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  • Advice on Dream Spec

    I put this here instead of in Classical Specifications because it is for a 4 manual 74 stop organ that is neither extant, nor planned. This is in the category of the "dream specification" for which I have found no suitable place on this forum, as if you post anything this big in the Classical Specifications forum, your post gets shut down. My aim with this organ was to put everything I thought I would need for hymns and classical repertoire both, plus some fun stops of my own taste. My initial influence for this was French Classic, but I'm not sure how well this represents it, since it also contains influences from French Romantic, and even from the Germans. Basically, I tried to design a stop list that had what I thought an organ would need to be able to basically do everything a church organ would need to do: including play recitals for visiting organists and students! Without further ado, here we go!

    All manuals are 61 notes, with 32 pedals. All couplers are unison only (no super or sub-octaves).
    I. Great II. Positif III. Recit IV. Solo Pedalier
    16 Bourdon 16 Quintaten 16 Bourdon Doux 16 Bourdon 32 Contre-Bourdon
    8 Montre 8 Flute 8 Montre 8 Montre 16 Montre
    8 Bourdon 8 Bourdon 8 Violine 8 Flute 16 Soubasse
    8 Viole 8 Flute Celeste 8 Violine Celeste 4 Prestant 16 Bourdon Doux
    4 Prestant 4 Prestant 8 Bourdon 4 Flute 16 Violine
    4 Flute 4 Flute 2 Flute 8 Montre
    2 Doublette 2 Flute 4 Prestant 2 2/3 Nasard 8 Bourdon
    2 Octavin 2 2/3 Nasard 4 Cor de Nuit 1 3/5 Tierce 4 Prestant
    IV Fourniture 1 3/5 Tierce 2 Octavin 8 TROMPETTE 4 Cor de Nuit
    III Cymbale 1 1/3 Quint 2 2/3 Nasard 8 CROMORNE 5 3/5 Grosse Tierce
    V Cornet 1 1/7 Septieme 1 3/5 Tierce 8 COR ANGLAIS IV Fourniture
    16 CONTRE-BASSON III Cymbale 1 1/3 Quint 4 CLAIRON 32 VOIX DE L'ABIME
    8 TROMPETTE 16 CROMORNE 1 1/7 Septieme 16 TROMBONE
    4 CLAIRON 8 CROMORNE III Cymbale 16 CONTRE-BASSON
    Couplers: -II, -III, -IV 4 CHALUMEAU 8 COR ANGLAIS 8 TROMPETTE
    Couplers: -III, -IV 8 HAUTBOIS 4 CLAIRON
    8 CLARINETTE Couplers: -I, -II, -III, -IV
    8 VOX HUMANA
    Couplers: -IV
    Last edited by ClergetMusic; 01-20-2013, 12:40 PM.
    Fishers, IN

    At School Church: Wicks III/40
    At Church Where I Am Director: Hammond BV with Leslie 122
    Summer Practice Organ: Rodgers III/47

  • #2
    It's always an exercise in the hypothetical to critique a written stoplist because there's no way to account for construction or voicing, but my major observation is this: all the divisions look very similar- same types of stops and colors, and same basic pitches. All of the national schools differentiated divisions based on foundational pitch, color emphasis, or both. All your manual divisions have similar 16' flutes, 3 have 8' Montres, 2 have 8' Cromornes, 3 have 8' Bourdons, 3 have 2' flutes with only one having a 2' Principal, 3 Cymbale III's, etc.

    A Solo is a romantic division in any national scheme, and yours looks very similar to the other 3 manual divisions. Your Recit looks a lot like a Positif. The division that's probably closest to what one would anticipate is the Positif. The Grand-Orgue in such a large scheme would almost certainly be based on a 16' Montre rather than an 8'.

    A Grosse Tierce would be either 3-1/5 or 6-2/5 depending on whether it's part of the 16' or 32' harmonic series, and if the latter, you'd likely see the 3-1/5' as well. And in either case in the Pedale, you'd almost certainly also see the corresponding fifth-based harmonics at 10-2/3' and 5-1/3'.

    In the classic German school, divisions were largely differentiated by pitch center of the main chorus. In the French and English schools, they were differentiated by color- i.e. a Great would be defined by Diapasons and/or Mixtures, a Swell by reeds based on a 16' chorus, etc. The American Classic approach used a combination of both pitch and color.

    Your scheme needs to do more of at least one or the other. In my opinion!

    The idea is that the different divisions contrast and compliment each other tonally, and when you couple them, they build up to a greater whole made up of complimentary parts.
    Last edited by michaelhoddy; 01-20-2013, 06:05 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I basically agree with michaelhoddy. While your Great looks good, with possibly the addition of the 16' Montre, the other three manual divisions are much too similar to be useful. In most European schools of organ design, the Positiv should be a miniature Great, but based on 8' pitch, instead of 16' as on the Great. The Swell (Recit) would tend, especially in French Romantic practice, to be Flute-based, but also have a complete Reed chorus. If you are following French Romantic design, the Montre from the Recit should go on the Positiv. Your Solo does not need the off-pitches for the Cornet, as you have those in the other three divisions, either separately, or combined in the case of the Great. Maybe a Bombarde division would be more appropriate here. i can't see any reason ever for two 1 1/7 Septiemes, and feel much the same about the two 1 1/3 Quints.

      "The idea is that the different divisions contrast and compliment each other tonally, and when you couple them, they build up to a greater whole made up of complimentary parts." This is true in any non-theatre organ, and even theatre organs do not have virtually identical divisions.
      Mike

      My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here are some starting points based on the above. At least what I'd consider, again allowing for the fact that this is fantasy spec land, unconstrained by the realities of cost and space.

        1. Base the G.O. on the 16' Montre, Positif on the 8', and Recit on the 4' Prestant. This gives you the beginning of ensemble contrast based on pitch.

        2. Move the big 16-8-4 Reed chorus into the Recit. Use a more appropriate, lower-pitched mixture here than the Cymbale. Lose the 1-1/3 and 1-1/7' mutations in the Recit, these are far more appropriate to the Positif, and they already exist there. Also, it's unlikely that the Hautbois and Clarinette should live together in the same division- they essentially serve the same purpose tonally.

        3. Figure out the identity of the 4th manual division. Is it a Solo, a Bombarde, a Grand-Choeur/Resonance, or something else? Right now, it's a second Positif.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by michaelhoddy View Post
          Here are some starting points based on the above. At least what I'd consider, again allowing for the fact that this is fantasy spec land, unconstrained by the realities of cost and space.

          1. Base the G.O. on the 16' Montre, Positif on the 8', and Recit on the 4' Prestant. This gives you the beginning of ensemble contrast based on pitch.

          2. Move the big 16-8-4 Reed chorus into the Recit. Use a more appropriate, lower-pitched mixture here than the Cymbale. Lose the 1-1/3 and 1-1/7' mutations in the Recit, these are far more appropriate to the Positif, and they already exist there. Also, it's unlikely that the Hautbois and Clarinette should live together in the same division- they essentially serve the same purpose tonally.

          3. Figure out the identity of the 4th manual division. Is it a Solo, a Bombarde, a Grand-Choeur/Resonance, or something else? Right now, it's a second Positif.
          As always, you make good points. The only real change I would suggest, if the orgiinal poster really leans toward French Romantic, is to keep the Reed Chorus in the Great, but use a 16' Bombarde in the place of the Bassoon, and add the second Reed Chorus in the Recit, there actually using the 16' Bassoon. You certainly are right about the Clarinette; that probably would go better in the Positiv, or possibly the Solo division, if that is what the fourth manual actually turns out to be.
          Mike

          My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

          Comment


          • #6
            Based on the recommendations so far, I have amended the original to look like this:
            I. Great II. Positif III. Recit IV. Solo Pedalier
            16 Montre 8 Flute 16 Bourdon Doux 8 Montre 32 Contre-Bourdon
            8 Montre 8 Flute Celeste 8 Violine 4 Prestant 16 Montre
            8 Bourdon 4 Prestant 8 Violine Celeste 4 Flute 16 Soubasse
            8 Viole 4 Flute 8 Bourdon V Cornet 16 Bourdon Doux
            4 Prestant 2 Flute 4 Cor de Nuit 8 TUBA 16 Violone
            4 Flute 2 2/3 Nasard 2 Octavin 8 CLARINETTE 8 Montre
            2 Doublette 1 3/5 Tierce 2 2/3 Nasard 8 Bourdon
            2 Octavin 1 1/3 Quint 1 3/5 Tierce 4 Prestant
            IV Fourniture 1 1/7 Septieme IV Fourniture 4 Cor de Nuit
            V Cornet III Cymbale 16 BASSON 5 3/5 Grosse Tierce
            16 BOMBARDE 16 CROMORNE 8 COR ANGLAIS IV Fourniture
            8 TROMPETTE 8 CROMORNE 8 VOX HUMANA 32 VOIX DE L'ABIME
            4 CLAIRON Couplers: -III, -IV Couplers: -IV 16 TROMBONE
            Couplers: -II, -III, -IV 8 TROMPETTE
            4 CLAIRON
            Couplers: -I, -II, -III, -IV
            I tried to take some of the excess out of the Recit and Solo divisions, so that the divisions are more complimentary. Hopefully the solo division looks more like a real solo. I eliminated most of the stops in that division and re-designed it so that it basically has just a Cornet, Jeu de Tierce, and two contrasting reeds not found elsewhere in the organ. I also provided some fonds to support those colors. The positif lost its 16 Quintaten, but I retained the 16 CROMORNE. I also removed the 4 foot reed from the Positif. I also took your suggestions into account, and made many of the recommended changes. Hopefully this looks better!
            Fishers, IN

            At School Church: Wicks III/40
            At Church Where I Am Director: Hammond BV with Leslie 122
            Summer Practice Organ: Rodgers III/47

            Comment


            • #7
              Looks much better. Use a different Mixture in the Recit, probably a Plein Jeu, and if you are really into French Romantic music, include a Trompette and Clairon there-these would be voiced somewhat lighter and softer than those in the Great. Also, if you are interested in German Baroque, include the 4' Prestant on the Recit, thus fulfilling the Werkprincip idea of differing base Principal pitches on each manual, as michaelhoddy suggested. Do include a Montre 8' in the Positiv for that reason. Both French and German Baroque would require this, and also French Romantic. The Octavin is really not necessary on the Great. Overall, though, a much better specification than the original.
              Mike

              My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

              Comment


              • #8
                Clerget Music,

                Some time ago there was a thread on this same subject, in which Soubasse 32 provided some very comprehensive information on French specifications. Try the following threads for ideas:That list should get you started.

                For my own input, I'd suggest you consider that French symphonic literature calls for:
                Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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