PipeChat Digest #470 - Friday, July 31, 1998
Aeolian Organ, Opus 871
  by "rollin smith" <rollinsmithv@worldnet.att.net>
Rhythm Unit?
  by <danbel@earthlink.net>
Gone for a while
  by "Frank Johnson" <usd465@horizon.hit.net>
XPOST An Evening @ Organ Stop
  by <giwro@juno.com>

(back) Subject: Aeolian Organ, Opus 871 From: "rollin smith" <rollinsmithv@worldnet.att.net> Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 11:16:58 -0400   AEOLIAN PIPE ORGAN, OPUS 871   Aeolian Pipe Organ, Opus 871, was built in 1899 by the Votey Organ Company of Detroit, Mich., for Aeolian as were all Aeolian organs at the time. The two-manual, 17-stop instrument cost $7,500. The house, at 11 East 62nd Street, New York City, was Margaret Vanderbilt (Mrs. Elliot Fitch) Shepard’s (daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt) wedding present to her daughter Edith (1872-1954), bride of the banker, Ernesto G. Fabbri. It was designed by the architectural firm of Haydel & Shepard, the latter partner, August Dennis Shepard Jr., was related to the bride’s mother. The townhouse’s five floors contain 22,500 square feet and include a mahogany paneled 25-by-41-foot dining room, gentlemen’s and ladies’ reception rooms, a ballroom with an ornate plaster ceiling, a sweeping staircase leading to the second floor, the banister of which supports a pair of Louis XIV-style bronze candelabra with cupids nearly six feet high. The Aeolian organ is in the second-floor music room; the pipe chamber is on the third floor.* The Fabbri’s lived in the house until 1916, when they moved to 7 East 95th Street (and in 1916 ordered Aeolian Op. 1398, a II/21-rank with a Duo-Art player in the console). The house was then sold to Charles Steele. The house, now the Johnson O Conner Foundation, is on the marked for $30 million.** The organ is still in place, though not playable. A peculiar aside is given by Louis Auchincloss in "Maverick in Mauve" (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1983) 131: "Edith Shepard Fabbri was in love with Alessandro Fabbri, her divorced husband’s brother, and ultimately had him buried in her lot in the Vanderbilt cemetery on Staten Island."   Aeolian Organ, Opus 871 Votey Organ Company 1899   GREAT 8 Open Diapason 8 Viol di Gamba 8 Dulciana 8 Gross Flute 4 Flute Harmonique Bass 4 Flute Harmonique Treble 8 Trumpet Bass 8 Trumpet Treble   SWELL 8 Rohrflöte Bass 8 Rohrflöte Treble 8 Viol d’Orchestre 8 Dolcissimo 8 Unda Maris 4 Violino 8 Orchestral Oboe Bass 8 Orchestral Oboe Treble Tremolo   ECHO 8 Fern Flöte 4 Salicet 8 Vox Humana Tremolo   PEDAL 16 Contra Bass 8 Violoncello   An addendum to Rollin Smith’s "The Aeolian Pipe Organ and Its Music" (Richmond, Va.: The Organ Historical Society, 1998).   *James Barron, "High Cost of Living in History: The $30 Million Town House?" The New York Times (December 2, 1997) B3. **Leslie Kaufman, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" Newsweek (July 13, 1998) 37.   Rollin Smith          
(back) Subject: Rhythm Unit? From: danbel@earthlink.net Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 11:22:45 -0400   I guess they call them "drum machines" these days don't they? :)   At any rate, I have a friend who is looking to buy reasonably priced automatic rhythm unit. It's not necessary that it have a lot of bells and whistles -- just good basic rhythm patterns, etc.   If any of you have something along this line that you would like to sell please let me know and I will see that the info gets to the right person!   Thanks in advance,   Dan    
(back) Subject: Gone for a while From: usd465@horizon.hit.net (Frank Johnson) Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 23:00:37 -0500   Thought I'd post a note tonight that I'll be off line for a while. If anybody wants to post something to me, better do it before Friday afternoon. Headed for Colorado for vacation.   Frank and Judy Johnson     Frank R. Johnson (KA0API) Spirit of New Orleans - clarinet/leader http://www.hit.net/~usd465/ 1922 E. 14th Winfield, KS 67156      
(back) Subject: XPOST An Evening @ Organ Stop From: giwro@juno.com Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 23:56:47 -0700   Hi Lists,   Well, I'm back from my Phoenix trip - what fun! Thanks to all of you who gave suggestions for organs to visit. Unfortunately everyone seemed to be on vacation the week i was there, so I really didn't get much chance to play - only twice...   The first pilgrimage was down to the IV/73 theatre organ at Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, where I and a friend were treated to the playing of Lew Williams. The place was rather empty that night, and consequently most of the selections were pretty soft and lower-key than what I remember being Lew's usual style - he's not afraid to open it up! After closing time (9 p.m.) we went downstairs to greet the artist.   An aside - if you ever visit, be sure to sit on the 2nd floor - the 32's make the balcony SHAKE like I've never felt anywhere else!   We were joined by 2 gentlemen from across the pond (British) and Lew graciously offered to let us see the chambers. We took a look at the 32' Diaphone, the electronics room, and finally, the console. Lew demonstrated various ranks, telling of their origins (it even has a 4-rank Moeller mixture!) and playing little snippets of things for us. After a few minutes of this, he launched into the fugue from the Reubke Sonata on the 94th Psalm. Geez. Left this orgainst looking ruefully at his hands and feet...! I had forgotten what technique Lew has...   After a few more moments, he invited us to "try 'er out" (yeah right, after the Reubke.. sure, not a problem..) All of us professed ignorance at the myriad of stops and controls - Lew's reply: "You play, I'll drive!" When it was my turn, I was rather nervous, and everything that I have memorized fled from my memory, so I did a shcmaltzty improv on the gospel hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". Having made it through that without a major train wreck, I asked if he had any "straight" (no Trems) pistons set up with loud pedal. He pointed to 3 of the generals "Loud, Louder and Oh My God" was his response. I improvised a short little toccata using the melody of the gospel hymn "To God Be the Glory". Hands clammy and knees knocking, I retired from the bench. Lew took back over, and showed us more of the organ, until the staff warned us they were closing up for the night. In all. I would say we spent 30-45 minutes after closing time with our host, and it was well worth the trip! Thanks, Lew, for your hospitality!   The second organ I played was one of the new Allen Renaissance models. Now, folks, I usually prefer pipe instruments, so please, don't start the Pipe vs. Non - Pipe wars again but color me convinced of one unalterable fact: Wasn't it Ken List or one of our other organbuilder gurus who said recently something to the effect of "90% of a good organ sound is in the building..."? Case in point - the church in which this instrument resides has about 3 sec or so of reverberation, allowing the sound to mix and "bloom" very well. I imagine any electronic would sound good in there. Congregational singing was awesome here - you can HEAR MORE THAN JUST YOURSELF SINGING! When it was time for the sermon, acoustical curtains were lowered, cutting the reverb to around 1 sec or less, and making the spoken word much easier to understand. If only more churches would see that there is a way for good acoustics to be implemented without unduly sacrificing the clarity of the spoken word, we could have buildings with better sound for organ and choral music.   Cheers,   Jonathan Orwig http://members.aol.com/giwro/index.html http://members.aol.com/evnsong/pgone.html   _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]