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Thread: Organ birthing process ...

  1. #16
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    That's very true, NEB ... and complicated by the fact that in more cases than not, the musicians who conceived the original stoplist tend to move on to other things years later. The pipe organ will always stand in perpetuity for centuries, whereas those who play these great instruments don't.
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  2. #17
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Yes indeed. I sometimes think that giving the builders a rough brief and telling them to come up with something excellent for the job might be a better way than trying to satisfy eclectic desires of and individual organsit at any time.

  3. #18
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Bingo ... and there are some organists who are very insistent about something being part of the organ - a favorite stop of theirs or how some control operates something ... then the next lackey comes along and wonders in amazement what the heck the former dude was thinking.

    The other thing is non-standardization of building practices from one country to another. When I played the organ at The Vatican in Rome, the expression shoes positions were just the opposite (shoe fully open = shades closed), and the crescendo roller was precisely that, a roller bar instead of a traditional shoe as I'm used to in the US. The other organs I played (like in Budapest) were similar to what I was used to.

    There are American builders who install organs in Europe and vice versa, so that in itself also adds to the complications of the builder.
    Kh ~~.
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  4. #19
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    You got to play at the Vatican?!?!?!?

    How on earth did you manage to pull that one off?

    and I've heard tell before that they have some very very strange instruments there.

  5. #20
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    On the other hand, sometimes there is merit in organists being involved in the ongoing developement of instruments. For example, I'm still very involved in a rebuild project in another church, where the organ is being 'enlarged' by a combination of methods from cleverly borrowing ranks, to additions of more ranks.

    This has the effect of greatly increasing the flexibility of the organ and how effectively it can be used. It can take the impetus an organist gives for something like that to happen, since only the organist really has any idea about the instrument and the rest are 'lay people' to whom and organ is an organ and beyond that it's all greek.

    Equally there are arguments that suggest that organists should have nothing to do with the developement since organists are pretty adept at going into a new place and working with the instruments available to get results as good as possible.

    Both arguments are valid???????? surely???????

  6. #21
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi Krummhorn,

    Many organs in Germany have roller-bar crescendo appurtenances. I always find them somewhat odd - maybe because I'm not used to them.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *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."

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  7. #22
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEB View Post
    You got to play at the Vatican?!?!?!?

    How on earth did you manage to pull that one off?

    and I've heard tell before that they have some very very strange instruments there.
    Hi NEB

    I was the organist/accompanist for a RC whose adult choir decided to tour parts of Europe in 1992. We were at the Vatican for Pentecost Sunday - the Pope was out of town, so the Mass was said at the Chair Alter, and I got to play 75% of the Mass Service - Jim Goettsche was (and still is) the basilica organist there and was a delight to work with. Our choir sang the Mozart Coronation Mass for the 'prelude'.

    As I played the postlude about 200 people had gathered around the console as I played the Fantasia in F Major (Komm heiliger)of Bach. There were about 8,000 people attending that service I found out later on. That and having had the opportunity to play the Mormon Tabernacle Organ were the two greatest highlights in my organists career. Every year at Pentecost, I view again the video tape of that Pentecost Mass.

    The Vatican organ built by Tamburini has 102 rks, and the main console has 4 manual. The organ itself is split into two somewhat equal parts on each side of the transcepts. There was no practice time allowed - it was "sit and play" with some help from an Italian speaking Msgr and what I had learned from Jim the day before.

    Besides the permanent 4 manual console, they now have a portable 3 manual console that can be plugged in most anywhere on the basicila floor (even outside in St. Peter's Square) and has full control over the organs resources. There is even a tracker organ now in the Sistine Chapel.
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Jan-10-2008 at 17:53.
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  8. #23
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    Nice story Krummhorn.

    Good to be able to look back and have memories like that...

  9. #24
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Krummiest - that's a fantastic story. Was the organ nicely voiced? I never hear reports about Italian organs ... now I think about it. Kind of like naming romantic era italian composers of symphonies ...

  10. #25
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    I'm too fat to be an organ builder.
    Join the club! I would be too much of a clutz to build such a big organ!
    judy tooley

  11. #26
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    Krummiest - that's a fantastic story. Was the organ nicely voiced? I never hear reports about Italian organs ... now I think about it. Kind of like naming romantic era italian composers of symphonies ...
    Its tuning was absolutely perfect, and was (when I was there) properly voiced. This instrument seems to be well taken care of by its curator. Although hidden behind one of the facades, this organ even has a horizontal reed.
    Kh ~~.
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  12. #27
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Sounds yummy, and the space it has to fill is not insignificant, I imagine, yes?

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