PipeChat Digest #1600M - Tuesday, September 19, 2000
 
Re: Organ Reform, and Companies like Moller, Casavant
  by "Evelyn Rowe" <efrowe@mindspring.com>
Re: Organ Reform, and Companies like Moller, Casavant
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Moller Organs! more comments about an "old friend"
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Moller Organs!
  by "Jon C. Habermaas" <opus1100@catoe.org>
Re: Organ Reform, and Companies like Moller, Casavant
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
Austin
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Moller Organs!
  by "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net>
Felix Hell in Memphis
  by "Tim Rand" <tim@minn.net>
Re: Austin
  by <OrganMD@aol.com>
Re: Moller Organs!
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Austins, etc.
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Austins, etc.
  by <OrganMD@aol.com>
Re: Austins, etc.
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: Austins, etc.
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re:  Calgary/CIOF
  by "Carolyn" <carolyngm@hotmail.com>
Re: Austins, etc.
  by "Tim Bovard" <tmbovard@arkansas.net>
Re: Austins, etc.
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Felix Hell in Memphis
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
 


(back) Subject: Re: Organ Reform, and Companies like Moller, Casavant From: "Evelyn Rowe" <efrowe@mindspring.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 17:32:45 -0400   Uh-oh, I didn't mean to attribute my views on Moller to Bruce -- should have gone up another line before starting.8^(   At 05:07 PM 9/18/00 -0400, I wrote: >At 04:10 PM 9/18/00 -0400, Bruce wrote: >Aw, com'on guys. I don't know about the others, but as a supply organist =   >who has played many Mollers and practiced during her formative years on >one that was the class act at her school (others were stripped-down >theatre organs assembled by now-defunct Newcomer) (hi, Jane!), I can say >the organ reform movement didn't have anything to do with it. Moller >flourished because it submitted the low bid on every project between >Philadelphia and Raleigh and was the place to go for an entry-level >organ. It just wasn't the place to go for your second organ or rebuild = of >the first one. > >>In a message dated 9/18/00 3:57:02 AM Eastern Daylight Time, >>RonSeverin@aol.com writes: >> >><< The organ reform movement sowed the seeds of decline to a once proud >>industry, and destroyed or reduced to a shell most of the big factories. >>Aeolian/Skinner, Moller, Whirlitzer, Kilgen, Hillgreen-Lane, Kimball, >>Gress-Miles, and many others gone! Estey, gone! It was sad to watch = too. >> >> >>I notice that Austin was omitted from the list, as well it should be. >>Austin, IMHO, is probably the most tonally stable builder on the = continent. >>In my ears, the "Austin sound" has not significantly changed during my = life >>time. I have played Austin organs from the teens and twenties, that = were >>graced with very thin strings and wide flutes and diapasons, and also = Austin >>organs from the fifties in which the tonalities were moving back toward = the >>middle. And in recent years have heard Austin's version of neo-classic >>which, still, was recognizable as distinctly Austin. The common link >>through all of these instruments is a richness and warmth unique to = Austin. >>A-S had a distinct sound, but lost it. Old Moller's as well, has a = distinct >>(even pleasant!) sound whcih they also lost. Austin somehow has = managed to >>keep this signature sound, and are to be commended for it. I really = like an >>instrument that is unique and has a "stamp" on it, especially tonally. > > >"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: Organ Reform, and Companies like Moller, Casavant From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 14:44:56   At 04:10 PM 9/18/2000 EDT, you wrote: >I notice that Austin was omitted from the list, as well it should be. =20 >Austin, IMHO, is probably the most tonally stable builder on the continent. =20 >In my ears, the "Austin sound" has not significantly changed during my l= ife=20 >time.<snip>   VERY true. While some consider Austin to be "stodgy", I consider them to have a well-balanced and historically sensible tonal philosophy. I won't agree that the Organ Reform Movement spelled the doom of organs, per se, = as was erroneously stated earlier. If anything, was a godsend, getting rid = of those nasty, muddy collections of non-blending, unison voices and coming back with a truly cohesive vertical ensemble. Austin also fell into this trap, but to a lesser degree than did other builders. They also didn't g= o "nutso" over the neo-Baroque plague, either, much to their credit. Also there have been shifts in specification to go along with the various time= s in which their organs have been built, I find Bruce's statement of Austin "warmth" to be quite accurate, and quite recognizable. There's also no doubt as to their organs' reliability. M=F6ller and =C6olian-Skinner, bo= th fine firms in their heydays, lost the key ingredient to success of their products...tonality. Austin held onto theirs, and is the survivor amid a field of ruins.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Moller Organs! more comments about an "old friend" From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 14:53:23   At 05:04 PM 9/18/2000 EDT, you wrote: >Incidentally, the "Cardinal Spellman" designation must be something new, = as >the organ was originally gifted by the U.S. Conference of Bishops<snip>   Spellman was the driving force behind the donation of the organ, and he usually got his way with the Conference in those days.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Moller Organs! From: "Jon C. Habermaas" <opus1100@catoe.org> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 17:49:57 -0500   At 11:57 AM 09/18/2000 +0000, you wrote: >At 06:20 PM 9/18/2000 +0100, you wrote: > >The only Moller that I have heard (to my knowledge) is the Ex-BBC = Reggie > >Foort instrument.Anyone one care to comment on that one?<snip> The history of Reggie's organ is on Jerrell's Theatre Organ Home Page. Address is: <http://theatreorgans.com/travellingmoller/>   jch    
(back) Subject: Re: Organ Reform, and Companies like Moller, Casavant From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 20:56:14 EDT   Hi Bruce:   Precisely my point, They didn't totally give up the reservation and fall = into the reform trap. They also weren't mentioned because they are still with us. = They remained faithful to themselves, and took a lot of heat from those who wanted conformity.   Bruce writes:   I notice that Austin was omitted from the list, as well it should be. Austin, IMHO, is probably the most tonally stable builder on the = continent. In my ears, the "Austin sound" has not significantly changed during my = life time. I have played Austin organs from the teens and twenties, that were graced with very thin strings and wide flutes and diapasons, and also = Austin organs from the fifties in which the tonalities were moving back toward = the middle. And in recent years have heard Austin's version of neo-classic which, still, was recognizable as distinctly Austin.   You got it! They remained faithful to themselves even with all the = criticism they received. The rhetoric was wrong and they were right. There were = enough sacrifices made on the altar of reform. and the others paid dearly. They didn't blink. Only time will tell if they stick to their original plan, which I = hope they do. Even Casavant dallied for a while, but hopefully have recovered some = of their former glory. I understand in some recent organs, they have.   Bruce writes:   The common link through all of these instruments is a richness and warmth unique to = Austin. A-S had a distinct sound, but lost it. Old Moller's as well, has a = distinct (even pleasant!) sound whcih they also lost. Austin somehow has managed = to keep this signature sound, and are to be commended for it. I really like = an instrument that is unique and has a "stamp" on it, especially tonally.   There you have it! I also agree, it's the common link, and all that Bruce expresses above. Those who didn't make it abandoned their *Heart* reason for being. There were plenty around who saw a new vision, and were ready, willing, and able to accomodate some of the new thinking. They were a new beginning, not new wine poured into old wine skins. They had their success too, they were new wine poured into new skins.   My point is there was room in the industry all along for both camps. It is my sincere hope that the competition carnage is over, and that the people who buy organs have a conscious choice. That is important to me. I also hope that momentum lost is regained, efficiency lost is regained, so that people can benefit by the choices possible. There is a lot of = great music still to be composed, a lot of great music from the past, still to = be enjoyed. All of this works for good.   Kindest regards to all,   Ron Severin  
(back) Subject: Austin From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 18:14:58 -0700   Austin in these latter days, (like Schantz) can build a good = middle-of-the-road church organ IF there is someone to ride herd on them regarding pipe = scales, mixture composition, placement, etc. etc. etc., and/or they are presented = with a room with spectacular acoustics in which just about NOTHING could sound = really BAD.   In their defense, the market is tight; churches can be unreasonable; there = is one UNdistinguished Austin in La Jolla that I'm SURE is the result of the = church's placement requirements and the organist at the time's taste. Pipes-in-flower-boxes abound; the chambers face the chancel, with no = egress into the nave. The scaling and voicing of many voices is virtually identical = (not unlike some Holtkamps), with the result that you see stops flying in and = out and the organist changing manuals, but nothing much happens with the SOUND. = The big Phelpsavant downtown in First Pres is very much the same way.   Both organs ARE big enough that you CAN get a warm sound out of them by = drawing all the 8's and coupling them together; on the other hand, only the Swell mixtures are really usable in a romantic ensemble.   If the prices are different enough, I don't mind working with a builder on = things like scaling, mixtures, etc., but I'd really rather turn the whole = business over to someone that I know I DON'T have to ride herd on. They're artists too = ...   Cheers,   Bud        
(back) Subject: Re: Moller Organs! From: "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 21:29:54 -0500   There is a Moeller in a Lutherin church near here that the previous organ-man has decided to 'baroque-erize'. It WAS a nice little = five-ranker, but now is a screaming 'kist-o-whistles'. The man is retiring, and the congregation is mad at him. So much for 'keeping up with the Joneses'.   Rick      
(back) Subject: Felix Hell in Memphis From: "Tim Rand" <tim@minn.net> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 21:40:19 -0500   Hi, chatters...I received the below review of recent Felix Hell recital in Memphis from an organist friend in Memphis. Hope you enjoy. Tim Rand Minneapolis   Subject: Organist Felix Hell Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2000 16:19:22 -0500 From: Wendell B Baechler <baechler-bethany@juno.com>     Hi folks. Just wanted to tell you to go and hear Felix Hell when he is in your area. It's worth the time and money and emotions just to see and hear this guy play. I can now see why I've been hearing so much about him and also why he has a full scholarship at Juilliard School of Music as well as being Associate Organist at St. Peter's Church in NYC. This is the kid that won the German Organ Playing Competition at age 9. He turned 15 Thursday. This concert was very German. I went expecting to see and hear fast technical mastery of the Organ. Boy was I surprised! Yes he played fast=85.at times. Yes he has an astonishing organ technique. But he played sooooooooo musical. This small kid came   out and crawled up on the organ bench and had the house in his hands from the get-go.   The concert was at Lindenwood Christian. The organ is a 4 manual 1966 Moller; additions 1985, 1989; Reuter Console in 1995 as well as additions. This fall the organ will undergo more additions, and a new fa=E7ade that includes an En Chamade.   Felix uses wonderful, musical sense registrations. His Father travels with him, is his page turner, and I've heard, does most of his registrations.   Felix opened with the Bach Prelude in G BWV 568. Nicely, musically played. >Then came my first shock. The Bach "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" BWV 639. It was as though a great Contralto was singing the melody accompanied by a mature, musical accompanist. When Felix finished there   was complete silence (and I was so glad. I had been breathing very lightly) Then it was like the audience all took one collective large breath and the applause began slowly and built. >Next was the Bach Fantasy and Fugue in g BWV 542. I can only say that a musically thrilling experience happened. The audience responded accordingly with a few jumping to their feet. The applause went on as though the end of the recital had just occurred >The Bach "O Mench bewein dein Suende gross" BWV 622 showed that Felix knows and can execute ornamentation musically and way beyond his years. >The Bach Trio Sonata #1 was well played but I would have liked it to have danced a little more. >This 1st half ended with the Bach Prelude and Fugue in D BWV 532. The young kid came out of him here and he wowed us with speed, but never at the cost of musicality. >Then Filex spoke to the audience. He thanked the audience for being such a good organist's audience. He was a charming early teen. He also   told the audience that he had just finished his warm up for the 2nd half   (Turned out to be true). >Felix changed his touch for the romantic and contemporary music of the second half from the slightly detached Baroque style of the 1st half. >The second half began with the Mendelssohn Sonata #1 in f Op. 65. More   legato style playing. Musically very early romantic. He stayed away from the swell box and used a more romantic rubato. Very, very pleasing. >The Rheinberger "Abendfriende" followed. Again so musical and an even more legato touch. ..>The Franck Choral #3 in a was so well done. Felix switched to a more French style of playing, good use of the swell box, registration, rubato, tempo, and musical sense. >Then the astonishing moment of technique, the Schneider Toccata "Schlafes Bruder" I can only say seeing and hearing was still disbelief. I'd like a second time of Felix playing this to really see and hear what happened. The little old ladies around me didn't receive this well. However their husband did. When Felix finished I heard myself say WOW. There were Wow's echoing the room over the thunderous applause. >Felix closed with the Widor Symphony #5 Op 42 Adagio and Toccata. Well   played. Fairly standard. After being brought back several times. Felix played the Vierne Symphony #1 Op. 14 Finale for encore.   >Did Felix ever drop a note or two? Yes. Did Felix ever have a regristrational mishap? Yes. Did Felix ever have a technical problem with a note or phrase? Yes. The point is that this happens to other performers also. I can remember several prominent organists doing the same. Felix handled any problems as well as any mature professional performer. Go see and hear this guy. While his CD's are good, you need   to experience seeing a small kid and hearing the mature musical experience he produces. That will take your emotions on quite a trip.   >I feel that the future of the organist, organ etc is bright indeed if Felix Hell is any indication.   >As I heard someone say "If someone ever tells me I play like hell, I will take it as a compliment." wbb        
(back) Subject: Re: Austin From: <OrganMD@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 23:07:08 EDT   Hi Gang:   As a representative of Austin Organs, Inc. I must jump in at this point = and say that I do not think that we need some outside person to ride us in = order to get artistic results. Bud, I am sorry but the very idea is an offense = to me and everything that our company stands for.   Yes, in the real world of being in business, we along with Ernest Skinner, = G. Donald Harrison and many others have had to install in rooms that we would =   have liked to change. We have had to deal with clients and consultants = that have had an agenda of their own. But when you are in business, one has a responsibility to keep work in the shop so that all of the artisans that depend on an income can in fact have one.   From Dick Pyper, to Dave Broome, and now Bruce Buchanan, I think that for = the last 50 years Austin has had a world-class tonal director.   Please forgive my soapbox, but I am very proud of the artistry of our = firm.   Bill Hesterman  
(back) Subject: Re: Moller Organs! From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 20:01:32   At 09:29 PM 9/18/2000 -0500, you wrote: >There is a Moeller in a Lutherin church near here that the previous >organ-man has decided to 'baroque-erize'. It WAS a nice little = five-ranker, >but now is a screaming 'kist-o-whistles'. >The man is retiring, and the congregation is mad at him. So much for >'keeping up with the Joneses'.<snip>   Hmmmm...... /sound dtchcrap.wav   Something like that??? LMAO   dB  
(back) Subject: Austins, etc. From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 20:41:34 -0700   I have no axe to grind with Austin ... I presided over a fine three-manual Austin of 1928 in Old St. Mary's Church in Cincinnati for a number of years ... it had the finest Great Trumpet, BAR NONE, of any organ I've played. It also had a wonderful mellow 16' Trombone that would fit under the massed 8's to give the Pedal a little more definition than the ENORMOUS 16' Open Wood could supply. But the 16' Open Wood had its uses too (grin).   Ditto the big Austin we removed from Cincinnati Music Hall ... there is a FINE 8' Bassoon in Old St. Mary's Choir organ that came out of Music Hall, and some Choir Principal pipes.   But ANY builder, good, bad, or indifferent is going to have to SHOW me the mixture compositions and the pipe scales, etc. and explain to me WHY and HOW they will work in a particular room. It's MY superannuated derriere on the line if I say to my Vestry, "this is the organ for us" and then it doesn't work out. I can't ASSURE that won't happen in ANY case, but I can sure TRY. At least a couple of builders I've worked with have been grateful that I took the interest.   Cheers,   Bud    
(back) Subject: Re: Austins, etc. From: <OrganMD@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 23:40:59 EDT   Hey Bud,   I agree that you should know what you are buying, and why!   Bill  
(back) Subject: Re: Austins, etc. From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 21:06:02   At 11:40 PM 9/18/2000 EDT, you wrote: >I agree that you should know what you are buying, and why!<snip>   I agree that Bill sez that it's right that Bud sez he's right.   No other instrument has so many practicioners so ignorant of its inner working than the organ. Anytime an organist can educate self about = matters mechanical and tonal, and do it in a credible, logical manner, all the better for all concerned. Such education tends to counteract "fads", and those who promote them.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: Austins, etc. From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 00:49:06 EDT   In a message dated 9/19/00 12:24:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time, desertbob@rglobal.net writes:   << Such education tends to counteract "fads", and those who promote them. >>   Acch! You are so full of poopoo.... ;-)   Bruce Cremona502@cs.com in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles visit the Cornely pack at Howling Acres: Ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Calgary/CIOF From: "Carolyn" <carolyngm@hotmail.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 23:24:57 MDT       This is in response to Rebekka's query...     Hello, my name is Carolyn Metz, and I am in the Calgary area. The info already provided about the CIOF and Uof C is correct, though I know very little about the organ program at UofC to add.   There is another program...   The Calgary Organ Academy is housed at Mount Royal College, and is a well respected conservatory. They also have a very good International Summer School. I was able to attend one of the recitals this August, where I met =   Simon Preston for the first time, and the school's new head of organ studies, Neil Cockburn, from the UK. Simon Preston is also associated with the CIOF.   Feel free to email me privately if you wish;   Carolyn Metz   _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.   Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at http://profiles.msn.com.    
(back) Subject: Re: Austins, etc. From: "Tim Bovard" <tmbovard@arkansas.net> Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 01:10:25 -0500   At 9/19/00 12:49 AM, Bruce quoted DeserTBoB:   ><< Such education tends to counteract "fads", and > those who promote them. >>   and added:   >Acch! You are so full of poopoo.... ;-)     I beg to differ with you here, Bruce.   DesertBoB speaks the absolute truth, from my experience. "Fads" in organbuilding and design have come and gone, in MANY shapes, sizes, and sounds -- and few of them have proven to have true lasting value over long periods of time.   Education on the part of the "consumer" of the product we (as organbuilders) produce can ONLY serve to help *increase* the chances of lasting success of any given instrument. To think otherwise is simply ludicrous.   Tim Bovard Little Rock AR      
(back) Subject: Re: Austins, etc. From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 23:23:32 -0700   The point is that I have lived long enough and traveled around enough to = hear some of the important organs in this country, and some in Europe. I can appreciate the H & H in The Immaculate Conception, the untouched E.M. = Skinner in the RC cathedral in Toledo OH, the first US Beckerath tracker in = Trinity Lutheran, Cleveland, Holtkamp at his best, GDH at HIS best; and ALL of = that (and more) has contributed to the formation of my ideas about organ tone. = I've SEEN the fads come and go. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be "singing". The organ is a VOCAL wind instrument ... or should be. AND I = wanted to know the factors that bring that happy circumstance about.   Cheers,   Bud   Tim Bovard wrote:   > At 9/19/00 12:49 AM, Bruce quoted DeserTBoB: > > ><< Such education tends to counteract "fads", and > > those who promote them. >> > > and added: > > >Acch! You are so full of poopoo.... ;-) > > I beg to differ with you here, Bruce. > > DesertBoB speaks the absolute truth, from my experience. "Fads" in > organbuilding and design have come and gone, in MANY shapes, sizes, and > sounds -- and few of them have proven to have true lasting value over = long > periods of time. > > Education on the part of the "consumer" of the product we (as > organbuilders) produce can ONLY serve to help *increase* the chances of > lasting success of any given instrument. To think otherwise is simply > ludicrous. > > Tim Bovard > Little Rock AR > > > > "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: Felix Hell in Memphis From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 02:37:15 EDT   Hi Tim:   I had the pleasure of hearing Felix in Seattle during the convention. What an organist he is!   Ron Severin