Organ matters - Organs matter!

Organ registration => Organ registration => Topic started by: Holditch on June 28, 2012, 06:39:26 PM

Title: 32ft on a manual
Post by: Holditch on June 28, 2012, 06:39:26 PM
Having purchased "The Emperor's Fanfare" and listened to Carlo Curley's performance on the Girard College Organ in Pennsylvania it made me think how many other instruments in the world have a 32ft stop available on the manuals?

I suppose this is an American thing, i.e. size is everything, but it seems to work with the romantic music CC was playing

Here is some of the specification for the Girard organ

http://database.organsociety.org/SingleOrganDetails.php?OrganID=9032


Just answered my own question, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (I suppose with that many ranks there had to be one on the manuals!)
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: KB7DQH on June 29, 2012, 03:03:08 AM
If one looks through the "new pipe organs" board on this forum there is an instrument which ALL the pedal ranks are playable via the bottom or "Grand Choir" manual... the pedal ranks are actually extended in compass to allow for this.  Built in primarily French-Romantic style but tonally inspired by the Isnard instrument in Saint Maximin... Also has a "free-reed" Clarinette stop... It is installed in the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral  in Houston, Texas, and was built by one of the organbuilders local to me... Martin Pasi, as his Opus 19.  So... another one...

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Drinkell on June 29, 2012, 08:04:01 AM
Having purchased "The Emperor's Fanfare" and listened to Carlo Curley's performance on the Girard College Organ in Pennsylvania it made me think how many other instruments in the world have a 32ft stop available on the manuals?

British examples include the Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Newcastle Cathedral, Ely Cathedral and Melton Mowbray Parish Church.  The Ely example was disconnected at the 1975 rebuild but reappeared in 2001.  Peterborough used to have one, but it disappeared at the last rebuild (I thought it was a shame to lose the enormous spread of 32, three 16s, Phonon, 3 Opens, two flutes and Dulciana).

I've often wondered why there aren't more 32' reeds in very big Swells.

32' pitch on the manuals is more useful than might at first appear.  A lot of French symphonic music presupposes a Cavaille-Coll organ witrh a sub coupler on the Grand, so gravity is an essential part of the concept.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: MusingMuso on June 29, 2012, 02:36:25 PM
Having purchased "The Emperor's Fanfare" and listened to Carlo Curley's performance on the Girard College Organ in Pennsylvania it made me think how many other instruments in the world have a 32ft stop available on the manuals?

British examples include the Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Newcastle Cathedral, Ely Cathedral and Melton Mowbray Parish Church.  The Ely example was disconnected at the 1975 rebuild but reappeared in 2001.  Peterborough used to have one, but it disappeared at the last rebuild (I thought it was a shame to lose the enormous spread of 32, three 16s, Phonon, 3 Opens, two flutes and Dulciana).

I've often wondered why there aren't more 32' reeds in very big Swells.

32' pitch on the manuals is more useful than might at first appear.  A lot of French symphonic music presupposes a Cavaille-Coll organ witrh a sub coupler on the Grand, so gravity is an essential part of the concept.



Hello,

Don't forget the Schulze at Doncaster PC, which although a tenor C register, was probably the earliest example.

Best

MM
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: Barrie Davis on June 29, 2012, 06:33:11 PM
Hi

After looking at spec leaflets from H&H most of their 32's started from tenor C so was this the norm? I cannot find the Willis brochure about Liverpool so do not know if this was the case there.

Barrie
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Drinkell on June 29, 2012, 08:17:09 PM
Hello,

Don't forget the Schulze at Doncaster PC, which although a tenor C register, was probably the earliest example.

Best

MM

Yes, of course, Doncaster was the inspiration for Ely et al.  I knew I would forget something (it was about 3.30 in the morning in Newfoundland).  I shouldn't be surprised if there are one or two more lurking around the place.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on June 29, 2012, 10:49:29 PM
Having purchased "The Emperor's Fanfare" and listened to Carlo Curley's performance on the Girard College Organ in Pennsylvania it made me think how many other instruments in the world have a 32ft stop available on the manuals?

British examples include the Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Newcastle Cathedral, Ely Cathedral and Melton Mowbray Parish Church.  The Ely example was disconnected at the 1975 rebuild but reappeared in 2001.  Peterborough used to have one, but it disappeared at the last rebuild (I thought it was a shame to lose the enormous spread of 32, three 16s, Phonon, 3 Opens, two flutes and Dulciana).

I've often wondered why there aren't more 32' reeds in very big Swells.

32' pitch on the manuals is more useful than might at first appear.  A lot of French symphonic music presupposes a Cavaille-Coll organ witrh a sub coupler on the Grand, so gravity is an essential part of the concept.



Hello,

Don't forget the Schulze at Doncaster PC, which although a tenor C register, was probably the earliest example.

Best

MM

.... Or that at Norwich Cathedral: the Primary G.O. has a Double Gedeckt - although again to C13 only.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Pinnegar on June 29, 2012, 11:43:27 PM
Hi!

The Dom Bedos re-creation instrument at Rieti in Italy by Formentelli is also another . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: MusingMuso on June 30, 2012, 07:50:51 AM
Hi

After looking at spec leaflets from H&H most of their 32's started from tenor C so was this the norm? I cannot find the Willis brochure about Liverpool so do not know if this was the case there.

Barrie



So far as I know, the 32ft at Liverpool is a full compass Violone, and goes right to the bottom note. Indeed, the Pedal stop-list says, Violone 32ft "From Great." The pipes are visible in the West facing cases.

I don't think I'ver ever heard a 32ft Violone which purrs like the Liverpool one. It sounds like a pampered Cheetah.  (I've walked one on a lead and stroked it...I know about these things).   :)

Best,

MM






Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: JBR on June 30, 2012, 10:43:46 PM
The 'new' (2002) wood Pedal Principal 32' at Cologne Cathedral is not available on the Hauptwerk.  I'd have thought that this would be too powerful for manual use, although I haven't heard it.

As far as I know, this is in addition to the whole of the Pedal being available on the IV manual.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 01, 2012, 09:54:29 PM
As far as I know, this is in addition to the whole of the Pedal being available on the IV manual.

This is rather interesting . . . is it that the whole of the 4th manual is available on pedal? This is the case with the 3rd manual at St Maximin

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: JBR on July 01, 2012, 10:29:01 PM
As far as I know, this is in addition to the whole of the Pedal being available on the IV manual.

This is rather interesting . . . is it that the whole of the 4th manual is available on pedal? This is the case with the 3rd manual at St Maximin

Best wishes

David P

Sorry, my mistake (or is it 'my bad' these days?).  It is actually a Pedal to IV Manual coupler, that is, the Pedal stops are NOT individually available on the IV Manual, as I mistakenly wrote.

Also, my original message should say that the Principal 32' is 'NOW' available on the Hauptwerk and not, as I wrote, 'NOT' available.

I was either in a rush or my mind is going soggy with old age.  I prefer the former!
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Wyld on July 03, 2012, 10:07:30 AM
Our new instrument at St. Mathew-in-the-City in Auckland (New Zealand) has a manual 32ft - see the spec in the lowest section of the page at     http://www.willis-organs.com/auckland_general.html

It is much used!

David Wyld.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: MusingMuso on July 03, 2012, 11:09:15 AM
Our new instrument at St. Mathew-in-the-City in Auckland (New Zealand) has a manual 32ft - see the spec in the lowest section of the page at     http://www.willis-organs.com/auckland_general.html

It is much used!
David Wyld.


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


How very strange!

I'd have thought they'd avoid anything which rumbled in New Zealand.

It's like installing a wind machine on an organ in Colorado, or a cinema-organ type surf effect on a Japanese instrument.

MM
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 03, 2012, 09:09:56 PM
I'd have thought they'd avoid anything which rumbled in New Zealand.

Dear MM

I'm not at all sure about your sense of humour on this occasion. . . . Hope our Antipodean friends will understand antagonist humour.

There is a bridge above a bypass in East Grinstead which appears to be a place of repeated tragedies. Recently I commented that instead of absurd Health and Safety measures there should merely be a notice there informing the public that any suicide attempts would be punishable by the death penalty.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: JBR on July 03, 2012, 09:20:55 PM
Our new instrument at St. Mathew-in-the-City in Auckland (New Zealand) has a manual 32ft - see the spec in the lowest section of the page at     http://www.willis-organs.com/auckland_general.html

It is much used!

David Wyld.

Is this the same one on the Pedal, duplexed?  I think that, whenever there is a suitable (ie, not too overpowering) 32' on the Pedal, it should be available on the Great (or vice versa) as the cost would be minimal.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: MusingMuso on July 03, 2012, 10:11:41 PM


I'm not at all sure about your sense of humour on this occasion. . . . Hope our Antipodean friends will understand antagonist humour.



Dear David,

It isn't antagonist humour. Perhaps more graveyard humour with a hint of irony....think "Adam's Family Values."

I think that the people I know in New Zealand would appreciate the joke, even if it made them wince a bit.

The bridge thing is quite amusing to me personally, because they had a notice erected at Devil's Bridge, Kirby Lonsdale, from which generations of boys and youths have hurled themselves over the centuries. (It's about 50 or 60ft down to the river below).

Anyway, the notice curiously read:-

BYELAW (date)

It is an offence to jump from this broidge without good cause.

A group of disappointed boys asked me what a "good cause" was, to which I replied, "a swarm of bees."

Try prosecuting that one in court!

They all spent the rest of the afternoon hurling themselves into the river below;their friends making loud buzzing noises as they dived or jumped.

Don't you just love law?   :D

Best,
 
MM
[/quote]
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: MusingMuso on July 07, 2012, 11:35:22 PM
I'd have thought they'd avoid anything which rumbled in New Zealand.

Dear MM

I'm not at all sure about your sense of humour on this occasion. . . . Hope our Antipodean friends will understand antagonist humour.

Best wishes

David P


Fuirther to my graveyard humour concerning earthquakes and organs, I've taken the liberty of re-posting this from the Mander Discussion Board.

This is an organ and an earthquake recorded simultaneously.


http://www.gearslutz.com/board/8035480-post1.html

This one was only 7 on the Richter scale!   It's horrible!

Best,

MM
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: KB7DQH on July 08, 2012, 07:38:26 PM
I don't know about "horrible"... unless you are playing this piece through significant equipment and happen to simultaneously melt down the audio amplifier and anything connected to it :o :o :o

My computer speakers consist of a 12 inch dual-coil subwoofer (serving as a support for the monitor) with internal crossover driving a pair of (gasp!) :o ;) two-way speakers, which the soundcard on this machine for most applications oddly enough is adequate, until I played that .mp3 file :o  The effect during the intensifying of the earthquake near the point where the organist stops playing, where the subsonics begin to peak, causes a noticeable drop in the output above the subwoofer crossover point... making it sound like tape dropouts.  ??? ??? ???

 So I played the file through the other computer tied to the Hi-Fi, which uses much larger amplifiers, and electronic separation of the infrasonic thru 16 ft. pitch which is fed to an infinite-baffle subwoofer.  No "high-frequency" dropout observed... but did have to rearrange the furniture and take an aspirin ;) 8) 8) 8)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: flared_ophicleide on October 20, 2013, 12:46:02 AM
Of the many organs in the UK, I wonder if there's one with a 32' reed on the manual?
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Drinkell on October 20, 2013, 06:58:05 AM
I don't think there is.  I'm quite surprised that, among very large instruments, there aren't more manual 32' reeds compared to flues.  I should imagine that a manual 32' reed could be useful more often than a flue, even, for example, under a big principal chorus.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on November 09, 2013, 02:14:59 PM
I don't think there is.  I'm quite surprised that, among very large instruments, there aren't more manual 32' reeds compared to flues.  I should imagine that a manual 32' reed could be useful more often than a flue, even, for example, under a big principal chorus.

I should have thought that the opposite were true, David.

I found the short-compass 32ft. on the Primary G.O. at Norwich Cathedral quite useful, to underpin a sort-of grand Plein Jeu. However, a 32ft. reed, unless it was of very quiet fagotto tonality, would probably sound 'grunty' (it this is even a word). And, if it was that quiet, surely a well-voiced flue (such as a quiet mild string) would do the job equally well.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Drinkell on November 09, 2013, 09:03:19 PM
A few things come to mind.  One is Bonavia Hunt's observation that a Father Willis-type Contra Hautboy would be an ideal 16' double for a medium-sized chorus (diapason too heavy, bourdon too thick, geigen too stringy, he said - I don't think quintatons came within his orbit).  I reckon that the same would apply to a 32' in a big chorus, adding gravity without too much thickness.  I've just looked it up, and I see that Donald Harrison had a 32' Contra Fagot on the Swell at Salt Lake City, which bears out what I am thinking - that a 32' reed would effectively broaden the effect of a large organ without thickening it too much.

One should not forget certain portions of the French repertoire, where both hands are high up on the keyboard and a substantial sub-unison is needed to keep the balance right.  Some large Cavaille-Coll organs have a sub coupler on the Great for this very purpose - I have one here and it comes in handy at the end of some French sorties, etc, even when the Double Open is already drawn.   Norman Cocker recommended a recipe for this sort of piece which involved drawing all the doubles and upperwork, but no unisons, together with any couplers that were available (which to him meant a full set on all manuals).

The 32' bourdon, which seems to be the most common manual 32', is essentially a thickener rather than an enrichener (?).  Peterborough Cathedral, before the last rebuild, could put out a prodigious unisonous mass of 32' bourdon, 16' diapason, flute and dulciana, 8' phonon, three diapasons a whole lot of other voices, etc.  It was very impressive in its way, although we might not do such things very often now.  In general, I find an open double more useful and less cloying.  I use the Great double open quite a lot - more often than the Swell Bourdon - and there is a nice little 16 Dulciana on the Choir which can add just the right amount of gravitas, even at 32' pitch when coupled.  Similarly, the open 32 at Liverpool is more useful than the bourdons elsewhere and I think an enclosed 32' reed might  be similarly handy.

There are one or two 2' manual reeds about (Leeds Town Hall - I can't think of any others, maybe they're even more rare than 32s), which expand the reed chorus upwards (I bet they're a pain to keep in tune, though).  I could see the point of a 32' swell reed to broaden the full swell downwards, both in its own right and to fully embrace a big Great when coupled.

Then there's the accompaniment aspect.  A 16' reed with the sub on can be handy in the psalms when there's a bit of smiting to be done or the weather is clouding over.  A quiet 32' reed would be fun, especially with the right assortment above it (every organ should have a Vox!).

Finally, if there's a soft 32' reed on the manuals, it's going to be useful on the Pedal.  The enclosed Contra Trombone at Redcliffe can come in very useful.

I think one or two American megatheria have 32' gambas on the Swell.



Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Pinnegar on November 10, 2013, 09:10:11 PM
Perhaps someone more expert than I might clarify but apparently Dom Bedos recommended 32ft on manuals and there is one built into the modern instrument at Rieti. . . .

 Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: Light_bulb on November 10, 2013, 09:38:41 PM
The Dunedin Town Hall organ in New Zealand has a 32' reed (TC) on the Swell. The rank is a 16/8/4 unit reed. That organ has 3x 16' reeds, no actual 32' reeds.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: Gwas_Bach on November 11, 2013, 10:38:52 PM
Jean Guillou's organ in St Eustache has a 32' Contrebasson in the Récit.

http://vandenheuvel-orgelbouw.nl/en/component/k2/item/403-sainteustacheparis-en.html
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on November 15, 2013, 11:44:33 PM
Jean Guillou's organ in St Eustache has a 32' Contrebasson in the Récit.

http://vandenheuvel-orgelbouw.nl/en/component/k2/item/403-sainteustacheparis-en.html

Indeed.

I have played this instrument once (with Guillou registering for me), although I cannot particularly recall the effect of the 32ft. reed on the Récit. (Or even if I actually used it.)

With regard to 2ft. clavier reeds - I can only think of one example; the Clairon Doublette on the G.O. of the Cavaillé-Coll instrument in S. Sernin, Toulouse.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on November 15, 2013, 11:50:31 PM
... Then there's the accompaniment aspect.  A 16' reed with the sub on can be handy in the psalms when there's a bit of smiting to be done or the weather is clouding over. ...

Surely in order for this to be effective, the reed in question would need to be of slender scale and with the minimum of tonal 'body' (which would, arguably, make it rather less suitable at its own pitch) - otherwise the sound would be muddy and heavy. I have to avoid this type of registration on my own church instrument for this very reason. The Swell Double Trumpet is not small in scale and, if I were to use it with the Sub Octave coupler, the result would be thick, gritty and unpleasant.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Drinkell on November 16, 2013, 08:43:21 AM
Small-scale and fairly free, I think.  After all, an organ which ran to such a stop would have something else for the big 32' pedal reed effect.  I'm thinking more growl than mere flatulence....
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on November 16, 2013, 09:07:53 AM
Small-scale and fairly free, I think.  After all, an organ which ran to such a stop would have something else for the big 32' pedal reed effect.  I'm thinking more growl than mere flatulence....

It would certainly have to be a fairly large instrument; even with a half-length bass octave, the expression box would need to be quite large.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Drinkell on November 17, 2013, 02:57:18 AM
When Casavants sent us a new tuner a few years ago, he said something quite interesting in Quebec French (a very good language for swearing) when he saw the size of our Swell box, which contains 15 stops of 73 note compass including a 16' Gedeckt, a full-length Double Trumpet, 3 8'reeds and 6 8' flues.  The Choir Organ, on the other side of the chancel, is completely encased with shutters on the front and top, and has a 16' Pedal Dulciana in the case, plus another full-length 16' Dulciana about six feet behind it in the Choir box.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: David Pinnegar on November 17, 2013, 01:44:05 PM
Hi!

The Rieti specification is on http://www.organosandomenicorieti.it/dombedos2.htm where you'll see the 32ft Montre on Grande Orgue

I'd love to visit that instrument! Unfortunately it's inauguration coincided with the Icelandic volcanic eruption which caused a potentionally amazing trip to be cancelled . . .

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: londonorganist on February 01, 2015, 01:25:07 PM
Has anyone heard the organ at Paisley Abbey?

That has a very french character (C-Coll heritage of course!) and a great Sub-Octave. I would think that a SO would be more useful than a 32', as the music where such pitches are required (french romantic) were written primarily for organs with such stops.

Interesting nonetheless! I think some organs have stops simply because they look impressive! (this is certainly the case at Liv Anglican! There are some wonderful stops on the Liverpool organ, but several stops don't really seem to have much purpose other than being there for showing off! The Tibia is particularly notable.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 01, 2015, 10:56:54 PM
Has anyone heard the organ at Paisley Abbey?

That has a very french character (C-Coll heritage of course!) and a great Sub-Octave. I would think that a SO would be more useful than a 32', as the music where such pitches are required (french romantic) were written primarily for organs with such stops.

Interesting nonetheless! I think some organs have stops simply because they look impressive! (this is certainly the case at Liv Anglican! There are some wonderful stops on the Liverpool organ, but several stops don't really seem to have much purpose other than being there for showing off! The Tibia is particularly notable.

I have only heard this fine instrument on recordings (which is, I realise, no real test).

I am inclined to agree with you regarding the G.O. Sub Octave coupler - in this instance. However, this device only really works with French (or, at least, quasi-French voicing); otherwise, an unpleasantly muddy and confused effect is likely to result. One thing which I noticed when playing larger instruments by Cavaillé-Coll (for example, S. Etienne, Caen), is that the use of the G.O. Octaves Graves - even with the Montre, Bourdon and Bombarde drawn  (all at 16ft. pitch), results in a wonderfully grand and full sound (if one does not play too low down in the compass). The same effect, if tried on the average large three-clavier English organ, is likely to result in the aforementioned problem. This is due partly to the voicing of the double reed, which generally has a more slender bass, with a freer tone - and, importantly, much less 'body', than, say, a Willis Double Trumpet - or (God forbid), an Arthur Harrison Contra Tromba.

The organ of Gloucester Cathedral (also re-designed by Ralph Downes) has  such a device - although here it is limited to the West G.O. flues. The engraver was probably paid in vintage single malt for his work on this draw-stop alone, since it reads: 'West Great Flues Sub Octave'.... (I think he was given a nice bottle of Baron d'Artigues 1971 Armagnac for the other tricky one: 'West Great Flues on Man. IV'.)
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: Ludus57 on February 02, 2015, 03:53:29 PM
I played the organ in Paisley Abbey last August. It must be one of the most exciting organs in the country! The quiet stops sing, the flue choruses have just the right feeling of presence and refinement, and the tutti is devastating in all the right ways! Harrisons did a phenomenal job building on the 1968 Walker/Downes work. It just has to be heard and played to be experienced. I cannot speak too highly of it. Make the trek to Paisley and experience it for yourself. As an added treat, meet with Dr George McPhee, the organist. He is a real enthusiast, and is clearly - and justly - proud of such a fine instrument. I rate him as one of our greatest organists, and as a former Germani pupil ( thus a member of a very select band), maintains the highest standards as a player. I am very pleased to be able to put so many superlatives in one paragraph. I mean every one! Go there and be astounded.
I would add that it makes a very interesting exercise to look at the 1928 HNB instrument on the NPOR
and look at what the Walker rebuild did to it.
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: pcnd5584 on February 02, 2015, 09:17:25 PM
I played the organ in Paisley Abbey last August. It must be one of the most exciting organs in the country! The quiet stops sing, the flue choruses have just the right feeling of presence and refinement, and the tutti is devastating in all the right ways! Harrisons did a phenomenal job building on the 1968 Walker/Downes work. It just has to be heard and played to be experienced. I cannot speak too highly of it. Make the trek to Paisley and experience it for yourself. As an added treat, meet with Dr George McPhee, the organist. He is a real enthusiast, and is clearly - and justly - proud of such a fine instrument. I rate him as one of our greatest organists, and as a former Germani pupil ( thus a member of a very select band), maintains the highest standards as a player. I am very pleased to be able to put so many superlatives in one paragraph. I mean every one! Go there and be astounded.
I would add that it makes a very interesting exercise to look at the 1928 HNB instrument on the NPOR
and look at what the Walker rebuild did to it.

I really must try to get to Paisley - perhaps this summer. I am very interested in your thoughts on this organ. In addition, a full description of the 1968 re-designing of this instrument (together with its previous incarnation and its original Cavaillé-Coll stop-list) can be found in Ralph Downes' book Baroque Tricks.

What of the acoustic ambiance - is it lively, or dry?
Title: Re: 32ft on a manual
Post by: TanundaGrandOrgan on September 06, 2017, 11:49:45 PM
The Sydney Town Hall organ has a 32' TC stop on the great. I think it's a bourdon, but i'd have to check.