PipeChat Digest #4836 - Monday, October 18, 2004
 
Some observations about Franck (verly long!)
  by "Stephen Roberts" <sroberts01@snet.net>
Re: unit-construction pedal stops
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Organ Recital
  by "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com>
Re: small scale stopped pipe
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
RE: small scale stopped pipe
  by "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es>
Re: Shofar, etc.
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Re: unit-construction pedal stops
  by "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@vassar.edu>
Re: "caged rage" and C-C swell boxes
  by "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es>
Bud's Platform Bourdon
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net>
Elderly M=F6ller and Pilchers
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net>
RE: small scale stopped pipe
  by <TRACKELECT@cs.com>
RE: small scale stopped pipe
  by "Cole" <rcolev@woh.rr.com>
"Organ Building For Amateurs" and papier-mache pipes
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: unit-construction pedal stops
  by <RonSeverin@aol.com>
Re: I give up!
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
Re: unit-construction pedal stops
  by "noel jones" <gedeckt@usit.net>
 

(back) Subject: Some observations about Franck (verly long!) From: "Stephen Roberts" <sroberts01@snet.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 06:15:09 -0700 (PDT)   Dear List, I have been reading the discussion about Franck's music and organ playing = on this list with interest, but have not been able to contribute to the = discussion until now. First of all, let me address the original question = that prompted this discussion. I learned several pieces of Franck when I = was in my mid teens, and I have taught Franck works to students as young = as 14. If a student is a good pianist and has proper guidance from a good = teacher, there is no reason at all why a young person that age can't learn = works of Franck that interest her or him. I do find that it helps for the = student to consult the Dupre' edition for solutions to some of the thorny = fingering problems that occur in Franck's music. OTOH I would not = encourage anyone to use Dupre's edition now. Personally I like Wayne = Leupold's "new" edition, which is really only a reprint of the original = Durand edition in the "tall" format, and not the later re-engraving from = the 1950's in oblong format. Wayne has consulted the original manuscripts and other sources for corrections, emendations, = and additions to the Durand edition. The commentary contained in his = edition is also very interesting and helpful, I think. My friend David Scribner also mentioned that Franck was a "left footed = organist." I believe that David was actually quoting information that I = have written about this topic on another list. My source for that quote-- = which was actually "one footed organist" by the way-- was one of my = teachers, Dr. Robert Baker. Dr. Baker had succeeded Huntington Woodman at = a church in Brooklyn when Woodman was forced into retirement in the = 1930's. Dr. Baker became quite friendly with Woodman, who had studied = with Franck in Paris toward the end of Franck's life. It was Woodman who = had said that Franck was mostly a "one footed organist". This was not = surprising at all, when one realizes that Woodman heard Franck play for = Mass at Ste-Clotilde. Since all of the music for Mass was improvised, = Franck would have been doing registration and manipulating the trigger = swell himself. In a concert setting like the ones Franck played during = the dedication of the new organ in the Trocadero, however, Franck would have used registrants to do carefully prepared registrations, and = probably to move the Swell as well. Franck's registrations for the <Trois = Pieces> written for the dedication of the Trocadero organ are included in = Rollin Smith's book, and they are also included in Wayne Leupold's = edition. One quickly sees that Franck used different registrations from = those he might have used at Ste-Clotilde when playing a larger organ with = a very different disposition. That is only logical, and exactly what any = good musician would do. So I think it is important to distinguish between = Franck the concert performer (which his published compositions represent) = and Franck the liturgical improviser (which is what his students mostly = knew). I played a recital at St-Sulpice in January of last year. I can tell you = that in <auditions> (the short recitals between the last two Masses) = registrants do everything, including manipulating the swell box, which = still has its trigger mechanism, by the way, just as the organs at = Ste-Clotilde and Notre Dame originally did. During a recital there is = constant calling of signals for setting up the next registration. None of = this talk, which is almost at normal speech level, is heard downstairs in = the church. It's really a hectic scene during an <audition> I can tell = you. I suspect that it was exactly the same for the concerts at the = Trocadero. Playing a concert of prepared pieces calls for carefully = prepared teamwork. In improvising for Mass, however, the organist does = his or her own registrations, as this cannot be planned in advance. Tournemire, Vierne, Woodman, and other Franck pupils at the end of the = composer's life were too young to have heard Franck's dedicatory recitals = at the Trocadero. It is quite probable and even likely that they never = heard Franck play most of his compositions for organ. In the case of the = <Piece Heroique> for example, Franck never seems to have played it in = recital again after the dedicatory series at the Trocadero. The work was = not well received by the critics, and Franck, who was quite sensitive = about negative criticism, probably didn't want to provoke any controversy. = Many of Franck's students, including Huntington Woodman, have stated that = almost invariably the subject of Franck's class at the Conservatoire was = improvisation. The only composed music that was ever heard in the class = was a Bach free work, the only composition required for the examination. = Organ recitals in Parisian churches weren't a very common occurrence then, = despite what one might believe. So it's highly likely that Tournemire never heard Franck play many of his compositions. = Whether or not Tournemire discussed Franck's compositions in detail with = his master is another subject that is open to question. One must also = remember that despite Tournemire's extravagant claims to inheriting = Franck's mantle, Tournemire only studied with Franck in the last year of = the composer's life, as did Vierne. According to Woodman, Franck's = pupils often visited the tribune of Ste-Clotilde during Mass. Sometimes = Franck, who was a kind and generous man, would invite his pupils to = improvise the <Sortie> at the end of Mass. Woodman told the story that he = was once invited to do this, but Franck stood up and pointed to his = student during the improvisation. That let everyone know that it his = pupil that was playing, and not Franck himself. I heard this story from = Robert Baker when I was his pupil at Yale 30 years ago, by the way. = Woodman also told Dr. Baker that the only one of Franck's published compositions that resembled Franck's improvisations for the <Sortie> was = the Final in B-flat. That probably means that Franck's improvisations = were in a more conventional harmonic vocabulary than are his published = compositions. I have no proof, but I suspect that the little pieces in = <L'Organiste> resemble Franck's liturgical improvisations. That certainly = seems logical in light of what Woodman said about the matter. It must also be remembered that Gabriel Pierne, not Tournemire, was = Franck's immediate successor at Ste-Clotilde. According to studies that = Rollin Smith has done comparing the performances of various Franck's = pupils, Pierne's playing of Franck's music does not always coincide with = Tournemire's ideas. Neither did Vierne's. I have no proof of this = hypothesis, but I also believe that many of Tournemire's ideas about = Franck's music were his own, not the composers. One should also remember = that the character of the two men was very different. Franck was a kind, = gentle, and generous person; Tournemire was a moody, petulant firebrand, = though he could also be generous to his students. I heard Maurice = Durufle' talk about this very subject in a master class 35 years ago. = Durufle' had studied with both Tournemire and Vierne, so he heard a lot = about Franck. Durufle', who was a very nice man by the way, said that = Tournemire had summarily terminated his lessons when Durufle' was unable = to substitute for Tournemire because of a prior commitment. Durufle' = repeated that story in an interview with George Baker in <Music AGO> the = predecessor to today's TAO. I think that Durufle' found Vierne to be a = much more sympathetic and friendly person. I commend to all of you the preface to Dupre's edition of Franck's works. = Dupre' mentions a number of details about the Ste-Clotilde organ before = Tournemire had the organ rebuilt in 1933. I won't go into detail about = those matters, since anyone who is interested may read Dupre's preface for = themselves. I can also tell you that Durufle' agreed with all of those = observations about the organ. He mentions a number of them in the = interview I just discussed. While neither heard Franck play, both = Durufle' and Dupre' heard and played the Franck organ before its = unfortunate rebuilding. This is yet another fact that makes me rather = suspicious of Tournemire's claims: unlike Dupre', whose reverence for = Widor and for the St-Sulpice organ caused him to leave the organ = relatively untouched, Tournemire felt no such reverence for Franck or for = the Ste-Clotilde organ, which was described as something unique and = magical by all who heard it. Though it's instructive to listen to = Tournemire's recordings of Franck on the original organ, I believe that one must take = Tournmire's ideas about interpretation of Franck's works with more than a = grain of salt. The same may be said for Langlais, who in turn electrified = and enlarged the Ste-Clotilde organ to the point where it is not at all = the organ that Franck knew. Both men were fine interpreters of Franck's = music, but their word should not be accepted without questioning, I don't = think. Dupre' claims in his edition that his ideas were received from Guilmant, = who had discussed Franck's music in detail with the composer. Dupre' said = that he received these ideas from Guilmant. Whether or not one can accept = that claim at face value is open to question. One can certainly say, = however, that Dupre's edition is quite valuable for its ingenious = solutions to some of the problems that one encounters in Franck's music. = In teaching this music, I have my students copy Dupre's fingerings into = their own score, but make changes based on their own individual = interpretations and characteristics. Personally I think that the value of = the Dupre' edition lies almost entirely in the fingering (far less so the = pedaling) and in the commentary in the preface. Since Dupre' changes so = many of Franck's markings without explanation, it would be a big mistake = for a student to use this edition alone in my opinion. Studying Franck is a lifelong pursuit for the organist. As in the music = of J.S. Bach, the organist continues to ponder musical and practical = questions, and to develop an individual interpretation over the course of = a very long time. A teenage organist who begins this process by studying = a work of Franck will be introduced to music that is one of the = cornerstones of the organ repertoire. I think that is a very good thing = in itself. Stephen Roberts Western CT State University, Danbury, CT  
(back) Subject: Re: unit-construction pedal stops From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:42:15 EDT   They're called "panel gedeckts" in the industry, and were common in small Schlicker unit instruments. The difficulty is that one cannot belly the = walls of the pipes, and the mouth width ratio changes as one ascends the scale if = one does not vary the depth of each step.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City http://www.glucknewyork.com/   ..  
(back) Subject: Organ Recital From: "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:40:09 -0400   Organ Recital by Lois Toeppner with trumpeter Richard Givens Sunday November 7 at 3pm Saint Joseph Church, 35 Hamilton St. Worcester MA just off Rt. 122 South (Grafton St. rotary) from I-290 Handicapped accessible Casavant-Freres Opus 1239, 1928 3 manual EP Works by Mendelssohn, Bach, Rheinberger, Pinkham, Alain, Locklair Freewill Offering Reception to follow Info. Helen Demers 508-755-1347  
(back) Subject: Re: small scale stopped pipe From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:44:08 EDT   Quintadena  
(back) Subject: RE: small scale stopped pipe From: "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 15:55:22 +0200   Quoting Will Light:   > Re: Fixing pipes together into a block. Doing this might also > alter the tone of the pipes because I think some of the sound of > a pipe must be due to the resonances of the walls of the pipe > itself, and the effect of the sound traveling through the metal > or wood of the pipe. (Otherwise, why should the composition of > the pipe metal - more or less lead or tin etc. make any > difference to the timbre? And we know that it does.)   There is a body of opinion, backed by some research, that materials make much less difference to timbre than is usually thought. I seem to remember reading of experiments years ago by - I think - a Swiss university to this effect. According to this line of thought, voicing has a far greater effect on timbre than materials.   I myself once made two stopped pipes, equal in every respect apart from the materials: one was wood, the other plastic. They sounded exactly the same, although I certainly don't regard this as definitive proof that materials are, er, immaterial.   As to a block of pipes, there would presumably be somewhat similar resonance in the walls, unless two or more adjacent pipes were sounding simultaneously (e.g., if you're playing a lot of Messiaen), in which case I'm not sure what the result might be. Maybe I'll build a block some day and find out...   Peter.    
(back) Subject: Re: Shofar, etc. From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 08:59:16 -0500   Henry Willis III used a Shofar stop at St. Matthias, Richmond, Surrey in = 1931.   John Speller ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Joshwwhite@aol.com=20 To: pipechat@pipechat.org=20 Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 2:50 AM Subject: Re: Shofar, etc.=20     It is funny that this should come up, Roy, and the rest of the employees at the shop just finished = renovating an E.M. Skinner console, to replace the old console at Temple = Sinai, in New Orleans. The organ is a 1927 E.M. Skinner, and the = original console was replaced with an Austin console some time ago. Roy = has been there all week completing the installation. Also included in = this project was the extension of the original pedal Shofar to be = playable at 8' in the manual, and if I am not mistaken at 4' also. The = restored console turned out to be magnificant. Truly a work of art in = itself.   I have not encountered a Shofar stop before this, and I am = surprised that it is not listed in Irwin's Dictionary of Pipe Organ = Stops.
(back) Subject: Re: unit-construction pedal stops From: "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@vassar.edu> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:51:10 -0700   >They're called "panel gedeckts" in the industry, and were common in small >Schlicker unit instruments. The difficulty is that one cannot belly >the walls of >the pipes, and the mouth width ratio changes as one ascends the scale if = one >does not vary the depth of each step. > >Sebastian M. Gluck >New York City >http://www.glucknewyork.com/   I have also seen things like that on "band organs" and the like, where space is at a premium.   John V  
(back) Subject: Re: "caged rage" and C-C swell boxes From: "Peter Rodwell" <iof@ctv.es> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 16:07:06 +0200   Quoting John Speller:   > It may well have been Abraham Jordan who introduced the swellbox > to England in 1712, but Bud was referring to the characteristic > "full swell" SOUND produced by chorus reeds. Jordan was involved > in importing sherry from Spain besides being an organ builder, > and probably like Cavaill=E9-Coll got the idea of the Swell from > Spanish organs.   I had a discussion about this with Stephen Bicknell some time ago. Stephen repeated this story in his book, "The History of the English Organ" but now says that Jordan's "sherry connection" is totally spurious - apparently the sherry Jordans were another, unrelated family. Doubtless Stephen can enlarge on this.   > His swell, however, was a simple box with a lid > that opened, rather than the later style of louvred swell. It > also fulfilled a rather different tonal function, nearer in some > ways to a solo division than a modern swell.   The original Spanish Organo de Eco (Echo Organ) was simply a closed box containing pipes but with no expressive capabilities. The first 'Swell' appears to have been installed in 1659 by Fray Joseph de Echevarr=EDa in his organ in Alcal=E1 de Henares.   Peter.  
(back) Subject: Bud's Platform Bourdon From: "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:14:27 -0500   Bud said: I played a small tracker (Rieger?) in Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Dallas where the 16' Bourdon formed the entire moveable platform for the   whole organ. "   I think, Bud, in the non-classical mode, the perfect tune for the instrument would be Carol King's "I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet." Of course, you Californians don't need a platform bourdon for that! ;>) Dennis Steckley   "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss        
(back) Subject: Elderly M=F6ller and Pilchers From: "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:28:50 -0500   Monty said: Let's face it...one can't properly pull off=20 the Franck Grand Piece Symphonique on a 1926 9 rank duplexed and unified=20 M=F6ller (or Pilcher or any other typical builder of that era) at the First=20 Baptist Church of Podunkville. Picture this...a lovely little room, seating about=20 275 people, plush red carpet, padded pews, heavy velvet drapes over the   baptistry--you all know the type of room I'm describing. Reverb time?   HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The sound dies before the note is released at the console.   _______________________________   Actually, Monty, I couldn't pull off that piece if I had a C-C! I only differ in one respect on your remarks..........we have a church in town with precisely a 9-rank 1920's M=F6ller in alarmingly decrepit condition (It is a credit to its construction that it faithfully labors along at all!). But the sound doesn't "die before the note is released." That aging EP action is so slow the sound hasn't even STARTED when you release the note! I always say you could play an opening chord, go outside to smoke a cigarette (except I don't smoke!), then come back in and play the second chord, and never miss a beat!   Dennis Steckley   "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."--Dr. Seuss        
(back) Subject: RE: small scale stopped pipe From: <TRACKELECT@cs.com> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 11:10:06 EDT       > BTW, I've often thought it would save some space and weight in > > small organs if, say, the bottom octave of the 16' stop was a > > "unit" manufactured out of two sheets of (high quality) plywood > > with dividers sandwiched between, fitting into routed slots to > > form the side walls of individual pipes.   It's been done. By one builder at least. They are known as "townhouse basses". Fouser (spelling?), a builder who operated in the mid 20th = century, used this as a cost saving measure. He built organs for Missouri synod Lutheran =   churches exclusively. His organs were built as cheaply as possible. = Despite that they are fairly decent instruments. I think he more or less operated as a = not for profit institution. I was told that Mrs. Fouser wound magnets on her = sewing machine but the organs that I have seen had magnets made by Hokesbergen = which aren't very good. They are the solenoid type and the armatures tend to = stick. I don't know why anyone would want to make treble pipes this way. It sounds like the kind of thing that might be done in small, portable "organ = grinder" type organs but I have repaired a few of them and they have standard style = pipes. If one were to make treble pipes that close together there is too little = room for the action beneath them.   Cheers:   Alan B  
(back) Subject: RE: small scale stopped pipe From: "Cole" <rcolev@woh.rr.com> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 11:30:15 -0400   Peter et al., Somewhere in my unread book archive I have a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. It instructs the reader in building a "pipe" organ using "butcher" paper for the pipe construction material. Perhaps I should revisit this tome in the bleak December before I consign it to the dying = ember. Ross Coulson "Cole" Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA   Peter wrote: >There is a body of opinion, backed by some research, that >materials make much less difference to timbre than is >usually thought.    
(back) Subject: "Organ Building For Amateurs" and papier-mache pipes From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:08:39 -0700   Uh, please donate it to a library. Or offer it for sale on here.   It's Wicks' (no relation to the present company) "Organ-Building for Amateurs", and it's a classic. It also contains very precise directions for building tracker actions and slider chests, in addition to directions on how to make papier-mache pipes.   Papier-mache pipes are eminently practical for a small home organ / hobbyist. Tom Cunningham used to have one in his shop ... the tone was soft and sweet.   Has any one heard the experimental Spanish organ with stone pipes?   Cheers,   Bud   Cole wrote:   > Peter et al., > Somewhere in my unread book archive I have a quaint and curious volume > of forgotten lore. It instructs the reader in building a "pipe" organ > using "butcher" paper for the pipe construction material. Perhaps I > should revisit this tome in the bleak December before I consign it to > the dying ember. > Ross Coulson "Cole" Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA > > Peter wrote: > >> There is a body of opinion, backed by some research, that >> materials make much less difference to timbre than is >> usually thought. > > > > ****************************************************************** > "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 > List-Subscribe: <mailto:pipechat-on@pipechat.org> > List-Digest: <mailto:pipechat-digest@pipechat.org> > List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:pipechat-off@pipechat.org> > >      
(back) Subject: Re: unit-construction pedal stops From: <RonSeverin@aol.com> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 12:22:50 EDT   On the West Coast Val Holtzinger experimented with panal Gedackts and Holzprincipals 16'. He varied the scale by making each note with narrower walls as the notes ascended. They worked quite well. In one instance, he worked out a scheme of a three rank positive where the panal Gedackt unit formed the back of the case and the two manuals were mounted on the front of the wind chest. The stop list included a Gemshorn 4' Gedackt from 16' to 2' and a copper Krumhorn 8'. All pipes of course were unenclosed and a 32 note pedal board provided. Hauptwerke: Gedackt 8' 4' Gemshorn 8' bass 12 Ged. and at 4' 2 2/3' and 2' krumhorn 8' Positive: Gedackt 8' 4' 2 2/3 2' Larigot 1 1/3' Gemshorn 4' 2' Krumhorn = 8' Pedal: Gedackt 16' 8' 4' Gemshorn 4' Krumhorn 8' No couplers Ron  
(back) Subject: Re: I give up! From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 10:39:34 -0600   Hello, Bob:   * * *   > There is a sect in my town who call themselves the (Independent) Church of > Christ who claim that, as the apostles did not use musical instruments they > don't either as they worship exactly as did the apostles. Rather a strange > claim seeing that as late as 60AD the apostles attended the Temple, > considering themselves as Jews and worshipping as Jews. I once asked the > pastor of this sect wehy he drove a motor car to worship and why they used > electric light seeing the apostles used neither in their worship. He did not > reply. > Bob Elms.   The basis for not using instruments in worship is also due to another Southern man, by the name of Alexander Campbell. Mr. Campbell was a well respected preacher and promoter of things to do with church in the 19th Century in Kentucky, Tennessee, etc. He is also closely associated with the thinking about salvation, baptistm, communion, etc., among the group commonly known as "Christians" which includes the Church of Christ, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, and others.   The parallel quirk among the Southern frontiersmen was that of Landmarkism, which continues into the 21st Century in some communities.   This is a way of thinking that insists on being "sure" that one's convictions about Biblical interpretation and Christian theological applications are correct and accurate.   Having said that, it insisted that the only way this could be upheld on a day to day basis was to exclude the thinking and Biblical interpretations of anyone other than members of a local church. That led to "closed communion" and some other ideas about which we might chuckle today, but it was serious business then.   Although we might wonder what and why about many of these people and their indulgence in Landmarkism, even the larger denominations with proper hiearchieal authorities and Bishops to preserve the accuaracy of theological applications fell into mispractice over the centuries since Christ Himself walked on Earth, and this has led to many who find it difficult to think of ALL Christians as "brothers" in the Lord. We won't go into that now, for this gets us too far away from talking about pipe organs, church organs of all sorts, etc.   Appreciatively, F. Richard Burt     ..      
(back) Subject: Re: unit-construction pedal stops From: "noel jones" <gedeckt@usit.net> Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 13:19:16 -0400   How about a single 16' PVC Pipe with valves located the length of it to alter the length...with some elbow connectors, it could also take uo a small amount of space...   -- noel jones, aago noeljones@frogmusic.com ----------------------------------- 1 877 249-5251 Athens, TN USA   www.frogmusic.com Rodgers Organ Users Group Frog Music Press - Organ and MIDI Music FMP Organ Music Search Service Rodgers Organ Design & Voicing Services