PipeChat Digest #5347 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005
 
reeds - what were they thinking?
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: Sauer organ
  by "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net>
Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by "Charles Peery" <cepeery@earthlink.net>
16' in middle movts. (was Registering Trio Sonatas)
  by "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com>
congratulations
  by "Bernadette Wagner" <musicalgrl90@yahoo.com>
Barry Baker to play Rochester 4/23 Wurlitzer on May 28 (cross-posted)
  by "Kenneth Evans" <kevans1@rochester.rr.com>
Re: 16' in middle movts. (was Registering Trio Sonatas)
  by "Thomas Dressler" <rgtd@ptdprolog.net>
Re: congratulations
  by "Desiree'" <nicemusica@yahoo.com>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by "Jan Nijhuis" <nijhuis.jan@gmail.com>
Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish)
  by <DERREINETOR@aol.com>
Re: Questions I have about carillons
  by "Jan Nijhuis" <nijhuis.jan@gmail.com>
Murray/Woolsey (was Rollschweller and cone valve chests)
  by "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com>
 

(back) Subject: reeds - what were they thinking? From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 09:02:57 -0500   >This Moeller also has that lovely phenomenon of what I call the "great American reed chorus" on the >swell, a 16' Bassoon (which is more an English horn than anything else), an 8' trompette, and a 4' >Hautbois. What were they thinking??? I can almost understand why ONE of these was built, but so many >times I am in=20   >utter wonderment as to why ANOTHER one was ever built. There was a time=20   >when Reuter had swells with a trumpet 8', and an oboe 4'. I'm all for "lets'=20   >give it a try" but when it just doesn't work, why not try omething different? =20   >Don't keep making the same old mistakes, make new, bold mistakes!   =20   >On another question, I just received the specification of an organ for a=20   >College that will reside and be half-paid for by a local church. It is a 27 rank=20   >tracker, with TWO cornets, yet NO reed chorus. Someone plese tell me why=20   >having TWO cornets is more important than to have ONE reed chorus. The reeds are=20   >a trompette on the Great (which causes me to wonder in the first place) and a=20   >16 Dulzian, and 8' Cormorne in the "Swell", and a Trombone 16 in the pedal. =20   >Wouldn't it be better to put the trumpet in the swell, and the cromorne on the=20   >great? I just don't get organs with fully developed greats, yet wimpy, buzzy=20   >swells. There are so many of them, it must be me that's missing the point...   =20   >Please advise.   =20   >Steven Skinner   >Minister of Music   >First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant   >Erie, PA   =20   I'm curious as to why a Swell with only an 8' Trumpet and 4' Oboe would be too entirely devastating. Not ideal, understandably, but having both stops at 8' pitch could be just as limiting. At least there is some pitch variety here. And if you need an oboe, play down the octave! Or couple it to the great at 16'. No, it's not "playing by the rules", but I suspect there are very few organs out there that always do. =20   =20   It means we have the opportunity to adapt and be creative. In my 1979 Reuter Swell, I have the following reeds:   =20   16' Fagotto   8' Trompette   4' Clairon (ext. 8')   =20   Coming to this position during my college organ instruction, I was dismayed not to have an Oboe-until I discovered that I really did! In most instances it works fine for the 16' Fagotto to be played an octave higher and used as an Oboe. In others, it doesn't (because of range, coupling, etc.) so I do something different. Ideal? Perhaps not. Do I make it work? You bet. Does anyone know the difference? Not in Springfield, Missouri.   =20   As to the Trumpet being unenclosed in the Great, and the buzzing reeds in the Swell, well, that's unfortunate. But there is precedence in late 19th-early 20th century American organs for the practice of including an 8' Trumpet unenclosed on the Great. Only, they likely had the Oboe on the Swell!   =20   To continue, can you tell me what the instances are in which a "reed chorus" are required in organ literature, specifically? =20   =20   Daniel Hancock   Springfield, Missouri   =20  
(back) Subject: Re: Sauer organ From: "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 10:39:57 -0400   Dear Colin, Up until the time I was 5 (and went to school) I spoke english, = Polish and German. I might be able to help you with the Polish translation of whatever you need translated. The biggest problem with Polish is the diacritics. The letter L with a slash through it is pronouced like the W = in window. The letter W is pronounced like the letter V. So Wroclaw is pronouced Vrocwaav. Fun huh. Anyway, give me the Polish sentence and let me see what I can do with it. = By the way, some old Polish as in old German, might not translate well. Paul ----- Original Message ----- From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, May 16, 2005 11:44 PM Subject: Re: Sauer organ     > Hello, > > Try Polish to English....it beggars belief! > > On which note, does ANYONE on the list have a > smattering of Polish? > > I have run into a real problem concerning an > absolutely intriguing Polish organ, which must be > utterly unique. > > It's only a few lines of the Polish language, but they > are absolutely critical to my understanding of what > state the organ is in now. > > Help! > > Regards, > > Colin Mitchell UK > > PS: Still contemplating the "blunder egg". > > > --- Jim McFarland <mcfarland6@juno.com> wrote: > > Dennis: > > > > Have you tried the translators on Cavaille-Coll > > instruments. > > > > You havn'e lived until you have played "the Bee on > > the main thing." > > > > > > __________________________________ > Do you Yahoo!? > Make Yahoo! your home page > http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs > > ****************************************************************** > "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: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: "Charles Peery" <cepeery@earthlink.net> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 09:44:29 -0400   Dear Colleagues:   I need a perspective adjustment: Are there musical limits to the amount of improvement one can make in a choir, musically, if you have to both play and conduct? I've spent the last year at a job where I do both, and that makes my 35-year-total (not sequentially)l: 22 years conducting with a staff organist to play 8 years just playing with somebody else paid to conduct 5 years playing and conducting I'm sure it reflects on my lack of skills (which are normally better than adequate when I do either thing separately, that is, playing and conducting), but I just feel like something always gets short-shrift. So, I'm wondering what to focus on, what will make the real difference?   I posed a question to a colleague: "Think of outstanding choral groups or experiences you've had or witnessed. Now tell me in how many of them did the conductor also accompany?" She said "I see what you're getting at, but I disagree. I have very fond memories of a church where we had this situation and did absolutely wonderful literature. My father sang bass, I sang soprano.. two older ladies sang tenor... well... there were 8 of us... maybe it didn't sound as good as I'd like to remember." This is not what I mean, I'm not talking about providing a meaningful experience, as important as that is. I'm talking about achieving objective musical improvement.   In large churches with which I'm familiar (Anglican, I'll admit), I've seen organist/choirmaster set-ups, but ALWAYS an assistant organist paid to be there when the head guy wants to conduct. In other cases, there are soloists/section leaders to provide necessary leadership. What do you all think are the necessary steps/conditions for increased excellence? I have my own opinions, but I'm trying to wipe the preconceptions clean and start thinking afresh.   My situation involves (by their own admission) average to below-average volunteers. And by my assessment: slightly below average commitment and motivation. I could whine that I inherited certain patterns that aren't my doing, you know where that's going. But I'd rather focus on: what do I work on next?   Thanks, Chuck Peery St. Louis    
(back) Subject: 16' in middle movts. (was Registering Trio Sonatas) From: "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 11:18:07 -0500   I'm just finishing up on writing and fiddling with minor revisions on a Baroquish 3-movement, fast-slow-fast solo organ concerto (reminiscent of J.G. Walther's transcriptions), and in the middle movement I call for an = 8' Offenfl=F6te or 8' Principal in the pedal against various solo voices in = the right hand and 8' and 4' flutes in the accompaniment. A pedal 16' would be all wrong for the intimate writing in this style IMO.   Over many decades I've noticed that Pedal 16' Bourdons, Subbasses, etc., appear to be some of the worst-voiced ranks on an organ. Various pipes may be overly fluffy, indeterminate, and/or slow to develop at the bottom; and toward the top (particularly the final half octave) certain notes may be hooty and/or overly loud. This would ruin any soft, slow-moving piece of music in which one's ear is drawn to the subtleties of contrapuntal = movement and the sounds made by each individual part. And there is also the problem that the addition of a 16' to the pedal may overtip the balance in favor = of the pedal voice; may muddy the context when it intertwines with other = parts and is not the lowest voice in the mix; or may become tiring to the ear in = a long stretch.   A 16' that is used as an underpinning for strings and flutes is another matter--the ear is not so particular about the peculiarities of the 16' = flue speech as it meanders and rumbles around from note to note in a more homophonic context in the lower part of its register.   There's more to be said about the registration of pedal lines, I'm sure. = In softer, Romantic pieces, e.g., people may too often be tempted merely to couple down the accompaniment manual(s) to a 16' Bourdon. This may be = giving short shrift to a bass line that is yearning, rightfully, to breathe free but cannot because the manual coupling cancels out its line (save for the 16' of questionable quality) whenever pedal and manual share a note.   Robert Lind   ----- Original Message ----- From: Thomas Dressler <rgtd@ptdprolog.net> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, May 16, 2005 7:43 PM Subject: Re: Registering Trio Sonatas     > I always use a 16' in the pedal in all the trio sonata movements, > unless the organ has a particularly bad 16'. In that case I > wouldn't play trios at all. You need to be careful of > producing the effect of bad voicing of chords by registration. > You are always safe to use a 16' in the pedal and there is no > reason I know of not to.    
(back) Subject: congratulations From: "Bernadette Wagner" <musicalgrl90@yahoo.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 09:55:10 -0700 (PDT)   I would like to send out a message of congratulations to list member Scott = Montgomery, who graduated Sunday from the University of Illinois @ = Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor's degree in Music. He also played a very = good recital last night. Yay Scott!!!   --------------------------------- Yahoo! Mail Stay connected, organized, and protected. Take the tour
(back) Subject: Barry Baker to play Rochester 4/23 Wurlitzer on May 28 (cross-posted) From: "Kenneth Evans" <kevans1@rochester.rr.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 12:56:08 -0400   RTOS is pleased to announce that the popular theater organist Barry Baker will entertain us by playing our Wurlitzer 4/23 on Saturday, May 28 at 8 = PM. This event will take place at the NEW Auditorium Theatre, 885 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605.   Admission for non-members (RTOS members are free) is only $15 each with ticket sales starting at 7 PM on the evening of the concert. Please join = us for a great evening of music to close our 2004/2005 fall/winter/spring/ season.   For more information and driving directions please visit our home on the = web at http://theatreorgans.com/rochestr/ or at http://RochesterTheaterOrganSociety.org   Submitted by: Ken Evans, RTOS Director (past-President)      
(back) Subject: Re: 16' in middle movts. (was Registering Trio Sonatas) From: "Thomas Dressler" <rgtd@ptdprolog.net> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 13:02:34 -0400   It really depends on a lot of things. Yes, I agree that there are a lot of =   badly voiced pedal 16's. In that case, I wouldn't play a trio sonata, at least for a performance.   One needs to decide whether the Baroque concept of basso continuo, and the =   correct weighting of chords and voice leading is more or less important = than the concept of "color" registration. I started out registering these = pieces with "swiss cheese" and no 16's in the pedal. It was later study with teachers immersed in historically informed practices that convinced me to change how I approached these pieces. After spending some time adjusting = to the different approach, I no longer even like the other way. I do feel = that one cannot make a fair decision on matters like this unless one has truly tried the other approach and given it time. Without doing so, one will always prefer what one is accustomed to.   I believe it's true that leaving out the pedal 16' came about because of "poopy" (not my word! LOL) voicing, but it is, at best, a compromise of Baroque ideals as I understand them. On well voiced tracker organs (with tracker pedal action) one of the most versatile combinations is an 8' = Octave with a 16'. If the Octave is well voiced and scaled, and the stops are = well matched, the 8' will make the 16' behave. It doesn't muddy the context = when voices cross, because the 16' keeps the voice leading clear, something = which is lost when there is no 16'. This is also a very important reason for not =   using swiss cheese, and for not using 8 and 4 in the left hand and only 8 = in the right. Voice leading becomes confused. It might sound "cute" but it makes the music sound vertical rather than horizontal.   An interesting thing I learned about the trio sonatas in grad school is = that the left hand part never goes below tenor C. This allows you to use a 4' = in the left hand and play it down an octave. It's easier and you suddenly = have a LOT more flexibility in registration, because of the different scaling.   Over the years, many pieces have been written in "Baroque style" as it was =   understood at a given time. One cannot use neo-Baroque pieces as a = standard to judge real Baroque performing practices.   Thomas Dressler   http://www.thomasdressler.com    
(back) Subject: Re: congratulations From: "Desiree'" <nicemusica@yahoo.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 10:15:06 -0700 (PDT)   PRAISE THE LORD! YAY SCOTT! Im next in the bunch hehe. Bernny...are you practicing?     --------------------------------- Yahoo! Mail Mobile Take Yahoo! Mail with you! Check email on your mobile phone.
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: "Jan Nijhuis" <nijhuis.jan@gmail.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 10:26:15 -0700   Thoughts and musings...   Stretch the ("average to below-average volunteers. <snip> slightly below average commitment and motivation") choir beyond their comfort level. Just don't go beyond what is achievable.   "Doggie Treats" ... food can be a motivator. Once in a while, have a coffee and dessert after rehearsal. Encourage each of your choir members to participate by bringing something they like ... round robin style, so no one is left out and no one is left to do all the work. Hint: It's fresh fruit season around these parts. A flat of strawberries and a bag of cherries makes mighty fine eatin'.   Not everything needs to be accompanied. Work out some A Capella pieces. we did these often with our last choir director. The old Allen was only used during the rehearsal and maybe a pitch reference before the anthem. I think four part hymns directly from the hymnal can be quite wonderful (examples: "We Are God's People (Brahm's Symphony 1), "Holy, Holy, Holy", (Bring out the tenor and bass parts big time and play with dynamics)); pick some that your congregation doesn't do often. Rounds can be quite simple, but as a four part overlay can also be stunning especially if the "carpet, tapestry and seat cushion fund" has the same priority as the organ fund. (Example: William Billing's "When Jesus Wept) . Some Spirituals are within easy grasp too ... songs that were born in the call and response tradition.   Be critical of yourself, but know that the congregation will not notice most of the errors like, pitch deviations, dynamics, breathing, staccatos, &c. The effort your volunteers put in will be appreciated by the congregation.     On 5/17/05, Charles Peery <cepeery@earthlink.net> wrote: > Dear Colleagues: >=20 > I need a perspective adjustment: Are there musical limits to the > amount of improvement one can make in a choir, musically, if you have > to both play and conduct? I've spent the last year at a job where I do > both, and that makes my 35-year-total (not sequentially)l: > 22 years conducting with a staff organist to play > 8 years just playing with somebody else paid to conduct > 5 years playing and conducting > I'm sure it reflects on my lack of skills (which are normally better > than adequate when I do either thing separately, that is, playing and > conducting), but I just feel like something always gets short-shrift. > So, I'm wondering what to focus on, what will make the real difference? >=20 > I posed a question to a colleague: "Think of outstanding choral groups > or experiences you've had or witnessed. Now tell me in how many of > them did the conductor also accompany?" She said "I see what you're > getting at, but I disagree. I have very fond memories of a church where > we had this situation and did absolutely wonderful literature. My > father sang bass, I sang soprano.. two older ladies sang tenor... > well... there were 8 of us... maybe it didn't sound as good as I'd like > to remember." This is not what I mean, I'm not talking about > providing a meaningful experience, as important as that is. I'm talking > about achieving objective musical improvement. >=20 > In large churches with which I'm familiar (Anglican, I'll admit), I've > seen organist/choirmaster set-ups, but ALWAYS an assistant organist > paid to be there when the head guy wants to conduct. In other cases, > there are soloists/section leaders to provide necessary leadership. > What do you all think are the necessary steps/conditions for increased > excellence? I have my own opinions, but I'm trying to wipe the > preconceptions clean and start thinking afresh. >=20 > My situation involves (by their own admission) average to below-average > volunteers. And by my assessment: slightly below average commitment > and motivation. I could whine that I inherited certain patterns that > aren't my doing, you know where that's going. But I'd rather focus on: > what do I work on next? >=20 > Thanks, > Chuck Peery > St. Louis   --=20 Jan Nijhuis nijhuis.jan@gmail.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Organist/choirmasters (longish) From: <DERREINETOR@aol.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 13:27:51 EDT   Chuck,   I've been back and forth on this one for 20 years, and have yet to form an =   opinion from which I do not vacillate.   Over the last 20 years, I have spent the most time conducting with an organist on staff; some time as organist/choirmaster with an assistant to = play when I wanted to conduct; the least time as organist/choirmaster with no = assistant, the position in which I find myself today.   In my present position, (Anglican), I am happy to fulfill both roles and I =   get really good results. I enjoy being "in control" of both vocal and accompaniment nuances.   However, I will qualify that statement by saying that a) the choir is = located in a gallery, with the organ console in the centre, facing the choir--I am = a real foe of divided chancel situations, unless one works in a monastery = where the brothers chant Psalms antiphonally (which my church effectively was = until about 30 years ago and even then the choir for Sunday Mass was in the = gallery from 1930); b) there are four professional section leaders, and the volunteers are veteran and above average (we are 12 when everyone's = present); c) congregational singing is well above average both in ability and in = knowledge; d) expectations are high, both from the choir and the congregation, so we are = all motivated; and e) the choral repertoire consists mainly of renaissance polyphony and plainchant, and so the choir performs mainly a capella music = (though we have great success with accompanied 19th and 20th century works even = though we present them more infrequently thus they get more rehearsal so my "left shoulder" or "right eyebrow" cues are well rehearsed and LOOKED FOR by the =   singers).   With that in mind, here's what I have learned about getting someting out = of a choir which one both accompanies and directs:   You mention Soloists/Section Leaders as "providing necessary leadership". = I find that my volunteers WATCH far more often in both rehearsal and = performance than my "professionals". I rely on the section leaders to fix vocal = production issues, etc, and on my volunteers to nudge them to come in on time. This = is a bit of an over-generalisation, but there's some truth to it. However, no matter whether or not my singers are volunteer or professional or a blend = of the two, I insist that in rehearsal, everything can be sung, accurately, a = capella. In fact, I withdraw the organ support quite early in learning an anthem, = and let folks start working out the intervals for themselves--in a positive, supportive way, of course. Thus, I find that once the notes are down, = music can be made and it doesn't take grand hand gestures to get it on Sunday while I'm =   busy noodling around on an accompaniment and pushing pistons.   Now, this model assumes volunteers (and or professionals) who's = committment is at least average. If you're having "below average" = committment/motivation problems, then the only solution is to motivate from results. Those can be =   accomplished by selecting repertoire which challenges slightly while = offering opportunities for growth. Try asking your bass section, for instance, to = sing a difficult passage that's problematic without organ assistance, and fixing = the wrong notes by SINGING the passage with them, rather than playing it. = Then, immediately begin to shape the phrase as you see it should be. This should = bring improvement, over time. Don't get cross, and don't forget to praise. I've = had success with this in the past with an all-volunteer group.   Just some random thoughts on the issue. Hope it helps a little.   Pax, Bill H. Organist and Choirmaster St. John's, Bowdoin St., Boston          
(back) Subject: Re: Questions I have about carillons From: "Jan Nijhuis" <nijhuis.jan@gmail.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 10:56:41 -0700   Channing,=20   Where are we going with this?   [1] I think that a set of symphony chimes looks like a harp (any tubular bells, pipes, or strings like a piano harpsichord actually). If the electronic console sounds like an organ, then there is probably a digital or analog representation of some type of organ sound involved.   [2] Yes. It would seem that the way to get the noise going, is to have the keys activate a solinoid.   [3] Brass, copper, aluminum, other metals and alloys, wood, and even stone.   [4] ATI Allvac can be reached by the web, they are in a better position to answer this question. Although a company which makes rocket motor casings, jet engine and turbine parts as well as medical and dental alloys is probably not going to have a whole lot of product going to the carillon industry.   Where is the carillon industry based? ... much of the US music industry is in Elkhart, Indiana. There might be a place to go looking for suppliers and manufacturers.   On 5/15/05, Channing Ashbaugh <channinga@carolina.rr.com> wrote: > =20 > Hello,=20 > =20 > I have some quesitons about carillons:=20 > =20 > 1. I have noticed in electonic carillon music there is a bell sound that > makes the keyboard sound like an organ console which is the Harp Bells-Is > there such thing as a bell that is shaped like a harp?=20 > 2. Is there such thing as an organ console type keyboard that has wires t= hat > leads to several boxes of metal rods?=20 > 3. what are metal rods made out of?=20 > 4. do metal companys like Alleghany Allvac make the metal rods that go in= to > electronic carillons?=20 > =20 > if you know the answers please e-mail me at channing28270@yahoo.com=20 > =20 > channing=20     --=20 Jan Nijhuis nijhuis.jan@gmail.com  
(back) Subject: Murray/Woolsey (was Rollschweller and cone valve chests) From: "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 13:18:53 -0500   I recently heard a Thomas Murray CD of transcriptions on the Woolsey Hall organ at Yale (it contains Nimrod, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, and many more remarkable things), and I encountered the most seamless crescendi and diminuendi I've ever witnessed. This is sheer genius. How = does Mr. Murray do it? Does he have registrational help or manage it all by himself?   Sorry I can't remember the title of the CD, but it is on the OHS website, I'm sure, and is a must-have recording.   Robert Lind   ----- Original Message ----- From: Colin Mitchell <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Monday, May 16, 2005 8:28 AM Subject: Re: Rollschweller and cone valve chests. - the response     > Obviously, on such a huge instrument as the Newberry > Memorial organ at Yale, there is a vastly increased > availability of orchestral effect, which moves such an > instrument one step closer to the German romantic > organs of Walcker or Sauer. Nevertheless, without cone > valve chests, it is unlikely that registration changes > would be totally "seamless" even if set up that way on > a General Crescendo pedal. For a start, the reeds, > when brought into operation, would be totally out of > balance and would predominate. There would be the > previously mentioned problems of wind sag and bounce > as ventils open and close.....and this WOULD BE HEARD!