PipeChat Digest #1443 - Friday, June 9, 2000
 
Youth Choir Concert Report (xpost)
  by <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net>
Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosale sorgan
  by "Stanley E Yoder" <syoder+@andrew.cmu.edu>
New list member, looking for opinions
  by "Rick Sweeney" <rts@magrathea.com>
Re: New list member, looking for opinions
  by <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net>
Re: Organist's personalities - wasGeorge Montalba, George Wright, and the
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosalesorgan
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles -  Dobson/Rosales organ
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles -  Dobson/Rosales organ
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles -  Dobson/Rosale sorgan
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
Re: New list member, looking for opinions
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
swamped Skinner
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: swamped Skinner
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
Re: French harmonium registrations
  by "TommyLee Whitlock" <tommylee@whitlock.org>
Re: New list member, looking for opinions
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
 


(back) Subject: Youth Choir Concert Report (xpost) From: <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net> Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 23:44:16 -0400 (EDT)   Friends:   We were privileged to host the Chapel Choir of the Boston Avenue United Meth Church (Tulsa, Oklahoma) on Wednesday (6/7/00). They had previously sung at the Church of the Holy Trinity, St. Patrick's, and Cathedral of St. John the Divine (all in NYC), and Swarthmore United Meth Church (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania), before arriving at our church, First United Methodist of Toms River, New Jersey.   The Choir is composed of 45 singers in grades 7-12 (plus a few alums). They sing only good literature and do it beautifully. Dr. Joel Panciera is the director, Casey Cantwell is organist, who used organ accompaniment for the entire program (I had had the piano tuned yesterday morning just in case).   Their choral tone and diction were impeccable. Although there were a couple uncertain singers, the overall musical presentation was overwhelming with beauty and elegance.   I have posted the program below. I just thought you all should know about an exceptional choir of young people.   FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Toms River, New Jersey 6/7/00   "The Gifts of the Spirit" Tour Concert presented by the Chapel Choir Boston Avenue United Meth Church, Tulsa OK   Andante from "Concerto in G Major" (G. P. Telemann), viola and organ   "Joy" poem: "God Dances with Us" (Jan Berry) "Heleluyan" (traditional Muscogee Indian melody, arr. Philip Brown) "Tandi Tanga Jesus" (trad. Namibian melody, arr. Bradley Ellingboe) "O Be Joyful" (John Rutter)   "Peace" poem: "A Hymn of Promise" (Natalie Sleeth) "Set Me As a Seal" (Rene Clausen) "Prayer of St. Francis" (Allen Pote) "Laudate Dominum" (Mozart) w/ sop solo (sung in Latin)   "Love" scripture: I Corinthians 13:1-7 "Love Comes from God" (Pote) "O Love Divine" (Luigi Zaninelli), sopr. solo If Ye Love Me (Thomas Tallis)   "Patience" poem: "And They Waited" (Shirley Rinehart) "Psalm 86" (Carl Nygard) "Lord for Thy Tender Mercies Sake" (Richard Farrant) -- this was wonderful!! "Create in Me a Clean Heart" (Pote) "Virgam Virtutis" (Handel), alto solo   "Many Gifts, One Spirit" (Pote), sung by the Boston Ave. Choir combined w/ members from our youth choir "Singspirations."   "Faithfulness" poem: "The Gate of the Year" (Minnie Louise Haskins) "Let All the World" (K. Lee Scott) "Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know" (D. Duane Blakley) "Be Thou My Vision" (Rutter), sung by their seniors w/ viola obbligato. "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" (Gilbert Martin)   encore: "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" (Tom Fettke)   Peace to you all. Neil Brown    
(back) Subject: Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosale sorgan From: "Stanley E Yoder" <syoder+@andrew.cmu.edu> Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 23:49:31 -0400 (EDT)   Someone asked who St. Vibiana was. The Penguin Dict. of Sts. has this:   VIVIANA, or BIBIANA, martyr. Date unknown; feastday 2 December. There was a church dedicated in honor of this martyr on the Esquiline Hill in Rome in the fifth century, where her relics were said to be, but all historical knowledge of her is lost.....   Not much help, but there it is. Stan Yoder Pittsburgh  
(back) Subject: New list member, looking for opinions From: "Rick Sweeney" <rts@magrathea.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:21:47 -0400   Greetings!   I'm new to this list, and so far have enjoyed your postings.   I joined this list because of my interest in pipe organs, and because I am on an organ study committee at my church. We are in the process of investigating our options with our aging and poorly maintained instrument. I was hoping that I could pick up some pointers on organs, and bring some ideas back to the committee. I am from the Church of the Holy Name (Episcopal), in the small coastal town of Swampscott, Mass. (http://www.ultranet.com/~chn)   If anyone is interested in passing on experiences with renovating or replacing a church pipe organ, I would be very interested in hearing from you. If this topic is inappropriate for the list at large, please e-mail = me directly.   Here's some background on what we're trying to do...   We have an EM Skinner organ, opus 368, which was built in late 1922. It = is installed in a deep organ chamber, off of the chancel. This is a Henry Vaughn building, originally designed as a summer chapel. Since 1922 the blower has been replaced, the console has been replaced, and half of the pipes have been replaced. The console was replaced back around 1960 with = a cheap supply house 3 manual console. The wood laminate is peeling, the registrations don't work (those are what you call the pre-set buttons, right?) and in general it is falling apart. We have no idea why the = console was replaced, from what we are told, Skinner built some beautiful = consoles. As far as maintenance goes, there has been very little done other than = tonal changes in the early 70s, this is when 1/2 of the pipes were replaced. We've been told that the instrument needs re-leathering, it has the = original leather. We would love to find out more info on the original instrument. Does anybody know of any reference place we can find the original specs, diagrams, schematics, or pictures? I have heard that Rodgers owns the = files from Aeolian-Skinner. Is this true, and do you think they might have and = be willing to share this info?   We invited the AGO Boston chapter Organ Advisory Committee to visit and = make recommendations. Their suggestions range from total replacement (it's not really a Skinner anymore) to salvaging what's there and returning it to a totally cohesive instrument. Originally it contained 16 stops, distributed on 3 manuals as follows: Great 4; Swell 9; Choir 1 (plus 3 borrowed from Swell); Pedal 2. The tonal changes in the 70s replaced 7 ranks, there was no room for additions. The entire Great division was replaced. I don't have the stop list at the moment. We also hosted a visit from Barbara Owen, who offered advice and recommendations.   What we are doing presently is inviting a few local organ builders to come in an offer estimates on restoring the present organ to working order, = which includes re-leathering and replacing the console. We're sure that this = cost will most likely approach the cost of replacing the instrument. We're = also interested to hear if any of the builders think this instrument is worth preserving or restoring to it's original sound. We will also seek = estimates on new instruments, and look into a used instrument that can be restored = for us. We are most interested in having an organ that will support congregational singing. We have visited about 8 churches who have gone through this process (mostly recommended by Barbara Owen), and will visit = a few more. We are also considering the placement of the instrument, the present position is very poor for projecting the sound into the nave.   We have encountered some mixed feelings on a couple of topics, and I'd = like to get some feedback from anybody willing to offer an opinion. A couple = of members of the committee are purists, and feel that we would best be = served by a tracker instrument, either new or used. At the other extreme, we visited a church with a blended Rodgers digital and Skinner pipe organ, restored by Marshall Ogletree in Needham, Mass. (at Christ Episc. Church, also in Needham). One of our purist members is dead set against anything electronic, and one of the younger folks relishes the idea of MIDI and = more bang for less money. I'd love to hear from someone who went through this discernment process, and lived to talk about it. The only opinions I have heard so far have been driven by pure emotion.   Thanks for reading this far, I'm looking forward to any and all responses. If I left out any important details, please let me know. My apologies to = any who receive this twice, I'm posting to 2 lists.   -Rick Sweeney (rts@magrathea.com)   Posted to pipechat@pipechat.org and organchat@egroups.com      
(back) Subject: Re: New list member, looking for opinions From: <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:29:50 -0400 (EDT)   My personal opinion would be to get several organ builders/restorers to estimate how much of your present organ (meaning the pipework) is usable. Then go from there.   Perhaps if you get a new instrument, some of the existing pipework can be incorporated.   Combo pipe/electronic organs just don't hold up musically or maintenance-wise (?). I know, I've played 2. And they are difficult to keep in tune.   Best wishes on your project. It sounds like your committee is getting started in the right direction.   Neil Brown    
(back) Subject: Re: Organist's personalities - wasGeorge Montalba, George Wright, and the Org... From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:31:05 EDT   In a message dated 6/8/00 9:46:42 AM Eastern Daylight Time, = KriderSM@aol.com writes:   > Can we separate the personality from the musicianship? That is a choice each > > listener must make. I am not sure how much validity these references to =   > personality have on this chatline. This is why God invented organ pits!! ;-)   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosalesorgan From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:32:41 EDT   In a message dated 6/8/00 10:45:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, elmsr@albanyis.com.au writes:   > Who was St Vibianas??????? The RCs have a "saint site" where you can look up any saint. It isn't complete. I was unable to find my beagle's patron saint, "Dogmael" who is = an Irish saint I read about while surfing Irish monateries.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosales organ From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:39:14 EDT   In a message dated 6/8/00 3:24:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time, desertbob@rglobal.net writes:   > The new one's obviously a > "civic booster" naming. Personally, I'm surprised it's not "Mahoney > Memorial", but...whatever.... > Acch! Such a bitch!! hehehehe   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosales organ From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:39:36 EDT   In a message dated 6/8/00 3:24:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time, desertbob@rglobal.net writes:   > The new one's obviously a > "civic booster" naming. Personally, I'm surprised it's not "Mahoney > Memorial", but...whatever.... > Oops! That was supposed to be private. Sorry kids!!! ;-)   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles - Dobson/Rosale sorgan From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:41:26 EDT   In a message dated 6/8/00 3:42:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time, pstorandt@okcu.edu writes:   > Now you've gone too far, Bob... :-) > NOW????? Check the archives!!! hehehehe   Sorry, Bob! We went for toddies after choir rehearsal and I'm in such a =   good mood!!! ;-) (had too many olives!)   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: Re: New list member, looking for opinions From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 00:55:09 EDT   These old Skinner organs were generally gems. The first thing I hope you would do is find the idiot that did the changes, tie him to a stake in the =   front church yard, and sell opportunities to pummel him with a stick to anyone who wants to. The money would go to the restoration of the organ! =   There are several options, but I can't really make a recommendation = without knowing more about the situation. These organs should be preserved and restored when possible. There are A-S experts in the Organ Historical Society who could be of great assistance.   I would hope that someone on the list would be able to come up with the original stoplist. Depending upon what is left , quality pipework could = be reused. When restored, the Skinner mechanism would be extremely durable = and would last and perform well. Since restoration is no longer possible, = the organ could be refurbished and renovated with additions and substitutions = for tonal mistakes, yielding a very fine example of American Classic design, = with a romantic leaning.   Please keep us informed. It would be very interesting to many of us if = you could publish the present specifications.   Best of luck.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: swamped Skinner From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 22:04:30 -0700   Barbara Owen is the best. Period. Trust her.   Talk to A. Thompson-Allen and Co. in New Haven ... they're the best as far = as Skinner restorations.   Check with Alan Laufman at Organ Clearing House ... you can probably get a Skinner console AND Skinner ranks approaching the original scales.   It IS possible to reconstruct an organ that's been vandalized as much as = yours has.   As far as the chamber placement, Skinners were MADE to get out of = chambers, if the original ranks, wind-pressure and voicing HAVEN'T been tampered with.   If leading congregational singing is a problem, is there room/money for Principal 8 / Octave 4', or even Gedeckt 8' / Principal 4 on the back wall = over the back door, or something like that? That's really all that's needed. = Just make sure it matches the Skinner work in front.   OTOH, you might be able to find a complete Skinner of similar size and do = that instead.   Good luck!   Bud   P.S. - I love Skinners ... grew up on 'em.    
(back) Subject: Re: swamped Skinner From: <ScottFop@aol.com> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 01:06:14 EDT   In a message dated 6/9/00 1:03:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time, quilisma@socal.rr.com writes:   << P.S. - I love Skinners ... grew up on 'em. >>   Me too. But now now, let's not forget about or underestimate the GOOD Kilgens............(but then again I am just a bit biased!) =3Do)   Scott F.  
(back) Subject: Re: French harmonium registrations From: "TommyLee Whitlock" <tommylee@whitlock.org> Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 01:59:09 -0400   > The pieces don't work on American reed organs, because most of them > divide at tenor f. The French harmonium was/is quite a sophisticated > instrument ... vide the pieces for it by Tournemire and Langlais ... > evidently the action wasn't as "squishy", or the speech as slow as an > American suction reed organ, if one judges by some of the Tournemire > movements.   Sorry Bud, but I beg to differ here. It's true that a lot of US reed = organs divide at f but it depends on the manufacturer. I own a Mason & Hamlin = reed organ (reed organs being essentially the US version of European = harmoniums) which divides at C. It also includes the numbers that you mention on the stops along with the stop names. Later models included the rank foot = number, which made for some fairly busy stop knobs labels.   M&H also created a high-end line in honor of and named after Liszt which = were very robust, and still are when you can find them. I have a friend who = has a 2 manual w/ pedalboard model that will blow your socks off and offers a = nice variety of tones. There were also some with 3 manuals & pedals made and = would I love to get my hands on one of those!   Cheers, TommyLee    
(back) Subject: Re: New list member, looking for opinions From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 22:39:27   At 12:21 AM 6/9/2000 -0400, you wrote: >I'm new to this list, and so far have enjoyed your postings.<snip>   Welcome! I'm sure you'll find this list MOST entertaining.   >We have an EM Skinner organ, opus 368, which was built in late 1922. It is >installed in a deep organ chamber, off of the chancel.<snip>   Not good, right there...   >Since 1922 the >blower has been replaced, the console has been replaced, and half of the >pipes have been replaced. The console was replaced back around 1960 with a >cheap supply house 3 manual console.<snip>   Ah. Obviously someone needed a nice console for another project! Happens all the time.   >The wood laminate is peeling, the >registrations don't work (those are what you call the pre-set buttons, >right?)<snip>   No, those are pistons that operate the combination action.   >...and in general it is falling apart.<snip>   Ah! Klann?   >We have no idea why the console >was replaced, from what we are told, Skinner built some beautiful consoles.<snip>   Consoles and the appliances installed within were a Skinner forte, and pretty much set the standard for many years.   >As far as maintenance goes, there has been very little done other than= tonal >changes in the early 70s, this is when 1/2 of the pipes were replaced. >We've been told that the instrument needs re-leathering, it has the= original >leather. We would love to find out more info on the original instrument.<snip>   Well, this happened a lot, too. Pre-'30s Skinner stuff was pretty much fully orchestral in nature, and his fascination with high pressure pipework that supposedly obviated the need for much upperwork produced instruments on a par for the era...fairly loud, tubby things, although Skinner's beautiful soft strings and solo reeds are much treasured. His were instruments of quality of construction for certain, which is part of the reason, along with a cooperative climate, that the instrument has lasted this long without releathering.   >Originally it contained 16 stops, distributed >on 3 manuals as follows: Great 4; Swell 9; Choir 1 (plus 3 borrowed from >Swell); Pedal 2.<snip>   Odd for a 3 manual.   >The tonal changes in the 70s replaced 7 ranks, there was >no room for additions. The entire Great division was replaced.<snip>   ....and obviously you got lots of upperwork, didn't you? Whether it worked or not wasn't the point with many back then. Actually, most of Skinner's stuff was in dire need of upper work to begin with, and many took on the task with verve. However, I'm sure you didn't wind up with a very cohesive ensemble in the process!   >We also hosted a visit from Barbara >Owen, who offered advice and recommendations.<snip>   You've already sought some pretty competent advice, which is good, and I tend to agree with their recommendations as said so far. > >What we are doing presently is inviting a few local organ builders to come >in an offer estimates on restoring the present organ to working order,= which >includes re-leathering and replacing the console. We're sure that this cost >will most likely approach the cost of replacing the instrument.<snip>   Correct.   >We're also >interested to hear if any of the builders think this instrument is worth >preserving or restoring to it's original sound.<snip>   No. Skinner's smallish organs are usually unworkable on a great deal of literature, due to his unwtting dallying into the "organ revolution", of which Hope-Jones was a prime mover, as were others.   >We have visited about 8 churches who have gone >through this process (mostly recommended by Barbara Owen), and will visit a >few more. We are also considering the placement of the instrument, the >present position is very poor for projecting the sound into the nave.<snip>   Organs in deep chambers were a Hope-Jones feature; it certainly wasn't placed in such a pit by Skinner's choice. He wrote and spoke volumes against "vault" type chambers.   >A couple of >members of the committee are purists, and feel that we would best be served >by a tracker instrument, either new or used.<snip>   They'd be in good company in this place...we've also got our share of the "tracker-backer" crowd. I find them to be curious "retro" things, or questionable expense.   >At the other extreme, we >visited a church with a blended Rodgers digital and Skinner pipe organ, >restored by Marshall Ogletree in Needham, Mass. (at Christ Episc. Church, >also in Needham). One of our purist members is dead set against anything >electronic, and one of the younger folks relishes the idea of MIDI and more >bang for less money. I'd love to hear from someone who went through this >discernment process, and lived to talk about it. The only opinions I have >heard so far have been driven by pure emotion.<snip>   As are all organ desicions these days. NO committee's logical or objective about things; everyone's in a rush to judgement based upon emotional, subjective reaction. Half the time, they can't successfully argue their position, but they have it, none the less!   Like it or not (many in here don't), the digital organ is here for good. The hybrid organ is becoming more popular, as well, usually as a "salve" to placate purists among organ committee members. Early hybrids, especially Rodgers analogs, were notorious for needing frequent tuning attention, since the analog oscillators couldn't track changing air temperature, and thus would be out of tune, mostly with the flue work. Modern digitals can use a thermistor which feeds a temperature analog to the system, thus allowing it to keep in perfect tune with the flue work.   There is no objective arguing the point that digital organs now, especially from the likes of Allen and certain others, are very, very good. However, some people just must have pipes, and more power to them, should that be the case. Just get out your wallet; you'll need it, if you're going for a totally new organ.   However, this is hope in that regard. Organ Clearing House provides a unique and handy service to match up prospective organ buyers with pre-existing instrument that are up for sale, for one reason or another. I've seen everything from Roosevelts to M=F6llers and everything in between on their website, and they're worth a look-see. Several organs of historical significance are listed by them, and many are most desirable for smaller venues like yours.   From what I've read from your post so far, I'd say that total replacement of the instrument is in order. Had certain party not screwed around with it in the '60s, and '70s, you might have a fair (not good) historical representation of E.M. Skinner's work, although I fear it would've been of limited usefulness. I state, at fear of being roasted in this place once more, that a digital organ is indeed a possibility. However, should you have a well-heeled congregation that is looking for a showpiece instrument, and you have an active music program in place, I might suggest the wares of today's pipe builders, as they do provide instruments of quality, both mechanical and tonal, and many different choices in terms of design basis. I'd further advise being wary of the "tracker-backer" syndrome currently all the rage; fads come in and fads go out; stick to historical classicism as exemplified by the "American Classic" schools, represented by G. Donald Harrison's and Walter Holtkamp's works of the 20th century, and you can't go wrong. Slider chests are coming back into vogue again, and the need for releathering of your skinned Skinner is a powerful arguement for their return...although they've got thier own problems!   My choice, if you're going for new pipes? Find someone on the committee that speaks French and investigate Casavant Fr=E8res. You'll have to wait awhile, though. A fellow listmember informed me today they've got a backlog of four years currently.   Of course, this is but one opinion, and I'll probably get barbequed for it, but...welcome to Pipechat!   DeserTBoB