PipeChat Digest #5439 - Sunday, July 3, 2005
 
CZECH ORGAN CULTURE  - PART 2
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
What about pipe organ builders recycling older stops
  by "Randy Terry" <randy@peacham.homeip.net>
Dance motif
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
Organ pipes are not waste
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Re: Organ pipes are not waste
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Organ pipes are not waste
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Cavaille-Coll in the melting pot
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Cavaille Coll...Blackburn adendum
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Cavaille Coll....a musical instrument maker?
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
Re: Organ pipes are not waste
  by "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net>
Re: Organ pipes are firewood?
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
 

(back) Subject: CZECH ORGAN CULTURE - PART 2 From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 07:30:33 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   In Part 1 of our quick tour of the Czech Republic, we considered the earliest musical sources of Czech music and the music of the baroque; the baroque style lingering in the Czech lands a little longer than elsewhere. Perhaps this was due to the thirty-years war, which started in the Czech region and ended there in 1648. The end of that particular war left the Czech lands in some disarray, because the totally defeated protestants, who had relied upon the Swedish army to win the cause for protestantism, were now to be persecuted. No longer were Czechs allowed to elect their rulers, and under autocratic Habsburg rule, Catholicism was made the compulsory religion. The wealth of the protestant leaders was confiscated and handed to loyal catholics, but the population of the country had been decimated by war, and the economy was by then in a terrible state. Fortunately, under the rule of Maria Theresa and her son, Josef II, a degree of enlightenment saved the day, and in 1773, the Jesuits were banished and freedom of religion permitted in 1781, along with the abolition of serfdom.   Education, science and the arts were removed from religious control, and a new secular dawning followed. However, until this time, it was the church which provided the stability for composers and musicians; especially in the larger conurbations such as Prague. Perhaps it was the very conservatism of the church which held Czech music back, but nevertheless, within the confines of his ecclesiastical appointments, the delightful music of Brixi (1731-1771) has a certain spring in its' step, thanks to the influence of popular Czech music. Brixi held appointments in Prague; eventually securing the appointment at the Cathedral of St. Vitus at Hradcany. A master of polyphony, Brixi left a vast corpus of music which amount to around 500 works, and yet, like Mozart he lived only about 40 years. His works include large scale Oratorios such as "Filius prodigus" (The prodigal son), "Opus patheticum de septem doloribus" and "Judas Iscariothes."   The following, all too brief samples of Brixi "Organ Concertos" are absolutely compelling, and I for one, will be getting hold of the recordings and the music in the near future.   http://www.musicabona.com/samples/su3741-2_1_01.mp3   http://www.musicabona.com/samples/su3741-2_1_08.mp3   http://www.musicabona.com/samples/su3741-2_1_12.mp3   The following is an sample of an organ Fugue in D major, by Brixi, and one in G:-   http://www.hudba.cx/klasika/brixi.mp3   http://pes.eunet.cz/hudba/ukazky/haz131a.ram   Choral music by Brixi can be heard in the following:-   http://www.collegium-musicum.ch/sounds/brixi_nr2_kyrie.mp3   http://www.saint-joseph-detroit.org/Audio/Brixi/Brixi%20-%20Agnus%20Dei.mp3=       As elsewhere, organ music in the Czech region fell into the musical "black hole", and little was written for the instrument between 1770 and the dawning of the romantic era. This is hardly surprising, for the church, in collusion with the Habsburg dynasty, held something of an iron grip ion the fortunes of the Czech region and the rest of the Habsburg Empire. The organ appears to have functioned largely as the accompaniment instrument for the catholic mass, and with a new interest in the classical style, the fortunes of the instrument languished to some degree. On the other hand, Italian Opera became the new musical art, and significantly, Mozart not only visited Prague, he brought with him the first performance of Don Giovanni.   It says something about the state of the secular arts in the Czech region, that during the 18th century, many composers left for foreign lands, where they often enjoyed considerable success. Perhaps the most successful was Jan Vaclav Antonin Stamic (1717 - 1757), who although Slavic by birth, moved to the Czech region by the age of 13. He was a violinist with the Mannheim Group, and became the concert master of it in 1750.   Other Czech composers, some of whom were active in other countries, include the following:-     Jan Antonin Kozeluh 1738 - 1814 Josef Myslivecek 1737 - 1781 Jan Krtitel Krumpholz 1742 - 1790 Pavel Vranicky 1756 - 1808 Gottfried Rieger 1764 - 1855 Jakub Jan Ryba 1765 - 1815       Two samples of orchestral music by Myslivecek and Stamic may be heard in the following:-   http://www.hudba.cx/klasika/myslivecek.mp3   http://www.hudba.cx/klasika/stamic_k.mp3   But to our delight, let the final musical sounds of this part go to Mozart, who must have enjoyed his first performance of Don Giovanni in the Czech region, and perhaps the popular music undertones of the Czech composer Brixi. I somehow think that the two of them might have giggled over this wonderufl Mozart transcription performed brilliantly by the Czech organist Alas Barta.   http://pes.eunet.cz/hudba/ukazky/haz124a.ram   With so much catholic conservatism, and an economy of the Czech region in a poor state, the old baroque organs of the 18th century (and those from earlier periods) remained as they were.....an anachronism to those absorbed in the mentality of a new secular age, which now turned it's back on the instrument and found expression in opera, orchestral and ensemble writing.     Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK           ____________________________________________________ Yahoo! Sports Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: What about pipe organ builders recycling older stops From: "Randy Terry" <randy@peacham.homeip.net> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 08:39:49 -0700   I'm curious - in the discussion regarding digital sampling, we are asking the question is it moral to record another builder's tone and put XX (digital) name on it?   But is that not what so many builders do when they do a major rebuild? For instance, the 100 rank Moller in Birmingham, AL at Advent Cathedral = contains old pipes (much EMS) for nearly 1/2 the stops. Yet, there is no = indication of this heritage on the instrument's nameplate. Significant untouched = color stops and pedal stops such as the 32' Bombarde have become this = instruments "signature" sounds.   First - I have no problem with this, as overall, the instrument is a = modern organ, not a Skinner copy. It would be worse if it had a Skinner = nameplate. Also, there is no secret about the instruments heritage. But we know how upset EMS would be that his original opus 779 was yanked, pulled, and = tugged like it had been before the Cathedral got it.   I'm simply asking what is so different between this instance and XX = putting a recording of a Skinner Clarinet in their organ and calling it an XX?   Second - I keep remembering Mr. Gluck's comments that it is US that hold a lot of responsibility for the problems in the organ world. He is right. What musician of any sort would rightly get up and say they can't tell a difference between pipe and digital? I think it is rather a thing in our nature called ego, where those wanting to cut corners spend time fooling themselves that they have something they don't - like when you see a Chevy going down the road that someone has stuck a fake Rolls-Royce grill on!   I'll be the first to admit to doing something similar: When we rebuilt our Swain & Kates assemblage of parts-house equipment, we needed to rebuild = the console. I happened to stumble on a beautiful 2 manual Aeolian-Skinner in perfect shape, which I immediately snapped up. Playing from this console = it is easy to think "Skinner," when I know the organ is a mongrel - even if = it is a nice one. I don't call it a Skinner, however! But it is just nature to want to pretend something is better than it is!   The fact is, we, on this list, need to make it clear when we settle for a substitute, that it is just that. If we don't have enough influence to = get a church to listen, bring in reinforcement, and if it still don't work, = then by all means do what you have/want to do, but don't help the electronic salesmen - they get plenty of support from their corporations. Call a = spade a spade, in the most polite way, of course!   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Randy Terry Music Minister The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California        
(back) Subject: Dance motif From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Sat, 02 Jul 2005 20:54:53 -0500   What about Harold Stover's 'Mountain Music' in 3 movements, particularly the last two?   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com          
(back) Subject: Organ pipes are not waste From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 12:48:33 EDT   Dear PipeChatters:   Another self-inflicted degradation of the pipe organ in this country seems to have become so deeply embedded in our vocabulary that we no = longer think about the connotations. Many of us use the term without ever intending it = to be disparaging or harmful, but it sets a tone that lurks in the minds of = those who would rather rid us of the king of instruments. Waste is recycled. Organ pipes are not. The adaptive use of antique pipework goes back for centuries, and = there are many fine organs in Europe that contain organ pipes that predate the present organ, having survived multiple rebuilds. It is a good indication = that the initial investment in fine pipework remains valid after centuries, despite = the changing needs and tastes of the organ's owners. This practice can be = observed in all types of pipe organs, from concert venues, to churches, to = synagogues, to residences. This ancient system of honoring and respecting the past while moving forward is in no way analogous to sampling. The retention of well-made = pipes, revoiced or not, is hardly the same as foaming at the mouth with unbridled = glee, showing off that one has "a Willis Great and a Cavaille-Coll Swell and a Kimball Choir and a Schnitger 'Ruckpositiv'" (are the speaker cabinets = BEHIND you?) in one's 120-seat church. Let us get away from damaging language. Electronically simulated instruments are not "toasters." NEITHER are they "digital pipe organs." = The former is an immature attack that takes the wind out of the cause's sails, and the latter is deliberate, calculated deception used to market to the ignorant = who might make a different decision with a little bit of education and = real-time experience with organs. Retention and conservation of organ pipes is NOT "recycling," although =   antique pipework has been melted down to make replicas for conjectural reconstructions, in which the original pipes were too badly damaged to = restore, but the original alloy was desired. Silly euphemisms are usually more damaging than helpful. "Experienced pipes" and the like display a nervousness, as if we are skittish about the = mere concept of adaptive use. "Used pipes" immediately evokes the image of the = used car salesman, despite the fact that people pay millions for a "used" = violin. Remember that the pipe organ you revere the most is a "used" organ. Language is to be treasured more than anything else. Read your Orwell, =   and listen to your government spokesmen, and you will see how language can = be used, and abused, to great detriment.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City http://www.glucknewyork.com/  
(back) Subject: Re: Organ pipes are not waste From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 10:55:59 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   I entirely agree with Sebastian, having played organ in Europe which supposedly date from the 18th century, but which contain pipework from the 16th or 17th centuries.   This applies, in fact, to quite a few instruments with the name of Schnitger or Hinz on the console.   Indeed, I would go further, and suggest that some of the very finest organs in the world are re-workings of earlier examples, and the supreme beast has to be St.Bavo, Haarlem, which is not "really" very authentic to the Muller sound, but sounds absolutely glorious.   I recall Denis Thurlow (the former J W Walker voicer and then Nicholson Director) describing how he felt when he was obliged to melt down some badly battered Cavaille-Coll pipework; the tin of which was used for the new instrument at Blackburn Cathedral, here in the UK. In that cathedral was once a fine Cavaille-Coll instrument, more or less totally ruined by the "improvements" of later builders, and a total loss as a result.   I'm sure that most organ-builders would agree, that the problem faced with re-using pipework from older organs in the UK and America is one of over-regulation. The age which spawned the neo-baroque organ was not actually very tolerant of things like leathered diapasons or heavily weighted tuba ranks; thus relegating many of them to the rubbish heap or the melting-pot.   But in case we become paranoid, perhaps we should remember that history is like this. A lot of good things perish or fall by the wayside, and what remains is no longer every-day, but priceless and of great rarity.   There was an amusing anecdote told by the late and great Peter Ustinov, when he looked at a painting in a great country house here in the UK.   "I think it may be the work of Peter de Hoek"   "Really?"   "Definitely....the signature is right there."   "Oh dear! Well perhaps we should move it away from the dart-board!"   It has ever been thus, because people always feel that "old is worse and new is better" when, in point of fact, it often ain't.   Regards,   Colin MItchell UK       --- TubaMagna@aol.com wrote:     > The adaptive use of antique pipework goes back > for centuries, and there > are many fine organs in Europe that contain organ > pipes that predate the > present organ.......     __________________________________ Yahoo! Mail Mobile Take Yahoo! Mail with you! Check email on your mobile phone. http://mobile.yahoo.com/learn/mail  
(back) Subject: Re: Organ pipes are not waste From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 13:46:22 -0500     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 12:55 PM Subject: Re: Organ pipes are not waste     > > I recall Denis Thurlow (the former J W Walker voicer > and then Nicholson Director) describing how he felt > when he was obliged to melt down some badly battered > Cavaille-Coll pipework; the tin of which was used for > the new instrument at Blackburn Cathedral, here in the > UK. In that cathedral was once a fine Cavaille-Coll > instrument, more or less totally ruined by the > "improvements" of later builders, and a total loss as > a result.   I personally think that the destruction of the Cavaille-Coll organ at Blackburn Cathedral was a terrible loss, notwithstanding that the pipes = were "badly battered" and that the instrument was by no means in its original condition. Any organ builders worth their salt can restore pipework even when it has been torn or squashed completely flat. There is no reason why the instrument could not have been reconstructed to more or less its original state. I am prepared to admit that the 1969 Walker organ that replaced it was one of the better instruments of its period, but let us = not be under any illusions that whatever rationalizations were offered for the destruction of the old organ, the desire to build a new neo-baroque instrument according to the fashion of the day was the main consideration. The same is true of other acts of vandalism of the time such as the destruction of Sir Herbert Brewer's lovely Willis/Harrison organ at Gloucester Cathedral.   John Speller      
(back) Subject: Cavaille-Coll in the melting pot From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 13:06:16 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Dare I say it?   Erm.....   The Walker (now Walker/David Wood)organ of Blackburn Cathedral is rather better than anything Cavaille-Coll ever made tonally....but that's just a personal view.     There! I've said it!   I often go across to Blackburn just to sit and hear the instrument, and I don't do that sort of thing normally.   I've also played it, and I adore it.......definitely my kind of instrument.   Gloucester is rather good also, but as I've never heard it live, I'll reserve judegment on this one.   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK   --- "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> wrote:   > > I personally think that the destruction of the > Cavaille-Coll organ at > Blackburn Cathedral was a terrible loss, > notwithstanding that the pipes were > "badly battered" and that the instrument was by no > means in its original > condition.     __________________________________ Discover Yahoo! Use Yahoo! to plan a weekend, have fun online and more. Check it out! http://discover.yahoo.com/  
(back) Subject: Cavaille Coll...Blackburn adendum From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 13:08:27 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Blackburn STILL has an original Cavaille-Coll, so it would have been greedy to have two!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK         ____________________________________________________ Yahoo! Sports Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Cavaille Coll....a musical instrument maker? From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 13:15:20 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   In fact, let's go for broke!   Just how good WAS Cavaille-Coll?   (Ducking, covering and fleeing outdoors to the pub!)   Regards,   Colin MItchell UK         ____________________________________________________ Yahoo! Sports Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Organ pipes are not waste From: "Mike Gettelman" <mike3247@earthlink.net> Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2005 16:33:05 -0400   Dear Learned Forum, Many times have I read the statement as repeated below on this and half a dozen other pipe organ subject specific Internet message lists, but never have I read any comparative analysis of the economics involved to restore said "smashed flat" pipes as opposed to simply building a new pipe. Certainly the type of pipe involved bears strong issue to the practicality of restoration versus new work and also the number of pipes in the rank which are affected must hold sway to the decision to restore or renew. For the sake of general discussion might we hear from the organ builders amongst us about the process of restoring a flattened metal flue pipe, say the low C of an 8' Diapason, and could you compare the cost of labor in that process to the expedient of building or buying a new pipe that would replace the subject pipe instead. In order to keep out the factors of sentimentality, historic stewardship to authenticity, or other issues that would push the decision beyond a simple practical and economic consideration, let's say the pipe is from a mid 1950s Moller of somewhat less than stellar personality or historic value. Thank you for allowing me to ask this perhaps bizarre toss up question, and happy holiday to all who read here. Cheers Mike Gettelman   John L. Speller wrote:   >----- Original Message ----- >From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> >To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> >Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 12:55 PM >Subject: Re: Organ pipes are not waste > > > > > Any organ builders worth their salt can restore pipework even >when it has been torn or squashed completely flat. > > > >    
(back) Subject: Re: Organ pipes are firewood? From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 13:36:38 -0700 (PDT)   Hello,   Im definitely going out to the pub, but I have this wooden flute pipe that got run over by a truck.   Can anyone restore it, or should I light the fire with it?   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK (being unusually provocative!)       --- "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> wrote:   > Any organ builders worth their salt can > restore pipework even > when it has been torn or squashed completely flat.     __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com