mixture is added that this chorus comes to life. The same is true, to an extent, at Saint John's, Upper Norwood - or at least was, the last time I heard this in the building.

I, too, have read the description of the former organist at Southwark cathedral. As far as I recall, it did not specifically mention that he never used the mixtures - simply that people 'never heard half of it'. Perhaps you can find the relevant source, in the interest of accuracy.

With regard to leathered Open Diapasons, whist you are, of course, entitled to your viewpoint, to judge from the number of instruments which have had the leather removed and the stop revoiced, it is possible that not everyone would agree with you.


Look at a good many Cavaillé-Colls - no Swell diapasons. Again, Exeter College Oxford has no 8ft diapasons (though it does have a 4ft Prestant for some reason). Why would you need a secondary diapason chorus on the Swell on a mere 20-rank instrument? The strings would be quite keen (not quite to Hope-Jones' standards) but, again, needn't be unblending: one of my favourite organs, a 13-stop Henry Jones, has a Viole d'Orchestre and a Voix Celeste, both keen, which blend beautifully with the Lieblich Gedact.

To quote Cavaillé-Coll as an example is arguably spurious - the style and quality (I mean aural - not value for money) of the voicing of his foundation stops * meant that a perfectly satisfactory result was obtained. In any case, since no organ by Cavaillé-Coll was designed specifically for choral accompaniment (in the Anglican sense), the absence of a Swell Open Diapason is not any great handicap. On my own church instrument, this stop is absolutely invaluable.




* Again, I am not thinking merely in terms of the G.O. 'four', here.


The thoughts behind this design were to provide a moderately versatile small organ in the Romantic tradition without any pandering to the post-Organ Reform Movement way of thinking. Pretty sounds, yes, seamless crescendo, yes, but, with a Lewis-like 8/4/2 diapason chorus and reeds designed along Father Willis lines, to give power, width and bite, the full organ would be nowhere near thick or dull.

Again, this is a matter of opinion: mine is that your scheme is far from versatile, there being a number of previously mentioned omissions which I regard as somewhat more essential than endless borrowings and derivations.

Your original post made no mention of 'reeds designed along Father Willis lines'; such stops would indeed give power, vigour (my preferred description - I am not sure what is meant by 'width', in terms of organ reed stops) and bite. Salisbury is nothing without its chorus reeds.


I didn't mention HNB - I said N&B, pre-Hill merger. Moot Hall has more independent Pedal pipework because it's got a hang sight more than 20 ranks - looking at NPOR, even allowing for the Pedal 8fts possibly being extended, and going by the original spec (without the neobaroque alterations), it must have had at least 34 ranks. The same goes for the secondary chorus - quite possible if you're prepared to accept the cost of another 14+ ranks. I shouldn't be surprised if the Mixtures were later too - N&B didn't usually provide so much, and, with a bright 8-4-2 chorus, they wouldn't be all that necessary.

No - but you did mention the instrument in Colchester's Moot Hall, in defence of your argument - which is why I looked at the scheme, and drew my own conclusions. Without further conclusive evidence, your conjecture regarding the compound stops being a later addition will have to remain precisely that - a guess.

As for Tierces and Twenty-Firsts in mixtures: so what? Many Baroque organs had Tierce mixtures, as Pierre Lauwers will have told you. Trost, Hildebrandt etc... Tierce mixtures and Bach go together fine!

And as I have also commented to Pierre on many occasions, there are plenty of Baroque organs which possessed predominantly quint mixtures - I have, on a number of occasions, supplied firm evidence to support this - with postings of complete mixture schemes.

In any case, the matter of Trost is rather less clear-cut than has been suggested. He only attempted two major projects in his lifetime - and one of those (Waltershausen) had to be finished by another builder. §

Once again, it is a matter of personal taste. If you like the purity of your Bach (arguably) sullied by what I regard as the irritating, reedy jangle of tierce mixtures, then this is an entirely personal opinion - no more or less valid than my own.




§ Trost probably took almost twenty years to build this instrument - the dedication is not precisely documented, but might possibly have been in May, 1741. ...'These historical facts seem very strange when one considers what a significant organ project was involved. In the case of similarly placed organs, such as Zacharias Hildebrandt’s organ in the St. Wenzelskirche in Namburg (also a city organ project), there was a crowning completion ceremony with famous examiners (such as Bach and Silbermann) and an opulent feast of organ music. No report of anything of this kind has been handed down to us about Waltershausen'. (My emphasis.)


Also, the Harrison-style Harmonics to which you refer contain twenty-firsts for a reason. These were never intended to be chorus mixtures to cap 8-4-2 open diapasons! They were supposed to be drawn with - or even after - the reeds. When one hears a good H&H organ which has such a mixture being played as it was intended to be played, it all falls into place. The reeds can be rather pervasive but lacking in bite without the Harmonics - add the Harmonics and suddenly they've got that missing piece.

If you think that I was not already aware of all this, you have not read my many posts on the Mander board regarding this point. I know perfectly well why Arthur Harrison included both the tierce and the flat twenty-first in his Harmonics. M y rejoinder (as I have written elsewhere, on more than one occasion) is that I regard the tonal design of both his Harmonics and his Trombe to be fundamentally flawed. Incidentally, Lieut.-Col. George Dixon was, I thought originally, a gunnery sergeant - but actually it was worse: artillery. It is highly likely that his hearing had sustained permanent damage - which could easily account for his taste in reeds.

I've heard this at Tooting (a little-known masterpiece) and Margaret Street and it really works. Don't demand of an organ that which its designers never provided for! A FHW or an Arthur Harrison will never be a Bach organ (even some extremely clever registration and playing never yielded really satisfying Bach at Ewell) but if you play English and French Romantic music on it, it'll work! Oh, and I'm pretty sure Cavaillé-Coll's big Plein Jeus (like the seven-ranker at Caen) often had 21sts in them.

Cavaillé-Coll - flat twenty-firsts in compound stops? No. This is again pure conjecture on your part. He did provide separate stops at 4 4/7ft., 2 2/7ft. and 1 1/7ft. pitch on various larger organs - such as S. Sulpice and Nôtre-Dame, Paris.

I have played for services on the instrument at S. Etienne, Caen - may I assure you that the compound stops do not contain the flat twenty-first.


Without in any way wishing to sound disrespectful - and I do share some of your tastes, particularly for the best of Walker's 1960s work - I might suggest that your distaste for leathered diapasons, powerful, rounded English reeds and Tierce/Harmonics mixtures is perhaps coloured a little by prejudice.

Disrespectful? No - just plain wrong.

It has nothing to do with prejudice - and everything to do with the fact that I happen not to like the sounds of such stops - and in a number of cases, have found little or no musical use for such tonal extremes.


I can't comment on your experiences at Crediton, but only suggest that the recent rebuild by a little-known builder (not the original) might not have been the best thing. On the other hand, Michael Farley may be a superb craftsman and voicer - never having encountered any of his work, I cannot possibly comment.

No - but I can. I have played it both before and after the (comparatively) recent work. To the best of my knowledge, Michael Farley's contribution to the tonal side of the restoration, was to provide a 32ft. extension of the Pedal Ophicleide, an 8ft. extension to the G.O. Double Geigen (playable on both Pedal and Great organs) and a new top octave to the Choir Orchestral Bassoon. To my ears, the rest of it sounds pretty much as it did prior to this work. The NPOR survey is wrong on some details - for example, the Swell Mixture has always been 12-19-22 at CC; it never contained a tierce.

The fact that the instrument was left for many years in only a semi-finished state by H&H also suggests that it might not have been a total thoroughbred. I know what you have also said about Bournemouth - the H&H there has been so knocked about (thinking particularly of the removal of the Harmonics mixture) that I don't think it can be considered representative.

The H&H organ at Crediton Parish Church was only 'semi-finished' with regard to the casework - a not uncommon state of affairs with this firm.

Having previously been Assistant Organist at Saint Peter's, Bournemouth (and having also played it for Choral Evensong last Sunday, for a colleague) , I am only too well aware of the fact that it is no longer representative of Arthur Harrison's work.


I make no apologies for being a big fan of Willis, Harrison, Norman & Beard and Hope-Jones. The last remains the most persistently underrated and villified organ-builder and designer in history, which is all the more tragic since few who do him down have ever heard one of his organs. One by one the few survivors are going... Roehampton... Worcester... All Saints Upper Norwood... at least there's one Ingram-built RHJ left in St Oswald, Hartlepool, unplayable since the 1970s and so - thank God! - very largely intact and unmolested, now in possession of a Grade 1 BIOS Historic Organ Certificate. It's high time this instrument was restored (perhaps put some pressure on the local ship-scrapping yards for funding?) and that it was used as the basis of a total re-examination of RHJ's work.

You are entitled to your point of view - but, again, the fact that many instruments by Robert Hope-Jones have either been replaced or altered out of all recognition may suggest that this type of tonal style was of limited appeal.

Having played an example at Pilton Church (before it was altered) and the instrument at Worcester Cathedral (before it was removed), I cannot say that there was even the slightest resemblance between these two instruments - even allowing for the vast difference in size. In any case, since H&H (and in 1978, Wood, Wordsworth & Co.) had several attempts at 'sorting out' that at Worcester, I doubt that there were many tonally untouched ranks left from the Hope-Jones organ.

It may be worth remembering that he was actually trained as a telephone engineer. Whilst this does not in itself preclude the fact that he might have produced some good instruments, I would suggest that those which he did build (particularly those of larger size) were fundamentally flawed in their tonal design - and in fact were nothing more than 'orchestrions'.

When one strays so far from the true chorus structure of the organ, and merely provides a plethora of 8ft. and 4ft. stops, with a number of examples of tonal extremes, I would suggest that such an instrument cannot, by its very nature, be regarded as truly representative.

At this stage, it might be worth returning to the actual topic of this thread. Clearly there is little likelihood of me persuading you to alter your opinions. Conversely (and again, without wishing to resort to being discourteous), there really is nothing you can say which will convert me to your way of thinking.



Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Brian Daniels on July 15, 2011, 12:02:31 AM
The aspect of the simulation of Open Diap. 8ft timbres by the use of a Flute 8ft as the fundamental tone plus a 4ft Principal raises an interesting thought. Because the two stops are independent they will be primarily heard as two sounds because the harmonic ingredients of both are not sychronised (free phase ). The 'Open sound' works after a fashion and was acclaimed as a good subsitute in the 60s when Open Diapasons were not incorporated into the schemes of small organs in particular. Ironically the arrangement would be more successful in certain electronic organs where the notes are derived by frequency division.

I remember as a lad yearning for a pedal 16ft Trombone by coupling the Gt Trumpet to the Pedal 16ft Open wood and 'pretending' it was the real thing!

A hybrid is of course the Haskell bass in which a parasitic resonator, which is a stopped tube, is inserted into a normal but wide enough open flue that is, stopped side at the open end of the host pipe. The inside pipe provides the ground tone and is excited by the energy from the host open pipe an octave higher. This is an effective way of providing a compact 'Open 16' for the pedal. The drawback here is the limitation of the power of the fundamental due to the inherent limit to the diameter of the inside parasitic resonator.

Brian Daniels.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 15, 2011, 02:02:04 AM
To pick up on just one point tonight (since it is now 02:00 and I am a little sleepy)....

Since no organ by Cavaillé-Coll was designed specifically for choral accompaniment (in the Anglican sense), the absence of a Swell Open Diapason is not any great handicap. On my own church instrument, this stop is absolutely invaluable.

Wasn't Blackburn designed for choral accompaniment in the Anglican sense?

Probably not - in 1875. In any case, the style of accompaniment peculiar to the Anglican choral tradition has evolved over many years. When Cavaillé-Coll built Blackburn, aside fron the fact that the repertoire was rather different, he provided (from the look of the paper stop-list) a fairly standard * scheme, with few concessions to English requirements, other than an identifiable 'full Swell' effect - if, indeed, such a combination was even recognised in choral accompaniment at that stage.

Interestingly, this instrument possessed a Diapason at 8ft. pitch on the Récit-Expressif.



* Whilst there was no absolutely standard scheme, in the same way that one might predict a standard H&H scheme for a three-clavier instrument (built around 1920-30), nevertheless, there were some features which appeared regularly in stop-lists of a certain size.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on July 15, 2011, 01:23:39 PM
As I understand it (and I may be quite wrong) an 8ft 'Diapason' on a C-C is actually a sort of stopped diapason? I have to confess that I hadn't NPOR'd it...

No - this is incorrect. It is an open stop. The Bourdon 8ft. roughly approximates to a Stopped Diapason.

For the record, where possible, I try to check other sources. The NPOR team do a good job, but naturally they depend on contributors checking the accuracy of their own submissions.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: revtonynewnham on July 15, 2011, 03:54:49 PM


For the record, where possible, I try to check other sources. The NPOR team do a good job, but naturally they depend on contributors checking the accuracy of their own submissions.[/font]

Hi

So true - and trying to sort out the truth of contributions is sometimes far from easy!  We also like contributor's to quote the source of their information (site visit - with date! - we had one batch of updates which, when I checked, were from the contributor's notes of visits some 20 years earlier!  Relevant - but if I'd known that to start with it would have saved a LOT of time trying to sort out inconsistencies!)  or the source of info if from a publication, etc.  And "secondary sources" (including organ builder's published stop lists don't always tell the truth - and nor do magazines.  One of the glossy organ mags dropped a huge clanger recently, the printed stop list didn't correspond to the close-up photographs of the stop jambs adjacent!

Every Blessing

Tony
NPOR Editor)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: organforumadmin on July 24, 2011, 02:34:32 PM
Hi!


Whilst searching for Stephen Bicknell the following essay came to the surface with interesting things to say about minimum specifications:


http://www.stephenbicknell.org/3.6.01.php (http://www.stephenbicknell.org/3.6.01.php)


Best wishes


Forum Admin
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Holditch on July 24, 2011, 02:51:35 PM
Excellent article, very interesting bit about helper bass pipes. Might try that one at home!

Marc
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on August 23, 2011, 01:51:05 PM
It is interesting to note that there is a growing awareness amongst those who design (and those who commission) house-organs regarding the amount of upperwork which is considered to be desirable.

I recall the time last summer when I 'discovered' Cecil Clutton's old house-organ, in a new home. I was able to play it for a short time - frankly, half an hour was quite enough.

For some time, I have felt an increasing dissatisfaction (not to say concern) with house-organs which possess a lot of upperwork, with separate mutations and mixtures, even occasionally including a two- or three-rank Cymbale. I felt that this was likely to prove unsatisfactory - particularly within the confines of the intimate space of a room in a house. Given that I played Clutton's former instrument in a room with a high ceiling and hard plaster walls, I can only imagine its effect in its original surroundings - a basement (or semi-basement) room, with a low, flat, boarded ceiling.

For a house organ of two claviers, perhaps to be situated in a room measuring around twenty feet by twenty* ( and possibly with the organ in an alcove) and with a ceiling not less than ten feet in height, I would suggest the following:

PEDAL ORGAN

Sub Bass  16
Quint  (Std. W) 10 2/3
Violoncello 8
Flute  (Ext.) 8
Viole  (W+M; Ext.) 4
Flute  (Ext.) 4
Bassoon  (In Swell; Low 12 W) 16
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal



GREAT ORGAN

Stopped Diapason 8
Viola da Gamba 8
Wald Flute 8  (Old Walker type)
Principal 4
Harmonic Flute 4
Flageolet 2

Swell to Great


SWELL ORGAN

Open Diapason  (Low 8 std. M) 8
Rohr Gedeckt 8
Viola 8
Vox Angelica  (AA) 8
Gemshorn  (Conical) 4
Corno di Bassetto 16
Hautboy 8
Tremulant



* I am not sure that I would wish to have a house organ in a space smaller than this.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on August 24, 2011, 10:57:30 AM
PEDAL ORGAN

Sub Bass  16
Quint  (Std. W) 10 2/3
Violoncello 8
Flute  (Ext.) 8
Viole  (W+M; Ext.) 4
Flute  (Ext.) 4
Bassoon  (In Swell; Low 12 W) 16
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal


GREAT ORGAN

Stopped Diapason 8
Viola da Gamba 8
Wald Flute 8  (Old Walker type)
Principal 4
Harmonic Flute 4
Flageolet 2

Swell to Great


SWELL ORGAN

Open Diapason  (Low 8 std. M) 8
Rohr Gedeckt 8
Viola 8
Vox Angelica  (AA) 8
Gemshorn  (Conical) 4
Corno di Bassetto 16
Hautboy 8
Tremulant



Hi!

A very charming instrument would result from this - interesting lack of Diap on Great - and two flutish sounds instead . . .  Would you use the Viola de Gamba with the stopped or the flute to give you a Diapason character or reverse things using the Swell diapason?

Presumably electric action?

With regard to upperwork perhaps one needs to come to a realisation that a Cornet was intended to be a very penetrating sound that could cut through as a solo in a large space, and similarly with the high mixtures.

For a larger than house organ, one might extend towards them even though the Colt Collection barrel organ extends to a 12th . . .

Over lunch the other day I was chatting with De Grigny on this forum who has written some very helpful definitive articles on French Baroque registration for the forum and he has some very interesting comments about the differences between English and French mixtures on account of the breaks and the necessity of the Tierce to bring out a clear line.

Perhaps a pertinant thought is the fact that in places of significant temperature variation and infrequent maintenance, a cornet can be helpful instead of an Oboe or Hautboi as well as being able to provide, as a Cornet Séparée those mutations.

(Incidentally, in chatting with member De Grigny I mentioned the linguistics Oboe - Hautboi - Haut Bois meaning High Wood and De Grigny pointed out that Bassoon is Bas Son - Low Sound, the two thereby coming together)

In your specification, a 16ft Bassetto is certainly an interesting idea providing the odd harmonics which would add great colour to the sound.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Pierre Lauwers on December 04, 2011, 10:39:11 AM
Good morning to all,

Here is my last one -though not really minimal- aimed at much effect with a simple electro-pneumatic action:

MANUAL I

Bourdon 16'
Open Diapason I 8'(Phonon, heavy wind)
Open Diapason II 8'
Flûte harmonique 8' (treble ascendancy)
Gambe 8'
Doppelflöte 8'
Principal 4'
Rauschpfeife 2r 2 2/3'- 2'

MANUAL II enclosed

Viole de Gambe 8'
Voix céleste 8'
Quintatön 8'
Traversflöte 8' (wood, treble ascendancy)
Flûte octaviante 4' (treble ascendancy)
Octavin 2' (ditto)
Sesquialtera 3r 1 3/5'- 1 1/3'- 1' ( yes, the "17-19-22"...))
Bombarde 16'
Trompette 8'
Hautbois 8' (draws Gambe + Quintatön)
Clairon 4'

MANUAL III enclosed

Aeoline 8'
Voix céleste II 8' (3 pipes narrower than II)
Dulciana 8'
Lieblich Gedackt 8' (double mouths like Doppelflöte, but here a soft stop)
Dulciana 4'
Flauto Dolce 4'
Harmonia aetherea 3r 2 2/3'- 2'- 1 3/5'
Klarinette 8' (free reeds)
Tuba 8' (heavy wind)

PEDALE (2 actual stops)

Contrebasse 16'
Soubasse 16' (I)
Grossquintbass 10 2/3'
Octave 8' (ext)
Grosse Flûte 8' (Doppelflöte from I)
Violoncelle 8' (I)
Bombarde 16' (II)
Trompette 8' (II)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on December 04, 2011, 12:55:01 PM
Dear Pierre

Firstly WELCOME to the Forum! It's a place where brainstoming and enthusiasms may flourish and certainly your specification speaks of that . . .

It seems a specification of particular creativity - the combination of a free reed Klarinette with a high pressure Tuba seems greatly unusual but you're clearly truly embracing a bridge between the best of classical harmonic structure and the orchestral with those luscious strings . . .

With the two rank Celeste what does your annotation mean about 3 pipes being narrower?

What sort of space does the instrument speak into? On account of the delicacy of Dulciana's at 8 and 4, a Flute Dolce and a Harmonia aetherea to match, clearly it's not filling the Albert Hall but expresses great charm . . .

The Hautbois - a synthetic stop? Doing this with a Gamba and Quintaton looks an intriguing solution . . .

I'm sure that it's possibly quite difficult for young organists who might come across a specification which isn't straightly conventional to find the sort of sounds creatively intended in a specification of ingenuity and creativitiy like this. Looking at a specification and translating it into an aural visualisation are two different things. Are there any nuances of sound that come out of particular combinations of these stops which might not be obvious at first sight which you've found particularly interesting? There's a lack of naked 2ft pitch - presumably made up for by the brightness of the Principal 4?

Many thanks for a very mind-tickling contribution . . . !

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Pierre Lauwers on December 04, 2011, 03:50:15 PM
Dear David,

Thanks !

-The Klarinette and the Tuba indeed do not work togheter: actually, in the absence of a Solo Manual, the Tuba is placed on the third manual in order to respons to the first one, as it is customary in british organs.
(Here, rather I + II, as the Diapason Chorus is divided in two parts!)

The three manuals are ordered after the german romantic organ manner ("Abschwächungsprinzip"), that is, the first manual the loudest, the third the softest. Accordingly, the Voix celeste there is narrower, about "three pipes", i.e. three tones narrower than the one on the second manual.
The third manual is so essentially a "Fernwerk" intended for "celestial effects" and soft passages.

Quintatön+ Gamba = Hautbois: this was often done in german romantic organs. The 1907 Walcker organ in Namur (Belgium) had it.

This Specification is aimed at a normal church (in Belgium, so west-end position).

There is nothing that was not previously tried there (I am an historian). The lack of an independant Fifteenth goes back to...1700, with the Casparini organ of Görlitz. Isnard did the same later at St-Maximin-du-Var. The aim here is to empeach any 8-4-2 for hours on the first manual, as too many organists still do on such organs.

As I did imagine some scales and details I can answer some questions should it be desired.

Best wishes,

Pierre
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on December 04, 2011, 05:54:17 PM
Dear Pieere

Thanks so much for these illuminations.

For those possibly younger organists to whom the explanation of the Celeste might be a mystery - Pierre's saying that as the pipes get thinner with increasing pitch, the scale of the celeste rank should be such that it is the diameter of the third higher pipe of the other rank of which it's sounding, naturally giving the appropriately proportioned diminished sound necessary for the detuned rank.

The 8-4-2 syndrome - yes many of us English organists do that sort of thing for the reason that so many British organs were built that way. Discussions such as this one are so valuable in throwing such problems of registration into the limelight.

Certainly on the continent and in France in particular where so many instruments were not in equal temperament, the Tierce and Quint based stops were so much more harmonious with the keys in which pure intervals flourished and more interesting too in the others. Blanket adoption of equal temperament at some stage had a lot to answer for in making British organs have to resort more and more to mere unsubtleties to make them more interesting, coming towards the "orchestral" instrument. It was perhaps in this manner of stripping away the harmonic tone colour that left many small instruments of the late Victorian period unable to give much registartional insight to organists . . .

St Maximin - with the Doublette and Quarte de Nasard on the Positif it had not struck me as leading one to avoid 2ft registrations. On the the Grande Orgue and Résonance, respectively the Prestant and Flute are present as the fourth harmonic in the Sieze Pieds aliquot structure - but the point is certainly interesting.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Pierre Lauwers on December 04, 2011, 07:22:32 PM
The Fifteenth is of course present, but not on the first manual, the loudest one; it is there that 8-4-2 was not possible. The Doublette was in the Fourniture.
At Görlitz it was in the....Rauschpfeife, with the Twelfth thus.
I resorted to the same idea here.
The 17th -the Tierce this in 1 3/5', but also at 4/5', or even 2/5' (the first Walcker organ in the Mulhouse evangelic church, 1866-70), and of course at 16' and 32' pitch, is very important in romantic design, but it is often included in Mixtures, without mention. Here we have the "17-19-22" after the Willis manner. Willis named it "Mixture", while such stops existed already in the 18th century under the name...Sesquialtera.
As they are indeed confronted to an aequal -or nearly aequal, because that matter is somewhat complex, even with 19th century organs-  temperament, those stops are better used with the reeds: in this design here, we have actually a "backbone" chorus 16-8-4-2 2/3'- 2' - 1 3/5'- 1 1/3'- ' plus
the reeds 16-8-4, split over Manuals I and II; alternatively, the tierce rank is softly voiced in soft Mixtures (Harmonia aetherea), to which they impart a "goldene" tone, very marked in Walcker organs, at Riga for example.

Best wishes,

Pierre
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on December 08, 2011, 11:27:28 AM
Dear Pierre

http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,1110.msg4850/topicseen.html#msg4850 is an instrument in England reputedly good with a clearly British 8 4 2 structure . . . channelling British organists along the lines you've been steering away from . . . 

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Pierre Lauwers on December 08, 2011, 11:49:04 AM
Interestingly, this Fifteenth is extended from a 16'-8' Salicional !
To note also the Rauschpfeife ("Rauschquint") but on the second manual.

Best wishes,

Pierre
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Bruise in the Muttastery on December 26, 2011, 07:21:55 AM
Greetings,
This is my second post to OrganMatters and I'm very excited to find this topic.   I love small organs and am an admitted stoplist hound!

For a small instrument I would aim for:

GREAT
Bourdon 16  - wood with chimney from middle c
Open Diapason 8  -  metal in facade
Spitzflote 8
Principal 4
Waldflote 2
Clarinet 8

SWELL
Stopt Flute 8
Salicional 8
Quintadena 8
Violin 4
Harmonic Flute 4
Mixture IV
Oboe 8

PEDAL
Violone 16
Bourdon 16  from Great
Flute 8   open metal
Trombone 16

The organ is 2 manuals and 16 stops, 19 ranks.     I always want to have a 16 Bourdon on the Great which not only gives weight to the chorus, but also provides an additional unison stop (played 8 va) as well as a duplexed Pedal stop.   

To trim this organ down, I would  omit the  Trombone 16, the Mixture and Oboe.

If a three manual instrument is desired I would add:

CHOIR
Dulciana 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Chimney Flute 4
Nazard 2-2/3
Clarinet 8     (replacing the Great Clarinet with a small Trumpet)

bruise in the muttastery
gainesville fl usa
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Bruise in the Muttastery on December 26, 2011, 03:31:07 PM
Greetings,
Last night I was pondering my "minimal" stoplist and recalled that  19 stops is not minimal.  For a minimal stoplist, that can play a simple service perhaps:

GREAT:   Open Diapason 8

SWELL:  Salicional 8 tc, Dulciana 8 tc, Stopt Flute 8 tc, Stopt Bass 8

PEDAL: Bourdon 16, Flute 8

COUPLERS:   Swell to Great 4, Great to Pedal, Swell to Pedal

This stoplist would give four unison colours, and with the Swell to Great 4 coupler would give octave pitches to brighten and give a small chorus for hymns.    The reason for the one Swell to Great 4 coupler is to simplify the action, and 8' coupler would be an option.

This could also be done with three manuals by adding

CHOIR:  Gedeckt 8, Tapered Flute 4, Clarinet

I think small organs are a wonderful challenge.

Bruise in the Muttastery
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on December 27, 2011, 01:03:59 AM
Bruise, if you want a real multum-in-parvo job, just look up the Willis at Kilkhampton Methodist - arguably one of the most ingenious little instruments ever constructed!

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05164 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05164)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Ian van Deurne on March 07, 2012, 03:14:05 PM
Okay then, here is one of my own little darlings, built in 2007 in West Friesland

I. Hoofdwerk

Principal 8
Roerfluit 8
Octaav 4
Quint 2.2/3
Waldfluit 2
Mixtuur IV
Trompet 8

II. Bovenwerk

Gedakt 8
Quintadena 8
Principal 4
Roerfluit 4
Nassat 2.2/3
Octaav 2
Terts 1.3/5
Cimbel III
Koortholt 8

Pedaal

Bourdon 16
Octaav 8  (trm.Hw)
Bazuin 16
Trompet 8  (trm.Hw)

Coppels

I/P  II/P  II/I

Tremblant forte (whole organ)
Tremblant doux (Bovenwerk)

Cimbelstern
Philomena

Compass: C - f' - f'''  (30-54)
Wind pressure: 68mm

a = 440Hz @ 18c
Temperament: Kirnberger III

20 registers          1206 pipes    (Bw Gedakt & Quintadena share C-B common bass)

....and it does exactly what it says on the stop knobs (all of them!)

Best Wishes from Ian.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 08, 2012, 09:34:42 PM
Well, if you want small, try the organ I play, at St Joseph's RC church, Ingrow, Keighley, W Yorks.


Hauptwerk


Principal              8
Rohrflute             8
Octave                4
Sesquialtera        II rks  (12:17)
Mixture               IV    (15:19:22:26)



Brustwerk


Gedact                 8
Koppel Flute        4
Principal               2
Quint                   1.1/3


Pedal

Bordun                 16
Fagot                   16


Bw - Hw
Bw-Ped
Hw-Ped


That's it!

The interesting thing is, that various organists have played a number of surprising organ-works in recital which wouldn't normally be considered right for the instrument.

Here is a list:-

Jonathan Bielby -  Liszt BACH
Francis Jackson - Vierne Finale Symph. no 1
Philip Tordoff - Mendelssohn/Rheinberger
Myself - Reger & Reubke

The list goes on, though nowadays, recitals would not attract much support.

The secret of the organ is the acoustic, allied to some superb voicing from Denis Thurlow. A silvery terz chorus and extremely beautiful flutes make this a very flexible instrument indeed, which in the absolutely perfect acoustic ambience, produces an effect not dissimilar to the Bavokerk orgel in Haarlem, but with less variety naturally.

Would I change anything?

Yes....I would get rid of the Quint 1.1/3, which really isn't necessary with a bright 2ft Principal. A 2ft Blockflute would be a nice alternative, and permit a nice contrast in Trio Sonatas, rather than an unrelentingly bright 2ft Principal chorus. 8.4.2.2 would be nice.







Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 08, 2012, 11:07:49 PM
Bruise, if you want a real multum-in-parvo job, just look up the Willis at Kilkhampton Methodist - arguably one of the most ingenious little instruments ever constructed!

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05164 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05164)

Hmmm - I once had to play this for a concert (including solos and choral accompaniment of easily accessible repertoire).

Actually, in practice, I thought that it was dull and uninteresting - even allowing for its diminutive size. THe Willis/Lewis/Yates across the road is far more interesting. (Yes, I know that it is about three times the size.)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on March 09, 2012, 08:22:20 AM
No doubt you'd prefer your small organ to look like this:
Pedal: Quintaton 16', Flute 8', Octave Flute 4', Mixture IV (19.22.26.29), Contra Bombarde 32', Bombarde 16', Chamade 8' (from BW)
Hauptwerk: Rohr Gedeckt 8', Principal 4', Fifteenth 2', Quint 1 1/3, Cymbel IV (22.26.29.33.), Chamade 8' (from BW)
Brustwerk: Chimney Flute 8', Rohr Flute 4', Blockflute 2', Quint 1 1/3, Octavin 1', Scharff IV (26.29.33.36.), Dulzian 16', Holzregal 8', Chamade 8'

plus super octave couplers on both manuals...

What is wrong with simply taking an organ as it is? Kilkhampton is only seven stops, of course it's going to be of limited interest tonally, but it's capable of a quite remarkable spread of repertoire [offensive material removed by Forum Admin]. Considering that your ideal organ would seem to be one with an unlimited supply of stratospheric upperwork, screaming chamades and a load of bizarre pedal mutations, I'm not surprised you didn't enjoy the Kilkhampton Willis.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 09, 2012, 11:16:23 AM
This is pathetic!

For  starters, it needs far more quints. Then it needs at least sub, unison and octave tierces, (to add a little gravity) and then, as the crowning piece de resistance one of those untuned Polish Cymbals which sound like a sheet of falling icicles.

Pah!

You're just a pseudo sensualist, like those who smoke their opium through water!   8)

MM
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 09, 2012, 11:17:00 AM
No doubt you'd prefer your small organ to look like this:
Pedal: Quintaton 16', Flute 8', Octave Flute 4', Mixture IV (19.22.26.29), Contra Bombarde 32', Bombarde 16', Chamade 8' (from BW)
Hauptwerk: Rohr Gedeckt 8', Principal 4', Fifteenth 2', Quint 1 1/3, Cymbel IV (22.26.29.33.), Chamade 8' (from BW)
Brustwerk: Chimney Flute 8', Rohr Flute 4', Blockflute 2', Quint 1 1/3, Octavin 1', Scharff IV (26.29.33.36.), Dulzian 16', Holzregal 8', Chamade 8'

plus super octave couplers on both manuals...

What is wrong with simply taking an organ as it is? Kilkhampton is only seven stops, of course it's going to be of limited interest tonally, but it's capable of a quite remarkable spread of repertoire [offensive snide remark removed]. Considering that your ideal organ would seem to be one with an unlimited supply of stratospheric upperwork, screaming chamades and a load of bizarre pedal mutations, I'm not surprised you didn't enjoy the Kilkhampton Willis.

Actually, No.

Given that you have not ever had to play this organ, either for accompanying a choir or the playing of solo organ works, I am not sure that you are qualified to judge its worth in this area.

Incidentally, your snide remark regarding '[offensive snide remark removed by Forum Admin]', is again without foundation. Please list the occasions when you have heard me play any organ for either accompaniment or solo work. Perhaps if you had been at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford  when I was engaged in playing for a visiting choir, you might realise that I am actually quite imaginative, both in my handling of a 'strange' instrument and in my accompaniments.

The Kilkhampton instrument is, in practice, somewhat limiting.

For the record, you must surely know two things:

1) The only Pedal mutation on my own church instrument, is an extension of the Bourdon at 5 1/3ft. I have not specified any further mutations.

2) I have written (on more than one occasion) that I am extremely fond of the Walker instrument in Bristol Cathedral. This organ, the last time I played it, possessed neither 'screaming chamades' nor 'an unlimited supply of stratospheric upperwork'.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: makemoreandmore on March 09, 2012, 06:52:58 PM
To return to the subject...

Has anyone mentioned the building in which this imaginary organ will be housed in? The acoustic can make such a difference :-)

By now it will have become clear that I'm just an old romantic. I love Truro Cathedral organ, or Westminster Chapel with their distinct lack of screaming mixtures and tinkly sounds (not to mention our good old N+B) and was averse to all things mutated. But there was a lovely little organ by Jardine at St Winifred's Hospital in Cardiff which was just delightful. It was small, being an extension organ, but very delicately voiced.

Thankfully it was saved from the bulldozers and is now in Nazareth House, Cardiff, although the NPOR hasn't yet been updated.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: matt h on March 09, 2012, 09:16:01 PM
@pcnd5584

Glad to know I'm not the only one with a soft spot for the organ at Bristol Cathedral.  So often it is usurped by it's neighbour at St. Mary Redcliffe, but I found it to have a wealth of tone colour and it sits in an enviable acoustic. 

Also the authorities in the Cathedral were most accommodating in allowing me, as a then 15 year old, to basically have free rein for an hour or two.

Regards,
Matt.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 09, 2012, 10:52:00 PM
@pcnd5584

Glad to know I'm not the only one with a soft spot for the organ at Bristol Cathedral.  So often it is usurped by it's neighbour at St. Mary Redcliffe, but I found it to have a wealth of tone colour and it sits in an enviable acoustic. 

Also the authorities in the Cathedral were most accommodating in allowing me, as a then 15 year old, to basically have free rein for an hour or two.

Regards,
Matt.

Welcome, Matt.

I was greatly pleased to read your post. I regard the Bristol Cathedral organ as one of our national musical treasures. In addition to a thrilling tutti (which seems just right for this superb building), it has a wealth of colour and of etherial beauty.

I can imagine how much you enjoyed playing it.

Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on March 10, 2012, 06:16:04 PM
Clifford Harker used to say that the Cathedral organ was a church organ, whereas Redcliffe was a concert organ.  There's a lot of truth in that, although in practice there is a great amount of cross-over between the two.  I've heard wonderful recitals in the Cathedral and I know from experience that Redcliffe is a superb accompanimental instrument (although due to its positioning, you can't work it quite like other organs).  Then again, the Cathedral organ was, before the Mander mixture was added, not quite up to leading a large nave congregation (Clifford again: he said one had to play up an octave using the doubles when leading big hymns).

Although I knew Redcliffe very well indeed, I only played the Cathedral organ a few times, but I heard it on very many occasions.  I think both of them are great instruments and ideally suited to their respective buildings.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 10, 2012, 07:22:30 PM
Whilst I have not heard Redcliffe in person, I have enjoyed a CD recorded there. However, whether it is the acoustic or the recording itself, the overall effect is vastly exceeded by another 1920s H&H, specifically at Charterhouse School Godalming, where the effect within its acoustic there is utterly supreme. There is another thread on this forum about that instrument and its need for preservation.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on March 10, 2012, 08:29:09 PM
I've played Charterhouse and it is indeed a very fine job (slightly pepped-up AH) in a fine building (Gile Gilbert Scott) which deserves to be better known.  It should certainly not be replaced or drastically altered.

Redcliffe, however, in a number of ways stands out from the rest, even by Arthur Harrison standards.  Part of its character lies in the disposition, wherein the Choir and Solo (apart from the Tuba) make a small but complete two-manual organ adjacent to the choir-stalls.  Then there is the stupendous effect of the Swell with its two sets of independently controlled shutters, it's stone chamber and integral 32' pedal reed.  There's really nothing like it, although it may not be to everyone's taste.  AH considered Redcliffe and King's to be his finest creations, and I think that's true, although King's is vastly different from Redcliffe.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 10, 2012, 09:06:15 PM

... Redcliffe, however, in a number of ways stands out from the rest, even by Arthur Harrison standards.  Part of its character lies in the disposition, wherein the Choir and Solo (apart from the Tuba) make a small but complete two-manual organ adjacent to the choir-stalls.  Then there is the stupendous effect of the Swell with its two sets of independently controlled shutters, it's stone chamber and integral 32' pedal reed.  There's really nothing like it, although it may not be to everyone's taste.  AH considered Redcliffe and King's to be his finest creations, and I think that's true, although King's is vastly different from Redcliffe.

I would agree that there is a wealth of quiet accompanimental registers - although, as you state, it is necessary to use the organ in a rather different way, due to its unusual layout.

On a small matter: I note that the Pedal to Swell Pistons (which I always find extremely useful when accompanying) has been replaced by a Pedal to General Foot Pistons* (which is only really useful when playing recitals or more complex voluntaries).



* Which is, in any case, a slightly odd choice; although the accessories appear to be a little unusual - even allowing for the slightly different divisional functions this instrument possesses.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on March 10, 2012, 11:49:55 PM
Fair comment, although I don't think the major effects are too much for the building - but they need using with discretion and sound very big indeed at the console. (I am not suggesting that you don't know that!  We may always differ and I respect your opinion).

Garth used to complain that the Swell Viole Sourdine (added in 1947) had disappeared somwhere along the way and he missed it!

The Great Quint Mixture was new in the seventies and was the sort of thing one might expect from that period.  It was recast later and now fits in much better.  Some very large Harrisons, as you will know, had quint mixtures on the Great (inspired by Armley).  It's maybe surprising that Redcliffe didn't, although it has other registers that don't appear on other jobs.  The Harmonics is still there, so you can have the original chorus if you want it.  The Swell mixture was recast at the same time as the Great quint mixture went in, but was never quite so startling.  I think it has been revamped back to something more like the original and sounds pretty authentic to me.

I agree about that piston coupler change - they could have had a switch so that one could have either/or.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 11, 2012, 08:20:10 AM
Fair comment, although I don't think the major effects are too much for the building - but they need using with discretion and sound very big indeed at the console. (I am not suggesting that you don't know that!  We may always differ and I respect your opinion).

And I yours, David.

Garth used to complain that the Swell Viole Sourdine (added in 1947) had disappeared somwhere along the way and he missed it!

Indeed it did - in 1974, along with the Octave Wood. I had assumed that Garth Benson had requested this himself. It would be a little surprising if Harrisons had just packed the pipes in the crates (in which the then new G.O. Mixture V had arrived) and just gone back to Durham....



The Great Quint Mixture was new in the seventies and was the sort of thing one might expect from that period.  It was recast later and now fits in much better.  Some very large Harrisons, as you will know, had quint mixtures on the Great (inspired by Armley).  It's maybe surprising that Redcliffe didn't, although it has other registers that don't appear on other jobs.  The Harmonics is still there, so you can have the original chorus if you want it.  The Swell mixture was recast at the same time as the Great quint mixture went in, but was never quite so startling.  I think it has been revamped back to something more like the original and sounds pretty authentic to me.

I agree about that piston coupler change - they could have had a switch so that one could have either/or.

I agree with you regarding the second G.O. Mixture. I had wondered whether it was simply the case that Ralph T. Morgan did not particularly like compound stops.

Are you able to confirm the present composition of this stop at C1, please? The NPOR gives two possibilites. I had hoped that it was the 'standard' 15-19-22-26-29, but there is a possibility that it commences 12-15-19-22-26 - which would be too 'quinty' for my tastes - and still rather low-pitched.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 11, 2012, 10:27:43 AM
With all respect, how on earth did we manage to get from minimalist organs to Bristol Cathedral and Redcliffe?   :o

( I prefer the Colston Hall organ to either of them, by the way).

MM
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 11, 2012, 10:32:21 AM
With all respect, how on earth did we manage to get from minimalist organs to Bristol Cathedral and Redcliffe?   :o

:-) Yes - I'm sure we might all have been wondering that - should Admin split this thread?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 11, 2012, 01:36:53 PM
I don't think we need to split the thread, but perhaps we should recognise that the small organ is a specific art-form all it's own, and not very many achieve greatness.

On my travels to the Netherlands, I am often surprised and delighted to hear not one, but two or even three organs, at recitals; usually a smallish two manual in the choir and a much larger organ in the west gallery.

Notable examples which I have played are those at the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam; Doesburg Cathedral, the Martinikerk Groningen and, of course, the VERY old restored instrument at the Grotekerk, Haarlem. (There are also one or two other remarkable small organs in Haarlem).

I recall with special delight a concert at Doesburg Cathedral, and the absolute contrast between the big romantic Walcker organ in the west gallery, (on which was played various Straube editions of Bach), and the beautiful and rather chirpy two manual by Flentrop, on which was heard a particularly well performed Hinedmith Sonata. I didn't feel that either of the organs upstaged the other; both being very beautiful in their own rights, and of course, speaking into the usually generous acoustic of your average Netherlands cathedral church.

Another special delight was to play the little Snetzler in the chapel of Eton College, as well as the two manual organ in the college hall.

In my experience, the really successful small organ has that elusive quality of tonal integrity, which isn't always apparent in larger instruments, and that same integrity can be stylictically varied; as with the Flentrop neo-baroque instrumentat Doesburg, and the sweet little Snatzler at Eton.

I've come across a few small Fr Willis organs which are also delightful, and one or two old Charles Brindley organs with a boldness and character which punch far above their weight.

So make no mistake, the small organ is a special art-form which needs very careful handling and voicing if it is to be a success.

Of course, we could also include in the successful small organ stakes, those very fine extension organs by John Compton, which often contain no more than 5 opr 6 extended ranks, yet manage to sound ten times bigger.
MM



Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on March 11, 2012, 08:01:54 PM
I believe the Great mixture at Redcliffe is now 15.19.22.26 in the bass - one step lower than originally.  Mine here is the same and works perfectly well.  I think it's down to how the breaks are arranged and how carefully the quints are voiced.  The Great Mixture at Belfast Cathedral was not good.  Philip Prosser revoiced it for me and made it a lot better, mainly by softening the effect of the quints (replacing the wire to the chopper valve on the reservoir with a cord also helped, by steadying the wind somewhat).

I think the Octave Wood is back.  People are rude about Octave Woods, but the one at Belfast was just right when a French Baroque composer wanted 'Flute 8' (getting the rest of the sounds was more difficult, but possible).

I think the Viole Sourdine may have been ditched on grounds of space. Garth maintained he didn't know it was going.

Muso mentions the Colston Hall.  This is a magnificent instrument which deserves to be better known.  One bit that doesn't work too well, in my opinion, is the unenclosed Choir division which is a fully developed Positive on paper but in practice is far too small to cut any ice against the Great or Swell.  Beautifully, voiced and regulated, of course, but too soft!  The Solo string chorus is possibly the last Harrisons' ever did.

I, too am feeling guilty about mentioning such leviathans on this thread.  Muso mentioned Brindleys - Kilmore Cathedral, Co. Cavan, has an early small 3m. The Great (16.8.8.8.4.II.IV.8) is quite terrifyingly huge.  The rest is nowhere near it, but not feeble.  I also wonder if it's time to consider extension organs again.  Compton could work wonders, but the system was brought into disrepute by so many cowboys who did everything on the ultra-cheap.  If a reputable builder really took trouble, I think something excellent could result.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 11, 2012, 09:59:22 PM


Muso mentioned Brindleys - Kilmore Cathedral, Co. Cavan, has an early small 3m. The Great (16.8.8.8.4.II.IV.8) is quite terrifyingly huge.  The rest is nowhere near it, but not feeble.  I also wonder if it's time to consider extension organs again.  Compton could work wonders, but the system was brought into disrepute by so many cowboys who did everything on the ultra-cheap.  If a reputable builder really took trouble, I think something excellent could result.

=================


I suspect that David has hit the nail on the head concerning the eventual fall from grace of Brindley & Foster organs, which apart from a certain over-complexity and dogged reliance on pneumatic actions, really didn't move with the times tonally, in spite of slightly larger flutes and a few passing nods in the direction of the orchestral tendency after the turn of the 19th century. Essentially, they continued to build organs with terraced dynamics; very much in the Schulze style, which makes much of the repertoire, (including late German romantic music), almost impossible to play convincingly.

As for a revival in extension organs, I quite agree, because Compton showed what could be done, and 5 or 6 ranks of real pipes is far more musically natural in sound to anything electronic: not that I don't admire the progress made with modern digital organs and systems such as "Hauptwerk."

MM
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on March 12, 2012, 12:50:42 AM
The thing that tends to annoy me most about small extension organs is that one nearly always gets all the diapason stuff on the Great and then a flute chorus up to Nazard and Piccolo on the 'Swell'.  There's nothing much to balance the principal chorus, or to provide a firm lead in hymns.

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=C00362

Quite a nice one, the above, in a decent acoustic and decent case.  But it's dififcult to think of much use for that Swell.

Worse if the diapason is unenclosed and too loud to use with anything else:

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D01379

(particularly filthy tierce mixture extended from the salicional on the above, and also a nicely made 16' stopped bass whcih was far too quiet to be of any use.)

Even the Compton Miniatura IIa erred in this way - the 'Swell' had the Diapason at 8' and the Flute at 8.4.2. - although the vocing was classy enough to allow things which shouldn't normally work.

The little three rank (plus tierce) Mander which started off in Coventry Cathedral later spent some years in St. Anne & St. Agnes, Gresham Street, City of London.  The organist at the time (Simon Lindley, so that's dating things a bit) gave me the run of it on a number of occasions and I thought it was an extremely effective job. The secret was that there wasn't much difference in volume between the ranks, so most combinations worked.

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D03173

Comber Parish Church, Co. Down, had a very nice Miniatura and could afford a little more than was necessary to have it restored (after 45 years, the Compton electrics were getting just a little tired).  I suggested that they add a Gemshorn rank.  Philip Prosser went one better.  He provided (after quoting for the job and at no extra cost) a Twelfth to tenor C (borrowing the bass from the Gemshorn) and used it to provide the quints in a three rank mixture.  Freed from the constraints which Compton faced (the economic electrical scheme limited the number of registers possible - solid state has changed that), the second manual was developed as a good secondary department, almost a Positive.  It looks slightly odd because it has three 2' stops (!) - the Fifteenth and Gemshorn were the logical provision in the new scheme, but the Piccolo was there in Compton's scheme and it seemed wrong to lose it.  It really is a very clever little organ.....

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D08245
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Ian van Deurne on March 12, 2012, 01:21:39 PM
The organs of Charles Brindley of Sheffield deserve to be included in a list of the best English organ builders of the 19th/early 20th century. I believe he also received a great many commissions for instruments in Australia and New Zealand
In line with this thread, here then is the specification of one of his small instruments which stands in virtually original condition
in St Peter's Church in Hascome, Surrey, England;

GREAT

Open Diapason 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Dulciana 8
Principal 4
Lieblich Flote 4


SWELL

Stopped Diapason 16
Open Diapason 8
Vox Angelica 8
Principal 4
Mixture II 
Oboe 8


PEDAL

Bourdon 16


COUPLERS

Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great

Compass:  C - e'  (29-Pedal)  C - g'''  (56-Manuals)


The Gt Std. Diapason and Dulciana share a common bass, otherwise there are no extentions or tramsmissions
The Vox Angelica is not tuned to beat with the Open Diapason and is of a far too smaller scale to do so anyway
It may also be the only tonal alteration to the instrument since it was first built, the writing on the engraved stop knobs is slightly different to the others. It is, however, a very early alteration if  it actually is one.

The church was built in 1864 and the organ in 1869 and as said, is in remarkable original condition,
including the retention of the original narrow and straight pedalboard.

Musically, there are some problems with balance between both manuals, since the Great soundboards are in their own case, suspended on the north choir wall above the player while the Swell is behind, buried behind the wall.
It was last restored in the early 1990's by the organ builder, Saxon Aldread.

I hope this is of interest - with best wishes, Ian.


Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 12, 2012, 02:39:20 PM
I'm glad that someone else appreciates the work of Charles Brindley, and I'm sure it is fairly common knowledge that he was not only apprencticed to Schulze in Germany, but assisted Schulze in the building and re-building of the great Schulze organs at Armley and Doncaster; even to the extent that he did some of the voicing.

I shall repeat something I mentioned on another forum, which concerns the loss of one of the truly great northern organs, built by Brindley & Foster, in what was the complete, (rather than divided) Centenary Methodist Church, Dewsbury, W Yorks.

The Great organ was a virtual copy of the Great Organ at St Bart's, Armley, and to hear it ring around the chapel was to hear something very special indeed, and by the hand of an English builder who had clearly learned how to produce the "canned lightning" effect of Schulze.

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N04839

Not many Brindley organ survive from this period, but a few do, and they are remarkable for their boldness and clarity.

What a tragedy that these Anglo-German organs fell out of fashion, and were often re-built beyond recognition or more often, scrapped altogether.

MM

Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on March 12, 2012, 05:36:38 PM
Interesting to hear Hascombe (near Godalming) mentioned - I was in there not very long ago. I recall that the Mixture II replaced a string a few years ago (there was originally an undulating pair) and also the Swell Stopped Diapason is at 8ft pitch, not 16ft. I haven't heard the organ but I wonder what use a mixture is in such a small church (although I don't know if undulating strings would work either).

EDIT: I have a feeling my memory may be playing tricks on me - I was pretty sure the Vox Angelica had gone, and that its place had been taken by a Sesquialtera 12.17. - which would make the Swell spec OD8, SD8, Pr.4, Mx II, Sesq. II, Oboe 8'. I don't know what mr van Deurne's connection with Hascombe is, but if he is often there, I for one would appreciate an up-to-date spec.

The church is well worth visiting - it's in one of the most beautiful parts of Southern England (lots of wonderful walking country and good pubs) and the church itself is a gem - it's by Henry Woodyer and it's a remarkably rich little Tractarian church - unaisled nave, apsidal chancel, plus side chapel off the chancel (not a transept, its roof runs E-W). It replaced a much-abused medieval church and is, side chapel apart, built on the original foundations. The chancel is completely covered in wall paintings and there's a stunning rood screen. Plenty of fine stained glass, too. Simon Jenkins' Thousand Best Churches claims that Surrey is short of good Victorian churches (though I think this one did make it in), but nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to do a church/organ/pub crawl, it's an excellent place to do it.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 12, 2012, 06:30:40 PM

I suspect that David has hit the nail on the head concerning the eventual fall from grace of Brindley & Foster organs, which apart from a certain over-complexity and dogged reliance on pneumatic actions, really didn't move with the times tonally, in spite of slightly larger flutes and a few passing nods in the direction of the orchestral tendency after the turn of the 19th century. Essentially, they continued to build organs with terraced dynamics; very much in the Schulze style, which makes much of the repertoire, (including late German romantic music), almost impossible to play convincingly.

As for a revival in extension organs, I quite agree, because Compton showed what could be done, and 5 or 6 ranks of real pipes is far more musically natural in sound to anything electronic: not that I don't admire the progress made with modern digital organs and systems such as "Hauptwerk."

MM

Although in the case of Brindley, they also displayed a somewhat persistent attitude with their patent combination action the 'Brindgradus' system - which apparently did not win many adherents, for a variety of reasons.

With regard to Compton - yes, they could produce good instruments. However, the quality of their voicing was not always in the top rank. For example, some quiet orchestral reeds, which were neither particularly beauitful - nor regulated consistently.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on March 12, 2012, 06:56:05 PM
I seem to recall someone (MM?) saying that, at least in the world of theatre organs, M. P. Moller took all that was good about Compton and allied it to absolutely top-class voicing. At that time, Moller was under the control of Richard Oliver Whitelegg, an ex-Willis man (like G. Donald Harrison, like Harry Willis) who had been responsible for the tonal aspects of the Willis III rebuild at Salisbury, at which point I believe the Solo strings which PCND adores were added. Moller's church organs of the Whitelegg era are just fabulous.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 13, 2012, 07:38:03 AM
I think you have to differentiate between the set-combinations drawstops and the associated "red-cross" cancel, and the "Brindgradus," which was effectively a swell-pedal style crescendo, but very similar in operation to the German rollschweller.

There is no doubt that Brindley & Foster took pneumatic actions to the n'th degree, but they were reliable enough. The problems arose when the time came to re-build them.

Interestingly, not only did John Compton work for the company prior to setting up on his own, so too did Reginald Whitworth, who tried to persuade Brindley the 2nd and possibly Foster, to use electro-pneumatic actions.

The change in fashion was rapid, and with terraced dynamics in addition to penumatic action, B & F were very quickly left high and dry: effectively on the rocks financially around 1920, (no doubt struggling to find skilled tradesmen after WW1). They staggered on for awhile, but the end was inevitable really.

Quite close to me is a still functioning "Brindgradus" organ by B & F, and the last time I played it for wedding, it was in fine voice and with everything still working.

MM
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on March 13, 2012, 01:42:25 PM
Dear MM

Please excuse my ignorance but possibly I'm not the only person who might not know what is meant by "terraced dynamics" . . . please could you explain?

By the way, you quite lost me on your Agnostics Line post which clearly needs more than a minute or two to fathom . . . I'll comment appropriately there in due course when time graces one with its privilege . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on March 13, 2012, 03:08:14 PM
I think I read once that, towards the end, Brindley and Foster and Abbott and Smth shared the same workshop and staff.  Their organs seem to be more territorial than those of Abbott and Smith.  There are very few in my old stamping ground of East Anglia.  The only one I know of in Norfolk was at Winterton, was fairly nasty and was removed some years ago.

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N06787


  In Suffolk, the rather quirky four-manual at Kirkley, Lowestoft, was mostly Brindley, enlarged by N&B and restored by Boggis of Diss.

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05333

Carlton Colville looks to be a nice instrument, visually and tonally (if the present spec is original).  I don't know it personally.  Carlton Colville is quite near Kirkley, so there may ahve been a connection.

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=D05333

It seems to be the case that the older jobs were better, and those with tracker action have survived.

Since it hasn't appeared in this forum and isn't in NPOR, here is the 1860 Brindley (contemporary with the building) in Kilmore Cathedral (Church of Ireland), Co. Cavan:

Great: Double Diapason (st.) 16, Open Diapason, Rohr Flute. Gamba (gr. to Open), Principal, Twelfth and Fifteenth II, Mixture IV, Trumpet.
Swell: Violin Diapason, Gedact, Octave, Mixture II, Cornopean, Oboe
Choir: Lieblich Gedact, Dulciana, Gemshorn, Flute, Clarinet (F18)
Pedal: Bourdon, Bass Flute
Couplers: Swell to Great, Great to Pedal
3 comps to Great, 2 to Swell
Compass: 56/30
All Swell stops terminate at tenor C, below which the Swell is coupled to the Choir

The organ has a good open site against the east wall of the north transept.  It looks vaguely Germanic, with a massively pedimented case with flat-back dummies (French mouths - the only time I recall seeing them on flat-backs) on the front and side.  Inside, the pipes are on chromatic soundboards.  There are only two couplers, so the tracker action is simple.  The console doors swing open on massive brass hinges to reveal parallel jambs, round-fronted sharps, widely-spaced drawstops and brass candle-holders.  Tonally, the Great chorus is a terrific roar.  The other departments are a good deal less commanding, but not so much as to be insignificant.  Altogether, this is a fine and omportant instrument in virtually original condition (c&r pedals and a balanced swell pedal in 1960), which has served since the church opened.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: revtonynewnham on March 13, 2012, 06:54:51 PM
Dear MM

Please excuse my ignorance but possibly I'm not the only person who might not know what is meant by "terraced dynamics" . . . please could you explain?


Best wishes

David P

Hi

Terraced dynamics in organ terms is a build up in steps by adding stops (as on a stop crescendo with a limited number of steps) as opposed to the smooth build-up of a swell box, and manipulating it to coverr the addition of stops in big crescendos.

Baroque music is sometimes said to amply terraced dynamics.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on March 13, 2012, 07:28:46 PM
Tony is right, but my undertsanding and use of the term is slightly different, if substantially the same. (This doesn't mean that I may be using the term incorrectly).

If we had a Schulze organ handy, it would be easy to demonstrate, but basically, the Great Organ is totally dominant and usually very loud. (Also a feature of Arthur Harrison organs). The Swell organ is next in loudness, but quite underpowered as compared with, (for example), a Fr.Willis organ. The Choir Organ would often be to the rear of the instrument and voiced quietly, and at Armley, the fourth Echo manual was originally buried beaneth and behind the Great and Swell, with the effect that it was extremely delicate if not almost unaudible.

This was typical of the earlier German romantic organs built by Schulze and others, and what it means in practical terms is what Tony states: that of vivid tonal dynamic contrasts, but with little build-up assisted by an assertive Swell organ in a good box.

In fact, playing Reger is almost an impossibility on a Schulze organ, which takes many by surprise.

In essence, the Schulze amd Brindley style was soon out of date, as music became ever more expressive.

So to recap, it is my use of the term which translates as Great ff, Swell mf and Choir pp, with very little swell expression being possible in such a way that it permits a gradual build-up of power.

I hope that makes sense, but if anyone knows a diferent term other than "terraced dynamics," I would be happily corrected.

MM
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on March 13, 2012, 08:18:35 PM
So, as MM has experience of these organs, what would one play on them? The Great would be too big for Baroque repertoire, but the other departments lacking power for most other repertoire?
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on March 14, 2012, 11:08:10 PM
Tony is right, but my undertsanding and use of the term is slightly different, if substantially the same. (This doesn't mean that I may be using the term incorrectly).

If we had a Schulze organ handy, it would be easy to demonstrate, but basically, the Great Organ is totally dominant and usually very loud. (Also a feature of Arthur Harrison organs). The Swell organ is next in loudness, but quite underpowered as compared with, (for example), a Fr.Willis organ. The Choir Organ would often be to the rear of the instrument and voiced quietly, and at Armley, the fourth Echo manual was originally buried beaneth and behind the Great and Swell, with the effect that it was extremely delicate if not almost unaudible.

This was typical of the earlier German romantic organs built by Schulze and others, and what it means in practical terms is what Tony states: that of vivid tonal dynamic contrasts, but with little build-up assisted by an assertive Swell organ in a good box.

In fact, playing Reger is almost an impossibility on a Schulze organ, which takes many by surprise.

In essence, the Schulze amd Brindley style was soon out of date, as music became ever more expressive.

So to recap, it is my use of the term which translates as Great ff, Swell mf and Choir pp, with very little swell expression being possible in such a way that it permits a gradual build-up of power.

I hope that makes sense, but if anyone knows a diferent term other than "terraced dynamics," I would be happily corrected.

MM

This is also my inderstanding of the term, as it relates to the pipe organ. Perhaps an even clearer example would be the average four-clavier (or even three-clavier) Cavaillé-Coll instrument.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Gwas_Bach on April 27, 2012, 08:45:13 PM

Simples... http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=P00563 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=P00563)

There simply never has been a 16-stop organ that versatile before. It does pretty much everything convincingly. Now, it just needs an acoustic to speak into...

This must surely give the St-Martin a run for its money in terms of 'bang for your buck'...

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N01725 (http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N01725)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on April 28, 2012, 01:36:59 AM
Hmm, quite possibly!
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on April 28, 2012, 01:57:42 AM
Basically, the Great Organ is totally dominant and usually very loud (this is a feature of Arthur Harrison organs). The Swell organ is next in loudness, but quite underpowered as compared with a Fr.Willis organ.

Erm, that certainly wasn't the case at Worcester, nor is it at St Mary Redcliffe - nor, in fact, with any Arthur Harrison organ I've ever encountered.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on April 30, 2012, 01:42:59 PM
Ah!  You've found a hole in my statement, and quite rightly.

My choice of the word "dominant" was ill-judged, and it isn't what I meant.

Now slope off to your nearest big Arthur Harrison organ and play the Swell flues to Mixture. Then compare that with the Great chorus without couplers.

In terms of phonic output, the difference is huge, but of course, it is the Swell reeds which re-dress the balance.

Having lived with the organ of Halifax PC for some time, I know from experience that the TYPE of sound is just as important as the sheer VOLUME of sound, and of course, the Swell organs on big Arthur Harrison organs are very bright. It's a sound which carries well and projects well.

However,a couple of years ago or so, I slipped into the back of Halifax PC for the end of the carol service, and during the final hymn, Philip Tordoff added the Open no.1 and Octave 4ft, (both on higher pressure). At the back of the church, the effect was immense: a great flood of Diapason tone washing down this very large church. The Swell, meanwhile, was still there, with the bright quint mixture and the reeds pealing through the foundational tones.

However, you really do need to isolate those big Diapasons from the rest, and just play on them alone. They are a very big sound indeed, and this is what I actually meant.

Psychologically, our perception of brightness is not the same as our perception of outright foundational power; the former often sounding "balanced" when it may be considerably less powerful.

MM

Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on April 30, 2012, 03:09:42 PM
I hope you don't mind but I've expanded my quote of your words to make it a little clearer to what I refer (though it seems you understood anyway!).
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on April 30, 2012, 03:42:13 PM
Basically, the Great Organ is totally dominant and usually very loud (this is a feature of Arthur Harrison organs). The Swell organ is next in loudness, but quite underpowered as compared with a Fr.Willis organ.

Erm, that certainly wasn't the case at Worcester, nor is it at St Mary Redcliffe - nor, in fact, with any Arthur Harrison organ I've ever encountered.

Actually I would have said that the obvious meaning of MM's quote is a true and accurate picture.

You are certainly incorrect regarding Worcester. I played the old organ for a number of services and I can assure you that the G.O. was indeed very loud - with the Swell and Choir very much secondary divisions. And this has been my experience with the other H&H instruments which I have played - although I cannot speak for Redcliffe, since this is one which I have not played.

This is why, in some ways, an instrument by FHW is better for playing Bach, since there is a better chance of finding a reasonably strong secondary chorus - albeit with tierce mixtures.


Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on April 30, 2012, 05:43:34 PM
So, as MM has experience of these organs, what would one play on them? The Great would be too big for Baroque repertoire, but the other departments lacking power for most other repertoire?

======================

I missed this reply on the day.

The "German System" in English organs is always associated with William Hill and Dr Gauntlett, but actually, the "German Style" of Schulze was a bit different, and was the style more or less copied by Brindleyespecially, and others less faithfully.

As regards repertoire, experience shows that the Schulze style fits the music of Liszt, Reubke and Rheinberger especially. Indeed, Graham Barber recorded the Reubke at Armley, which is available on a magnificent CD. I would also suggest Mendelssohn and music written for mid-Victorian organs ; perhaps some of the early romantic English repertoire. I've heard a very good Cesar Franck "Piece Heroique" at Armley, and even pieces such as the Dubois and Mushel Toccata, for instance.

Actually, Bach works very well at both Doncaster and Arnley, so you can be assured that it works equaly well with any of the other named builders; especially since Binns never voiced over-loud on the Great, and the dynamic change between Great & Swell is not as marked. The loudness of Armley and Doncaster is tempered by the fact that they are enormous buildings.

Hope this explains.

Best,

MM

 
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: MusingMuso on April 30, 2012, 05:55:31 PM
I hope you don't mind but I've expanded my quote of your words to make it a little clearer to what I refer (though it seems you understood anyway!).

==================


Now you've got me all confused!

My last reply was written on the basis that we were referring only to Arthur Harrison instruments, but actually, the original quote from my previous post referred to Schulze, with just a brief reference to Arthur Harrison.

I shall have to re-read everything and correct any misunderstanding.

Best

MM
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on April 30, 2012, 11:19:08 PM
Basically, the Great Organ is totally dominant and usually very loud (this is a feature of Arthur Harrison organs). The Swell organ is next in loudness, but quite underpowered as compared with a Fr.Willis organ.

Erm, that certainly wasn't the case at Worcester, nor is it at St Mary Redcliffe - nor, in fact, with any Arthur Harrison organ I've ever encountered.

Actually I would have said that the obvious meaning of MM's quote is a true and accurate picture.

You are certainly incorrect regarding Worcester. I played the old organ for a number of services and I can assure you that the G.O. was indeed very loud - with the Swell and Choir very much secondary divisions. And this has been my experience with the other H&H instruments which I have played - although I cannot speak for Redcliffe, since this is one which I have not played.

This is why, in some ways, an instrument by FHW is better for playing Bach, since there is a better chance of finding a reasonably strong secondary chorus - albeit with tierce mixtures.


I think what I was saying was not that the Great WASN'T very loud, but that the Swell WAS. Certainly, that at Redcliffe is, according to all who have told me about it (I HOPE to hear it later this year), staggeringly loud (with the Pedal 32' and 16' Ophicleides also in the box). At Worcester, wasn't there a reasonable chorus on the Solo manual (effectively a sort of Bombarde division)? NPOR shows six stops - 8.4.2.III (22.26.29).16.8. - and I seem to recall this being rather loud (though my memories are those of a very small boy).
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on May 02, 2012, 12:06:44 AM
Basically, the Great Organ is totally dominant and usually very loud (this is a feature of Arthur Harrison organs). The Swell organ is next in loudness, but quite underpowered as compared with a Fr.Willis organ.

You are certainly incorrect regarding Worcester, nor is it at St Mary Redcliffe - nor, in fact, with any Arthur Harrison organ I've ever encountered.

Actually I would have said that the obvious meaning of MM's quote is a true and accurate picture.

You are certainly incorrect regarding Worcester. I played the old organ for a number of services and I can assure you that the G.O. was indeed very loud - with the Swell and Choir very much secondary divisions. And this has been my experience with the other H&H instruments which I have played - although I cannot speak for Redcliffe, since this is one which I have not played.

This is why, in some ways, an instrument by FHW is better for playing Bach, since there is a better chance of finding a reasonably strong secondary chorus - albeit with tierce mixtures.


I think what I was saying was not that the Great WASN'T very loud, but that the Swell WAS. Certainly, that at Redcliffe is, according to all who have told me about it (I HOPE to hear it later this year), staggeringly loud (with the Pedal 32' and 16' Ophicleides also in the box). At Worcester, wasn't there a reasonable chorus on the Solo manual (effectively a sort of Bombarde division)? NPOR shows six stops - 8.4.2.III (22.26.29).16.8. - and I seem to recall this being rather loud (though my memories are those of a very small boy).

This may be so. However, the Swell Organ at Redcliffe, with twenty-one ranks, is far from being a typical vintage Harrison design - in every aspect. For one thing, it is situated in a (comparatively reverberant) purpose-built stone chamber, formed from the north-east angle of the North Transept. This chamber actually forms the expression box. The shutters are mounted behind the open tracery of the 'windows'. Secondly, due to its positioning, it mixes Solo stops (orchestral strings, flutes and reeds) with a Diapason chorus. Partly due to its position in the church (and the distance from the rest of the instrument), I suspect that the chorus is voiced more powerfully than was usual H&H practice at the time. However, I would have to look back through my copies of The Organ, in order to verify the wind pressures used.

Worcester - this is indeed correct. The entire Solo Organ (a Bombarde in all but name) spoke on a pressure of 250mm - around 75 - 80mm higher than FHW's normal pressure for his G.O. chorus reeds.

I know that there is now little point in bemoaning what cannot now be - but I do wish that this instrument had not been unceremoniously discarded, but rather restored. When I played it, I found it to be a truly heroic instrument, with a wealth of softer tone-colours, good (if quite big) diapason choruses, colourful (and musical) reeds - and a tutti which was both awesome and which suited the 'feel' of the building like a glove.

In addition, apart from the Swell Gedeckt 8ft., everything worked perfectly, the instrument was well in tune - and I was unable to detect any wind leaks or other serious problems anywhere.

Funny that - particularly since it was de-commissioned shortly after this....
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: flared_ophicleide on May 03, 2012, 01:51:16 AM
My trip to the UK next yr includes a visit to Worcester Cath.  I know little about the organ installed in '08, but I'd like to look at the Handel organ and, from what I gather, it still exists, the Scott case in the transept.

One small organ got my att'n the other day, as I was online. The Compton in Borough Welsh Chapel in Southwark, Surrey.  I almost didn't bother sharing about it, since I wasn't sure if the stoplist would interest anybody, but Compton was a genius in the way he voiced and in physical placement of ranks in relation to others.  M. Dupre once remarked that, after hearing the Downside Abbey organ, he wouldn't have known that it was unified unless smb told him.  From what I'm told, on a Compton, you don't have a problem, audibly, with dropped notes in big chords.

Ok, here's the list:

Great

16'    Bourdon
  8'    Open Diapason
  8'    Hohl Flute
  8'    Salicional
  4'    Octave
  4'    Open Flute
  4'    Salicet
         12th
         15th

Swell

16'     Contra Salicional  tc
  8'     Hohl Flute
  8'     Salicional
  4'     Open Flute
  4'     Salicet
  2'     Piccolo
          Cymbale 15.19.22
16'     Trombone  tc
  8'     Trumpet
  4'     Clarion

Pedal

16'      Bourdon
  8'      Flute
16'      Trombone  tc
  8'      Trumpet

I thought this 4-rk organ sounded pleasing and it seems very adequate for this church.  The problem I have is the fact that the 16' Trombone is tc on the Pedal.  That doesn't make sense, since out of 2 1/2 octaves on the pedal, a whole octave is silent with this stop on. 

For absolute minimal requirements, having a manual 16' stop as tc is ok, since most of the activity takes place within the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th octaves. 

There's an Austin in Chicago which has a 32' Bombarde without the bottom octave.  Somehow, it seems that that's just for show.  One of those "looks GREAT on paper, but....  " things.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on May 03, 2012, 11:34:56 PM
My trip to the UK next yr includes a visit to Worcester Cath.  I know little about the organ installed in '08, but I'd like to look at the Handel organ and, from what I gather, it still exists, the Scott case in the transept. ...

When you do get to Worcester, perhaps you could ask them when they intend to build the Transept/Nave Organ - it seems to have gone very quiet on this subject since the inauguration of the new Quire Organ.

Unfortunately, until this second instrument is built - along with the removal of Scott's huge case from the South to the North Transept, the Quire Organ is without its 32ft. flues - which is a great pity. The two full-length stops, Double Open Wood and Contra Violone* (Metal), are excellent examples. There is, in addition a 'second' 32ft. reed, simply called 'Trumpet', which was added by H&H in 1972, as a three-stop unit - all (slightly oddly) labelled 'Trumpet', with only the pitch length to distinguish each stop. As far as I know, this rank is still in place. For that matter, I think that the lowest octave of the Hope-Jones Diaphone 32ft. is still in situ in the Transept case. The pipes were too big to remove without dismantling most of the case.



* There is, of course, also a silent upwards extension of this rank, at 16ft. and 8ft. pitches - which was inexplicably disconnected from the former Quire organ at the time of the partial rebuild by Wood, Wordsworth & Co., in 1978.

I hope that these stops (with the possible exception of the Diaphones)  will also be made available on the Quire Organ, once the scheme is completed. The photographs I have seen of the new Quire console are not quite large or clear enough to enable every stop-head to be read, so I am not sure whether or not it is intended to re-instate these stops.

Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Gwas_Bach on May 05, 2012, 06:00:50 PM
An interesting article by Norman Cocker on some of his ideas for small church organs. I wouldn't mind playing some of these!

http://cdmnet.org/Julian/schemes/cocker2.htm
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on May 05, 2012, 09:03:10 PM
An interesting article by Norman Cocker on some of his ideas for small church organs. I wouldn't mind playing some of these!

http://cdmnet.org/Julian/schemes/cocker2.htm

Interesting in a way. But I should much rather have played the instrument over which he presided at Manchester Cathedral - that is, in its incarnation immediately prior to its rebuilding by the German firm of Luftwaffe....

On paper it made far more sense that the slightly weird instrument which currently inhabits the choir aisles of this cathedral. On his appointment (occasioned by the sudden death of Norman Cocker), Allan Wicks was able to secure a few modifications to the original scheme; however, there was still much that was unconventional.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Gwas_Bach on August 11, 2013, 04:34:47 PM
I've recently remembered about a hypothetical scheme that Stephen Bicknell had designed for the Willis company. He designed a scheme where most of the stops were available on two manuals. This seems to me to be an excellent way of getting the maximum versatility from a small number of stops. This is the scheme that David Wyld sent to me a while back.

Manual I                       
Open Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedact 8
Salicional 8
Principal   (or Gemshorn) 4
Flûte Harmonique   4
Fifteenth (or Flageolet) 2
Mixture 12.17
Cornopean (or Trumpet) 8

Manual II
Open Diapason 8
Lieblich Gedact 8

Salicional 8
Principal (or Gemshorn) 4
Flûte Harmonique 4
Fifteenth (or Flageolet) 2
Twelfth 2 2/3
Cornopean (or Trumpet) 8

Pedal:-
Bourdon   16

Couplers:-
Man II to Man I
Man I to Pedal
Man II to Pedal

"The only 'stop' which isn't the same on both manuals being the 2-rank Mixture, which draws on the Swell as a Twelfth."

"This specification could then have other things added to it, for example a Pedal Principal at 8ft and a 16ft Reed or some items deleted, if a smaller instrument were to be required."


I would love to see this happen somewhere. If I had the money, I would buy one for my local church... Alas, that is a wild fantasy. :(
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: flared_ophicleide on October 20, 2013, 12:38:48 AM
My trip to the UK next yr includes a visit to Worcester Cath.  I know little about the organ installed in '08, but I'd like to look at the Handel organ and, from what I gather, it still exists, the Scott case in the transept. ...

When you do get to Worcester, perhaps you could ask them when they intend to build the Transept/Nave Organ - it seems to have gone very quiet on this subject since the inauguration of the new Quire Organ.


'ello pcnd.  Been a little over 5 months since getting back from England, and been over a year since visiting this thread.

Forgot about your suggestion above, which I probably otherwise would've remembered if I hadn't been so poorly when in Worcester. The cold was so bad I was basically walking round the Cathedral like a bloody zombie and was so swimmy-headed that even a few intelligent questions were beyond my ability.  I did briefly meet one of the organ techs, under Mr. Tickell, who was making some minor adjustments though.

At least loads of snaps were taken, including of what I could inside the big Scott case.  It is confirmed that they want to move it to the North Transept to allow sunlight through the South.  (southern exposure, don'tcha know)

uh-oh, just realised I went off-topic...
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on October 20, 2013, 07:07:16 AM
I've recently remembered about a hypothetical scheme that Stephen Bicknell had designed for the Willis company. He designed a scheme where most of the stops were available on two manuals. This seems to me to be an excellent way of getting the maximum versatility from a small number of stops. This is the scheme that David Wyld sent to me a while back.

Manual I                       
Open Diapason 8

Lieblich Gedact 8
Salicional 8
Principal   (or Gemshorn) 4
Flûte Harmonique   4
Fifteenth (or Flageolet) 2
Mixture 12.17
Cornopean (or Trumpet) 8

Manual II
Open Diapason 8
Lieblich Gedact 8

Salicional 8
Principal (or Gemshorn) 4
Flûte Harmonique 4
Fifteenth (or Flageolet) 2
Twelfth 2 2/3
Cornopean (or Trumpet) 8

Pedal:-
Bourdon   16

Couplers:-
Man II to Man I
Man I to Pedal
Man II to Pedal

"The only 'stop' which isn't the same on both manuals being the 2-rank Mixture, which draws on the Swell as a Twelfth."

"This specification could then have other things added to it, for example a Pedal Principal at 8ft and a 16ft Reed or some items deleted, if a smaller instrument were to be required."


I would love to see this happen somewhere. If I had the money, I would buy one for my local church... Alas, that is a wild fantasy. :(

Davies of Northampton used to do this sort of thing quite often (e.g. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N02579), partly because the firm was the successor to the Aeolian Company, who specialised in residence organs.  I have an idea that the original Davies might have been ex-Willis, too.

Roger Yates' little job at Bozeat (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03464), if I haven't mentioned it before, is a charming example of versatility through duplication, and quite amazing for its date.  It even has a nice case.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Lewisfreak on October 20, 2013, 09:56:54 PM
I believe the late Cecil Clutton was an enthusiastic contributor to this topic and published a few articles about it. He seemed to think having 3 manuals was worth it even if each division only had a couple of stops.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Gwas_Bach on January 18, 2014, 03:56:25 PM
Here are some samples of Cecil Clutton's multum-in-parvo schemes:-

http://cdmnet.org/Julian/schemes/ideal/clutton.htm
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: JSSOrganist on July 14, 2014, 09:27:48 PM
I'm coming on this thread very late. But here is an idea I like very much for a small two manual. It is a duplexed organ with all stops available on tow manuals. It can be done with mechanical action and flip-flop valves. There is a similar instrument in the chapel at Clarmont United Church of Christ built by Glatter-Gotz/Rosales. It has a treble only en-chamade for Wedding Processionals. With atleast two stops at 8, 4, and 2 independent  little choruses can be had on each manual.
Some might like different reeds or different specific flutes, but this gives the basic idea. Basically 16 stops with a couple of extensions for the Pedal.
   8   Principal
   8   Chimney Flute   
   8   Salicional
   8   Celeste
   4   Octave
   4   Tapered Flute
   2-2/3   Nasard
   2   Octave
   2   Recorder
   1-3/5   Tierce
   1-1/3   Quint
   III   Mixture
   8   Trumpet
   8   Cromorne


   16   Subbass    8  Gedackt (ext.)
   4   Chorale
   16   Trombone (Ext of Gt. Trumpet)
John
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: londonorganist on February 01, 2015, 01:03:34 PM
In my humble opinion, the most important thing in any instrument is a good foundation and good integrity
If I had to use, say 15 stops, I would recommend something like this:

Pedal
16' Bourdon (voiced to support the whole organ while not being to dominating)
8'   Principal
8'   Flute
G/P
S/P
SO/P

Great
8'   Open Diapason
8'   Stopped Diapason
4'   Principal
2'   Fifteenth
II   Mixture (19.22)
S/G
SO/G

Swell
8'       Chimney Flute
8'       Salicional (tuned just sharp enough to beat with the flute, but not too sharp that it can't be used alone for ppp effect)
4'       Principal
2'       Super Octave
1 1/3  Quint
16'     Contra Oboe
8'       Trumpet

Swell Octave
Swell Unison Off

Thoughts?


Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 01, 2015, 10:38:28 PM
In my humble opinion, the most important thing in any instrument is a good foundation and good integrity
If I had to use, say 15 stops, I would recommend something like this:

Pedal
16' Bourdon (voiced to support the whole organ while not being to dominating)
8'   Principal
8'   Flute
G/P
S/P
SO/P

Great
8'   Open Diapason
8'   Stopped Diapason
4'   Principal
2'   Fifteenth
II   Mixture (19.22)
S/G
SO/G

Swell
8'       Chimney Flute
8'       Salicional (tuned just sharp enough to beat with the flute, but not too sharp that it can't be used alone for ppp effect)
4'       Principal
2'       Super Octave
1 1/3  Quint
16'     Contra Oboe
8'       Trumpet

Swell Octave
Swell Unison Off

Thoughts?

One or two: my preference (for tone colour) would be to ditch the 1 1/3ft. stop on the Swell Organ and substitute a mild string undulant of some kind (though not too keen); then the Salicional can be re-tuned 'dead'. This is likely to be more satisfactory. A string (even a mild type) would probably not to beat convincingly with a Chimney Flute; I have seen one or two examples where this expedient has been attempted, but did not feel that it worked in practice. Secondly, I should gladly forgo the Contra Oboe and have the stop at unison pitch. This stop is such a useful colourant that its limitation at sub-unison pitch actually makes it less flexible. At the lease, it should be extended to 8ft. pitch - and with a separate stop to control it. (Octave and Unison Off couplers only are no good; as such, the Oboe could then only be used as a solo stop at unison pitch, unless one wished for the whole Swell Organ to be an octave higher.)

Otherwise the scheme looks to be okay. (Although I might prefer a separate stopped Quint 10 2/3ft., to the Pedal Principal.)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: londonorganist on February 01, 2015, 11:26:55 PM
In my humble opinion, the most important thing in any instrument is a good foundation and good integrity
If I had to use, say 15 stops, I would recommend something like this:

Pedal
16' Bourdon (voiced to support the whole organ while not being to dominating)
8'   Principal
8'   Flute
G/P
S/P
SO/P

Great
8'   Open Diapason
8'   Stopped Diapason
4'   Principal
2'   Fifteenth
II   Mixture (19.22)
S/G
SO/G

Swell
8'       Chimney Flute
8'       Salicional (tuned just sharp enough to beat with the flute, but not too sharp that it can't be used alone for ppp effect)
4'       Principal
2'       Super Octave
1 1/3  Quint
16'     Contra Oboe
8'       Trumpet

Swell Octave
Swell Unison Off

Thoughts?

One or two: my preference (for tone colour) would be to ditch the 1 1/3ft. stop on the Swell Organ and substitute a mild string undulant of some kind (though not too keen); then the Salicional can be re-tuned 'dead'. This is likely to be more satisfactory. A string (even a mild type) would probably not to beat convincingly with a Chimney Flute; I have seen one or two examples where this expedient has been attempted, but did not feel that it worked in practice. Secondly, I should gladly forgo the Contra Oboe and have the stop at unison pitch. This stop is such a useful colourant that its limitation at sub-unison pitch actually makes it less flexible. At the lease, it should be extended to 8ft. pitch - and with a separate stop to control it. (Octave and Unison Off couplers only are no good; as such, the Oboe could then only be used as a solo stop at unison pitch, unless one wished for the whole Swell Organ to be an octave higher.)

Otherwise the scheme looks to be okay. (Although I might prefer a separate stopped Quint 10 2/3ft., to the Pedal Principal.)


On second thoughts I would agree there, a standard "dead" string would be better.
However I wouldn't replace the principal with a Quint. While my new instrument has an independent quint which has tremendous effect, the Principal allows three independent lines for trio playing.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 02, 2015, 09:40:18 PM
In my humble opinion, the most important thing in any instrument is a good foundation and good integrity
If I had to use, say 15 stops, I would recommend something like this:

Pedal
16' Bourdon (voiced to support the whole organ while not being to dominating)
8'   Principal
8'   Flute
G/P
S/P
SO/P

Great
8'   Open Diapason
8'   Stopped Diapason
4'   Principal
2'   Fifteenth
II   Mixture (19.22)
S/G
SO/G

Swell
8'       Chimney Flute
8'       Salicional (tuned just sharp enough to beat with the flute, but not too sharp that it can't be used alone for ppp effect)
4'       Principal
2'       Super Octave
1 1/3  Quint
16'     Contra Oboe
8'       Trumpet

Swell Octave
Swell Unison Off

Thoughts?

One or two: my preference (for tone colour) would be to ditch the 1 1/3ft. stop on the Swell Organ and substitute a mild string undulant of some kind (though not too keen); then the Salicional can be re-tuned 'dead'. This is likely to be more satisfactory. A string (even a mild type) would probably not to beat convincingly with a Chimney Flute; I have seen one or two examples where this expedient has been attempted, but did not feel that it worked in practice. Secondly, I should gladly forgo the Contra Oboe and have the stop at unison pitch. This stop is such a useful colourant that its limitation at sub-unison pitch actually makes it less flexible. At the lease, it should be extended to 8ft. pitch - and with a separate stop to control it. (Octave and Unison Off couplers only are no good; as such, the Oboe could then only be used as a solo stop at unison pitch, unless one wished for the whole Swell Organ to be an octave higher.)

Otherwise the scheme looks to be okay. (Although I might prefer a separate stopped Quint 10 2/3ft., to the Pedal Principal.)


On second thoughts I would agree there, a standard "dead" string would be better.
However I wouldn't replace the principal with a Quint. While my new instrument has an independent quint which has tremendous effect, the Principal allows three independent lines for trio playing.

The Principal - this is a valid point. In which case, perhaps you could allow yourself one stop over the limit, and derive a Quint from the Bourdon.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: londonorganist on February 02, 2015, 11:38:39 PM
The Principal - this is a valid point. In which case, perhaps you could allow yourself one stop over the limit, and derive a Quint from the Bourdon.

Derived quints never really work well. I play a 40 stop walker with an independent quint, meaning it can be tuned pure, and the result is fantastic under full swell closed!
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 03, 2015, 07:53:16 AM
The Principal - this is a valid point. In which case, perhaps you could allow yourself one stop over the limit, and derive a Quint from the Bourdon.

Derived quints never really work well. I play a 40 stop walker with an independent quint, meaning it can be tuned pure, and the result is fantastic under full swell closed!

No - agreed, but it is sometimes better than nothing. At least it is better than the usual Acoustic Bass, which often derives both the fundamental and the quint from the same large open wood pipes.

I deally, the Bourdon wired at 32ft. pitch for the top eighteen notes of the pedal-board, with an independent quint for the lowest twelve notesw can work well.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 03, 2015, 08:57:22 PM
The real killer seems to be if the rank supplying the quint is too loud, although other considerations have to be made, such as placement and acoustic.  Although by the laws of physics it's wrong, a better effect can sometimes be had by wiring the fourth below (i.e. 21 1/3) for the top seven notes of the bottom octave and the fifth above for the remaining five.  I see no point, in nearly all cases, in providing a 10 2/3 quint all the way up the board.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 04, 2015, 06:14:25 PM
The real killer seems to be if the rank supplying the quint is too loud, although other considerations have to be made, such as placement and acoustic.  Although by the laws of physics it's wrong, a better effect can sometimes be had by wiring the fourth below (i.e. 21 1/3) for the top seven notes of the bottom octave and the fifth above for the remaining five.  I see no point, in nearly all cases, in providing a 10 2/3 quint all the way up the board.

Indeed.

Just for the record, the Compton instrument in the North Transept of what used to be the Anglican Church of Saint Osmund, Parkstone, has a 'separate' 21 1/3ft. Sub Quint on the Pedal Organ. (The inverted commas are due to the fact that this stop - like several others - is actually derived from the Pedal Sub Bass which, in this case, surely merits the description 'overworked'.)

However, there is one example of an interesting variation on this theme: the Roger Yates rebuild of the organ in Kilkhampton Church, North Cornwall. In 1892, T.C. Lewis supplied a Sub Bass (32ft.), which is an extension of the Pedal Sub Bass (16ft.). This gives 32ft. tone down to G (in the lowest octave), then it is 'quinted' in fourths below the fundamental, for the lowest seven notes. Even in this dry acoustic (for what is not a particularly large church), this is one of the most effective 32ft. stops I have ever met.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 04, 2015, 07:51:05 PM
Extra rumble at Parkstone, I guess.  It had a reputation for producing a lot more than might be expected and was probably an ideal Anglo-Catholic organ, despite being all in one box.

The Resultant at Kilkhampton is certainly arresting, but I didn't feel it was a particularly convincing 32' - rather a very gripping big bass.  An exceptionally fine organ, all the same.

The worst resultant I know of is St. Patrick, Ballymacarrett, Belfast, which is an otherwise decent Evans & Barr 2m with the addition of a high-pressure reed at 16.8.4 to pulverise large congregations of shipyard workers into submission.  The open wood plays at 32' pitch as far as c12, but is quinted on itself for the whole compass.  It really doesn't work at all.  Even the aforesaid Mukkinese Battle Horn fails to disguise it.  The infuriating thing is that a little rewiring would make the whole effect palatable (as would wiring the Swell octave to work through the Swell to Great).

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D01426
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: londonorganist on February 05, 2015, 12:43:03 AM
I see no point, in nearly all cases, in providing a 10 2/3 quint all the way up the board.

It works, especially if voiced well and tuned pure. I play a 1991 Walker (III+P/40) with an independent pure quint rank all the way up and it really works in the acoustic, much better than a derived quint.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 05, 2015, 10:17:01 PM
I see no point, in nearly all cases, in providing a 10 2/3 quint all the way up the board.

It works, especially if voiced well and tuned pure. I play a 1991 Walker (III+P/40) with an independent pure quint rank all the way up and it really works in the acoustic, much better than a derived quint.

Although I would agree with David - I think the point that he was making was that from the second octave up, it is surely better to have the Bourdon 'wired' at 32ft. pitch - with the quint in the lowest octave only. No doubt David will clarify the matter, if I have mis-understood his meaning.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 06, 2015, 05:55:40 PM
pcnd is right - the bourdon at 32' pitch with the 'acoustic' effect in the bottom octave only is the most likely to be successful.  One can draw the Open Wood at 16' pitch to beef it up anyway.

Binns used to produce some pretty hefty 32' resultant basses, but his stuff tended to be hefty anyway.  The effect on a relatively small instrument with a pedal consisting of 32, 16,8, all taken from a beefy bourdon, must surely have put the fear of God into many a northern heart.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 06, 2015, 09:58:54 PM
pcnd is right - the bourdon at 32' pitch with the 'acoustic' effect in the bottom octave only is the most likely to be successful.  One can draw the Open Wood at 16' pitch to beef it up anyway.

Binns used to produce some pretty hefty 32' resultant basses, but his stuff tended to be hefty anyway.  The effect on a relatively small instrument with a pedal consisting of 32, 16,8, all taken from a beefy bourdon, must surely have put the fear of God into many a northern heart.

Ha!

I have just remembered an even weirder version of an acoustic 32ft. Pedal stop. It is on the two-clavier organ in Holsworthy Methodist Church, North Devon. It was last rebuilt by Geo. Osmond & Co., Taunton*, in 1953, but restored by Ray Greaves, of Plymouth, in 1976). The Pedal Organ consisted of the following five stops:

Acoustic Bass  32ft.
Open Diapason (W)  16ft. (Not huge scale.)
Bourdon  16ft.
Octave  (W+M; ext.)  8ft.
Bass Flute  (Ext.)  8ft.

The Acoustic Bass was 'wired' (pressure pneumatically speaking) as follows:

F30 down to C#26 - 16ft. pitch.
C25 to C#14 - Open Diapason, quinted on itself (16ft. + 10 2/3ft.)
C13 to C1 - also Open Diapason, quinted on itself (16ft. + 10 2/3ft.)

Presumably this was an error - even Osmonds would not have done this deliberately (surely?) -  but I think that I was the only person ever to notice.




* 'This organ has received our best attention to-day'....)

Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Wyld on February 09, 2015, 09:49:04 AM

This gives 32ft. tone down to G (in the lowest octave), then it is 'quinted' in fourths below the fundamental, for the lowest seven notes. Even in this dry acoustic (for what is not a particularly large church), this is one of the most effective 32ft. stops I have ever met.[/font]


This was the standard HWIII treatment, which Roger Yates presumably picked up from him.

DW
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 09, 2015, 04:15:09 PM
Yup - St. Magnus Cathedral has a 32' Sub Bass wired in this way, and very effective it is.  I didn't know it was standard Willis III, rather than IV, practice though.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Nicolette on February 11, 2015, 09:56:07 PM
I think a Great Mixture would certainly have to be in the specification.   Since its renovation last year, our 29-stop Rushworth and Dreaper (Inverleith St. Serf's, Edinburgh) has been attracting acclaim for its beauty of tone and the church's beneficial acoustic.    The Great 8ft Flute and Tromba, Swell reeds and Stopped Diapason, and the Choir Clarinet add a lot of colour and versatility to the organ's strong foundation.   We also have a meaty 16ft fagotto and a helpful 32ft Acoustic Bass in the pedal department.   However, while there is a Mixture on the Swell, there isn't one on the Great.   The inclusion of a Great Mixture would, I feel, have made an already-versatile-and-attractive instrument even more so.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 12, 2015, 09:48:38 PM
I think a Great Mixture would certainly have to be in the specification.   Since its renovation last year, our 29-stop Rushworth and Dreaper (Inverleith St. Serf's, Edinburgh) has been attracting acclaim for its beauty of tone and the church's beneficial acoustic.    The Great 8ft Flute and Tromba, Swell reeds and Stopped Diapason, and the Choir Clarinet add a lot of colour and versatility to the organ's strong foundation.   We also have a meaty 16ft fagotto and a helpful 32ft Acoustic Bass in the pedal department.   However, while there is a Mixture on the Swell, there isn't one on the Great.   The inclusion of a Great Mixture would, I feel, have made an already-versatile-and-attractive instrument even more so.

Granted - although the instrument you mention is somewhat larger than the parameters for this thread.

Out of interest, what is the stop-list for your G.O., please? (I wondered if there was anything which could be ditched - preferably near the tuner's passage-board - in order to accommodate a compound stop?)
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Pinnegar on February 13, 2015, 12:26:12 AM
The other day I was most intrigued at St John's Broadbridge Heath near Horsham http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00427

This is an extension instrument by Mander of 1962 with just 2 main ranks - a Stopped and a Gamba with different derivatives on each on the two manuals and it gave a good account of itself. Needing next to no maintenance it's done extremely well for over half a century and has been very good value both musically and economically.

Not an instrument for purists, but most effective.

(1)
Spitz Gamba   8   
Stopped Diapason   8   
Flute   4   
Twelfth   2 2/3   
Nineteenth   1 1/3   
Twentysecond   1

(2)
Spitz Gamba   8   
Stopped Diapason   8   
Gemshorn   4   
Flute   4   
Nazard   2 2/3   
Piccolo   2   
Larigot   1 1/3   

Bourdon on pedals

To criticise it at all, with the flutish harmonics on (2) it can sound a little like a Hammond

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Nicolette on February 13, 2015, 09:58:30 AM
I think a Great Mixture would certainly have to be in the specification.   Since its renovation last year, our 29-stop Rushworth and Dreaper (Inverleith St. Serf's, Edinburgh) has been attracting acclaim for its beauty of tone and the church's beneficial acoustic.    The Great 8ft Flute and Tromba, Swell reeds and Stopped Diapason, and the Choir Clarinet add a lot of colour and versatility to the organ's strong foundation.   We also have a meaty 16ft fagotto and a helpful 32ft Acoustic Bass in the pedal department.   However, while there is a Mixture on the Swell, there isn't one on the Great.   The inclusion of a Great Mixture would, I feel, have made an already-versatile-and-attractive instrument even more so.

Granted - although the instrument you mention is somewhat larger than the parameters for this thread.

Out of interest, what is the stop-list for your G.O., please? (I wondered if there was anything which could be ditched - preferably near the tuner's passage-board - in order to accommodate a compound stop?)


I know, our instrument isn't all that small, although it's under 30 and the smallest of three by R. and D. in Scotland.   

I have actually been thinking about the G.O. and what (in an ideal world) a mixture might replace.

The stoplist is:
Bourdon                        16      
Open Diapason 1        8   
Open Diapason  11       8      
Salicional                        8      
Claribel Flute                8      
Tromba                         8   
Wald Flute                   4   
Octave                         4         
Fifteenth                       2

Probably, if anything, the salicional, but this would have to be a pipe dream (sorry!) for the future.   I can dream!
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 13, 2015, 07:56:21 PM
Broadbridge Heath - Reminds me somewhat of the nice little Mander extension organ that used to be in St. Anne & St. Agnes, Gresham Street, City of London, and now at Bruern Abbey School, Oxfordshire.  Very effective and exciting.

St. Serf - the trouble with adding a Great Mixture to a chorus not intended to carry one is that it may tend to upset the whole balance of the instrument.  The mixture at St. Serf's is in the Swell, from whence it can be coupled to the Great, and that is how the instrument was conceived.  You might find transposing the 4' flute to 2 2/3' worth trying.  I know of a number of instruments where this has been done, sometimes with considerable success.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Nicolette on February 13, 2015, 08:27:02 PM
Thanks David -  I'll have to keep this in mind for the future, but it sounds like an interesting option.
Nicolette
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 13, 2015, 11:30:06 PM
Thanks David -  I'll have to keep this in mind for the future, but it sounds like an interesting option.
Nicolette

David makes a good point regarding the Mixture. However, I must admit that I should be loath to lose a 4ft. Flute, in order to have a quasi-Nazard effect; particularly since, in the absence of a correctly-scaled Tierce, a Nazard needs a 4ft. Flute (in addition to the 8ft.), in order to be really effective. Since both flutes are probably fairly romantic in their voicing, you may be better leaving well alone - and, as David suggests, simply coupling the Swell Mixture down.

I would guess that the overall sound of the instrument could be described as 'full-toned', given the stop-list, the builders and the vintage. Not that there is anything wrong with this; however, as David suggests, the introduction of a compound stop is likely to upset the tonal balance. It may be a question of playing music which suits this particular instrument and not trying to make it do something for which it was not designed. My 'own' church instrument is not particularly good at Elgar or any Edwardian music which needs the type of sound quality which your instrument probably possesses in abundance. Therefore, despite my admiration for the first and fourth movements of Elgar's sonata, I tend to avoid playing it.

Out of interest, is the Tromba also playable on the Choir Organ?

Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 14, 2015, 07:37:32 AM
I know of a few examples where the flute has been transposed, in my opinion, not to the instrument's advantage - the wonderful Binns at Old Independent, Haverhill, Suffolk was one - but sometimes the gain definitely outweighs the loss.  Wivenhoe Parish Church, Essex comes to mind, somewhat surprisingly because this is a fairly bold old Walker and one would imagine that the 4' flute would be missed.  In fact, this is not the case (I've known this organ for over forty-five years, having played for a lot of weddings in my early teens so that the organist could play cricket with my father - he's still the organist today).  If the specification is studied, it will be seen that there have been significant alterations, but the effect has been to make it sound more like an old Walker than it did originally!  Incidentally, one can get a lovely celeste by half-drawing the Swell Open with the Stopped Diapason, so even that wasn't a loss.

A lot of Twelfths tended to be flutey - Harrisons' were - and actually work rather well in chorus.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08706

I realise that you have played this organ and I have not. However, I wonder if some brightness (and perhaps an enhanced ability to lead full congregations) has been gained - but at the expense of colour. With regard to the Swell, I should not willingly have parted with the Echo Gamba and the Céleste - particularly for a 12-15 Mixture (I should have preferred 15-19-22, even if it had to be one or two ranks only in the bass). In addition, with the Nazard effect on the G.O., i would not want another twelfth on the Swell, in an instrument of this size. I can appreciate how the Nazard has coloured the G.O., but I would be inclined to reverse the alterations to the Swell Organ. In preference, I might have opted for a 19-22 Mixture on the G.O., and kept the Swell strings; if they were old Walker ranks, they were probably gorgeous.

 I am only too well aware of the pitfalls of commenting on an instrument which one has neither heard nor played; however, whilst I was still at school, I was organist at a church with an even smaller instrument, which had the following un-enterprising stop-list (and mechanical action to everything except the Pedal organ):

PEDAL ORGAN

Bourdon  16
Bass Flute  (Ext.)  8
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal


GREAT ORGAN

Open Diapason  8
Claribel Flute  8
Dulciana  8
Principal  4
Swell to Great

SWELL ORGAN

Violin Diapason  8
Salicional  8
Voix Céleste  (C13)  8
Gemshorn (parallel and slotted)  4
Oboe  8

In 1982, it became necessary to clean and restore the instrument, and so I had our organ builder reconstruct it to the following scheme:

PEDAL ORGAN

Bourdon  16
Flute  (Ext.)  8
Stopped Flute  (Ext.)  4
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal


GREAT ORGAN
Open Diapason  8
Stopped Diapason  8  (New)
Principal  4  (Revoiced)
Fifteenth  2  ()New - bright and strong)
Swell to Great

SWELL ORGAN

Open Diapason  8
Salicional  8
Voix Céleste  (C13)  8
Gemshorn  (Stronger)
Oboe  8  (Opened-up)

At the time, I vetoed a further suggestion to replace the Oboe with a small Trumpet, since it would have cost another £500, and I did not wish our congregation to have too great a cost to bear. In retrospect, I think that they wouuld have borne the extra cost gladly - and It would have made the instrument perfect for its size.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Nicolette on February 14, 2015, 06:48:57 PM
For the foreseeable future, we'll have to stick with what we've got and suit the music to the instrument.   It is versatile and the Great is full-toned. 
I often play music from the French romantic/late romantic repertoire, coupling full swell to the great where required, which gets the desired effect.  Thanks for the advice and thoughts on the matter!
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on February 15, 2015, 03:02:31 AM
pcnd's reply has been added on to my posting. I concluded with the NPOR reference and pcnd commenced with 'I realise that....'

I would, in some cases, agree with you regarding the Swell strings.  Walker's strings could be gorgeous (and these were a good pair), but here I don't think any colour has been lost.  The Swell Open has more than a touch of velvet to it and the box is effective, so you have a warm, quiet voice there.  Since by a lucky chance, the half-draw on the Open produces an excellent celeste (a ploy which doesn't work on all organs - I tried it on the 1905 Forster & Andrews on Fogo Island here in Newfoundland last year without success), an effect which should have been lost has in fact been saved.  If the organ had been a little older, it might not have had the strings in the first place (cf Romsey Abbey), so the result is arguably more 'old Walker' than the original!  I don't know of another similar-sized Walker where the Swell consists solely of 8' stops plus octave coupler.

The pipework for the Gemshorn and Mixture came from an organ in Manchester and are thought to be by Hardy of Stockport.  They are, however, very well suited to the organ and excellently finished, as Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt's work always as.  Although it might have been preferable for the Mixture to commence at 15.19.22, they had to work with what was available, and possibly existing space on the soundboard.  The octave coupler is still there, and useful within the limits of a 56 note compass.  A three rank mixture on a Walker of this date would have broken back to 8.12.15 at middle C anyway, so the only difference would have been in the bass and tenor.

Although we all know that altering old organs can be a risky business,  I am convinced that in this case nothing has been lost and a good deal gained.  I was invited back a few years ago to give a recital celebrating the organ's 125th birthday and I didn't feel constrained by its small size.  Incidentally, in 1885, it was opened by T. Tertius Noble, who was at the time organist at All Saints, Colchester, where they had a very similar but larger Walker installed the previous year (now at St. Andrew's, Greenstead, Colchester), so I played a couple of his pieces in 2010.  I would have expected to miss the 4' Flute on the Great, but I didn't.

It was always a good organ.  I think it's even better now.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Ian van Deurne on February 18, 2015, 03:34:11 PM
Of course, without looking at and hearing the instrument, any suggestions can only be purely speculative but I would definately lose one of the doubled Diapason 8' ranks. Why there seems to be such a predilection for this in England I have never been able to understand. The original reason for doubling the 8' foundation stop was because the most of the organs in England stood on a screen between the choir and the nave so a secondary facade was needed to face the other way.
       The other option is of course replacing the Salicional, but often on a two-manual organ such a stop on the Great can be very useful for accompaniment purposes. There again, with a four-rank quint mixture replacing one of those Diapasons, then you might be able to consider replacing that with either a Quint or a Nasard at 2.2/3 as well. Then with the rest of the chorus correctly re-intonated to blend with these alterations (definately not forgetting the reed in this), then there is no reason why the realization of music from the French romantic period could not be greatly enhanced by such a scheme.

Best of luck with it!

Ian 
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Benjamin Daniel on October 12, 2016, 06:18:12 PM
In the early 90s I attended two or three weekends for young organists at Addington Palace.  The following organ was at that time located in the chapel: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R01719

It is the most delightful small organ I have had the pleasure of playing, with a seemingly endless variety of colours possible from the small stop list.  The 16 ft Oboe on the swell and the novelty of a Great to Swell coupler are particular features which have always stuck in my mind.  The pneumatic action was extremely prompt.

I remember feeling extremely lucky indeed on those occasions when I found it wasn't already being used by someone else for practice!
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on October 12, 2016, 11:05:26 PM
Absolutely!  I, too, went on such a course, but a lot longer ago (c.1970), and I got the chance to play the Addington organs at various other times.  I also played this one when it was at Cleveland Lodge.  It certainly is a most versatile and beautiful instrument.  The similar-sized (apart from its having inherited a full-length 32' Double Open Wood) at St. Sepulchre, Holborn, in the City of London is similarly adept at producing several quarts out of a pint pot (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N17580).

Having the Contra Oboe as the only reed has been tried elsewhere and has the advantage of providing a pedal reed by coupling as well as adding a special dimension to the manual possibilities.  Lord Dunleath's organ at Ballywalter PC, as rebuilt by Walker (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D05475) is another example, as is Wells-Kennedy's at Drumbo PC, Ballylesson (ww.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D01451). Both were originally Conachers (the dominant builder in Ireland), the Ballywalter one being described as "strikingly gormless" (or some such term) by Lord Dunleath.  Incidentally, this one retained a Dulciana on the Swell at the rebuild, but this was replacedfive years later with a Sesquialtera.  Lord Dunleath said that no one missed the Dulciana but the Sesquialtera was immensely useful and would even stand in as an 8' chorus reed, which I found was indeed the case.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Benjamin Daniel on October 19, 2016, 10:53:29 AM
I came across details of another small H&H organ which is remarked upon in glowing terms: http://www.cumbrianorganists.org.uk/organs/keswick.html

I was wondering what is the secret behind "producing several quarts out of a pint pot", and also why the idea isn't more widely used?
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on October 19, 2016, 10:43:40 PM
A lot of it is to do with the quality of the work - an organ voiced by Arthur Harrison would be as good as anything available at the time and better than most.  Also, Harrison was influenced by George Dixon, who was clever at devising schemes which got the most out of what was available and avoided redundancy.  Thus, the Harrison/Dixon team could produce a small organ which was complete and versatile, whereas others were content to provide a selection of mostly soft stops which the local cathedral organist would use most often to accompany a choral service, plus a big diapason to lead the hymns.

Father Willis's "Model" organs were similarly clever, and an influence on Dixon.  The mobile "Stainer Organ" in St. Paul's Cathedral is the best known example (Mander added a Great Mixture) and is recorded as having been capable of leading a full congregation when the big organ was out of action as well as having been mistaken for its larger brother on many occasions.

Great: Open Diapason, Lieblich Gedact, Principal, Fifteenth
Swell Open Diapason, Gemshorn, Cornopean
Pedal: Bourdon

There are other, similar jobs around the country.  I can think, offhand, of Dennington and Groton in Suffolk, the Song School at St. Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, Great Horkesley, Foxearth and Stapleford Tawney in Essex (these two a bit bigger), Wolferton in Norfolk.

Other builders were less imaginative at getting the most out of a small number of stops.  Here's Binns at Stromness Parish Church, Orkney:

Great: Open Diapason, Rohr Flute, Dulciana, Principal
Swell: Geigen Principal 8, Gedact, Viole d'Orchestre, Vox Angeilca, Salicet
Pedal: Bourdon

You need a few more stops to get a really interesting Binns.  The same goes for Lewis - here's what he did at Woolverstone, Suffolk:

Great: Open Diapason, Lieblich gedact, Salicional, Octave
Swell: Geigen Principal 8, Rohr Flute, Geigen Principal 4, Horn
Pedal: Sub Bass

or Dundrum, Co. Down:

Great: Open Diapason, Lieblich Gedact, Dulciana, Flute Harmonique 4
Swell: Geigen Principal, Rohr Flute, Viole de Gambe, Voix Celeste (all 8')
Pedal: Sub Bass

Small Bevingtons can be rewarding, especially if they run to a mixture, but at other times, especially later instruments, they can be deathly dull - like Little Horkesley, Essex (installed second-hand when the church was rebuilt after a direct hit from a land-mine in World War II):

Great: Open Diapason, Dulciana, Lieblich Flute 4
Swell: Stopped Diapason, Cor Anglais, Principal, Sub Octave Coupler  (the Cor Anglais is a gamba, as usual with Bevington)
Pedal: Bourdon

And so on. Sometimes, these gormless-looking instruments sound rather good and much better than one would expect, like the Hope-Jones that used to be in St. Mary's RC Church, Croydon, where the only upperwork was a 4' Lieblich Flute in the Swell, although there were a lot of octave couplers (and a 16' Rohr Bourdon on the Great!).

Norman & Beard built dozens of small organs in East Anglia, which are generally pleasant and a cut above the rest, although maybe not over-exciting.  They each seem to have a particular character.

Acoustics can make a difference, too, but some of those little Harrisons were in fairly dead buildings.

I think it's the master touch that gives the magic.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Benjamin Daniel on October 20, 2016, 01:47:03 PM
Thank you for such an informative answer.

I was curious also as to whether the effectiveness of a small instrument is influenced by factors such as the scale of the pipes, wind pressure, or other such variables.

I have also noticed the description whereby a rank of pipes is said to be added "on a clamp", but have so far failed to find a description or picture on the web.  Please could someone explain this to me?
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on October 20, 2016, 03:14:47 PM
A top-class builder would take pains to get the scaling, pressure and so on exactly suited to the situation, while others might use stock pipes and not put such skill into the voicing.  It could make quite a difference to the result.

A clamp is an extension of the soundboard to allow another stop to be added.  It can work well if properly done, although putting extra capacity on a soundboard not designed to take it might compromise the result.
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: Benjamin Daniel on October 22, 2016, 02:59:38 PM
I was at St Sepulchre's earlier today, and noticed that the console has had the pedal board removed.  I wonder whether any plans exist for this organ to be brought back into playable condition ... ?
Title: Re: Minimum specification of small organ
Post by: David Drinkell on October 22, 2016, 11:25:43 PM
Yes, they're hoping to have it restored soon.