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Thread: Thoughts on the synphonic organ vs the Classic

  1. #21
    mf Mezzo-Forte Leisesturm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    No, a symphonic organ is what you need for Vaughan Williams.
    That was my point. I was telling the other poster that they were being maybe unfair to symphonic organs when there are composers like Vaughan Williams that need to be played on organs more to the symphonic style because they probably wouldn't work very well on a 'classic' (read: neo-baroque) instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    And most modern (20-th century) music actually sounds best on such organs. Which is not so strange as those composers were mostly brought up on that sort of organs and the french romantic ideal or they just use all the little immitative sounds of it or they just need a lot of manuals and a lot of volume. But Couperin needs an organ that can bring out the lines and voices, you occasionally need a Cornet or Cromhorne that cuts through instead of the melted/muddled/mixed sound of the symphonic organ. Which is the sound it is intended to make and is needed for most of the repertoire written for it. Mendelsohn on a baroque organ just doesn't cut it either.
    Melted, muddled, mixed sound? Well ... if you want that, the symphonic organ can give it to you, but if you do not, a properly designed symphonic instrument should be able to get considerably more articulate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by APipeOrganist View Post
    I do want to make it clear that I love romantic and symphonic organ literature. My ringtone is the Finale from Vierne's Symphony No.1 for Organ, and I think my most played track is P. Whitlock's Fanfare from Four Extemporisations. There's something really special about that period of organ music, with the vast experimentation in tonality that makes it really exciting to listen to. And the organs that I play on the most are usually wholly Romantic beasts, so I have to learn to play appropriate literature for them anyway.
    Love the Whitlock "Fanfare". The middle section is some of the most ravishing tone painting from an organist/composer I've ever heard. The only problem is all the performances of it you are likely to hear are way, way, way too fast. I'm learning it so I can play it like I hear it in my head and eventually record it for YouTube.

  2. #22
    Administrator Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Madison View Post
    So i am confused. I was taught that mutations are harmonic collaborating ranks which means that they enforce the harmonis in the series in which they are built for.

    My point is that ranks that imitate an orchestral instrument do not need such enformence because the required harmonics the intend to reporduce the required timber is already their. Granted their is some more work to be done in certain ranks.

    This is the point i was trying to get across is that mutations are to serve as harmonic enforcement. People who play in diffrent parts do not intend to enrich the timber as a whole.

    Therefore if have a rank thst closley imitate a clarinet it is not required to uses mutations to enrich that sound.
    Consider that the instruments in a symphony orchestra are played by individuals, each which can vary the volume and articulation of their part on a note-by-note basis for the purpose of musical clarity. There is no way that is possible on a pipe organ, even if the timbre of the voices is perfectly identical to their orchestral counterpart. In other words, organs are organs and have different requirements to succeed as musical instruments. Symphonic and Theatre organs also have mutations.
    Lew williams did it on the unit orchestra for rhapsody in blue
    Lew is a very skillful organist, but his opening to Rhapsody In Blue is a chromatic glissando, not the pitch bend of a clarinetist.

  3. #23
    ppp Pianississmo Vincent's Avatar
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    It is a heartwarming fact that the newer symphonic halls in Europe are being built with proper symphonic organs. The KLAIS instrument at the Elbphilarmony in Hamburg is one. (This is the new venue where Merkel recently treated Trump to the Ninth, which apparently was his first taste of live Ludwig Van. He said he loved it…) https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/press/organ

    I loved that hall, where I listened to the local orchestra's Mozart, but didn't get a chance to hear the organ.

    In Paris where I now live I have always been furious when listening to Saint-Saëns' Third at Salle Pleyel or the Théatre des Champs Elysées that a hastily rented digital instrument with barely concealed voluminous speakers had to be roped-in. The TCE is today the premier venue for repertory in Paris. It is a significant theatre in the history of music, built in 1907 in a dramatic modernist style, where Stravinsky's Rites of Spring premiered. But the lovely pipe organs over the stage have been silent since 1938! https://artsandculture.google.com/st...03896736355585


    However two important new organs have been commissioned in 2016/18. One is a RIEGER at the Philarmonie de Paris, a new government-financed hall, part of the Cité de la Musique which also houses a Conservatory and a Musical Instruments Museum which I highly recommend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RgU6zHTi0o

    The second is a GRENZING at the Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio, part of the French Public Broadcasting Corporation. This You Tube is only in French, sorry, but as you move forward you'll get the gist of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qMSfhuXFs8

    It is ironical that the country of Cavaillé-Coll decided that its best and newest taxpayer-paid organs would be built in Austria and Spain, but at least it is in the European Union. The fact is that the excellent existing Pipe Organ Builders in France are so devoted to legacy mechanical instruments that they could not compete in the new theatrical order. But of course 90% of their business is restoration and maintenance of historical instruments, nearly all of them in churches. Since the 1905 Law of Separation, all cathedrals and parish churches in France are owned by the State or Municipalities, including their organs, and public money is lavishly used, although there is much debate.


    Vincent
    Last edited by Vincent; 10-09-2018 at 03:27 PM.

  4. #24
    pp Pianissimo tbeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    In Paris where I now live I have always been furious when listening to Saint-Saëns' Third at Salle Pleyel or the Théatre des Champs Elysées that a hastily rented digital instrument with barely concealed voluminous speakers had to be roped-in.
    Vincent
    I was a hornist in the Brooklyn Philharmonic during the 80s and 90s. It was actually a decent orchestra in a nice hall. We did a performance of Saint-Saëns' Third with Lukas Foss at the helm. I could tell stories about him for hours. This particular story is that someone in management rented a Hammond B3 for the organ and he didn't even know the difference. So we played the Organ Symphony with the Hammond. It was surreal. I was extremely embarrassed.

  5. #25
    fff Fortississimo davidecasteel's Avatar
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    The Fisk instrument in our Meyerson Symphony Hall is outstanding. I have heard it perform the Saint-Saens 3rd and it is very impressive. (Those huge tin 32' pipes in the façade are visually commanding, too.) The Richardson Symphony has performed it in our church--our Klais did a reasonable job, but really needed a solid 32' Open Wood.

  6. #26
    ff Fortissimo Havoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    In Paris where I now live I have always been furious when listening to Saint-Saëns' Third at Salle Pleyel or the Théatre des Champs Elysées that a hastily rented digital instrument with barely concealed voluminous speakers had to be roped-in. The TCE is today the premier venue for repertory in Paris. It is a significant theatre in the history of music, built in 1907 in a dramatic modernist style, where Stravinsky's Rites of Spring premiered. But the lovely pipe organs over the stage have been silent since 1938! https://artsandculture.google.com/st...03896736355585

    The second is a GRENZING at the Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio, part of the French Public Broadcasting Corporation. This You Tube is only in French, sorry, but as you move forward you'll get the gist of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qMSfhuXFs8

    It is ironical that the country of Cavaillé-Coll decided that its best and newest taxpayer-paid organs would be built in Austria and Spain, but at least it is in the European Union. The fact is that the excellent existing Pipe Organ Builders in France are so devoted to legacy mechanical instruments that they could not compete in the new theatrical order. But of course 90% of their business is restoration and maintenance of historical instruments, nearly all of them in churches. Since the 1905 Law of Separation, all cathedrals and parish churches in France are owned by the State or Municipalities, including their organs, and public money is lavishly used, although there is much debate.
    Lot of these older organs are silent because they are NOT legacy mechanical organs. They are pneumatic/electro-pneumatic systems that have become impossible to keep running. So the only option or complete rebuild or complete replace. Also a lot of them have another problem and that is asbestos. This could have been used as soundprofing or fire proofing or electric insulating material. But right now it makes those organs just furniture. Also a lot of these organs where just build to the lowest cost with "revolutionary new materials" that just didn't stood up to the test of time.

    The Grenzing at Brussels cathedral is a complete mechanical legacy organ. So your argument is void. This is a result of such projects being international tenders where the best price quality gets the order. Now I do not like the Grenzing in Brussels but this has only to do with the voicing which I find totally inadequate for the volume of that building and the fact that is is a "compromise" organ. It does not adhere to a single sonic school but tries to do everything as well. Result is that it does nothing right.

  7. #27
    ppp Pianississmo Vincent's Avatar
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    I certainly am no specialist, but I can tell that the new Gerhard Grenzing (Barcelona) organ at the Maison de la Radio in Paris is no mechanical legacy instrument. It is a thoroughly modern computer age machine with the latest electrical proportional action, and mobile console.

    The Auditorium itself is not huge (1460 seats), but i find it very suitable for chamber music, choirs and organ. But for me the chief attraction is that it is five minutes walk from where I live

    Vincent.

    01_Auditorium---à-mentionner;-architecte--AS.ARCHITECTURE-STUDIO-photographe-Gaston-F.BergeretOp.jpg

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