PipeChat Digest #4707 - Saturday, August 21, 2004
Re: two diapasons in England
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Allen pipe organs?
  by <Joshwwhite@aol.com>
Re: Allen pipe organs?
  by "Scott" <montre1978@yahoo.com>
Allen Pipe Organs?
  by <Joshwwhite@aol.com>
Pipe/digital combinations
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>

(back) Subject: Re: two diapasons in England From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 21:27:58 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Thanks to those who quoted the historical facts concerning the origins of the first and second diapasons found on English organs; I was only vaguely aware of it.   My concern was purely the latter-day existence of multiple diapasons, which took on a quite different character during the 19th century and reached a peak (trough?) of development around 1930-40.   Coming to think of it, there can't be that many old organs still in original condition in the UK, though a few do exist from before 1850. I think it would be fair to suggest that the role-model for many organs were the examples left by the German organ-builder Snetzler, and between his time and the developments of William Hill, not a terrible lot happened which dramatically changed the character of English organs.   Of course, there were gentle sounding instruments from Greene, more noble sounds from Gray & Davison and some splendid diapasons from Byfield, but they were broadly similar in concept.   The romantic movement came with a bang in the form of the Schulze choruses, but this was a very short-lived phenomenon, with few imitators save for Lewis, who continued with his unique English/German blend. Oddly enough, although Lewis was virtually destroyed by the Willis company with shameless contempt, it is the work of Lewis which is now most admired.   Willis, perhaps inspired by Cavaille-Coll (who installed a number of organs in the UK), was the first to develop the unique quality of the English romantic organ, which relied heavily on powerful reeds and rolling Open Wood pedal stops. Although attractive and quite clear of tone, Willis fluework is not that remarkable. Lewis was simply streets ahead in the quality of his flue choruses.   Interestingly, when the Arthur Harrison/Dixon style emerged, it fulfilled all the needs of organists. With rolling Open Woods, a fiery Full Swell, adequate chorus work, very powerful "big" diapasons (No.1) and a wealth of beautiful solo reed registers, this style of instrument will forever be associated with Anglican accompaniment.   So whilst acknowledging the accuracy of those who quote the history of the English first and second diapasons, from a musical point of view, the comments I wrote hold good as the "origin of the species" as we would understand it to-day.   Of course, there was always a practical reason why large diapasons became commonplace, and it concerns the sighting of instruments in Anglican churches. With the Oxford movement came the desire to "put on a show," with robed, surpliced choirs singing in a chancel. The organs were therefore moved from their old West end positions, or built new, and placed under the low roofs of chancel side-aisles. In this position, the organ was often buried, and would probably only sound adequate to the members of the choir. The more powerful Open Diapason number one, was therefore a conscious effort to make the instruments capable of accompanying a large congregation.   Finally, the screen position may appear acoustically ideal, but in practice, it seldom worked. Without proper tone-cabinets (very much the preserve of continental instruments), the sound of the screen situated organs often went omni-directional; much of it disappearing up into central tower spaces. This was the problem at York Minster, and to some extent, still is.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK     --- Domitila Ballesteros <dballesteros@uol.com.br> wrote:   > Andersen says, when he writes about the location of > organ: > > "In England, the organs at that time were smaller - > small enough to be > placed on the rood-screen which separated the choir > and nave (for > instance, King's College). This location may be > something of a surprise > to the Continent (excepting France), but as the > purpose of the screen > was to separate the choir and the nave, the > reinforcement ofthis > separation by an organ was not considered > extraordinary. From an > acoustical point of view, this position was perfect, > and of course there > was a double front , toward the choir and the nave > respectively. The > older choir organs were not always demolished and > removed when a > rood-screen organ was built. From Durham, for > instance, there are > records of three orgnas, the largest of which was > mounted on the screen. > This distinguished instrument with wooden pipes and > rich ornaments was > opened and used only on festival days. The second > one was placed on the > north side of the choir and was played when the four > Fathers of the > Church were read (augustine, Ambrose, Gregory and > Hieronymous)." (p. 297-8) > > and when Andersen writes about the England organs: > "The presence of the two 8' Principals in the Great > organ was explained > by the fact that the organ was mounted on the > gallery (creen) between > the choir and the nave (as at Kong's College). Due > to this circumstance, > the Great organ case opened on both sides, thus > requiring two sets of > fa=E7ada pipes. This type of situation may be the > origin of the later > English custom of doubling the Principals from bass > to treble. Probably, > there is NO CONNECTION with the trable doubling > found in the North > European organs from the Late Gothic period." > (italics mine) p. 171-2. > > Domitila >       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers! http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail  
(back) Subject: Allen pipe organs? From: <Joshwwhite@aol.com> Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 00:36:18 EDT   Hi, does anyone know anything about the new Allen pipe organs? According = to the website they are now building pipe/digital combinations. I took it = from the website that they are going to be stock models, but it was unclear. There were two examples, one, a three manual church organ with several = real ranks, and the other was a small home organ with two ranks of real pipes. = Nothing was said about Reuter. Has Allen taken a new turn? Josh  
(back) Subject: Re: Allen pipe organs? From: "Scott" <montre1978@yahoo.com> Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 23:44:01 -0500   Most of the Allen pipe digital organs have been with Reuter pipe work. = If you go to Reuter's site, they have many installations on their = webpage with an Allen dealer. They have links to that rep and the Allen = rep has many installations of Allen/Reuter organs.   Not sure about every installation though..   Scott Montgomery 619 W Church St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.390.0158 www.scottmontgomerymusic.net  
(back) Subject: Allen Pipe Organs? From: <Joshwwhite@aol.com> Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 00:44:32 EDT   Let me rephrase that question: Does anyone know about the new Allen pipe/digital organs? These do not appear to be the usual Allen/Rueter combinations.  
(back) Subject: Pipe/digital combinations From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 01:28:59 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Maybe I'm just a puritan at heart, but why would anyone want to spoil a perfectly good digital organ with pipes?   I'm actually quite serious about this.   If "digital" is considered good-enough to do the job, why should it require additional pipes?   Surely, there is a real problem here, because a digital organ will be, to all intents and purposes, a "recorded" type of sound which may, or may not, be generated as if it were some distance away from the listener ie: a cathedral organ in the living room type of sound.   Taken to the extreme, I can think of absolutely nothing worse than a few ranks of real pipes strung along one wall of the living room, and a bank of speakers on the other; especially if the digital organ included ambience and reverb, as they tend to do. It leads to the effect of two very different acoustics being heard at the same time, and would therefore be a musical nonsense.   If the prime motivation for going down the digital route is one of cost, why would anyone want to increase the cost?   I have come across instruments where 32ft stops have been digitally generated, and to considerable effect, as at the newly re-built Walker organ of Blackburn Cathedral, which incorporates Walker Digital technology. That, I think, is as far as I would ever want to go, save perhaps for a piano or percussion register or two.   Indeed, is the incorporation of pipework really an admission by the digital makers, that the perfect chorus-work sound is unobtainable digitally?   I certainly wouldn't want to sleep with a horse, and I can see few musical benefits to be gained from the enforced co-habitation of two very different species.   What new word could be used to describe these new combination organs? Pfeifeonic? Tubulairmumatic? Perhaps a more literary name such as, Watts-n-Ohms and Pipes?   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK   --- Joshwwhite@aol.com wrote:   > Hi, does anyone know anything about the new Allen > pipe organs? According to > the website they are now building pipe/digital > combinations     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish. http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail