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Thread: Danish Organs - thoughts?

  1. #1
    Ensign, Principal Simon Jansfort's Avatar
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    Danish Organs - thoughts?

    Hey everyone

    I was sitting here thinking. For starters, I consider myself pretty lucky to live in Denmark and be interested in organs. I believe we have some pretty good organs and organ builders. I know this for a fact - in fact.

    But my second thought was ... how do you like danish organs? (of course only the ones of you who have played/performed on them)
    The Danish guys in here are of course welcome to answer, but the interest here - from my point of view - is the difference between danish organs and foreign organs.

    In Denmark we have some organ builders who cover most of the danish organs. They are:

    Marcussen og Søn (Marcussen and Son)
    Frobenius
    Bruhn
    P.G.Andersen og Bruhn

    (and of course several more, but these are at least some of the greatest)

    Which ones do you prefer? And what are they like compared to organs from other countries?

    Best,
    Simon

  2. #2
    Midshipman, Forte
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    Hi!

    I would have to say I'm a Marcussen and Søn-man. I've played and listened to a number of their organs. In Haderslev Domkirke, where I used to sing in the church's choir, they have a great Marcussen-organ, and then there's of course the famous organ in Sorø. The organ in Lindevang-kirken is one of the most pleasant I've ever played - but even in the small town of Ødis (close to Kolding), Marcussen have made quite a nice instrument.

  3. #3
    Ensign, Principal Simon Jansfort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    Hi!
    ... but even in the small town of Ødis (close to Kolding), Marcussen have made quite a nice instrument.
    Hehe, yes. I'm trying hard myself to aquire that position. It's the perfect size for having while studying.

    So, a fellow Markussen man ... that's what I like. I'm all for Markussen. Unfortunatly in my current position I have to live with a Svend-Erik Erbs Organ ... a terribly misfortune. But it's the music that matters .... just not only when my back hurts after 5 minutes playing.

    Anybody else have thoughts on danish organs?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Haven't played any Danish organs (yet) but I have listened to several on recordings. One apparent difference I have found is in the Principal stop voicing between Danish and American builders . I refer to the Marcussen at Grundtvigs Kirke - the Principal stop seems much more 'refined' than its American counterpart, for instance like on a Möller, which I play every week in my church position. The Marcussen's tonal finishing appears to be 'narrower' and blend better with the rest of the foundations stops, which is something that I am in favor of. I am wondering if this is typical of Danish organs built since the early 1900's.

    Lars

  5. #5
    Ensign, Principal Simon Jansfort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Haven't played any Danish organs (yet) but I have listened to several on recordings. One apparent difference I have found is in the Principal stop voicing between Danish and American builders . I refer to the Marcussen at Grundtvigs Kirke - the Principal stop seems much more 'refined' than its American counterpart, for instance like on a Möller, which I play every week in my church position. The Marcussen's tonal finishing appears to be 'narrower' and blend better with the rest of the foundations stops, which is something that I am in favor of. I am wondering if this is typical of Danish organs built since the early 1900's.

    Lars
    I'm sorry but I'm quite rusty in the english expressions regarding organ techniques, but what I can gather from your post is, that the actual sound of the principal 8' is more delicate and clear in danish organs than in american organs, am I right?

    This is what I can gather myself from recordings in for example english churches, where they plaster the organ with 8' stops that makes the overall sound quite confusing.

    You're from America then? What state? I'm quite interested in American organs since I use their church organ for jazz ... (Hammond)

    Simon

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Jansfort View Post
    what I can gather from your post is, that the actual sound of the principal 8' is more delicate and clear in danish organs than in american organs, am I right?

    You're from America then? What state? I'm quite interested in American organs since I use their church organ for jazz ... (Hammond)
    Simon
    Simon ... yes, 'delicate or clear' is a good description of what I meant by 'refined'. I am not sure if this same tonal quality I heard in the Marcussen Principal exists in other Danish organ builders too.

    Yes, from America - Tucson, Arizona - We have four seasons: summer, summer, winter (3 weeks) & summer . There are numerous US Pipe Organ builders ... Hammonds are quite suitable for jazz ... I never liked them much as church organs - I absolutely abhored that horrid vibrato when playing the hymn A Mighty Fortress. Since 1982, I have had the same church position here on a 1979 Möller Pipe Organ.

  7. #7
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Well, I was in København actually one year ago and purchsed the Knud Vad recording of Bach's Orgelværke recorded on the beautiful organ of Sorø Klosterkirke, whilst in your capital. I must say it's one of my favourite CD sets and I have it on almost every other day. Fantastic playing and lovely registrations.

    Tak til dig for din fantastisk danskeorgels!

    Contra

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    Well, I was in København actually one year ago and purchsed the Knud Vad recording of Bach's Orgelværke recorded on the beautiful organ of Sorø Klosterkirke, whilst in your capital. I must say it's one of my favourite CD sets and I have it on almost every other day. Fantastic playing and lovely registrations.

    Tak til dig for din fantastisk danskeorgels!

    Contra
    That's a nice recording, I have that one as well. I don't neccesarily agree with the way he plays some of the pieces, but the organ is wonderful. You should try and get your hands on Hans Fagius' (who is from Sweden) recording. It's great too, and it's fun to compare!

  9. #9
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    hi tom - yes - I own the Fagius recording too. It is very very fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    hi tom - yes - I own the Fagius recording too. It is very very fine.
    Indeed so. Orgelbüchlein, Sei gegrüset Partita and the Eb major prelude and fugue are some of the highlights for me right now. The Dorian fugue, however, I think he rushes a bit for my taste. But all in all, wonderful playing.

    This year, Fagius is performing the complete Bach works at a series of concerts in Sweden and Denmark, it's great...

  11. #11
    Commodore de Cavaille-Coll
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    For along time I've had difficulty in liking Danish Organs. The Marcussen at the Tonbridge School in the U.K. and the instrument in the Vor Fruekirke in Copenhagen are for me, the most notable exceptions. I apologise to Sir Frederik Magle if I have caused him offense. 20th century Scandinavian organs, like their North German counterparts have this *obertonreich* bias which *grates* on my nerves.

    Alot of it has to do with the Neo-Classical Orgelbewegung movement that swept through Europe and the U.S. I know I'm opening up a can of worms now but I still get an automatic gag-reflex with alot of the *orgelbewegung* instruments that came online in the middle to later 20th century.

    Again, I apologise if anybody feels let down by my denunciation. If I want brilliant choruses as an organbuilder I'd use a 2' or even a 1' reed. A suitably scaled and voiced 2' or 1' clairon-doublette does wonders for the upper end!!! I longingly lust after the wonderful reed chorus at St. Sernin in Toulouse. It has a 2' clairon-doublette on the Grand-Orgue. Boy, does it create brilliance!!!

    Cheers!

    Giovanni

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