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Messages - Pierre Lauwers

Organ Music and Repertoire / Samuel-Sebastian Wesley
April 25, 2013, 05:43:36 PM
An old preffered of mine !
It was Donald Hunt in Worcester who made me discover the maybe most
underrated composer of the 19th century (had he be a german, there would obtain
say 10 complete works recordings in competition).

There are some good recordings on Youtube, and it is already a kind of a marvel since
it is an extremely difficult music for any choir, quite demanding:

Best wishes,
Riga Cathedral -the giant Walcker organ- displays here wonderfully
the free-reed Clarinet and the traditionnal Walcker Mixtures:

Best wishes,
Here is a 1916 pneumatic organ by Göbel of Königsberg, Eastern Prussia
(Today Kaliningrad):

(Do not miss the second half of the video, which displays incredebly beaudiful
foundation stops).
Mr Poplawsky is one of the best improvisators in Poland)

Best wishes,
Indeed, Eric; I'd add that this organ might well have signed the end
of the Neo-baroque period, i.e., a "baroque" style that is not a true
baroque one.
Now we can build credible organ after a variety of styles. It is to be hoped
that Go-art and others continue to gather the knowledge about those styles
we need to preserve them all, and have them represented worldwide, in just
the quantity necessary to "train our ears", to learn to appreciate and enjoy them
all. And to get rid of the changing fashions that have been so destructive in the past
-up to nearly the present-.

I add an example.
Here is a reed stop that is the opposite to the british late-romantic ones: a Dulzaina
"en chamade":

....And it is exactly as precious and worthwhile.

Best wishes,
Not from Howells, but that one would do wonders in such sophisticated

Best wishes,
The Rochester, after Casparini organ, and its Principal chorus which resembles
quite closely to what I heard in many places in eastern Germany (Thuringia):

Organ Builders / Re: Willis History
March 29, 2013, 03:53:34 PM
Would the times be changing ????
Fine !
Organ Builders / Re: Willis History
March 28, 2013, 07:14:49 AM
The Trondheim Steinmeyer is in quite good hands anyway
with the outstanding Kuhn firm (Männedorf, ZH / CH):

"The original specification of the organ will be reinstated, the pipes restored or reconstructed"

Best wishes,
Organ Builders / Re: Willis History
March 22, 2013, 10:17:20 PM
There are "stories" and "games" within the every other family, and
business, on earth,
so that the historical interest of such material is rather limited I am afraid.
We are so tiny things !
So it might be better to stick to the facts I believe.

Best wishes,
Another one: A little Walcker organ from about 1895-1905, somewhere
in Poland:

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

Specifications and picture:

Best wishes,
The organ, built 1795, was in St. Mary in Chatham.
It came 1992 in Klais workshop.
After a *restoration*(1), it will be re-opened this March, 18,
in a Düsseldorf church:

(1) With "Restoration" is meant: As far as possible, to respect the original state,
as far as it is known, compasses, temperament etc included; even old nails to be
re-used whenever possible, etc etc....

I suppose there is no need to remind anyone about the very high esteem Samuel Green deserves. His historical significance cannot be over-esteemed, for Britain of course but also for central Europe, as he could well have inspired Abt Vogler (chromatic design of the soundboards; larger-scaled basses; general enclosure...) in his famous "simplification system" (which was important from an historic viewpoint, while it is blatant that he sometimes had done better to simply copy the english model!)

Best wishes,
This organ, with its 29 stops on two manuals and Pedal,
might well be a landmark.
(Unterinn is in the "Süd-Tirol", a german-speaking northern italian area, an absolute
hit with the german-speaking belgians as a holiday's place, so it won't be long before
I shall hear this organ in Situ...)


Some Bach videos have more to tell than any pile of words:
A new video displays the dynamic range of the Gebrüder Link organ of Giengen an der Brenz (DE), a very rare example of an intact late-romantic german instrument
(pneumatic action, cone-chests):

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

Best wishes
The 1894 Dalstein & Härpfer organ of St-Martin Hayingen/ Hayange, Lorraine/ Lothringen,
France (near to the luxembourgish border and the town of Thionville) is a splendid
example of a synthesis style betwwen France and Germany. By no way is it an ecclectical approach, rather a personnal reinterpretation of both.
This organ is a Masterpiece in that the acoustics of the church -a design copied on the one from the Trinité church in Paris- is rather cavernous. In spite of that, there is no mudiness, no roaring basses which engulfs the trebles, in few words, each pipe holds exactly its place in the tonal balance:
(Philippe Lefèbvre plays Liszt)

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

Picture and Specifications:'entretiens/fiches%20entretiens/hayange.pdf

Best wishes,
New Pipe Organs / Klais organ St-Joseph Bonn (2014)
February 25, 2013, 04:54:11 PM
This organ, presently being built, has an interesting Specifications
which shows the latest trends:

Best wishes,
As anyone knows, the Thuringia, during the 18th century,
was a musical desert. As a result, the local builders commited
such awkward things like this:

(Volckland organ, 1767)

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

Best wishes,
Dear David, my ears won't "flame", as they do not have to facing historical material.
Charles Tournemire saw "an huge potential" within the electronic organ, and we do not have to "judge" this.

(Now if we go back to us, present-day, and have to deal with those things, it might be interesting to know they do not like beer quite much; a pint of Ale, or Pils, can do wonders if swiftly and precisely moved towards cooling fins. I do not make any suggestion of course, I simply state an accident can quickly happen).

The "englishmen" aren't different from "the others", actually. The problem is a cultural one; the very idea of a "Nadir"! This implies a judgment, and whenever we judge, we aren't historians any more.

The way Hope-Jones, namely, ROBERT HOPE-JONES, is deal with in Britain today is a problem. Judgments flow like horse meat in the lasagnes, that is, both are inacceptable.

Everyone knows about my concerns about a dedicate cathedral organ round 2006, concerns which failed to resolve anything.
Yes, we have a slight problem.

See you soon on "Organs that train our ears". There, I shall continue to link towards
beautiful things, and also awkward, off-tune ones, desesperately in need of repair ones,
old batches of rust which have something to tell.

Best wishes,
An interesting pneumatic organ, not restored, off-tune, with probably many
holes in the winding. But mind the quick, sharp response of the action,
paired with a typical articulation:

The Specifications:

Best wishes,
I feared it; it happened.
I think it is impossible to deal with the history of the organ in Britain
with britishmen nowadays.
Quite slippery a road it is ! Ten postings are enough for the various condemnations
and judgments to come.
How sad !

Best wishes,
Gerhard Walcker just discovered the Opus 1367 from Oscar Walcker, in original
condition, in Lettonia. Pictures and two sound files:

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

Best wishes,