Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: Europe Organs vs. USA organs

  1. #1
    Midshipman, Forte
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Europe Organs vs. USA organs

    Hi all!

    First of all i'm going to tell that I am portuguese. Portugal hasn't a very developed culture of organ meybe because iberian organs are very limited.

    I hear records of french organs and german organ and the sound is wonderful.

    when I searched for American organs I found several organs. Really big organs! There was organs with 5,6 and even 7 manual.

    I took a look on youtube to find some records. So, I searched the 2nd biggest organ in the world, the Wanamaker Organ, Philadelphia. I thought: "Woh! That must be wonderful!"

    In my opinion, that organ sound is too artificial. Then I searched other organs in USA and they have all the same artificial sound.

    I know that the sound comes from the pipes.

    But my questions are: Is that sound from the records? Do they make the pipes to sound more artificially? Do you like the sound that way?

    Lombardo

  2. #2
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    10,538
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi lombardo,

    Imvoho one should be careful in judging an organ's sound based upon what you hear from a recording, whether it be the *Mighty Mo* Wanamaker, The Cavaillé-Coll in St. Sulpice in Paris, or the sweetie pie Gabler organ in Weingarten. The Skinner in Woolsey Hall at Yale University is a real gem - all of its stops have a story to tell - each stop is so exquisitely voiced and when all are put together the effect boggles the mind.

    The same goes for my personal favorite which is in St. Sulpice - All of its stops brought together just astoundingly dazzles the mind - In many ways, it is a most perfect instrument, as is the Wonder Machine in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

    But please let me beg of you to visit one or more of the instruments I've metioned in this my mini-homily.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  3. #3
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by lombardo View Post
    Hi all!

    First of all i'm going to tell that I am portuguese. Portugal hasn't a very developed culture of organ meybe because iberian organs are very limited.

    I hear records of french organs and german organ and the sound is wonderful.

    when I searched for American organs I found several organs. Really big organs! There was organs with 5,6 and even 7 manual.

    I took a look on youtube to find some records. So, I searched the 2nd biggest organ in the world, the Wanamaker Organ, Philadelphia. I thought: "Woh! That must be wonderful!"


    In my opinion, that organ sound is too artificial. Then I searched other organs in USA and they have all the same artificial sound.

    I know that the sound comes from the pipes.

    But my questions are: Is that sound from the records? Do they make the pipes to sound more artificially? Do you like the sound that way?

    Lombardo
    Well, to me, the bigger is not necessarily the better. Many modern American instruments might be huge both in size and specifications, but they lack in sound depth. You cant really compare European organs with American ones.

    In EU organs are all about Baroque, Early music, and Romantic ones.
    In the same way that you cant compare a Cavaille Coll with a Silberman you cant compare the EU organs as a whole with the US organs.

    So, and American organ might give you the extremes like THE loudest THE biggest THE THE THE blah blah blah, but it will certainly not give you THE best. I am really no big fan of the Wannamaker. I dont say that it is a bad instrument, not at all, it is just not for my taste. What is the point of having all these stops (most of which are exactly the same just stored it different divisions)?

    EU organs, as well as many other things have a deeper less superficial history and each of them had a reason for which it was constructed. According the specific period for which we are talking , each organ had some unique characteristics. Lets say, you cant compare the original Spanish trumpets (Trompetta Magna, Tromba di Battala and so on) with a contemporary Chamade stop. It is just different. You might visit 10 organs in the US and remember a single sound colour. In EU, each organ you will visit is almost all the times unique.

    As for what makes the sound different...
    Each pipe in an organ is constructed out of one or more materials. These are usually Zink, Tin, Wood, and Lead. Now, the material is not the only factor taking place in how a pipe will sound. The procedure and the way the pipe was made (in other word the unique pipe designs) make an organ sound different from another one. For instance lets compare french mixtures, with German ones. They are 2 completely different things!

    Also, another factor is the wind supply of an organ. A contemporary instrument most of the time has a clinically steady air flow. Older organs have a more imperfect less clinical air flow which results in a slight fluctuation in the sound that is produced.

    One of the biggest factors that make an organ sound unique, is the acoustics and the room itself in which the organ was built, as well as the place that the various divisions of the organ are placed.

    Another approach to the matter would be comparing an old steinwey with a new Yamaha. Everything is more factorised (my word :P)

    You can never really judge from a recording. Since an organ sounds different if you stand in various places in a church or cathedral, what you hear in a recording is the sound of the organ from a particular perspective and not as it would have been in real life.

    Hope this answers some of your questions,

    Cheers,
    Nicholas

  4. #4
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    I believe it is all a matter of taste and the way from which you approach a particular instrument. I tend to like Baroque and symphonic organs, but there are also some contemporary instruments which i like as well.

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Taylors, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    3,070
    Post Thanks / Like
    Very well done boys.. I can not think of anything significant to add... except maybe it depends on what you are accustomed to hearing that makes us favor one against the other...much like food.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  6. #6
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by wljmrbill View Post
    Very well done boys.. I can not think of anything significant to add... except maybe it depends on what you are accustomed to hearing that makes us favor one against the other...much like food.
    Exactly...

  7. #7
    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,098
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi Lombardo !

    I agree with Nick here. He has extremely right.

    Silbermann had a specific way in organ construction, remember that the Grand Master from one side he loved the clear crisp sound on the other he allways despute with him about the way he tuned his instruments. Try to play a Cm chord in a Silbermann organ and you 'll understand.

    Gottfried Silbermann in responding to the predominantly melodius music of the Gallant age rather than the mystical profundity of the Grand Master's polyphony, introduced certain departures from the typical baroque organ. Following French taste, generaly, he reduced the number of reed and pedal stops (the thing I like most of him) and established a new function of the mixtures based on a scientific knowledge of overtones (the other great thing I like of him) inspired from J.Ph.Rammeau. I'm a great fan of him and his organs, that were elegant, clean, mellifluous.. GREAT !

    In USA came people from Europe who wanted to build organs and really the did great things at first, the most of them bring the German tradition.
    Known regions in America are Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Texas where 'till today remains strong evidence of an anachronistic legacy : "romantic" organs suitable for the performance of contrapuntal music !!.
    Best known builder in America : Johann Georg Pfeffer. Arrived in USA in 1854. He build a unique American phenomenon : the great organ in the Archdiocese of St.Louis, a powerfull instrument with the mix of German voicing principles with the great influence of English organs.
    Modern American organs sadly follow their philosophy of everything must be big and great and first and best in the world, 'cause they have a certain pride that they must be allways the best of all mankind, so they end up so artifitial.... They don't go much deeper, on the other hand we Europeans by goin' down deep we loose the target and the siplicity of real life.....

    Anyway my friend Lombardo, organ buiding, I believe, follows the tendencies of life on a specific era in time.

    As for Iberian organs and organ composers I have some favorites : St.Augusti and St.Geroni in Palma de Mallorca, St.Martin in Trujillo and in Covarrubias the Diego de Orio Tejada organ.
    Great music from Sebastian Aguilera de Herredia, Juan Cabanilles, Andres de Sola, Pablo Bruna, Antonio de Cabezo'n ect

    Greetings
    Panos

    P.S. Hey Nick, you forgot my favorite piano : Bosendorfer Imperial !! (I use to play and record many times in the studio of ERT-Radio 3rd prog)

  8. #8
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghekorg7 View Post
    Hi Lombardo !

    I agree with Nick here. He has extremely right.

    Silbermann had a specific way in organ construction, remember that the Grand Master from one side he loved the clear crisp sound on the other he allways despute with him about the way he tuned his instruments. Try to play a Cm chord in a Silbermann organ and you 'll understand.

    Gottfried Silbermann in responding to the predominantly melodius music of the Gallant age rather than the mystical profundity of the Grand Master's polyphony, introduced certain departures from the typical baroque organ. Following French taste, generaly, he reduced the number of reed and pedal stops (the thing I like most of him) and established a new function of the mixtures based on a scientific knowledge of overtones (the other great thing I like of him) inspired from J.Ph.Rammeau. I'm a great fan of him and his organs, that were elegant, clean, mellifluous.. GREAT !

    In USA came people from Europe who wanted to build organs and really the did great things at first, the most of them bring the German tradition.
    Known regions in America are Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Texas where 'till today remains strong evidence of an anachronistic legacy : "romantic" organs suitable for the performance of contrapuntal music !!.
    Best known builder in America : Johann Georg Pfeffer. Arrived in USA in 1854. He build a unique American phenomenon : the great organ in the Archdiocese of St.Louis, a powerfull instrument with the mix of German voicing principles with the great influence of English organs.
    Modern American organs sadly follow their philosophy of everything must be big and great and first and best in the world, 'cause they have a certain pride that they must be allways the best of all mankind, so they end up so artifitial.... They don't go much deeper, on the other hand we Europeans by goin' down deep we loose the target and the siplicity of real life.....

    Anyway my friend Lombardo, organ buiding, I believe, follows the tendencies of life on a specific era in time.

    As for Iberian organs and organ composers I have some favorites : St.Augusti and St.Geroni in Palma de Mallorca, St.Martin in Trujillo and in Covarrubias the Diego de Orio Tejada organ.
    Great music from Sebastian Aguilera de Herredia, Juan Cabanilles, Andres de Sola, Pablo Bruna, Antonio de Cabezo'n ect

    Greetings
    Panos

    P.S. Hey Nick, you forgot my favorite piano : Bosendorfer Imperial !! (I use to play and record many times in the studio of ERT-Radio 3rd prog)
    Thanks for pointing that out!
    I agree with you as well.

    Interesting piano!

    By the way, the piano i have is a Handmade Glass Heilbronn and it is approx. 100 years old in excellent condition (well, the mechanism might require to be changed some years later, but still its a great piano)

  9. #9
    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,098
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hey Nick, good one !
    But listen to this :
    .. my old piano is very old, has 85 keys (!!) -Last treble A#/B&C, is a French Colombo built in Paris in 1860, has wooden base for the harps, hand-made marteaux(no one identical, I have one brocken....) and clavier from ivory/ebony (real). It can't be tuned in A440 anymore (I did some A415 OK - great for Baroque!!), but no one plays it any more, it just stands somewere in my Law-Office...

    Panos

  10. #10
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghekorg7 View Post
    Hey Nick, good one !
    But listen to this :
    .. my old piano is very old, has 85 keys (!!) -Last treble A#/B&C, is a French Colombo built in Paris in 1860, has wooden base for the harps, hand-made marteaux(no one identical, I have one brocken....) and clavier from ivory/ebony (real). It can't be tuned in A440 anymore (I did some A415 OK - great for Baroque!!), but no one plays it any more, it just stands somewere in my Law-Office...

    Panos
    Guess what :P !!!

    My piano also has 85 keys, made of real Ivory/ebony and it can be now tuned to 435. It is being overused by me since i was 6 or something, so it is still an alive instrument!

  11. #11
    Midshipman, Forte
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi all!

    First of all I wanna thank you for your explanations.
    Second: I was judging the US organs by the records. In fact, I asked if that artificial sound was from the records.
    Third, I know that EU organs all have History in each atom. They are full of simbols. And I realised for some comments that US organs are made like Fords.

    But I didn't realise if american organists like the quality of sound or they just be happy by having the biggest(s) organs?

    Lombardo

  12. #12
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by lombardo View Post
    Hi all!

    First of all I wanna thank you for your explanations.
    Second: I was judging the US organs by the records. In fact, I asked if that artificial sound was from the records.
    Third, I know that EU organs all have History in each atom. They are full of simbols. And I realised for some comments that US organs are made like Fords.

    But I didn't realise if american organists like the quality of sound or they just be happy by having the biggest(s) organs?

    Lombardo
    Well judging whether or whether not something is or sounds artificial depends on how you hear it. If you are there on a live performance it will be different than hearing a recorded version of the same thing.
    I Believe that the artificial thing you are talking about is actually the perfectness (in a negative way) of the tone that these organs have (so much that they start to sound unatural.)

    Also consider the fact that when we are talking about a huge organ, its various registers and pipes (depending on the divisions) are put in many cases quite far away from eachother, so especially in huge places, the Harmonics that the pipes produce dont blend that wellm therfore you get a more sparse result.

    As for your last question, I dont believe that it is that much about the actual sound as it is about the exaggeration of making the BIGGEST thing on earth ( same for example would be on which countrie has the most Nukes, the biggest army, and all the other extremes that you could imagine)


    Hope i helped even more.
    Cheers,
    Nick

  13. #13
    Commander, Assistant Conductor giwro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN USA
    Posts
    194
    Post Thanks / Like
    One thing that I see missing from our responses is this:

    The building the organ is in.

    American church buildings are notorious for not favoring organ sound, and the most important stop in an organ is the ROOM is is in.

    Cheers,

    G

  14. #14
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    219
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by giwro View Post
    One thing that I see missing from our responses is this:

    The building the organ is in.

    American church buildings are notorious for not favoring organ sound, and the most important stop in an organ is the ROOM is is in.

    Cheers,

    G
    I have mentioned that :-)

  15. #15
    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,098
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi Giwro !
    Yes you're right. I can't be in America (the last time was in 1994...), but I 'll tell you something from the digital side to support your point.
    I've got a large library of impulse responces, I usualy hunt for churches.... One of them is a Chcago church. The only virtual organ I can "put" in and can hear it ok is the St.Augustine's from Neutral bay in Australia. Is it maybe 'cause St.Augustines church is build like the one in Chicago? Every imp. resp. from old European churches and Cathedrals can be a perfect host for any of my VPOs and I got a lot of them.
    What you think of?
    Greetings
    Panos

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. physis organs website
    By tegshee in forum Electronic/Digital Organs
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: May-10-2016, 14:56
  2. Digital Organ Choice
    By Ayo in forum Electronic/Digital Organs
    Replies: 550
    Last Post: Dec-03-2011, 17:57
  3. Pipe Organs in India.
    By tittualex in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Nov-18-2008, 22:34
  4. Election 08
    By Mahlon in forum Open Debate Forum
    Replies: 87
    Last Post: Jun-14-2008, 09:42
  5. Danish Organs - thoughts?
    By Simon Jansfort in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Feb-24-2007, 09:54

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •