PipeChat Digest #4504 - Monday, May 17, 2004
 
Harrah Symphonic Organ at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Chur
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
Re: changes in Bach
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: Harrah Symphonic Organ at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist 
  by "Chris Elliott" <christian_elliott@hotmail.com>
 

(back) Subject: Harrah Symphonic Organ at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church, Hurricane, WVa [x-posted] From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 19:44:09 -0700   Does anyone know if there's an on-line specification of a rather amazing organ I just read about in a back issue of the American Organist?   It's a SIX-manual drawknob-console organ, a combo-job (unknown pipes / Walker digitals)-- called the "Harrah Symphonic Organ" and located at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church in Hurricane, WVa. The organ "was designed and installed by church member Allen Harrah."   This has GOT to be some rig, with "2,600 pipes and 20,000 digital pipe sounds in computer memory."   Let's see, that would come out to roughly 50 ranks of pipes and 360 digital stops.   The most obvious question, besides just simply "WHY?" is, "Why a DRAWKNOB console of that size?" That's utter lunacy.   The following online news article has a photo of the eye-popping console:   http://www.herald-dispatch.com/2004/January/24/LFlist1.htm   I could not find a spec anywhere.   ~ C      
(back) Subject: Re: changes in Bach From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 20:51:02 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   I'm a little late responding to this post by Bud, due to ongoing computer problems which I am now on the verge of resolving.   Bud makes some interesting observations about Bach, but I would question his conclusions concerning manual changes etc.   Bach left very few directions for ANYTHING.....there was, and still is, a sort of accepted performance practice to this day.   The true baroque organ was designed to be a concerted instrument of several sections; each independent yet complimentary, in which dialogue and counterpoint can be woven magically. I believe that a proper understanding of Bach comes from the various strands of influence which shaped his thinking. There is the Italian love of contrapuntal dialogue in the manner of Vivaldi.....why else would JSB arrange the various Vivaldi (and other) works for the organ?   The melody and ornamentation (often long breathed) is that of France of course, whilst the underlying structures are those of the Germanic tradition; by then well established.   As a general rule of thumb, it is my belief that ANYTHING which sounds in context and does not serve as a distraction, is "correct." Adding stops is not, in itself, anathema to good Bach. Organ playing remains as it was in Bach's day on the many extant european organs of the period....a social event, in which two or three gather to enjoy music at the console, with one or more assistants pushing and pulling at stops on the hoof.   Forget the nonsense about "what a solo performer could do" on an original instrument!   The question of romantic Bach or authentic Bach will rage forever, but one or the other is not an important MUSICAL consideration when there are more important matters to think about!   Surely, the architecture and consistency of phrasing are of paramount importance, and Bach's music requires very careful analysis if that architecture is to remain true to the musical intentions.   We run into problems when the architecture is sacrificed to high drama for its own sake....the very reason why I cannot take serious the Bach playing of, say, Virgil Fox or Carlo Curley (even though the latter DID produce a fine "authentic" performance recording at a Marcussen in Denmark).   I hope no one thinks that I am singling out American organists for criticism, but those two names just happen to be convenient. I can think of a dozen UK players I cannot take seriously also!!   However, I would certainly concur with Bud when he suggests that to err on the side of registrational minimalism is better than vast kaleidescopic changes of registration, if only because the musical mind is then obliged to concentrate on the phrasing and architecture of which I write.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK   --- quilisma@cox.net wrote: > Given shove couplers and the location of the stops > on most of Bach's > organs, the MOST one could do etc.........     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/  
(back) Subject: RE: Harrah Symphonic Organ at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church, Hurricane, WVa [x-posted] From: "Chris Elliott" <christian_elliott@hotmail.com> Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 21:50:07 -0700   I'm not sure if there is an online specification available or not. Along with Richard Mooris and Frederick Swann, I had the privilege of being on = the inaugural series of concerts on this organ in its first year of installation. It's a fantastic organ -- logically laid out, sounds magnificent, and is well balanced for the room. I'll be accompanying the silent film THE KING OF KINGS on this instrument in January 29, 2005.   Christian Elliott     From: Charlie Lester <crlester@137.com> Reply-To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> To: Pipe Organs & Related Topics <piporg-l@listserv.albany.edu>, PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Subject: Harrah Symphonic Organ at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church, Hurricane, WVa [x-posted] Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 19:44:09 -0700   Does anyone know if there's an on-line specification of a rather amazing organ I just read about in a back issue of the American Organist?   It's a SIX-manual drawknob-console organ, a combo-job (unknown pipes / Walker digitals)-- called the "Harrah Symphonic Organ" and located at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church in Hurricane, WVa. The organ "was designed and installed by church member Allen Harrah."   This has GOT to be some rig, with "2,600 pipes and 20,000 digital pipe sounds in computer memory."   Let's see, that would come out to roughly 50 ranks of pipes and 360 = digital stops.   The most obvious question, besides just simply "WHY?" is, "Why a DRAWKNOB console of that size?" That's utter lunacy.   The following online news article has a photo of the eye-popping console:   http://www.herald-dispatch.com/2004/January/24/LFlist1.htm   I could not find a spec anywhere.   ~ C     "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   _________________________________________________________________ Best Restaurant Giveaway Ever! Vote for your favorites for a chance to win =   $1 million! http://local.msn.com/special/giveaway.asp