PipeChat Digest #1593 - Monday, September 4, 2000
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
BIG organs
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Reuter?  Tell me...
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Update
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Boston OHS 2000, The Final Great Day
  by <ManderUSA@aol.com>
Re: Austin
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>

(back) Subject: facades From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 20:05:26 -0700   Not to mention having to stand on a ladder to TUNE them (been there/done = that).   Bob, I have to disagree that facades don't make music. In addition to bei= ng the Principal rank upon which the division is built (I'm speaking of traditio= nal organ-building here), they also serve the purpose of "taking the curse of= f" whatever's behind ... they facilitate blend, in other words.   More than one Holtkamp has had a glass shield put up in front of the mixt= ures when they were on the front of the chest.   Cheers,   Bud   Cremona502@cs.com wrote:   > In a message dated 9/3/00 7:57:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time, > desertbob@rglobal.net writes: > > << Well, some places just don't WARRANT anything but a "pipes in a flow= erbox" > fa=E7ade! You have to fulfill customer desires, I would think, and if= that's > why they buy, that's what you build! When the point of compromise in > budget is reached to where either the garish fa=E7ade or the tonal inn= ards of > the organ have to go, I'll trash the fa=E7ade every time! IT doesn't = make > MUSIC. >> > > Believe me! You are not saving a parish ANY money when you plant pipe= s in a > flower box on the wall. The savings is more than offset in maintenanc= e and > tuning. Not to mention that these things are seldom in tune ANYWAY. = The > facade DOES make music. There is no more beautiful sound that a nice, = strong > principal 8 in the facade to lead singing or to play a solo. > > You're spending too much time in theatres, Bob.... or the Rodgertorium!= ;-) > > Bruce Cremona502@cs.com > in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles > visit the Cornely pack at Holwling Acres: Ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502 > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org    
(back) Subject: BIG organs From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 20:06:46 -0700   Don't tell that to the Babdists (grin).   Cheers,   Bud        
(back) Subject: Re: Reuter? Tell me... From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 20:08:07 -0700   I would like to see what they propose in the way of MECHANICAL restoration = and updating ... Cincinnati is pretty hard on leather, for instance.   Cheers,   Bud   Cremona502@cs.com wrote:   > In a message dated 9/3/00 2:59:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time, > desertbob@rglobal.net writes: > > << 300 grand for an added division and new console is a bit steep, > certainly...he says, understating things with tongue in cheek. At = these > prices, there's no wonder Allens and Rodgerses are flying off the = shelves > in record numbers! >> > > I tend to agree with DeSsErTbOoB in principal (oh dear... it's the end = of the > world!!!) .... Even with a rebuilt, this is steep. I would love to = see the > breakdown of what it ACTUALLY costs to do this work. Especially hearing > tales of organ builders being stiffed for amounts of $60,000 and up! > > Bruce Cremona502@cs.com > in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles > visit the Cornely pack at Holwling Acres: Ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502 > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org    
(back) Subject: Re: Update From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 21:39:22   At 10:52 PM 9/3/2000 EDT, you wrote: >You're spending too much time in theatres, Bob.... or the = Rodgertorium!<snip>   Tall words, coming from the Master of the BaWLd-One Fun Machine!   BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!   dB  
(back) Subject: Austin From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 22:04:58 -0700   I have a serious question (ahem!) ... just how hard IS it to disassemble = and move Austin Universal Chests? Obviously they went IN ... there must be a way to = get them OUT ... but I see more Austins trashed than other organs with pitman = or slider chests, supposedly because of this. Were they built in place? or = glued? or what? What makes them so difficult to deal with? I know you can put new bottom-boards and reservoirs on them to make them "normal", but what's the = deal with the Universal Chests?   Cheers,   Bud   Bob Scarborough wrote:   > At 10:52 PM 9/3/2000 EDT, you wrote: > >You're spending too much time in theatres, Bob.... or the = Rodgertorium!<snip> > > Tall words, coming from the Master of the BaWLd-One Fun Machine! > > BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! > > dB > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org    
(back) Subject: Boston OHS 2000, The Final Great Day From: <ManderUSA@aol.com> Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2000 01:33:03 EDT   Dear Lists and Friends,   The last day is here - Wednesday, August 23rd, and it is hard to refrain = from commenting on the weather, something I have not done. With the exception = of one evening of some rain, the days were cool, sunny, and dry. One's impressions of a convention are somewhat tempered, I think, by whether one =   has or has not sat in broiling hot churches with perspiration pouring = down. We had essentially none of that. The Godess frequently fails to smile on = the AGO, but somehow, she doth generally smile upon OHS gatherings, almost without fail.   This day began with a lecture which I did not hear. It will have confirmed =   that Boston has consistently been a center of organ pedagogy and = appreciation for at least a century and a half. The title of the lecture was "Organ Pedagogy in Boston 1850-1900," and included a discussion of the personalities, the publications, and institutions of the period. To attend = a Friday noon recital at Trinity, Copley Square, is to learn that this organ =   culture remains very much alive today. It will be you and about 299 others = in attendance! The AGO Chapter is one of the largest and most active in the country.   For the first two concerts of the day, we were split into two groups, so today's performers each played twice. The order in which I heard the two concerts in the midday group, both of enormous interest, turned out to be pleasing to me. Also determined by one's group was the place where lunch = was served. Two church halls were used as lunch rooms. More about all that = later.   Our group began at First Baptist Church in Framingham at 11:30 with a = totally satisfying event - a fine way to start the day! The church is the oldest = in the area, clearly well-loved and well kept. Victoria Wagner gave us a = program of organ works and songs in which she accompanied Nancy Armstrong, = Soprano. The organ is gentle, the room not resonant but small and clear. The idea = of this combination organ concert and song recital was just right. The instrument, William Simmons of 1853 - 17 stops, is lovely, but not perhaps =   compelling enough to carry a full program on its own. Like the church, it = has been well cared for, and was presented with an OHS Plaque before the music =   began. The program:   Handel - Voluntary XI, lovely and pleasantly Tierce sounding - a pungent Sesquialtera is the only compound stop on the organ. (Page turning and registration services were provided throughout by Peter Sykes, who is = married to Victoria Wagner.)   Continuing in British mode, we turned to two Purcell songs, We Sing to Him =   (Harmonia Sacra) and "Tecum principium in die virtutis" from Dixit = Dominus, both beautifully and expressively sung by Nancy Armstrong, with both organ =   and organist providing a perfect and colorful accompaniment. Pure bliss.   We sang in a manner worthy of the Baptists, Rock of Ages to "Toplady," harmonizing like Welsh miners. This was followed by James Woodman's = splendid song, Rock of Ages. I only became aware of the work of this Boston = composer (born 1957) through a piece commissioned of him by The Presbyterian Church = of Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia) for the May dedication of our new instrument there. He is adding worthy music to the repertoire for our instrument, = coming soon to a venue near you.   Next followed a special event. Peter Sykes is, within (and without) the = OHS, a treasured performer, one who has given of himself on behalf of the = Society and also the larger world of the Organ. I don't think most of us had experienced him as a composer - perhaps Boston area people have. We were honored with a premiere of his "Arise my love" for Organ and Soprano. As = at most daytime convention recitals, we were asked to hold all applause until =   the end, in the interest of time. As much as we wanted to clap at this = point, we were obedient and clapfree, but there were a number of audible murmurs = of appreciation from the audience. I do think that had copies of this lovely work been available at the door, it would have sold out very quickly - a truly lovely addition to the repertoire for voice and organ. The perfect finish to this lovely event was Festival March, by Christian Teilman. = Corliss Arnold, John Henderson, and Rollin Smith do not list this composer, so I = can tell you nothing, but it was a fun closing work.   Victoria Wagner is Director of Music at Trinitarian Congregational Church = in Concord, organ instructor at Regis College in Weston, and on the piano faculty at the Noble & Greenough School in Dedham.   It was lunch time! If you were in Group A, you ate at St. Andrew's Church, =   Wellesley, but Group B, of which I was a proud member, ate at Village Congregational, also in Wellesley. There were no concerts scheduled for = these churches - only the use of their facilities for feeding us. Lunch and I = had a minor disagreement, about which more later. After the meal, some of us wandered into the church to discover a quite large, 60s (I think) Rieger - =   there was also a smaller one in the chancel. As we had a bit of time, = someone did manage to get the wind on, and play a bit. Anyway, then onward to the Chapel at Wellesley College.   I had played, heard, and even pumped this instrument. When I say played, = it dignifies too much what I actually did do, as the complications of the keyboard require quite a bit of time and understanding. There are split sharps and a "short octave," and nothing quite feels like what one is used = to at home, whatever that might be. But the whole thing represents the kind = of creative adventure, unique, I think, to the questing and curious mind of Charles Benton Fisk. I first heard it demonstrated by Ross Wood, assistant = at Trinity, Copley Square, and Music Librarian at Wellesley. He is one of the =   masters of this instrument, and I was bowled over by the experience of hearing the right stuff on this amazing machine. These are not sounds to = be feared, although some of the reactions I have read on the lists border on fear, tinged with some sort of hostility. Sticks (not trackers!) and = stones may break my bones, but surely sounds may never hurt me. I need to quote a =   bit of history from the ever-helpful Organ Handbook: "In 1972, Wellesley College signed a contract with C. B. Fisk for a two-manual organ based on Dutch models, c. 1620. Inaugurated in 1981, this organ and its design underwent considerable evolution in the decade leading to its fruition. = From the beginning, it was intended that a specialized instrument, built 'in = the spirit of uncompromising authenticity' would allow students a European experience in America." The Pedal Posaune was added in 1983, as were = carved pipeshades. Additional Pedal stops were added in 1987, and the case was = oiled and gilded in 1992. There it sits in all its magnificence, and no one need =   worry about the chapel music being corrupted by the sound and tuning of = this organ. At the other (east) end is an Aeolian-Skinner instrument which is, = in fact, used for accompanying the choir and congregation up front. I hope occasional preludes and postludes do get played from the back. I suspect = they do. There is a sad but very discreet note about the Aeolian-Skinner, by = the way, as follows: "Were it not for irreversible revoicing in the 1960s, [Aeolian-Skinner] Opus 943 would be one of the most significant remaining = G. Donald Harrison instruments, from the period many consider to be his = finest."   On the above-described Fisk instrument, Margaret Irwin-Brandon gave us a = most elegant recital, as follows:   Heinrich Scheidemann (1596-1663) - Fantasia in C   Matthias Weckmann (1621-1674) - Canzon in G Major   These two early works, eminently suitable to this instrument, are examples = of what certain people, not all of them students either, used to call = "Pre-music music." Perhaps they would call this a pre-music organ as well. To me, it = was all very clear, and full of vitality and interest. The second work brought = us the fun of the Zimbelstern, with its quite large star spinning at the top = of the case. Staying in the period, a choral prelude by Franz Tunder (1614-1667), "Jesus Christus, Unser Heiland, der von uns . . . " served in =   alternation to our singing of the choral in or with various = harmonizations. We had three choral harmonizations on two pages, and somehow the whole = effort got somewhat complicated, and was not totally satisfactory. The organ preludes were superb, however.   To really assess the effect of the temperament in full, one needed what = came next, a large-scale work, rich and full, and this we got in the Buxtehude = G Minor. It was akin to hearing a piece never heard before, although I had indeed heard it many times, including twice at this convention. There were =   some moments that can only be described as wild. Near the very end, where = the music ascends to a great altitude, and soon comes home again, the sound became gentle but interestingly raucous at the same time. I desperately wanted to push the rewind button to go back several bars, and hear these sounds again and again, until I could fully take them in.   While there is an electric blower for practice, in normal public playing, = the organ is human-pumped. One person can do it all, although there is room = for two at the pumping apparatus. One must carefully go backwards up a short staircase, step out over a beam connected to one of the feeder bellows, = and glide down, propelled by one's own weight, on that beam until the bellows hits bottom. At this point, one goes back up the stairs, and vigilance is wanted to wait for the last-pumped bellows to rise almost to the top, at which point one rides down on the other one. Is that clear? It's an = exercise that adds a most graceful visual component to the playing of this = instrument. As you look at the case, to the left, you see the pumper backing up the stairs, and then ever-so-gracefully, riding down quite slowly on the = bellows, after which the work is repeated. A couple of our Biggs Fellows had the = honor of raising the wind, apparently becoming instant heroes, as many of the audience walked up the stairs to capture a true "Kodak Moment."   At the end of the concert, I suddenly had the feeling that Montezuma was avenging something through me, either from lunch, or perhaps from El Salon =   Mexico of the evening before. In any case, I betook myself to the basement =   facilities, where my presence was required for quite a few minutes. When I =   got upstairs, it was in time to see the last bus pulling out of the drive. =   Not to worry, as this potential difficulty turned itself to advantage. = John Nelson, of the Fisk firm, was, by prearrangement, giving a private demonstration of the organ, which involved pulling out the music desk and various other bits, so a clear view of some of the action was provided. = What a gorgeous piece of work - simple in its great artistry. John also drove = us all back to the hotel. Regrettably, we had missed a recital at St. Mary = R.C. Church, Waltham, by Libor Dudas, Music Director and Organist at the = famous Old North Church. He played an interesting program, including the Brahms A =   Minor P & F, the Elgar Vesper Voluntaries, and the Franck Finale, on an = 1874 Hook & Hastings instrument, restored by Henri Lahaise and Son during the 1990s (remember the 90s?). I heard from others that the recital was = excellent.   Our last concert of the convention took us back to Immaculate Conception where, before an enormous audience of conventioneers, AGO members, and = Boston music lovers, Thomas Murray gave us one final fabulous musical memory. We = had learned to love this organ on opening night, and as I studied the printed program, I found myself thinking about how much I would love to hear each listed piece played on it. The whole program was a procession of delights, =   all played in the elegant Tom Murray manner and wonderfully registered = with great care. This was a program without anything but Organ music - no gimmicks, no transcription, just good solid stuff from the Organ = repertoire. That is not to be construed as a negative comment about transcriptions or the occasional lollypop piece, but this was an evening in which the performer, =   the chosen music, and the instrument could hold us completely at attention =   throughout, with nothing else needed. Here is the program:   Guilmant - Sonata IV in D Minor Allegro assai Andante Menuetto Finale (Adagio-Allegro vivace con fuoco)   Reger - Benedictus A note followed this in the program asking that applause be withheld = at this point. Silence might well have happened on its own, given the = intense mood this piece can create.   Schumann - Three Studies for Pedal-Piano - Not too fast, C Major; With earnest expression, A Minor; Andantino, E Major.   Bonnet - Matin Provencale (No. 2 from "Poemes d'Automne" - 1908)   After intermission:   Franck - Fantasy in A Major Again another "hold applause" note, not to break the contemplative mood =   before we sang a rousing hymn, "Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore him" to = a grand Victorian tune called Faben, composed by the first organist of Immaculate Conception Parish, who served until his death in 1875 - John = Henry Wilcox.   Finding and choosing a hymn by someone connected with the parish was a = lovely stroke, but there was something more about this tune. In Denver two = summers ago, Tom asked us to sing the Vaughan Williams tune Down Ampney, followed =   immediately by a Rheinberger Sonata which began with precisely the same = first six notes as those of the hymn tune, with only a slight rhythmic = difference. I thought this year there was a connection between Faben and the next = piece on the program, and felt reenforced in that when Paul Marchesano came up = to me and commented on the same thing. I did not have a chance to query Tom, = but of course we are correct!!   Next, three more of the Schumann Studies, Intimately, A flat; Not too = fast, B Minor; and Adagio, B Major.   Finally, the Mulet Carillon-Sortie.   And sortie we did, back to the exhibit hall cum bar, for a last social = time with friends from far and near.   What a wonderful convention! I heard 27 concerts in the seven days plus = one evening! There were more than that, but I reluctantly missed a few. = Sadly, I also had to miss six lectures, an important feature of all OHS = conventions. In my small way, by my attendance, I showed my firm support for the work = of the Society by attending the Annual Meeting on the Sunday morning. I saw countless good friends, and made quite a few new friends. It was also fun getting to know Boston a bit better. I hope these little scribblings might =   help some readers to consider making plans now to attend next summer in = North Carolina, from June 21st to the 28th.   Some questions I have raised in some of my postings about this convention have been graciously answered by members of the Lists. In a kind of = wrap-up posting, I hope to make some of the really interesting information I have received available to all.   Cheers,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com              
(back) Subject: Re: Austin From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 22:32:43   At 10:04 PM 9/3/2000 -0700, you wrote: >I have a serious question (ahem!) ... just how hard IS it to disassemble and move >Austin Universal Chests? Obviously they went IN ... there must be a way = to get >them OUT<snip>   You answered yer own question. Of course, they can "come out"! Look at San Francisco. People trash old Austins because they're too lazy (or braindead) to disassemble and catalog all the pieces of the chest!   DeserTBoB