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Questions of Temperament / Re: The Colour of Tuning in Mozart's time
« Last post by David Pinnegar on September 19, 2018, 01:23:53 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OYOyF5PoCY using a MIDI file using a Yamaha Clavinova in Meantone Temperament shows Mozart to be exploiting Meantone in ways inaudible in modern tuning, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFKlNDddWlA is how one might go about playing it on a fortepiano. The resonance of the tuning with major thirds needs much more sustaining pedal and achieves a much greater singing than modern equal temperament practice induces
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4NX_n2j_kg is a recording of some of the Bach preludes in the worst Meantone keys. It's not impossible to play the Bach 48 in Meantone . . .
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Questions of Temperament / The Colour of Tuning in Mozart's time
« Last post by David Pinnegar on September 16, 2018, 02:14:56 AM »
I've recently completed research which led me into writing a paper to be published shortly in being asked to talk to the Friends of the London Mozart Players about "The Colour of Tuning in Mozart's time"

A video of the lecture is on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt-ttLY5ex8 . It was as a result of Arthur Ord-Hume writing in respect to 18th century barrel organs that the tuning made one wince, and that it was intended to, that the penny dropped that Mozart should be auditioned in no less than 1/4 comma meantone. Upon doing so, his piano sonatas revealed most interesting results - it was like developing a photograph, and Mozart's Fantasias in F minor made more sense on two ranks of pipes, as written for, rather than the muscular interpretation we've all enjoyed on full organ with equal temperament.

According with and making audible Schubart's description of the character of each key, written in 1787, I wondered if we might have got the wrong end of the stick with regard to Bach's 48 preludes and fugues for well tempered clavier. The lecture includes demonstrations and those with meantone tuned organs might experiment starting in C with a plain diapason, registering the keys known to Schubart for increasing brightness, and registering the dark keys as in the lecture demonstration, with a mournful Stopped Diapason or Leiblich Gedakt. The cycle of compositions seems to make sense and to work, indicating that it might not have been written to celebrate new tuning but actually to exploit the emotional "Affekt" of each key.

Best wishes

David P
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Organs on eBay or for urgent sale / My house organ for sale
« Last post by diapason on September 15, 2018, 12:07:41 PM »
Sadly, I fear that downsizing is looming and I shall need to part with my beautiful Aeolian/Grant Degens & Rippin house organ as it won't fit into a modern property. I bought the organ seven years ago from a world-renowned Organist via this group. It consists of 5 ranks extended to provide full choruses on Great, Swell and Pedal. No reeds. Completely unenclosed. Discus blower. Can be arranged in many different formats to suit available space. The main windchest unit is about 7' long and the pipes fit under a normal ceiling. Very gently voiced for household use. Located in Somerset, near Taunton., England. Offers close to 2250 or will consider an exchange for a nice digital. Help with dismantling and moving possible.

This is an organ of, essentially, five ranks:
A - Principal 4ʼ (becomes 8ʼ with bass from B)
B - Stopped Flute 8
C - Dulciana 4ʼ (becomes * with bass from B - originally 16ʼ)
D - Tierce 1 3/5
E - Bourdon 16ʼ
Organ builders:-
Circa 1920 - Aeolian Orchestrelle Company
Circa 1948 - ? Davies of Northampton
Circa 1960 - Grant Degens (&Rippin)
Circa 1980 - Roger Taylor
1994 - Principal Pipe Organs
2010 - Principal Pipe Organs
2011 - Paul Derrett, Nigel Parkin & Philip Knighton
SPECIFICATION:-
Manual l: 61 notes
Diapason 8ʼ A,B
Gedeckt 8ʼ B
Dulciana 8ʼ C,B
Principal 4ʼ A
Dulcette 4ʼ C
Twelth! 2 2/3ʼ C
Fifteenth 2ʼ C
Nineteenth 1 1/3ʼ C
Twentysecond 1ʼ C
Manual ll ! 61 notes
Gedeckt 8ʼ B
Dulciana 8ʼ C,B
Principal 4ʼ A
Flute 4ʼ B
Dulcette 4ʼ C
Nazard 2 2/3ʼ B
Piccolo 2ʼ B

Tierce 1 3/5ʼ D
Twentysecond 1ʼ C
Pedal: 30 notes
Contra Bass 16ʼ B,E
Flute! 8ʼ B
Dulciana 8ʼ C,B
Quint! 5 1/3ʼ C
Fifteenth 5ʼ A
Flute 4ʼ B
Dulcette 4ʼ C
Mixture 19:22 ll
There are stop tabs for two additional pedal stops which are no longer present:
Echo Bass 16ʼ - an electronic stop removed 1994
Contra Dulciana 16ʼ - removed 1994 due to lack of space
Double touch tab stop action. Three adjustable pistons to each manual (Setter board
below music desk).
The organ is unenclosed.

Email me for pictures or more information.
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I've recently completed writing a paper for a lecture about "The Colour of Tuning in Mozart's Time" and made some interesting discoveries.

The Mozart Fantasias written for Mechanical Organ are usually given an enjoyably muscular treatment in performance on the organ and no doubt we've all enjoyed them that way.

However, they were actually written in F minor, as most things of the period were written in F minor, on the subject of death, death of a Hero. He'd been valiant in the Battle of Belgrade and an art installation was created to commemorate his death and life, rather in the nature of what one might see at the Tate Modern. He was to be seen encased in a glass coffin, surrounded by mirrors asking for our reflection upon the scene, a mourning Turkish woman and guards, mournful, standing to attention. Surmounted by a clock, the inevitable issues of time were to come to mind, eternity, truncation of life, marching on of events, of soldiers marching.

How much of this scene does a conventional interpretation evoke, or rather if you can imagine the scene, how would a conventional interpretation add to the melancholy and to the reflection upon the sight before you?

The secret was in the tuning of the organ pipes to Meantone. Only then could the F minor evoke all the passions of
Quote
Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave
https://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/courses/keys.html documented by Schubart in 1787.

And the next secret was to register the performance on the ranks of pipes which would have been used by the mechanical organ of a mechanical clock.

Contemporary accounts referred to the sound of flutes and a bassoon. So a Stopped Diapason and a reed with truncated resonators, not taking up much space in the clock organ, for the bass.

The performance was said to have taken 8 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJVisln4ghM goes some way to that. But even that performance on a mechanical organ doesn't quite convey the emotion which a performance in Meantone has automatically inherent.

Does https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARdtdgJxezQ K608 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebKP9MiGyiI K594 might approximate to the spirit of the originally heard performance. The interaction of the key of F minor with the temperament is essential. Kirnberger can also be used.

If performing this in this manner please refer to this post!

Best wishes

David P


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In researching for a lecture about tuning in the 18th century I discovered that perhaps it's time to challenge the big assumption about Bach.

In 1787 the harpsichordist Christian Schubart wrote about the effects induced by playing in the different keys of the scale. https://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/courses/keys.html

Playing Mozart piano sonatas on a piano tuned . . . to Meantone . . . is particularly revealing.

So I decided to go for the jugular to prove how ghastly playing the Well Tempered Clavier on an organ tuned to meantone is - and I discovered that it's not the tuning that's ugly - it's the registration. In the "bad" keys Bach wrote quite differently and if you register them on a sensitive stop with suppressed harmonics such as a Stopped Diapason or Lieblich Gedakt . . . the pieces in Ab major and Bb minor and all the rest are not only playable but make sense in the emotional Affects recorded by Schubart.

Those with access to Hauptwerk or another meantone capable organ please try it. What do you think?

Start in C major with registration on a simple plain Diapason and then in the major keys add registration according to Schubart's scale of Affekt.

And if you perform or record them please give a link and credit to this post!

Best wishes

David P
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A couple of weeks ago Rowan Williams from Gloucester 6th Form College came to see research historic performance times of known repertoire and we were able to do some recordings. With sight of a score we were able to register the instrument to make some sense of the music in places.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohSZlBTMJqw is the Overture to Antaxerxes.

Best wishes

David Pinnegar
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Organ History / Henry Willis
« Last post by mf2701 on August 29, 2018, 12:40:56 PM »
There's an obituary for him in the Daily Telegraph today.

MF
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Local Organist Associations / Hauptwerk Presentation coming up ...
« Last post by kaspencer on August 22, 2018, 11:18:36 AM »
Good morning all!

I would like to invite any group members (or non-members for that matter) to a talk which I am giving about Hauptwerk, in St, Joihn the Baptist Church, Devizes, Wiltshire, on Saturday 15th September 2018, starting at 2:00pm.

This meeting is held under the auspices of the Bath & Wiltshire Organists Association, but any interested persons, be they clergy, congregation, choir, or organist, or listener are welcome to attend.

There are some more details here: http://www.my-music.mine.nu/20180915a5_bwoa_kas.pdf

We have prepared the Makin console, which is present in the church, for the talk by performing a temporary conversion of the console to Hauptwerk, and we shall use the Hereford 67XL sample set created by David Butcher of Lavender Audio.

I shall look forward to perhaps seeing few members of this forum there on the day!

Best wishes,

Kenneth Spencer
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Electronic Organs / Re: Ahlborn H5 voice issue
« Last post by David Pinnegar on August 12, 2018, 10:18:05 AM »
Thanks for this update

I have Ahlborn expansion modules which have gone the same way :-(

Best wishes

David P
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