PipeChat Digest #5216 - Wednesday, March 16, 2005
 
Horror films and Toccata in D minor
  by "Stephen Best" <stevebest@usadatanet.net>
Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices
  by "Stan Yoder" <vze2myh5@verizon.net>
Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices
  by "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com>
Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices
  by "Jim McFarland" <mcfarland6@juno.com>
Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices
  by "Jim McFarland" <mcfarland6@juno.com>
Horror film Bach p.s.
  by "Stephen Best" <stevebest@usadatanet.net>
Organs and Organists Online again!
  by "John Foss" <harkat@kat.forthnet.gr>
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto--Adagio
  by "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com>
ORGANLive - Music of the organ on demand
  by "Brent Johnson" <brentmj@charter.net>
ORGANLive - Music of the organ on demand
  by "Brent Johnson" <brentmj@charter.net>
Re: what should I play for mother's day
  by "Roy Kersey" <rkersey@tds.net>
Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices
  by <RMaryman@aol.com>
The Toledo Museum of Art's Skinner pipe organ is playing again!
  by <Wuxuzusu@aol.com>
Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan [x-posted]
  by "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com>
 

(back) Subject: Horror films and Toccata in D minor From: "Stephen Best" <stevebest@usadatanet.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 08:44:56 -0500   Awhile ago I asked a question about how and when the Bach "Toccata in D Minor" became associated with horror films. When a definitive answer wasn't forthcoming, I continued to look farther, discovering that Tobias Plebuch, Assistant Professor of Musicology at Stanford, is in the process of researching this very question. His project includes much moe than just the toccata, but his manuscript includes 100 pages on the toccata alone. With Mr. Plebuch's permission, I'm posting the following summary. I recommend his website for still more information.   Steve Best in Utica, NY   Tobias Plebuch writes:   It's a long story about the toccata and its Gothic connotations in the cinema and popular culture. The earliest film I know that used the toccata is Mamoulian's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931). Some believe that it was used already in "The Phantom of the Opera" with Lon Chaney (1925), but I have found no evidence for that - neither in the cue sheets nor in the original score. (Stubblebine's entry #3947 in "Cinema Sheet Music" is false.) I have identified the toccata in 28 films so far. There are a few more which may use the toccata, but I haven't watched them. The most important examples in the context of horror & Halloween are:   "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931) "The Black Cat" (1934) "The Raven" (1935), "The Phantom of the Opera" (1962) "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" (1962) "The Great Race" (1965) .... and a few more from the 1970s and 80s that tend to be rather trashy. There are several other films that are only vaguely related to horror clichees, such as "Das unsterbliche Herz" (1939), "Fantasia" (1940), "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" (1954), and the sequel "Mysterious Islan"d (1961). Other movies use the toccata in a quite different manner, such as "A Canterbury Tale" (1944), "Der ewige Jude" (1940), "La Dolce Vita" (1960) etc. You see that some of the earliest films are horror films. This may have coined a horror stereotype. In addition to that, there is a tradition of organ music in spooky, eerie scenes in Gothic novels and poetry since the 18th century which is continued in horror films until nowadays (e.g. in Glass score for "Candyman"). Thus, the organ sound was predestined to evoke Gothic moods in the early cinema, but not until the arrival of sound because before that organs were common instruments of silent film accompaniment. Consequentially, the organ could acquire specific connotations (religion, horror) only after the orchestral soundtrack took over the musical accompaniment and provided a much broader scope of timbres.   The toccata became one of Bach's most popular pieces already in the late 19th and early 20th century. Evidence can be found in concert reviews, transcriptions and editions. Albert Schweitzer used to play this piece quite frequently, especially at the beginning or the end of his organ recitals around 1930.   "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation," "The Great Race" and to some degree even "Sunset Boulevard" include already satirical quotations of the toccata in Gothic scenes, and so did the "Lost in Space" (1965-68) which frequently used the opening motive of the toccata for the cliffhanger. This means that the toccata was established as a musical icon of horror in the collective mind already in the 1960s.   One could point out certain intrinsic qualities of the music, such as the powerful outburst of the beginning. Precisely this effect was often used to signify sudden terror, a stroke of fate, the triumph of evil etc. That's it in a nutshell. The picture gets much more complex, of course, if one starts looking at the details. The entire section on the toccata in feature films is almost 100 pages long in my manuscript.   ______________________ Tobias Plebuch Asst. Professor (Musicology) Stanford University Music Department Stanford, CA 94305-3076 Phone: +1 (650) 725-2692 Fax: +1 (650) 725-2686 http://www.stanford.edu/~plebuch/ <http://www.stanford.edu/%7Eplebuch/>      
(back) Subject: Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices From: "Stan Yoder" <vze2myh5@verizon.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 10:09:24 -0500   Well, when Casavant c.1991 reworked the IV/140 1962 Phelpsavant at Calvary = Episcopal, Pittsburgh, they soldered up the scrolls on the chorus reeds, mandating tuning on the = wire. Ever since, said reeds need fairly frequent tuning, including minutes before recitals. I = should add that the '91 work involved replacing the shallots and tongues, so they aren't Phelps = originals.   Stan Yoder Pittsburgh  
(back) Subject: Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices From: "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 10:33:47 -0500   Jim,   I don't as a rule tune pipe organs, and when I do it is mostly flue work.   But, regarding tuning of reeds, I always thought that the basic pitch of a= =20 reed pipe was established by the vibrating length of the reed, and that=20 shallot design, boot design, resonator length and design are aspects of the= =20 tonal colour rather than the pitch of the pipe. I am well aware of what=20 happens when a resonator is shortened or lengthened as far as the colour=20 goes. Am I right or wrong here?   Arie V.       At 09:01 PM 2005-03-14, you wrote: >Sebastian: > >For the first time, I am going to "somewhat" disagree with you. > > >On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 19:12:08 EST TubaMagna@aol.com writes: > > In the past two decades, I have seen countless thousands of > > dollars in damage done to reeds by tuning on the scrolls. When we have >taken > > over certain tuning contracts, we have had to remove dozens of pipes >and have > > them go to the pipe shop for scroll repairs, and even replacements. > > >Seb: We have encountered the same. Careless scroll tuning does real >damage. We have soldered many scrolls shut in order to cut new ones 1/4 >or 1/2 way around the pipe. But then, when it is called for, we have >begun tuning that same rank on the scroll. > >There are countless ranks of reeds out there that I have personally tuned >on the scroll for longer than you have been on this planet. Properly >done, the scrolls seem to last indefinitely. We never attempt to move a >scroll more then one scroll width without stopping to discover what is >amiss. Tuning on the scroll when something else is wrong, is what does >the damage. This is where the bit about "both" comes into play. >Sometimes the wire has simply moved a bit. > >Other times, the fault is a loose wedge, or piece of dirt. We would no >sooner go banging on a flue pipe collar or (heaven forbid) with a tuning >cone, without inspecting the pipe for something amiss. > >I have never intimated that all reeds can or should be tuned on the >resonator. It is simply a fact that some reeds are more stable when >tuned there. It is a fact that Schantz reps and M=F6ller reps were >instructed by the factory voicers to tune most reeds on the resonator. >We have always tuned the majority of Austin and Reuter reeds this way as >well. We also tune the majority of symphonic reeds this way. > >The hundreds of ranks we have been tuning this way for over forty years >do not lie. The scrolls are in good shape and the tuning is stable. >When we arrive to tune, the reeds are either dead-in or mildly celesting. > A simple nudge of the scroll is all that is required to tune them. > >Jim      
(back) Subject: Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices From: "Jim McFarland" <mcfarland6@juno.com> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 10:41:35 -0500   Stan:   My own experience with Phelpsavants has been that the low pressures demanded thin tongues. Thin tongues are notorious for not holding tune.   In one instance, the chests were laid out such that we could raise the pressure on the Posaune and the Great Trumpet. Since we added thicker tongues, re-scaled the resonators by one note, and scroll tuned; they have been wonderful. They sound good too!   I will say the we have "converted" to tuning some Phelpsavant trumpets on the scroll and they have responded reasonably. The Cromornes have always tuned on the collar well, and seem to be a little more stable when tuned that way. The Schalmeys seem to want to be tuned on the wire, and they don't stay in tune.   Jim         On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 10:09:24 -0500 Stan Yoder <vze2myh5@verizon.net> writes: > Well, when Casavant c.1991 reworked the IV/140 1962 Phelpsavant at > Calvary Episcopal, Pittsburgh, > they soldered up the scrolls on the chorus reeds, mandating tuning > on the wire. Ever since, said > reeds need fairly frequent tuning, including minutes before > recitals. I should add that the '91 work > involved replacing the shallots and tongues, so they aren't Phelps > originals. > > Stan Yoder > Pittsburgh > > ****************************************************************** > "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: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices From: "Jim McFarland" <mcfarland6@juno.com> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 10:45:23 -0500     On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 10:33:47 -0500 Arie Vandenberg <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> writes: > Jim, > > I don't as a rule tune pipe organs, and when I do it is mostly flue work. > > But, regarding tuning of reeds, I always thought that the basic pitch of a reed pipe was established by the >vibrating length of the reed,   Am I right or wrong here? > > Arie V.     Arie:   All factors contribute to the pitch definition. There is some leeway in all dimensions. Beyond that there are significant color changes.     Jim  
(back) Subject: Horror film Bach p.s. From: "Stephen Best" <stevebest@usadatanet.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 13:59:01 -0500   For those of you who want to get right to the appropriate part of the website that contain abstracts on the articles about Bach's Toccata in D Minor and horror films, here are the two appropriate URL's. Sorry for not including them earlier.   Steve Best in Utica, NY       http://www.stanford.edu/~plebuch/homepage/abstracts/mummies.htm   http://www.stanford.edu/~plebuch/homepage/abstracts/counterfeits.htm    
(back) Subject: Organs and Organists Online again! From: "John Foss" <harkat@kat.forthnet.gr> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 21:22:30 +0200   This is just a brief note to let you know that we are back on line again with a re-organised "Organs and Organists Online" Site. I would like to thank those of you who have offered us extra web space. Tim is in the process of re-designing the site, and for the time being we have archived the majority of the contributions on a mirror site, which can be accessed from the members area. Our policy remains unchanged, free access to recordings sent into us by the members, and there will still be files available for download in the "Public Area". These will be rotated from = the files we already have, and "New Additions" added on a regular basis. To benefit from the complete catalogue of recordings available membership = will now be needed, but there is no charge for this. Thank you for your support and that of the owners of pipechat.   John Foss http://www.organsandorganistsonline.com/ http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/orgofftop/ Topics of the week : The Australian Grand Prix. Teaching in the UK. Censorship.      
(back) Subject: Mendelssohn Violin Concerto--Adagio From: "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 13:26:04 -0600   Now that it's too late, in looking through a couple of anthologies for something else, I immediately found an organ transcription of the Mendelssohn Adagio in Preston Ware Orem's Organ Repertoire, A Book of Pipe Organ Music for Church and Concert, published by Presser probably in 1909 (each piece is copyrighted separately, not all in the same year). The = album contains many transcriptions as well as some original organ pieces. I have the feeling that there must be other volumes that have a transcription of the Mendelssohn besides this and the one I mentioned one in an earlier posting. Sorry I didn't take time to do some digging when you made your request, Daniel.   Bob Lind   ----- Original Message ----- From: Daniel Hancock <dhancock@brpae.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 12:29 PM Subject: Mendelssohn Concerto in E-minor for Violin     > I just received word yesterday evening of the death of a dear friend, > and the family has specifically requested that I play the Mendelssohn > Concerto in E-Minor for Violin on the organ during the funeral, which is > on Monday afternoon! They want to hear the second and third > movements... > > First of all, does a piano or organ transcription of this work even > exist? If so, where in the world can I find it prior to that time? > (heaven forbid that I have time to actually learn it!)      
(back) Subject: ORGANLive - Music of the organ on demand From: "Brent Johnson" <brentmj@charter.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 14:36:40 -0500   Hello everyone.   For those that aren't familiar with ORGANLive, I invite you to visit our = website at www.organlive.com. ORGANLive is a free Internet broadcast of = classical organ music. Our library is over 2400 tracks and expanding with = new music every week. Listeners can browse our entire playlist and = request tracks they'd like to hear. We have listeners from more than 70 = countries tuning in, and did I mention it's free?   Now that I've gotten that out of the way, those of you that are familiar = with ORGANLive know it's free to listen to, but it's not free to operate. = We rely on listeners to support the broadcast. Without our generous = sponsors, we wouldn't have made it through the past 18 months. Now we're = looking ahead to the future, and we want to raise the entire operating = budget for the next 12 months so there's no interruption in service, and = no interrupting the music to ask for more help.   To do this, we've set up a page for all of our various expenses, and = listeners can elect to sponsor individual months of our operation. = Sponsorships begin at $1 and can go as high as you'd like. To help us = continue to broadcast, please go to = http://www.organlive.com/index.php?p=3D5 and select a sponsorship level.   If you're not in a position to help, then we hope you'll visit our = redesigned website, tune in and hear what's new, and then tell your = friends!   Thanks! Brent Johnson ORGANLive - Music of the organ on demand http://www.organlive.com    
(back) Subject: ORGANLive - Music of the organ on demand From: "Brent Johnson" <brentmj@charter.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 14:36:41 -0500   Hello everyone.   For those that aren't familiar with ORGANLive, I invite you to visit our = website at www.organlive.com. ORGANLive is a free Internet broadcast of = classical organ music. Our library is over 2400 tracks and expanding with = new music every week. Listeners can browse our entire playlist and = request tracks they'd like to hear. We have listeners from more than 70 = countries tuning in, and did I mention it's free?   Now that I've gotten that out of the way, those of you that are familiar = with ORGANLive know it's free to listen to, but it's not free to operate. = We rely on listeners to support the broadcast. Without our generous = sponsors, we wouldn't have made it through the past 18 months. Now we're = looking ahead to the future, and we want to raise the entire operating = budget for the next 12 months so there's no interruption in service, and = no interrupting the music to ask for more help.   To do this, we've set up a page for all of our various expenses, and = listeners can elect to sponsor individual months of our operation. = Sponsorships begin at $1 and can go as high as you'd like. To help us = continue to broadcast, please go to = http://www.organlive.com/index.php?p=3D5 and select a sponsorship level.   If you're not in a position to help, then we hope you'll visit our = redesigned website, tune in and hear what's new, and then tell your = friends!   Thanks! Brent Johnson ORGANLive - Music of the organ on demand http://www.organlive.com    
(back) Subject: Re: what should I play for mother's day From: "Roy Kersey" <rkersey@tds.net> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 18:38:13 -0500   Hi All, Victoria wrote, very aptly:   <<Hello BlueeyedBear@aol.com,     In reference to your comment: i'm planning a recital that just might take place on mother's day. any suggestions as to what relevant organ music i might include? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Why, whatever YOUR mother wants you to play of course.   And followed by dinner at a nice restaurant!>>   .. . . and to this I might add, if your mother has passed on (as mine = has), play whatever your mother would have wanted you to play and then = have dinner at a nice reataurant and raise a glass to her. I suppose, in my case that would mean "O Sole Mio" and "Come Back to = Sorrento" with strings and full trems, but I would do it, no matter what = kind of looks I got from people. I miss you, Mom! The Neapolitans would = doubtless understand . . . Best Regards, Roy (De Rosa) Kersey Organ Enthusiast, Amateur Trumpeter, Italian Descendant      
(back) Subject: Re: Reed destruction and bad tuning practices From: <RMaryman@aol.com> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 21:34:27 EST   In a message dated 3/14/2005 9:04:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, mcfarland6@juno.com writes: It looks as though I stand somewhat alone on the list, until someone else speaks up? NO, you are not alone. I have been tuning since the early 1970's and my experience has been about the same as yours. Schantz (among others) is = very emphatic that their reeds be tuned only on the scrolls unless they leave a = notice otherwise. (some of their fanfare reeds are tuned on the wire, but they = are the exception). I also have found that once the wire and scroll of a reed pipe = are in balance (which is to say 'the way they were set at the time of voicing/finishing) and the temperature is appropriate for tuning = (inrelatively close proximity to 70 degrees F.) then a slight nudge on the scroll is all that = is needed to bring the pipe into tune with the flues. there are exceptions = (like Vox Humana or other short-length reeds), but in general tuning at the scroll = with an occasional "tweak" on the wire gives the most stable reed tuning = results. (at least in my experience).   Rick in VA  
(back) Subject: The Toledo Museum of Art's Skinner pipe organ is playing again! From: <Wuxuzusu@aol.com> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 23:07:43 EST   =20 Greetings,   The Toledo Symphony is presenting in concert:   Classics VIII April 22/23, 2005 8:00 PM   Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Chelsea Tipton II, conductor Aaron David Miller, organ (artist=E2=80=99s TSO debut)=20   Mozart regarded the organ as the 'king of instruments.' The Peristyle=E2= =80=99s own=20 Ernest Skinner pipe organ is revealed in its fully renovated glory for the=20 first time in this historic concert event. Aaron David Miller joins conduct= or=20 Chelsea Tipton, II, in Poulenc=E2=80=99s dramatic Concerto for Organ and St= rings and=20 in the majestic conclusion to Saint-Sa=C3=ABns=E2=80=99 Organ Symphony.   The museum's organ, Opus 603, is Skinner's largest roll-playing organ with=20 62 speaking stops and more than 3000 pipes, according to the museum's websi= te. =20 For more information: =20   http://www.toledosymphony.com/calendar/april2005.asp   or:   http://www.toledomuseum.org/pdf/Skinner_Organ_Restoration.pdf   Hope to see you all there,   Stan Krider    
(back) Subject: Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan [x-posted] From: "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com> Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 00:25:59 -0800   I have an early1970s LP record made at the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The record features an Allen Digital Organ from that era (so, yes, it sounds awful), and is a demo record made by that company to promote its instruments. I happened to come across this in my fairly large LP collection while looking for something else, and took a good look at the cover - not having seen it for a long time.   The sanctuary featured on the cover of the LP jacket is a very futuristic-looking, mid-1950s or early-1960s "Populuxe" style building. I grew curious about this facility since that's one of my favorite periods of American architecture, being a baby boomer who grew up in that era. (btw my 49th birthday will be on March 27th -- feel free to lavish me with cards, gifts and money!!)   So I began googling to find out more about it. What came up, however, as the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids looks nothing like the church on this record album.   While I have not found any exterior shots, going by the interiors shown on the church's web site as well as the Grand Rapids chapter of the A.G.O.'s site, it seems to be considerably older. The interior is that "grand theatre' wrap-around auditorium with an expansive, horseshoe-shaped balcony. that was very much in vogue in the1920s, and the overall "faux gothic" aesthetic also seems to be from that era. (They do have a large Allen pipe-digital combo with an English-cathedral-style console.)   So I am wondering ... are there TWO Fountain Street Churches in Grand Rapids, or did they build a new sanctuary in a 1920s-inspired building, or did they move to an older building, and if so, what became of the Populuxe building?   Inquiring minds want to know!   btw, going by the organs depicted on the GRAGO site, there are some wonderful instruments in Grand Rapids!