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Thread: Dutch Organ Reeds

  1. #1
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Ntalikeris666's Avatar
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    Dutch Organ Reeds

    In many historical dutch organ you might notice that, if in a pleno-tutti combination you add a Trumpet 8' lets say, it wont have the same result as in a modern organ. It has a much deeper and less reed-y sound which if combined correctly could be really nice. A nice example could be the BWV 565 toccata. Many organists use reeds in modern organs (or smaller organs that dont have many flue and principal stops), in the beginning at least, because the organ's mixtures are not heavy enough to provide the appreciated result. If you hear though the piece in a German baroque organ , 2 mixtures in conjunction with the foundation stops, might be sufficient to get the job done. So most times the sound of a trumpet 8' in a more modern organ (i am not talking about romantic ones) is really clear and can be heard out even if the rest of the combination is heavy. In dutch organs on the other hand , its not that easy to single out an 8' reed stop out of a pleno combination (A major role of course in this case , plays the room where the organ is placed. In a cathedral it will be more difficult to hear its tone). -Correct me if i am wrong please-
    I have a CD with Piet Kee playin BWV 565 on the Muller organ in Haarlem.
    He uses many stops, including the Trumpet 8' , 4', and Fagott 16' and Trumpet 16. The result of all these stops playing together was really good.
    I noticed that i could harly hear the 8 and 4 trumpet tones, but i could hear the 16 stops especially in the lower notes. So, what i did is that, i went to the organ i have access to in the concert hall (its a Klais organ made in 1993) and i added almost the same stops as Kee did. When i started playing, the flues where covered by the 16' and 8' reed stops, and some notes of the high pitched mixtures of the organ where heard as well. But it had absolutely nothing to do with the Dutch organ sound.

    Thats with the non-solistic reeds of the Dutch organs. I dont know much about the solistic ones, (i only tried the Vox Humana when i was in Haarlem).

    It would be nice to hear any other experiances with registrations that differ a lot from organs arround Europe.

    (if i am wrong in something, please correct me)

    Thanks a lot,
    Nicholas

  2. #2
    Captain of Water Music
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    Hello there,

    It is quite true that the some of the North German Baroque reeds are quite inconspicuous when drawn together with Principal stops. This seems fine in solo playing. However, as far as leading congregational singing is concerned, I would have a more raspy reed included in the stoplist. It is because when the congregation is singing on top of the organ voice, two thirds of the intrument's volume is drowned. So if a change of stops involves including a reed that can hardly makes an audible difference, it is hardly a valuable stop in that regard. It must be readily heard when added to the ensemble.

    Felix

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