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Thomas Dressler
Dec-18-2005, 07:53
In another post, Giovanni asked a couple questions about David Tannenberg. I'm not at home near my books (writing this on my laptop in a motel room) but I'll make a short posting, writing what I can say off the top of my head without double checking references.

It is somewhat of a mystery where David Tannenberg learned all of his organ building skills. The first answer to this question is that he apprenticed with a builder named Klemm, who had studied organ building in Germany. It is debated whether Klemm had studied with Silbermann. . .there are some stylistic similarities, though in recent years the Klemm/Tannenberg organs have been identified as being of a particular German style called "lieblichkeit" organs, a style which Silbermann did not follow.

At any rate, we do know that Tannenberg studied with Klemm, but we don't know for sure how much he learned from him. It seems that some of his skills may have been self taught. For instance, his metal pipes are built in a peculiar way where the languids are upside-down. For various reasons related to restoration, this is a very good thing, because it makes it impossible to voice the pipes outside of a small range. If the pipes speak at all, they sound very close to the way Tannenberg had them sound. So this and some other facts about his building style allow us to guess that perhaps Klemm had not taught him everything and Tannenberg improvised until he found ways that worked well. This, the quality of his workmanship, and the sound of the instruments, show him as a very rare genius. I have played several of his surviving instruments and I love them very much.

Yes, he did build a large organ for a Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. I don't have my books, but I can tell you it had three manuals and pedal, with a pedal Posaune 16'. It must have been a spectacular instrument! It was the largest organ in America at the time, and George Washington travelled to Philadelphia to hear its dedication recital. Unfortunately one of the most dissapointing facts in organ history is that the church burned several years later, completely destroying the organ. A terrible loss.

Thanks for asking the question, Giovanni! I'd be happy to go on and on and on about Tannenberg! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Thomas Dressler

giovannimusica
Dec-18-2005, 18:25
Dear Mr. Dressler,

I have learned something new today: upside-down languids.

Yes, all those reading are permitted to laugh at my lack of knowledge in this respect - I won't take offense.

I once heard that Tannenberg's string stops had a sound somewhat like the string stops of the Gabler Organ at Weingarten Abbey.

Maybe Mr. Dressler can enlighten me if this is correct.

"Lieblichkeit" organs - I have for a long time viewed the instruments by Gabler and Riepp as such. Especially the Gabler at Weingarten Abbey - the richness of the principal, flute and string stops - his mixture stops give off such a blaze of color and piquantness that makes my head spin.

How are the Tannenberg mixture stops in relation to other labial stops - do they shriek or do they just give an adequate pungency to palette of sounds?

Sad to hear about that 3-manual Tannenberg in Philly.

Many an glorious organ has perished to the flames.

An all-time favorite of mine was the Akerman & Lund at Katarina Kyrka in Stockholm. That Church which was gutted by fire, has since been rebuilt. The new instrument there, Van den Heuvel (Van den Teufel) as my Swedish organist friends call it, has none of the elegance of the previous instrument - sounds like a bomb which has just exploded in a hen-house. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif

I hereby scold https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/a1318.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/a1318.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/a1318.gif the parish of Katarina Kyrka for not contracting Akerman & Lund to build the new instrument - Van den Heuvel is one of the more, if not the most expensive builders out there. To the best of my knowledge the voicer/finisher of the former instrument is still alive and kicking and has his own business (Knut Kaliff).

One can always take the more expensive builder when it's the taxpayer who foots the bill.

Yes, many millions for rebuilding the church structure were given in outright donations by private individuals.

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif

Giovanni

Thomas Dressler
Dec-19-2005, 05:33
Dear Giovanni,

The only recording I have of the Gabler organ is a very old one and it's difficult to hear much on it. I did hear a CD at a friend's house more recently, but he only played a very short clip of the plenum which was pretty terrific! So I can't really compare Tannenberg's strings to the Gabler organ. But I will tell you that the his strings are very unusual, very colorful and have a lot of very sensitive chiff. They sound like very colorful Quintadena stops, but not quite as quinty as a real Quintadena. I find them extremely attractive, but I did get bombed on another organ email list by several people who really dislike them because they are so different from orchestral organ strings. To my ears, they are actually more expressive and attractive--they're not as "bite-y" but they have extremely sensitive speech.

As to the lieblichkeit character, let me be more specific and give more details. In his day (late 18th-early 19th century) David Tannenberg was the premier organ builder in America. Actually, history looks back on him as one of the premier organ builders of anywhere. He, himself, was of the Moravian church, but he built organs for whomever could afford to buy one. So besides Moravian churches, he built many organs for Lutheran churches, some for Reformed and even Roman Catholic. The musical requirements for organs in the Moravian churches were very different from those of the Lutheran Churches. Moravians emphasized vocal music along with instruments, with the organ often playing an accompanimental role, usually as continuo. However, it is not true as has often been said that Moravians never accompanied hymn singing on the organ alone. They did.

But because of the more subservient role of the organ in Moravian worship, the instruments Tannenberg built for those churches were the "lieblichkeit" ones. The voicing was very gentle, and the organs never had mixtures, and almost never had mutations. The emphasis was 8' stops of many colors, and 4' and 2'. The organs he built for Lutheran churches, however, were different. These churches liked having a more prominent organ, and his Lutheran organs DID have mixtures and other upperwork. The voicing was more aggressive than that of the Moravian instruments. So the Lutheran ones with mixtures would probably not be considered to be lieblichkeit organs as much as the Moravian ones.

In general, I can say from having played several Tannenbergs (there are 9 extant ones) that the voicing does not shriek at all on top, even in the Lutheran instruments. The best example of a Lutheran instrument is in a Lutheran church outside of Madison, Virginia. What a WONDERFUL instrument, though it is only one manual and no pedals. It does have a mixture that sings beautifully on top.

The Moravian instrument are even more unassuming as you go up the keyboard. They are very gentle. The large Moravian instrument in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has two manuals and pedal. This one is a rare example that has a 2 2/3' Quint. The effect of the chorus of Principles at 8' 4' 2 2/3' 2' is of a wonderful silvery blend. That instrument is, for me, perhaps the most wonderful, lovely organ I have ever heard. Its 8' Principal is absolutely stunning in its straightforward, unassuming and yet colorful and vivacious sound. I admit that people who prefer more modern voicing are not as impressed by the instrument, but I have to say it is my favorite instrument of all I have played in my 43 years.

He did build some other very impressive instruments which unfortunately have not survived. There are two very beautiful cases in Lancaster, PA which house other kinds of instruments. One is in a Reformed church and the other in a Lutheran church.

By the way, if you go to my website and scroll down the soundclip page, you'll find a clip of the Brahms "Es ist ein Ros'" played on a small 4 rank Tannenberg. I alternated with two different registrations--it opens with the 8' Flute Amabile and the 8' String, then the next section takes off the flute so you can hear the string alone, then add the flute again. . .etc. You could judge for youself what you think of the string.

Thomas Dressler

My Website (http://www.thomasdressler.com)

giovannimusica
Dec-19-2005, 07:05
WOW!!!

Thanx for the info - you know your stuff!!! The reason I ask about the Tannenberg instruments is out of plain curiosity. Some of my friends have surprised me often when guessing "Who is the Builder"! Since then I have always liked the elegant character of the Tannenbergs.

If I would dare to guesstimate that the Tannenberg pipes are of low cut-ups, would I be wrong in this assumption? Is there alot of deep nicking on the labials? Just very curious...

Peace,

Giovanni :-)

Thomas Dressler
Dec-19-2005, 08:11
Yes, the Tannenberg pipes have low cut-ups. In general, the lower the wind pressure, the lower the cut-up; and the Tannenberg's are on fairly low wind pressure. The pipes are very lightly nicked, with the nicks not too close together. I have not examined the pipes in all of his instruments, but I have seen some pipes with no nicking at all, wooden pipes in particular.

Another really wonderful thing about these instruments is that many of them can still be pumped by hand. Actually, I can think of three of them that MUST be pumped by hand, and another two, at least, have an electric blower PLUS the hand pumping mechanism so you can choose. Many of us feel that when the wind is raised by hand the organs sound better--the speech of the pipes is better and the tone is also superior to the same instrument played with an electric blower. The theory that seems to make the most sense is that the electric blower disturbs the air molecules so much that they have not calmed down by the time the wind enters the pipe toes, so it disturbs the speech. I've spent a lot of time playing the Tannenberg in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and it must be pumped by hand. (That's the one you can listen to on my web site.)

I, too, find the Tannenbergs to be very elegant, both in appearance and sound.

There is a very interesting book about the life and work of David Tannenberg, called Organs for America by William H. Armstrong. You can often find used copies of it on Amazon.com. There is another authoritative book on Pennsylvania German organ builders with a large section on Tannenberg written by a friend of mine, Raymond Brunner. It's called That Ingenious Business: Pennsylvania German Organ Builders and you can also find copies of this often on Amazon.

I have spent a lot of time with some of these instruments, and I saw the Tannenberg organ in Nazareth, PA, when Ray Brunner had all the pipes out of it. Fascinating, wonderful instruments!

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif

Thomas Dressler

giovannimusica
Dec-19-2005, 21:36
Dear Mr. Dressler,

When it comes to hand-pumped bellows vs. centrifugal blower, I haved presumed that the steadier pressure from the blower vs. the less steady pressure of hand-pumped contributes to a less *live sound* in certain instruments - not so much having to do with how *excited* the air molecules are. I sense that when one deals with VERY low wind-pressure pipework there might be an advantage to *human powered bellows*.

Peace Aplenty,

Giovanni

Thomas Dressler
Dec-20-2005, 19:00
I'm not sure that hand pumped wind is less steady, unless the pumper doesn't know what he/she is doing, or the reservoir is very small, as in the 4 rank Tannenbergs. These instruments are a real challenge to pump well, and the wrong person will make them hiccup like crazy! On a larger instrument that allows the option of electric or hand pumped wind, I find the hand pumped sound is more calm, more steady, more focused. . .in general a lot nicer. The way most organ builders talk about this is that the fan of an electric blower "chops" the air and it does not calm down by the time it reaches the pipe toes. The difference is mostly in the way the pipes speak, not so much in how steady the air is, as in either case the same reservoir is used. I have heard this difference even in large 3 manual organs which allow hand pumping. (Which in that case is often done with the feet--you "ride" levers down to the floor to inflate the bellows.)

Thomas Dressler

giovannimusica
Dec-20-2005, 23:23
Hi Thom,

May I use you first name?

I think I can see the point by the organbuilders, although after the wind has gone into the bellows, wind trunks and wind-chests, the *chopped* molecules should not present such a big difference imho. My earlier caveat was when one deals with VERY low-pressure pipework, human-powered pipes probably would sound exquisitely.

I guess some would consider this chat about organ-winding as minutiae. Methinks it's another lead in getting to understand aspects of the organ with aren't readily apparent to the fervent organ aficionado in the pew.

Peace and Blessings,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif

Thomas Dressler
Dec-21-2005, 07:47
Of course you may use my first name! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I think probably the best test of all of this is to actually experience an instrument that lets you use both electric and hand powered wind. Then you can judge for yourself what the differences are. It is even becoming the practice in some places when restoring 19th century American organs, at least, to restore the hand pumping mechanism. I find that even on these instruments it sounds better. It would follow that a water motor would sound better too, as all it really does is mechanically pump a set of bellows just as hand pumping does.

Actually, I think all these details are really important, as modern builders are only starting to get a handle on what made the old instruments sound so good. All these little details are possible influences. I have found in my experiences that when I play on a hand pumped organ, the audience members become very excited just to see it done this way.

On the other hand, when we start talking about things like hand pumping mechanisms, flexible winding as opposed to rock steady wind, flat pedalboards, etc, we are getting into realms that can cause considerable disagreement among people with strong opinions. My own opinions on these things have been formed through direct experience with instruments--the theory came later! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-21-2005, 08:07
WOW Thom,

You make eminent sense. Personal experience with a human-pumped instrument is to be desired. In another post you lamented that you got blasted for your position on Tannenberg instruments - might that have been on Pipeorg-L praytell?

A friend of showed me the website - I didn't know it existed - honestly - see, I'm not such a savvy netizen. I must say there are a bunch of extremely narrow-minded louts there - my friend pointed out a few in particular, "x", "y" and a few others. My friend's wife shared about "x" having set fire to the console at the Synagogue where his Magnum Opus was being installed. What a handy way to get the console of one's dreams!

Well, enough about that website - I wouldn't join it even if I were paid for it.


Peace and Plentiful Blessings to you,

Giovanni :-)

Thomas Dressler
Dec-21-2005, 22:07
Dear Giovanni,

I really appreciate your enthusiastic posting on this forum! We've had some very interesting discussions on some of the questions you raised. And I also appreciate what I see as personal support coming through in what you said. However, I've struggled a bit with it because I think it is best to be careful of what we say about others, especially when they are not present to defend themselves. I did not directly edit the post because I highly value our right to free speech, however this has to be tempered with care. We don't know the truth of what you said, and I am thinking it might be best for me to remove the exact names.

Yes, that email list can be frustrating, but it is one of the largest Pipe Organ lists (if not THE largest) on the internet. There are lots of good people who read it, too, so I continue to post on it once in awhile out of a desire to make contact with the ones who do NOT flame others. But you are not alone in avoiding it, because the arguments on it can get pretty nasty sometimes. This is the reason I try to emphasize being polite on this forum. . .I don't want to have any wars on here. . .

But yes, I agree with you that personal experience is the best teacher. I would say that it's likely that many of the people who argue so vehemently against some of these things either have no experience at all with them, or very little. On the other hand, it's true that there are BAD examples of flexible wind, that's for sure, along with everything else.

Best wishes to you!

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-22-2005, 04:41
Dear Thom,

You're a good soul and I really appreciate that. If I caused a furrowed brow, please accept my apologies.

Hey, did you or are you thinking about acquiring the latest St. Sulpice CD's - Steven Tharp playing Dupre's Le Chemin de la Croix and the Widor Mass on Joe Vitacco's Label JAV? WOW!!! What reallly beautiful playing and recording - I'm really happy to have acquired them.

Peace and Blessings Aplenty,

Giovanni :-)

Thomas Dressler
Dec-23-2005, 06:45
Hi Giovanni,

Thanks! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif and no problem at all!

I didn't know about that recording, but after Christmas I'm going to look it up. I can't believe how busy I am. . .two churches and two music programs. . .2 rehearsals, a Lessons and Carols service, 6 Masses, all in less than 24 hours and on 4 hours of sleep this weekend. . .argh!

After that, I'm going to be happy to relax and listen to SOMEONE ELSE play! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-23-2005, 07:20
Hi Thom,

I empathize with you on your heavy workload - I have 40 weddings to play between now and New Year but hey, music is the only way, at least for us https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

There's an organist named David Sykes who has recorded an ambitious program on a Tannenberg instrument. I saw it recently and thought about acquiring it - I'll see after New Year about acquiring a copy. Another question: Do Tannenberg's trompetes have any significant characteristics insofar as the shallot and reed?

Peace And Blessings Always,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif

ps. Doing any Bach? A number of couples(20 to be exact) have requested me to play the Ouverture to Cantata 29 (Wir Danken Dir Gott, Wir Danken Dir) for the Recessional Music and David N. Johnson's Trumpet Tune in D for the Processional Music.

Thomas Dressler
Dec-23-2005, 18:58
Wow, where do you work that you have that many weddings???

I believe you must be thinking of the recording by Peter Sykes on the Tannenberg in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I was there for the "party" and it was the experience of a lifetime to hear the tones come from that organ for the first time in 100 years! We were the first living people to hear that organ once again! (It had been taken down and put in storage back in 1911, I believe, and it was only several years ago that it was put back together, restored, and is now playing again.) You can get a pretty good idea what the instrument sounds like on that recording. I guess I have to say I would not have programmed exactly like that or played quite that way, but it is still an interesting recording. I love the sound of that instrument, and I love to play it. (It's somewhere around 10 hours to drive there, though, so I don't exactly get there often!)

We don't know anything about Tannenberg's reeds, as none have survived. If I remember correctly, the only shred of evidence is a wooden resonator that was found in a workshop or something like that. Very unfortunate, as the character of the reeds would have greatly influenced the overall sound of the big Lutheran instruments. He didn't make a lot of reeds, as he was very careful about whether the instrument could be maintained in the long run. For instruments in remote locations (and you have to remember that in those days, much of Pennsylvania and surrounding colonies was remote) he encouraged flue stops that could be easily maintained.

I play Bach quite often, so I'll likely get some in during Christmas. But for our Masses, the focus is the choir(s) and the Christmas carols. I usually make a snap decision about the postlude, but often on Christmas I will play the 9/8 Preludium in C, or sometimes the Buxtehude "Jig" fugue in C.

I like David N. Johnson's Trumpet Tune in D very much, and I encourage couples to use it at weddings. My undergraduate teacher had studied with DNJ.

Best to you!

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-23-2005, 21:54
Tom,

It's a private wedding chapel which gets couples from all over the world,especially from Japan. The owner and his wife run it - yes, you guessed it right, a non-church related function. They do exclusive weddings where very wealthy people - private jet types, ferry their whole families and family friends and put them up in exclusive hotels. The Asians are flush with cash - real capitalists but with hearts of gold.

Glad that you know Mr. Sykes - I BET it was a wonderful experience for everybody concerned. Sad though to hear that no surviving reed (in function) by Tannenberg exists - would have been very interesting.

I'll be subbing for a friend on Sunday ( Bach Prelude & Fugue in G for Processional, Bach Gigue Fugue for Recessional) - that should get them dancing out the door https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Blessings,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif

Thomas Dressler
Dec-24-2005, 17:51
Hi Giovanni,

Just a quick note before I leave to do my Christmas craziness!

That sounds like quite the interesting job! I bet you meet a lot of interesting people!

Well, I don't actually know Peter Sykes, but I was there for the symposium and heard him play the first recital.

I bet you will have them dancing with those pieces!

Gotta run, and I will likely not be on until Monday.

Joyeux Noel!

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-24-2005, 23:32
Hi Tom,

As the Gershwin ditty goes "Nice work if you can get it, you can get it if you try."
Actually, the couple who own the business heard me play a wedding at a church once, they came up to me, presented themselves and asked if I would be interested in an exclusive contract - well, the rest is history - that was ten years ago. Lotsa fine folk I get to meet - I honestly don't think I could have gotten this job if I had applied for it. Sometimes you have to be at the right place and at the right moment. I won't go on about myself anymore. The parish where you work - does it have a decent pipe organ or is it a "kist-of-whistles-and-buzzes"? https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Another question about Tannenberg's instruments - are the bellows of triple or quadruple-rise construction or do they vary from organ to organ?

Rozhdestvom Khristovim (merry christmas in russian),

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif

ps. Too lazy to learn unicode or install russian software and get cyrillic keyboard https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shake.gif

Thomas Dressler
Dec-27-2005, 07:10
Hi Giovanni,

That sure sounds like an interesting job. . .weddings at Christmastime, and where it's warm. . . https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif (There's snow on the ground here, but it has been warm enough to rain.)

I actually work in two parishes, so Christmas was really, really, REALLY hectic! The one parish, unfortunately, doesn't have a pipe organ at all, rather a 3 manual Rodgers. Very nice acoustics, though, and a very good choir that I've been working with for some years now. The other church, a smaller Episcopal church, has a very nice 1892 Hook and Hastings, 2 manuals and pedal, almost completely original. While being a smallish instrument, 20 ranks, it sounds GORGEOUS from out in the room. It's one of the best sounding Hooks I've heard. I could go on and on about how much I like that instrument.

As to the Tannenbergs, are you speaking of the reservoirs? To be honest with you, the only Tannenberg reservoir I've seen is the one in the small 4 rank one in Nazareth, PA, and that one is a wedge-shaped single rise. I believe the double-rise reservoirs were not commonly in use until the end of the 18th century, but I could be wrong about that. Perhaps an organ builder or someone could enlighten us on this. If I'm correct, the Tannenbergs would all have had single rise reservoirs. It would be very interesting to know about the winding system on the large one that was in Philadelphia.

Wouldn't help me if you wrote with cyrillic letters, because I can't read Russian! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif However, at the Catholic church where I work (the one with the Rodgers) we have several people in the choir who were not born in the US, so we have a tradition at Midnight Mass where they sing Silent Night in their native languages before we sing it in English. So we always hear it in German, Tagolok, and Ukrainian (almost like Russian!) every Christmas.

Thomas Dressler

giovannimusica
Dec-27-2005, 07:43
Hi Tom,

Glad that you're back. Sorry to hear that one of your parishes has an *appliance* for service work. But your other parish having a Hook and Hastings - you're lucky. Hook and Hastings instruments I have found to be marvels - If I remember correctly Sacred Heart Cathedral in Boston has a monumental one and what a glorious acoustic to boot!!! And the Jesuit Temple likewise - MMMMMMM - YUMMMMMMMY!!!

Ah, I meant the reservoirs for the Tannenbergs - pardon my brain-fart. Were the Tannenberg instruments made with top quality materials or was there scrimping in certain areas? How are the reeds on the Hook & Hastings which you play?

btw - what's your take on Jardine's instruments? I remember hearing one at St. George's in New York - yeah, I know, it's got some Moller pipework.

Blessings And Peace To Ya,

Giovanni

Thomas Dressler
Dec-27-2005, 08:15
Hi Giovanni,

Oh yes, those Hook and Hastings in Boston are just incredible instruments! I heard the one at Immaculate Conception live a couple times and it was just unbelievably wonderful!

Tannenberg was an impeccable workman, and he generally used the absolute best materials available to him at the time. The more you get to know his work, the more amazed you become at his workmanship. Not only did he use good materials, but he was very skilled with the tools he used. To give an example, the alloy he used for his metal pipes has a melting point that is very close to the solder he used to put them together. Therefore, there was little room for error in the temperature of his soldering iron. And remember, he didn't have a computer controlled soldering iron! He had to heat it in a fire and get it to the proper temperature. . .

The reeds on the Hook and Hastings I play seem to be quite good. There are two--a Trumpet on the Great and an Oboe on the Swell. The Trumpet was restored about 25 years ago, and it sound pretty amazing, though sometimes choked with dirt. The Oboe is greatly in need of a restoration, so it is difficult to asses its tone. The pitch of the organ is somewhat more sharp than originally and I believe the Oboe was messed with so it is really difficult to know how it should sound without having an expert work on it. This is something we are planning to have done--we're working towards a complete restoration of the instrument.

I have never heard an intact Jardine, but they intrigue me. I worked in a church that originally had one, but it had been completely rebuilt by Austin around 1911 into a very different instrument. I have read about them and I am curious about them, but have yet to hear one or play one.

What kind of organ do you have for your weddings?

BTW, on Christmas I decided to play an abridged version of the Buxtehude Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in C. It turned out to be the Fugue and Chaconne without the interlude. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif It was very well received and fit the occasion very well I thought.

And blessings and peace to you, too! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-27-2005, 09:49
Hi Tom,

I'm sorry to report that it is only an *appliance* - Walker Technical Company built it - 3 manuals and Pedal - 80 stops - adjustable reverb from 0.5 seconds to 7 seconds.

Thankfully, it doesn't sound *overprocessed* like Allens and Rodgers. Thanx for sharing about your Hook & Hastings and Tannenbergs skill as a craftsman - sounds like he adhered to a Lutheran style of "pflichtbewusstsein" - sense of duty or dutiousness. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif

Auf Wiederhoeren,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/snore.gif

Thomas Dressler
Dec-29-2005, 08:39
Oh boy, well I guess it isn't much of a secret that not only do I like pipe organs, but if possible, tracker organs. But that being said, I play on a Rodgers. . .The Hook and Hastings makes up for it. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Yes, Tannenberg's dutiousness has paid off many times. For instance, the clavichord which was recently discovered to be his work still has strong joints, and the corners are mitred, which one would think would not hold up all these years, but they have. When the Winston-Salem Tannenberg organ was taken down in 1911 (and it was already 100 years old) they had to hammer it apart.

A bientot!

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-29-2005, 18:01
Hi Tom,

That's an interesting fact about Tannenberg's instrument - that it had to be hammered apart. It seems like too many instruments fall apart like a house of cards when restorative work commences - not just pipe organs but just about every other class of musical instruments. Hey, have you ever played one of the Lively-Fulcher opus? Just curious...

Amicalement,

Giovanni

Thomas Dressler
Dec-30-2005, 08:30
Hi Giovanni,

No, I never have played one. What are they like?

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-30-2005, 10:44
Hi Tom,

I haven't played one either. Based upon what I have read, their instruments have an *english* character when installed in a *smaller* worship space but take on a decidedly *Cavaille-Coll* character in a large acoustic. According to the head-voicer/finisher of the firm who was, if memory serves me, interviewed by Marcia van Oyen and was published in the journal entitled "Choir & Organ", of the opinion that french-style reeds are more suited for sumptuous acoustics - Hmmmmmmm.

What does that mean for the *French-Fisk* at Oberlin College? That's a relatively small space - in my mind now i'm thinking trompettes that sound like cats being strangled https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Oh well, and to think an American Firm (Fisk) got to build a monumental instrument in the Lausanne Cathedral ( how shocking - Yankees - building organs - they are but a bunch of crude rubes with their heads up their ass - that's what one hears from the Europeans these days). https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shake.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon_rolleyes.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead3.gif

I guess all the Anti-US rhetoric is but smoke and mirrors - in a way, it's good that the Europeans have somebody to kick around, otherwise the Mental Asylums of Europe would be filled to the brim and then some with clients in need of transorbital lobotomies https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I write this as a former member of EUtopia - Now, the Russians are in a class by themselves - I feel much closer to the Russians.... OOOOOOOPPPSSS - this now belongs to another forum and thread and another time - I apologise to all MIMFers https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/pray.gif

Auf Wiederhoeren,

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif Giovanni

Thomas Dressler
Dec-30-2005, 18:48
Now Giovanni, perhaps you've been to Europe and experienced some anti-American sentiment. I'm sure that's hurtful, but here is not the place to express your frustration about that. I don't want to get into a discussion of why's and all that here, but I want to point out that I have not seen what you're describing on the strictly musical forums here. I think Frederik's vision is of a place where people come together and leave those issues behind or work them out in another place. Remember I'm an American and was given the position of moderator for this forum--that's not exactly anti-American or disrespectful of American intellect!

What I'm saying is that perhaps those feelings exist in some places, but let's keep a discussion of those things somewhere else. This is a place where we can all come together and share, regardless of where we're from. It only hurts feelings to stereotype people. We don't like being called "American rubes" right? I'm sure the Europeans on this forum don't like being lumped together with the ones who think we ARE rubes. . .both things hurt others' feelings. Let's not do that.

Organs. . .I find what you said about the different characters of those instruments interesting. Do you mean the same instrument installed in different spaces? Or that they'd be voiced differently?

I would agree that the big French reeds were designed for big rooms, but I have heard and played wonderful Hook and Hastings organs with French-ish reeds that sound great in smaller rooms. But I doubt that they are as loud or as big as many real French reeds.

giovannimusica
Dec-30-2005, 20:00
Tom,

I probably was too sarcastic and facetious by my digression of a political nature and I apologise for that. Up until 1992 I was european and still am european at heart. Remember the phrase: You can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy. Let me tell you that I also share Frederik's vision of a place where like-minded individuals can gather around the subject we all love: MUSIC!!!

Now, back on topic: Yes, a similar instrument installed in a different space will have another *finish* voicing-wise. It would be foolish of me to presuppose what rationale Lively-Fulcher uses when voicing and tonally finishing an instrument - for all intents and purposes that could be a closely and jealously guarded secret - who knows!!!

Now, big reeds - what can characterise those? Tubas, Ophicleides, Trompettes Militaires, English Post Horns and the like - a novel sound but quickly tiresome to the ear. Alot of instruments get their bragging rights about being able to play FFF because they have a few of those *Party Horns* which I alluded to but which seem to damage the tonal cohesion of an instrument.

In my mind's ear, a good instrument has both flue and reed stops that are powerful but always work with the rest of the ensemble to give a blaze of color that will make one's head spin - where so much goes on tonally and keeps the mind busy with all the beautiful sounds - never a squawkish or shrieky sound intruding to disturb the gorgeous melange of color.

One of yours and my favorite instruments being St. Sulpice - what glories mankind has been given by Aristide Cavaille-Coll!!! Now, there is also a beautiful small instrument at St. Esprit in Paris - 20 stops - no mixtures but with a tutti that satisfies the ear. Maybe there is something to be said for brilliance by a reed chorus instead of mixtures - of course the reed needs to be controlled at the shallot opening so no overbearing blare comes through.

Your example of H&H with French-ish reeds gives me an inkling that they were onto something grand. The orgelbewegung movement has given us too much *mixture-blare* in tuttis when there should be balanced sound.

What say you, sir?

Giovanni

Thomas Dressler
Dec-31-2005, 08:16
Those French reeds can be unbelievably warm, bright, and wonderful. But I also like French Classical reeds, and even German and Spanish reeds for what they are meant to do. My least favorite ones are the very loud ones you describe, on many inches of wind pressure, etc. My own preferences and tastes tend towards historic reeds on lower wind pressure. . .I had a teacher in grad school who said the first time he heard a Clicquot (French Classical) Grands Jeux (Reeds and cornets together) it was so wonderful he wanted to curl up in a ball and roll around on the floor! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I will say that I think many of the "neo-Baroque" organs of the Orgelbewegung in the 1960s and 1970s especially were way too bright and didn't resemble REAL Baroque organs. But there are some builders now building Baroque style instruments which are quite beautiful in tone, silvery with mixtures, but not too bright.

Have you seen or heard recordings of any instruments by Rosales? Now those are organs I can get very excited about!

Tom

giovannimusica
Dec-31-2005, 11:05
The Rosales at Rice University has alot going for it - great sound - NICE casework and a juicy acoustic. If my memory serves me it was Rosales and Glatter-Gotz who collaborated for the Disney Concert-Hall organ - Yikes, I hate to say it but I was NOT impressed. I have this gut feeling that after the success of the Fisk at the Meyerson Center, alot of new concert halls in the U.S. jumped on the bandwagon and ordered instruments with abandon.

Take for example the Fisk at Benaroya Hall in Seattle - somewhat similar specification but the organ sounds anemic in the hall - it doesn't get that *Gothic* bloom that characterizes the Meyerson Fisk. Ah yes, the acoustic consultant for the Meyerson really did his homework on how to get fabulous sound so that when the organist kicks in the Untersatz 32' and the Tuba Profunda 32' it really becomes a *seismic experience* - it got my teeth chattering!!!

Gosh, there are so many variables that need to be inputted when designing and building an instrument worth it's weight in gold. Of course, the dictum: "The most important stop on the organ is called *Room Acoustic* - methinks Ernest Skinner was onto something there.

I'm somewhat tired now after weddings and rehearsals the whole day on Friday so this battle-hardened veteran is heeding my wife's cooing to go to bed. Take care, Tom.

Goodnight America, wherever you are.

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/snore.gif

giovannimusica
Jan-01-2006, 02:44
Tom, do you like your organs tuned to Cheeseburger III (Kirnberger III).

How's about a fish restaurant called Hook and Haste(ings).

a restaurant that specializes in Potato Chowder called Potato (Skinners).

A pharmacist that specializes in digitalis prescriptions calles Roy (Rogers Digitals).

:-) :-) :-)

Thomas Dressler
Jan-01-2006, 07:31
HAHA, very good!

I think I'll tune the harpsichord in Whopper II.

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Tom

giovannimusica
Jan-01-2006, 10:22
Tom,

Whopper II ???

Is that something like 4-3/4 comma unequal meantone? https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banana.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Amicalement,

Giovanni

ps. wonder what pdqbach said about *various ill-tempered* tunings...

pps. *Das faul und kranktemperierte Clavier* https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Thomas Dressler
Jan-02-2006, 07:29
Whopper II is a double beef Whopper! LOL a somewhat more complex relation to Cheeseburger III.

Hmmmm, ill-tempered. . .I think that's what my harpsichord is in right now since I haven't tuned it for a week. . .it sure is kranktemperierte! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

giovannimusica
Jan-02-2006, 08:20
Tom,

You make me scream! I doubt your clavier is ill-tempered, just non- tempered https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Ok, since I have a basso-cantante voice i'll share this: How many basses does it take to change a lightbulb? None - since they like to act macho walking around in a darkened room and bang their shins.

In the interest of equal opportunity: What is the difference between a soprano and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif

My wife put me in the doghouse for that one https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif Then I started to howl, yowl and bay after dark - she got so scared that she took me back inside and scratched my back - since then: Jazz Harmony - 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and 13ths https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Blessings And Peace Aplenty To Ya,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif

Thomas Dressler
Jan-06-2006, 08:00
Haha, I heard it as what's the difference between an ORGANIST and a terrorist! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Did you ever hear those old recordings by Anna Russell where she tells the funny stories about music and musicians? She tells about sopranos who sound wonderful because they have so much resonance. . .resonance where they should have brains. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

And as far as the harpsichord goes, I tried to reset the temperament in a different one that I'm not used to setting, and it sure does sound like it's got a BAD TEMPER! It howls at me when I try to play! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif (This is a true story though. . .I set my temperaments by ear, so I have to be in the right mood to set a temperament I'm not used to, and boy, it sounds pretty grungy right now!) https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif Or as we used to say in grad school, it's set in Budweiser III! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/alc.gif

Best to you!

Tom https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

giovannimusica
Jan-06-2006, 20:40
Oh Tom,

*Budweiser III* - you slay me https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banana.gif *Warning: this keyboard is *tempered* to reflect the various intemperaments of temperamental tempers* https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banana.gif

I woke up today feeling nutty... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Salute!!!


Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tiphat.gif