Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Romantic v Classical Organs

  1. #1
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like

    Romantic v Classical Organs

    Hi guys

    Can anyone advise how, through registration, I can make a romantic organ sound less like a romantic organ and more like a classical one?

    Thanks!
    Kev
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  2. #2
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Without hearing the instrument, no, not really.

    If you could post the stop-list, together with the following information: wind pressures, layout and positions of each division, acoustic properties of the building, the type of action, the compasses of the pedal and manual claviers (and those of the soundboards, if different), the name of the builder and a brief description of critical stops (for example, the G.O. diapason chorus) - possibly even something like 'G.O. Diapason is fat and dull-sounding and the rest of the chorus lacks brightness.'

    Without at least this, any suggestions are likely to be meaningless.

    However, if you can provide much more information along the lines I have suggested above (together with an idea of the tonal house-style of the organ builder), it might be possible to make a few points - although these will still likely be inspired guesswork. Perhaps something like (if these stops are present) ' try the G.O. 16ft. Bourdon, Principal, Fifteenth and Mixture up an octave, instead of using the large Diapasons.' However, as you may begin to see, apart from the fact that one would need a lot more information about the instrument and the building, without actually being there and hearing and playing it, anything offered here would be little better than guesswork.

    One only has to play a few instruments before it becomes apparent that even those with a strong tonal house style can differ widely in effect, through other influences such as position, acoustics, the type of action, wind pressures. all these things and more can affect the way an organ sounds - even one with a supposedly 'standard' stop-list from a well-known organ builder.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-16-2013 at 23:49.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like
    Pedal Key action El Stop action EP Compass-low C Compass-high f1 Keys 30
    1 Open Diapason 16
    2 Bourdon 16
    3 Octave Bass 8
    4 Flute Bass 8
    5 Trombone 16 added 2002
    6 Trumpet 8 added 2002
    Choir Key action El Stop action EP Compass-low C Compass-high c4 Keys 61
    7 Flute 8
    8 Dulciana 8
    9 Flauto Traverso 4
    10 Flautina 2
    11 Clarinet 8
    12 Tromba 8 added 2002
    Great Key action El Stop action EP Compass-low C Compass-high c4 Keys 61
    13 Open Diapason 8
    14 Lieblich Gedact 8
    15 Gamba 8
    16 Principal 4
    17 Harmonic Flute 4
    18 Fifteenth 2
    19 Trumpet 8
    Swell Key action El Stop action EP Compass-low C Compass-high c4 Keys 61 Enclosed
    20 Double Diapason 16
    21 Violin Diapason 8
    22 Rohr Flute 8
    23 Salicional 8
    24 Voix Celeste 8 TC
    25 Gemshorn 4
    26 Mixture III 15.19.22
    27 Cornopean 8
    28 Oboe 8
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi pcnd

    I've attached stop list above. It is dull and does lack brightness. Its electro pneumatic. I'll find out other info - dont know the wind pressure though. Hope you can help give some pointers. Its a Conacher also.

    thanks
    Kev
    Last edited by Bach>Meer; Nov-18-2013 at 12:38.
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  5. #5
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Bach>Meer View Post
    Hi pcnd

    I've attached stop list above. It is dull and does lack brightness. Its electro pneumatic. I'll find out other info - dont know the wind pressure though. Hope you can help give some pointers. Its a Conacher also.

    thanks
    Kev

    Thank you for this.

    A Conacher? Ahh....


    I have played the large four- (formerly five-) clavier Conacher in Saint Mary's, Calne, Wiltshre on a few occasions, including, last December, for a large school carol service. I have to say that I thought it was hideous - so, my commiserations.

    You could try (for a prelude or fugue, perhaps):

    PEDAL

    Bourdon, Flute 8ft.

    CHOIR

    Flutes 8, 4 and 2ft.

    G.O.

    Gedackt, Principal, Flute (4ft.), Fifteenth

    SWELL

    If there is an Octave and Unison Off (or a Swell Octave to G.O.):

    Double Diapason, Diapason (8ft.), Rohr Flute, Gemshorn, Mixture

    COUPLERS

    Choir to Pedal, Swell to Pedal, Swell to Choir, Swell to Great* then either Swell Octave and Unison Off, or Swell Octave to G.O. (if these are present).

    * Unless the organ possesses a Swell Octave to G.O.

    However, if it is voiced in anything like the same house style as Calne, you may need to experiment a lot.

    You could try (again for larger works), playing up an octave (even in 1908, Calne possessed 61-note claviers, with a 32-note pedal-board; what are the compasses of your instrument, please?), using the Swell Double, the Diapason, the Flute (8ft), Gemshorn and Mixture; then couple this to the Choir Organ (flutes and 8, 4 and 2ft.). Try using the G.O. Gedeckt, Principal (and possibly Trumpet, depending on voicing, volume and promptness of basses) as the Pedal upper-work.

    With Calne in mind, stops you probably want to avoid the Pedal Open Diapason and the Octave, the Choir Tromba (I presume that this is big?), the G.O. Open Diapason (again, I presume that this is fat and wooly) and the Swell reeds (except on the Pedal Organ, for definition. However, clearly, this would negate the use of the Swell flue-work, in this case). It is a pity that the Swell Mixture is not on the G.O. - otherwise you could try using the Swell reeds and upper-work coupled to the Pedal, for definition.

    It is probably easier to get quieter registrations on this organ, for chorale preludes, than it is to register (for example) the G major Prelude and Fugue (BWV 541), or the C minor (BWV 546). However, the best thing is to draw up a few registrations along the lines I have suggested. Try playing up an octave (this would probably be quieter on the action than employing lots of octave and unison cancelling couplers). Experiment with omitting some 4ft. stops (or the heavier 8ft. ranks). Then, ideally, try to get someone else to play on each registration in turn, whilst you walk around the building, stopping to listen in key areas (for example, where the majority of the congregation sit), the west end, transepts (if present, obviously), etc. Then note your preferences on a piece of paper, next to each registration (and the title of each piece or extract played). This will give you a much better idea of how the instrument sounds in the building - as opposed to merely how it sounds at the console.

    Out of interest, which church is it, please? (The NPOR give a large list of instruments by Conacher, and I do not have time to look at all of them, in order to match-up your stop-list.)

    Hope this gives you at least some idea for a start.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-19-2013 at 14:27.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  6. Likes Ghekorg7 (Ret) liked this post
  7. #6
    Rear Admiral Appassionata (Ret) Ghekorg7 (Ret)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,098
    Post Thanks / Like
    Great analysis pcnd

    Indeed for baroque works we don't need 61 keys compass, so the 4' coupler is a great help especially on dull organs which they go brighter by building up ranks one upon the other.
    This one having just one mixture and this on swell make things harder. I would go for making it a 2m/p organ by permanently coupling swell to Great for Baroque works.
    Also as I see there isn't a cornet or a tierce for chorale soloing, so I could use the Clarinet on Choir or better the Oboe of the Swell playin' it from Great (R hand, left on Choir with Fl8 + Dulc8).
    Yep need experimenting Kev :-)

    Best
    Panos
    *It's like a fight with women, which always ends in .... bed.*
    F.Kafka, Aphorisms.

  8. #7
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghekorg7 View Post
    ... Indeed for baroque works we don't need 61 keys compass, so the 4' coupler is a great help especially on dull organs which they go brighter by building up ranks one upon the other.
    Not necessarily. For one thing, it will depend on the scaling and voicing of the upper-work and the breaks in the compound stop. In any case, using the 16ft. flue stop as a foundation and playing an octave higher (or using Octave and Unison Off couplers), is likely to give a better result than simply drawing an Octave coupler, and thus creating the 'missing note' effect - and a probable imbalance of parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghekorg7 View Post
    This one having just one mixture and this on swell make things harder. I would go for making it a 2m/p organ by permanently coupling swell to Great for Baroque works.

    Panos
    Again, on a Conacher, it might be better to combine the Swell with the Choir and use the G.O. as Pedal upper-work; again, it depends on voicing of individual ranks. If the G.O. Principal and Fifteenth are fairly bright (not necessarily the case with this builder), the G.O. could wokr in combination with the Swell Organ (but with a lighter foundation). However, if this is not the case, there is probably little that can be done.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-20-2013 at 17:33.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  9. Likes Ghekorg7 (Ret) liked this post
  10. #8
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi all - many thanks for this - thats great - pedal compass is 32 notes.

    How about registration for first and last verse of say a hymn such as Adeste Fideles Willcocks version?

    thanks!
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  11. #9
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Bach>Meer View Post
    Hi all - many thanks for this - thats great - pedal compass is 32 notes.

    How about registration for first and last verse of say a hymn such as Adeste Fideles Willcocks version?

    thanks!
    This depends on how many congregants you expect to have to lead. If the church is likely to be full (and it seats more than two hundred - or, if less than this, they will sing like Methodists), then you would probably wish to have full Swell coupled to the G.O. flue-work (here you would almost certainly need the Open Diapason), with all the Pedal flues - again coupled to both claviers. Don't bother with the Choir Organ, it will just waste wind, without adding anything to the overall volume. However, I would draw Swell to Choir (if there is one) - anyone can accidentally move on to the lowest clavier, forgetting that nothing is sounding on it.... Also, save something big and exciting for the final verse (or last half of the verse).

    For a 'big' last verse*, if there is a choir (and they can cope with descants without shattering wine glasses at forty paces), let them have most of the limelight for the descant - then perhaps add the Pedal and G.O. reeds for the last line.

    It would be useful to know the following:

    1) Where is the instrument sited? (If it is in a chamber, is there sufficient height above the case(s) or pipe-front(s) to allow for ample egress of sound - for each department? Also, where are the openings into the building? (If the organ is in a chamber.)

    2) Where is the console?

    3) Which is louder - the Choir Tromba or the G.O. Trumpet (Does this appear to vary in the main axis of the church?) In addition, how are these stops voiced? For example, one might expect something labelled 'Tromba' tonally to resemble a small Tuba. However, I note that this stop was added in 2002, so does this mean that this stop is more free-toned, perhaps a larger edition of the G.O. Trumpet. As for this stop (the G.O. Trumpet), is this bright and lively, or dull, with slow-speaking basses?

    4) Is the wind more than adequate to allow for the addition of the big reeds (with fairly thick chords being played) to the rest of the instrument - or does the pitch and sound sag?

    5) A full list of couplers and accessories, including the number of pistons, or other combination devices, to each division, any reversible pistons (and whether they can be altered easily - or even at all), would be helpful, please.

    6) The G.O. Gamba. Is this stringy, or more of a Geigen Diapason? Does it cut through (in any sense of the word) the G.O. foundations, or does it disappear when the Open Diapason is drawn? To return to registering Bach, for example, if this Gamba is not too thin and keen-toned (like an Arthur Harrison Viole), used with the chorus (but minus the Open Diapason), such a rank can sometimes have the effect of blending a chorus into a more cohesive sound. However, you would need to experiment and, again, listen around the church.

    * If you are doing the carol Once in Royal David's City, can I suggest that you try to obtain the last verse descant and organ re-harmonisation by Stephen Cleobury? (It is the one which was formerly broadcast on Christmas Eve a few years ago - not the slightly odd one which has been in use for the last two or three years). I regard it as greatly superior to the that by Willcocks, which I have always found to be rather four-square and repetitive.

    If you would like more information about where to obtain this, you are welcome to contact me by PM.



    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-21-2013 at 22:40.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  12. Likes Krummhorn liked this post
  13. #10
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the reply - very much appreciated. The tromba is louder than the trumpet and the Gamba is more like a violin diapason. The console is away from the pipes. The pipes are at the back of the church and I am seated nearer the front, near the choir.


    One further question if I may! I quite like the Open Diapason 16 on the pedal and notice that the Bourdon 16 has been preferred above.

    What kind of registration for a first verse and last verse of a hymn such as Praise my soul the King of heaven would you perhaps use if you wanted to incorporate the open diapason 16 in the pedal but NOT the open diapason 8 in the Great (as I think the one in the Great is too much). The pedal one rumbles alot, which I like, as I like the cathedral sound. However the flutey bourdon to be honest, doesn't rumble unless you're playing quiet hymns say in communion.

    There has to be a way doesnt there of incorporating this magnificent pedal sound, without blowing the congregation away?!!

    I have a cornopean for the last verse - might that be a good addition?

    Any ideas for first and then last verse registration with the open diap/ open wood 16?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Bach>Meer; Nov-22-2013 at 23:41.
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  14. #11
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Bach>Meer View Post
    Thanks for the reply - very much appreciated. The tromba is louder than the trumpet and the Gamba is more like a violin diapason. The console is away from the pipes. The pipes are at the back of the church and I am seated nearer the front, near the choir.


    One further question if I may! I quite like the Open Diapason 16 on the pedal and notice that the Bourdon 16 has been preferred above.

    What kind of registration for a first verse and last verse of a hymn such as Praise my soul the King of heaven would you perhaps use if you wanted to incorporate the open diapason 16 in the pedal but NOT the open diapason 8 in the Great (as I think the one in the Great is too much). The pedal one rumbles alot, which I like, as I like the cathedral sound. However the flutey bourdon to be honest, doesn't rumble unless you're playing quiet hymns say in communion.

    There has to be a way doesnt there of incorporating this magnificent pedal sound, without blowing the congregation away?!!

    I have a cornopean for the last verse - might that be a good addition?

    Any ideas for first and then last verse registration with the open diap/ open wood 16?

    Thanks!
    As I wrote above ('with all the Pedal flues') - the Pedal Open Diapason is fine for leading a congregation in louder verses. However, with regard to registering Bach, if you want a more 'classical' sound, the last thing you need is a booming, 'rolling' Open Diapason (which is probably of wood and quite large scale). In a swiftly moving fugue, for example, this will simply accentuate the Romantic nature of the instrument and destroy balance and clarity.

    Again, however, such a stop as the Pedal Open Diapason (in fact a misnomer, it is generally a giant open flute) can encourage a healthy congregation to sing heartily. Although even then, I should not advocate its use in every verse.
    However, you would need to check that, without the G.O. Open Diapason, the resulting sound is not bottom-heavy. If there is too little firm unison tone, a congregation will not sing as well as when this is more supportive. (It is incorrect to state that the congregation will supply the unison tone - if this vital pitch is not firm enough, my experience is that a congregation will feel unsupported.)

    With regard to the Cornopean, again, see my post above. I had already assumed that this stop was drawn at the beginning of the verse ('full Swell coupled to the G.O. flue-work'). However, if you are intending to treat this rank as your climax stop, then presumably the congregation is rather smaller than my suggested number of around two hundred (as above). If this is the case, it would be helpful to have an idea of the average size of your congregation (for a 'big' carol service, for example), in order better to guess the appropriate amount of organ to use - and always bearing in mind that I have not visited the church nor heard the organ in its setting.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-23-2013 at 10:58.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  15. #12
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi pcnd

    Congregation amount is around 90.

    Thanks
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  16. #13
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Bach>Meer View Post
    Hi pcnd

    Congregation amount is around 90.

    Thanks
    In which case, perhaps they do not make much sound during the hymns? You would, of course, need to tailor your registrations and dynamics to take this into account. (Under the circumstances, I wonder if a greater variety of flue-work would have been more useful in 2002, than a number of loud reed stops? These ranks can have little use on the average Sunday - aside from clearing the church promptly during the final voluntary.)
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-23-2013 at 14:56.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

  17. #14
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like
    I agree - I wasnt there then. I tried some suggestions today - playing the hymns as if playing a fugue - ie without the full blooded Open Diapason. I have to say it was better than I thought. The only part was on the last verse - I think I had too many 8s drawn. The 8 Cornopean is my main stop for last verses. I also had the Gt Gamba 8 and the Sw Violin Diapason 8. Maybe too much?

    However in terms of hymns - I'm taking it that this full blooded texture generally helps - so as I think you have stated - the bourdon wouldnt be the ideal lead stop for the pedal organ?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Bach>Meer; Nov-24-2013 at 14:17.
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  18. #15
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    252
    Post Thanks / Like
    Pedal Bourdon - not exclusively for hymns. You would probably wish to use the Open Diapason as well, at least for first and last verses. However, with prolonged use, it could become wearisome. Try to vary it with the use of more upper-work - such as coupling down the Choir flutes.

    Only you (or the congregation) will know if your registration above is too much. Depending on the promptness of speech and voicing (for example, absence of 'muddiness'), the Swell flue double might be useful occasionally in hymns. However, be careful - prolonged use could lead to an aurally 'depressing' effect, or undue heaviness. You could also use Swell to Oboe, with the Sub Octave coupler (if present), in order to add occasional richness. Aside from using too few 8ft. foundation stops, 'less' is often better than 'more'.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; Nov-24-2013 at 18:10.
    Pierre Cochereau rocked, man.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Looking for an audition-worthy romantic piece.
    By Stoda in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: Jun-28-2010, 05:55
  2. The Romantic Generation
    By JLS in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Dec-17-2009, 13:21
  3. Classical Organists Opinions of Theatre Organs
    By AllanP in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Dec-19-2007, 00:58
  4. Romantic Swedish organs
    By Stentor in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Feb-15-2007, 03:59
  5. "Romantic Danish Organs"
    By giovannimusica in forum Pipe Organ Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Dec-18-2005, 01:17

Posting Permissions

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