PipeChat Digest #4048 - Sunday, October 12, 2003
 
Celluloid
  by "David Baker" <dbaker@lawyers.com>
Fwd: Murray recital postponed (a X-Posting)
  by <OrgelspielerKMD@aol.com>
Iste confessor
  by "David Baker" <dbaker@lawyers.com>
Original voicing by Wurlitzer
  by <Wuxuzusu@aol.com>
Re: Celluloid
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
OFF-TOPIC: Good Friday Tenebrae - Prayer of Jeremiah - solemn melody in E
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Original voicing by any other name
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Heat, light and a lot of smoke
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Original voicing by any other name
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: Heat, light and a lot of smoke
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: Original voicing by any other name
  by <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Original voicing by any other name
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Noon Concert in Allentown
  by "Stephen Williams" <stepwill@enter.net>
 

(back) Subject: Celluloid From: "David Baker" <dbaker@lawyers.com> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 09:24:19 -0400   I can't remember whether celluloid is flammable or inflammable, but it certainly burns up a storm!   See http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=3Dcelluloid   David Baker    
(back) Subject: Fwd: Murray recital postponed (a X-Posting) From: <OrgelspielerKMD@aol.com> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 09:24:30 EDT   I am fowarding this message to PipeChat, for those who don't have Pipeorg-l.= =20 My teacher wrote this and I know he doesn't use PipeChat, and that is why I=20 took the liberty of fowarding this to all of you....   Sincerely, Christopher J. Howerter, SPC   Dear List,   Please pardon the following announcement, since it is technically a violatio= n=20 of the list rules to forward something to the list for someone else.=A0 As y= ou=20 will read, Thomas Murray's recital at Woolsey Hall this Sunday at 8 p.m. has= =20 been postponed.=A0 This is particularly unfortunate, since it was a recital=20= in=20 observance of the 100th. anniversary of the original installation of the=20 Newberry Organ at Woolsey.=A0 The original installation was by Hutchings-Vot= ey in=20 1903.=A0 The organ was greatly enlarged by the Steere Company in 1915, and a= gain by=20 the Skinner Organ Company in 1928.=A0 I know that everyone who planned to at= tend=20 this recital is as disappointed about this as I am.=A0 Thomas Murray knows t= he=20 Woolsey Hall organ better than anyone alive, and he can make the organ speak= =20 like no others I have ever heard there.=A0 Hearing Tom play on this instrume= nt is=20 sheer poetry.=A0 I wish him a speedy recovery, and look forward to hearing t= his=20 recital when it is rescheduled.   Stephen Roberts   Here's what Professor Murray wrote to his friends and colleagues:   Dear Everyone:   Sorry to be sending this as a "blanket" message, but since this is very short notice, it is more important that you receive this message quickly.   I must postpone the Woolsey recital announced for this Sunday, October 15. I've had a severe food allergic reaction that began with a rash. Yesterday morning my wrists and hands were swollen so much that keyboard playing was clearly impossible . . . I tried it! Following an examination at the Yale Health Services yesterday morning, I came away with a prescription which is already helping. But the uncertainly of what the condition may be like on Sunday leads me to postpone . . . the date, yet to be decided.   If you know of others (not among the addressees listed above) who might be thinking of coming Sunday night, I'll be most grateful if you will forward this message. Parenthetically . . . if you ever think preparing a program is difficult, just try getting the word out about a cancellation on short notice!   with regrets, but also every good wish,   Tom    
(back) Subject: Iste confessor From: "David Baker" <dbaker@lawyers.com> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 09:28:17 -0400   There is a piece on "Iste Confessor" by Dupr=E9. I forget which volume=20=   it is in. It is rather virtuosic, in a toccata style.   David Baker=    
(back) Subject: Original voicing by Wurlitzer From: <Wuxuzusu@aol.com> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 11:25:18 EDT   My source came from the archives of the theatre organ chatline from a = posting dated 12 March 2002 3:46 EST entitled RE: Wurlitzer Tibias and was posted = by an esteemed organ technician in the states. The posting is based on this technician's observations as he rebuilt Wurlitzer organs.   Apparently he encountered more than a few Wurlitzers destined for theatres =   that were never voiced until they were on the chest in the theatres. = Frequently, nominal voicing occurred after the pipes were installed. He noticed that Wurlitzers installed in homes and churches had received "a more discerning = touch" in the finishing process.   Much of the superior voicing of Wurlitzers were done by later qualified technicians. This is not to say that Wurlitzer never tonally finished any = of their instruments. The Buffallo Shea's Theatre is a prime example of this = "master's touch" by the Wurlitzer people. It, of course, served as the working = example when prospective customers wanted to hear a theatre organ in place.   Mr. Mitchell, you are correct in your first paragraph. However, most of = the Wurlitzers heard today were properly revoiced long after their = installation, probably by voicers who knew their art and most likely during the last = half of the 20th century.   Again, IMHO, :-)   ....NOT as a declaration of war.   Musically, Stan Krider   In a message dated 10/11/2003 5:02:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time, cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk writes: > > (The following) is not an honest opinion, it is a decleration of > WAR! > > Nothing on earth blends so beautifully as a well > set-up Wurlitzer in a good building. It really WAS a > very remarkable attempt at orchestral synthesis, but > even better as a big band sound. > > OF COURSE, it depends who's playing the Wurlitzer! > > Colin Mitchell UK > > --- Wuxuzusu@aol.com wrote: > ! > >Actually, playing popular > >music on romantic organs such as Austin and Skinner > >proves to be a much > >greater challenge and more rewarding than playing > >this literature on theatre > >organs. These manufacturers actually VOICED their > >organs to blend properly. > > > > > >IMHO, of course :-) >      
(back) Subject: Re: Celluloid From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 11:42:28 -0400   Dear David:   Celluloid is flamable, but so are a whole host of materials used in organs, plastic can melt or catch fire, wood certainly. The use the celluloid was put to, coverings for couplers and probably stops is benine enough. In other words there doesn't seem to be a necessary rush to replace them because they will catch fire. There are so many other products that can be used today, I don't think anyone would use celluloid. During the twenties and slightly before and after It may have been the material of choice for some builders like Casavant. I would think that celluloid would eventually degrade to powder like the silent films that used it. Most of those that were saved were obviously transfered frame by frame to modern materials with a much longer life many years ago. It is known that old film libraries didn't stand up to fire very well under the tremendous heat.   Sincerely,   Ron Severin  
(back) Subject: OFF-TOPIC: Good Friday Tenebrae - Prayer of Jeremiah - solemn melody in English From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 10:34:12 -0700   I just sent this out to my download list; if you're ON my download list (or think you should be) and DON'T get it, PLEASE e-mail me PRIVATELY .... I'm still trying to get Netscape 7.1 to quit messing with my address book (grin).   If you're NOT on my download list and would like to HAVE it, PLEASE e-mail me PRIVATELY.   Somebody asked me for this a LONG time ago ... I had it; I just had to fish it out of the middle of the enormous Lutheran Good Friday Tenebrae file (grin).   Looking at it, I'm TEMPTED to set alternate verses to polyphony, if anybody would USE it.   I WILL finish engraving the entire Tenebrae service by the first of the year (grin).   Cheers,   Bud            
(back) Subject: Re: Original voicing by any other name From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 12:48:21 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Darn it! Just when I thought we were going to have a good flaming session.....a voice of common sense!   Of course Stan is absolutely right, but with exceptions. So far as I know, no-one has ever played around with the voicing at the former Gaumont State at Kilburn, which sounds terrific. On the other hand, the superlative sound of Castro is very much the work of Ed Stout.   This touches on the question of restoration and the restorer's art. Do we try to leave well alone, even if things are not perfect, or do we "improve" the original?   If Castro is the perfect example of "improvement", where do we all stand with the Bavokerk at Haarlem, which is now a quite different organ to that created by Christian Muller?   Restorically speaking (that's a neat word!), this organ is a disgrace. Marcussen lowered the wind-pressures in the mistaken belief that they had been increased during the 19th cenutry. They added new ranks and even complete Mixture stops. Even the pipe-mouths were reformed, the nicking rubbed out and the top lips lowered to make the pipes speak properly with the lower wind; again in the belief that the cut-ups must have been increased.   The organ is now tuned to equal temper, and some of the reeds are now distinctly "romantic" in the wider sense of the word.   What has it left us with as a piece of history?   Possibly not a massive amount as compared to, for example, the Muller organ in the Waalsekerk, Amsterdam, which is much more authentic, much louder and rather shrill in that particular building.   But then ask what it has given us musically?   Quite simply, and with little fear of contradiction, I would suggest that it is the finest organ in the world to-day!   So which comes first, restoration or art?   I think, like Ed Stout and Marcussen, I would choose the latter, but it takes a very confident and self-assured "restorer" to make such a bold decision.   In the UK, St Paul's Cathedral, as re-built by Mander, is a wonderful instrument in a special and rather vast acoustic, but it sure ain't a Willis anymore!   Let's hope that Mander can disimprove (another neat word) the awful mess Harrison & Harrison made of the organ in the Royal Albert Hall, London, which, although fashionable at the time, really was a travesty.   When people make that decision to "improve" and then screw up, they are in deep trouble. Fortunately, Haarlem and Castro demonstrate the positive benefits of "artistic licence" rather than the puritan approach to replicatory (another neat word) forensic re-building.   Regards, Colin Mitchell UK   PS: I think I just gave the English language three new words.   --- Wuxuzusu@aol.com wrote: > Apparently he encountered more than a few Wurlitzers > destined for theatres > that were never voiced until they were on the chest > in the theatres.   __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search http://shopping.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Heat, light and a lot of smoke From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 12:56:54 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Purely for research purposes, I just set light to a piece of old celluloid in film form. (Don't worry, it was a blank bit!)   It goes up like a bomb!!!!!!   Add a bit of weed-killer and it would be at a guess.   I don't expect a whole organ stop to explode with a lighted match or a lamp bulb, but the research just had to be done.   I also lit a bit of magnesium (mangenese) ribbon....very pretty!   My brother tells me that I have probably just poisoned myself, so my choice of hymns are.............   Regards,   Colin Mitchell (A doomed man) UK         --- RonSeverin@aol.com wrote: > Dear David: > > Celluloid is flamable, but so are a whole host of > materials used in organs   __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search http://shopping.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Original voicing by any other name From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 16:22:18 -0400   On 10/11/03 3:48 PM, "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:   > I think I just gave the English language three new words.   The first two are still undergoing examination and test-marketing. The third one was a winner the minute you wrote it! (That's NOT a bad average!--AND it demonstrates genuine progress.)   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: Heat, light and a lot of smoke From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 16:29:40 -0400   On 10/11/03 3:56 PM, "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:   > My brother tells me that I have probably just poisoned > myself, so my choice of hymns are............. > Sorry about that. But they were really much too Victorian anyway. We've replaced them with eleven really tough 16th-C. German Lutheran chorales. The good news is that the obsequies will occur in an obscure place called Waalsekerk. Monday at midnight, local time.   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: Original voicing by any other name From: <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 14:01:40 -0700       Colin Mitchell wrote:   > This touches on the question of restoration and the > restorer's art. Do we try to leave well alone, even if > things are not perfect, or do we "improve" the > original? > >   I think we have to look at each individual instrument, and also the use and the situation.   The OHS guidelines for rebuilding/restoration allow the substitution of a modern 30 or 32-note AGO pedal clavier if NOT doing it will endanger the continued use of the organ ... this despite the fact that unless the entire pedal and coupler action is replaced (along with the pedal windchest(s) if you don't want the upper notes to play on the couplers only) such substitutions seldom work well. An attempt to do just that nearly doomed one well-known transplant in Southern California, which is now undergoing a second rebuild.   In the USA (at least), I think we have the obligation to ask: "is this an outstanding example by an outstanding builder, or is it simply OLD?"   A typical example of a small Austin of the early 20th century was discussed in these pages awhile back ... there was almost universal agreement that since it WAS successful at doing what it had to do, and had been doing it for something like eighty years, any additions SHOULD be in the same tonal style; BUT that it was NOT necessary to preserve the organ with NO changes.   I don't think ANYBODY would advocate a "museum-quality" restoration of a Moller bar-and-membrane pneumatic action.   Certainly the few remaining Appletons and Tannenburgs should be treated with reverence and LET ALONE. Ditto any untouched Roosevelt, Hook, Erben, Johnson, etc.   For all our reverence for E.M. Skinner and G. Donald Harrison, there are some questionable examples of their work out there. I hasten to add that in many cases, EMS and GDH had no control over the final result.   Certainly St. Luke's Evanston, Holy Rosary Toledo, Palace of the Legion of Honor San Francisco, Trinity Episcopal San Francisco, Public Hall Cleveland, Woolsey Hall Yale, St. Anne's & Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, and similar instruments (is Rockefeller Chapel Chicago restorable?) should be LEFT ALONE for what they ARE, and not be tampered with or discarded on account of what they AREN'T.   I'm not so sure I'd be as adamant about a Skinner or an A/S that (1) was never terribly successful to BEGIN with (the under-the-floor installation in Ken Sybesma's church, for instance), or (2) had ALREADY been cobbled beyond recognition (Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland). I suppose in the latter case it WOULD have been POSSIBLE (but terribly expensive) to return the organ to its original state, but SOMEDAY we're going to run out of original Skinner pipework. And in that particular instance, the Hutchins-style chests had failed.   OHS research tells us that there WERE unsuccessful organs built in the 19th century; of those that survive, I have to ask if there's ENOUGH there to warrant a restoration, or if a rebuild isn't in order?   I once played an untouched electric-action Steere in St. Ann's Cleveland Heights ... I was startled at the coarseness of the voicing. It was in an excellent acoustical environment, so I suppose the effect in the nave might have been somewhat better. But had I been the incumbent, I would have had NO qualms whatsoever about ordering up a WHOLESALE revoicing of that particular instrument.   I recall playing an Austin from the teens in Harkness Chapel at Case/Western Reserve in Cleveland ... I love SOME old Austins (Old St. Mary's and the now vanished Music Hall organ in Cincinnati among them), but that particular one was just plain NASTY (grin) ... and as I recall, it was all original. Now, what I DON'T know is if a thorough cleaning would have helped the situation any. I don't think the organ had received much (if any) maintenance over the years.   Another example: some Felgemakers (Sacred Heart Italian Church, Cincinnati) are worth restoring; others aren't.   FROM MY EXPERIENCE, I wouldn't give you a nickel for a Pilcher ... BUT .... I've never played a BIG one in good CONDITION. The old one in St. Luke's Cathedral in Orlando was moderately successful, but a KAZOO would have been successful in that building.   Tubular pneumatic Esteys, for all their admirable work-horse qualities, particularly in areas that don't see organ techs very often, probably aren't worth it. They were built to play for a very long time, and then be replaced. Hinners, on the other hand, ARE worth it, and compete favorably with small digital substitutes.   So ... I don't think it's a question that has a blanket one-size-fits-all answer.   Cheers,   Bud Clark San Diego CA USA                  
(back) Subject: Re: Original voicing by any other name From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 17:28:45 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   An excellent and thoughtful reply from Bud, but does this not lead to "interpretation" from one era to the next. In other words, would a restored Baroque style Fisk, with old tuning, ever be restored "as was" by later generations who may have moved back towards a romantic way of thinking, as is currently the case both sides of the pond?   Indeed, wouldn't this amount to metamorphisis, just as at Haarlem.   Or is it good to "improve" things?   I don't really expect that there is a definitive answer, unless there are special circumstances. I don't think there could ever be a case for restoring an organ Bach played, and changing its character. Thank heavens Ahrend got involved at Naumberg.   For those who may have been fortunate enough to play and compare the Bavokerk "travesty" (I use this word with the utmost respect for what actually evolved) with the absolutely precise restoration at Alkmaar, the question is really about the value of antiquity for its own sake.   Alkmaar gives an insight into the true nature of the baroque organ, and the other a wonderful (perhaps perfect?) insight into the creative imagination of a master voicer, working with a fairly liberal interpretation of the restorer's intention.   Both are absolutely stupendous instruments, but only one is a true restoration. The Bavokerk "restoration" was actually based on faulty scholarship and a degree of presumption.   Fortunately....nay....miraculously, both organs are completely beyond reproach, so all's well that ends well.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK --- quilisma@cox.net wrote:   > I think we have to look at each individual > instrument, and also the use > and the situation. >     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search http://shopping.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Noon Concert in Allentown From: "Stephen Williams" <stepwill@enter.net> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 23:01:24 -0400   The second of our October series of Noon-Ten Concerts at St. John's = Lutheran Church in downtown Allentown, PA is on Tuesday, the 14th and = will feature organist Mark Mummert. His program will be Mendelssohn's = Sonata in F minor and Durufle's Prelude, Adagio et Choral varie sur le = theme du Veni Creator. Mark is the Seminary Musician at the Lutheran = Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, which means Cantor to the Chapel, = director of the Seminary Choir, and instructor of courses in music and = liturgical studies. If you're in the area, please drop by! =20 Stephen Williams Dir of Music and Organist, St. John's Lutheran, Allentown PA College Organist, Muhlenberg College