Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Come Sweet Death

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Silken Path
    commented on 's reply
    So did I. It was interesting, though.

  • regeron
    commented on 's reply
    Hmmm. when I clicked on your link, I got a train arriving in Strasburg.

  • mlaird
    replied
    Since the entire Wanamaker organ is tuned rather flat compared to the A=440 that we generally use today, it's probably true that those flat-tuned string ranks accentuate this difference in pitch between orchestral instruments and the organ. Perhaps that was a motivating factor for the re-pitching of the flat ranks in the String. However, I agree with Ray's comment above that the String division loses its impact when it's perfectly in tune. It needs to be randomly, slightly out of tune in order to sound like the strings of an orchestra. I hope they let it stay slightly out of tune in order to keep that "sheen" to its sound. I think this effect is best heard in pieces like "Come, Sweet Death," and Keith Chapman's rendition of Jongen's "Choral," where the instrument gradually builds up from nothing to full organ. I don't think "Choral" sounds all that impressive without the unmatched crescendo possible on the Wanamaker organ.

    Leave a comment:


  • beel m
    commented on 's reply
    Michael- you were correct! This is from Ray Binswanger, head of Friends Of the Wanamaker Organ:

    "Hi Bill
    Yes they moved from flat natural sharp to natural sharp extra sharp. The rationale was that flat lowered the pitch line perceptibly. I found the difference very subtle and accordingly left the website listing alone (it is just tuning).

    We found that when the division was tuned it lost a lot of its sheen. It has been left alone and has gone back to a sort of randomness that gives it the wonderful effect.

    Playing with just the naturals gives an amazing mixture-like effect.
    Ray"

    Interesting. When the Atlantic City organ is done, they will be able to brag that it not only is the product of a single designer and a single builder, but it has been restored to its original sound. The Wanamaker organ, OTOH, has been added to and much changed- more than I realized until today.
    Last edited by beel m; 12-03-2019, 02:07 PM. Reason: typo

  • DaveADC6500
    replied
    Alas, I realized too late. It wasn't Paoli, Pa, it was in Bryn Mawr, Pa at a big church that had the Ruffatti organ installed there sometime after.
    The arrangement I have is by V. Fox in C# minor from the St. Cecilia series no. 671-(3); H.W. Gray Publication.
    I'm sure you can still get it.

    BTW, I was there very early and I watched V. Fox warm up the keys; it was probably a cleaning style that he preferred, I'm sure.
    He used a white and light handkerchief and laid it on the keyboard and used 2 hands side by side and briskly rubbed them back and forth all the way up to C5.
    He did this on every manual. I thought that was interesting and never gave it too much thought.

    The day came when I was to play a large pipe organ at a private residence and humbly asked if perhaps I could practice 1 day before the performance.
    It was granted. I sat and put my hands on the organ manuals and then it hit me! Ah Ha
    That's why Virgil did that! (Of course this is just conjecture on my part ha ha).

    The keys were not clean and to the degree that they cold be distracting. I know, I know. Don't laugh.
    They just had the feel of grit here and there. Anyway, I had my brief case with me and had some tissues and cleaned away !!
    Then I never forgot what Virgil did that night.
    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • DaveADC6500
    replied
    Yes, I use the Fox arrangement and am always greatly pleased when I play it for others.
    I my minds eye or ear I tray to keep the Virgil Fox performance in my head.
    That arrangement is in C# minor.
    It's always moving.

    Michael has it right too. Aram Basmadjian performs the Virgil Fox's arrangement of Come, Sweet Death as good as any IMHO.
    That is a hard name to remember to spell.
    Remember too that Virgil also did the Fanfares for the Parsifal. Another fabulous piece and majestic with lots of big chords and fairly short too.
    Everyone enjoys that piece.
    But Virgil has done many great things to please the ears and stir the souls.
    He signed my LP for me at the church in a town near me, Paoli, Pa.
    He said the same thing to everyone there, "put this record on, turn the bass and the volume all the way up and go into the next room and listen".
    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Don,

    I thought the original was in C minor (3 flats)?

    Michael

  • Jay999
    commented on 's reply
    The Virgil Fox CD was broadcast on "Pipe Dreams" many years ago. During the introduction
    before playing the CD, it was stated that the CD had been released with a mistake in the audio, and to turn our home system treble control all the way up to correct the problem. I have that CD in my collection, and indeed, if the treble is boosted fully, the recording sounds very good.

  • Don Furr
    replied
    I do love Virgil's arrangement of this piece. I play the Come, Sweet Rest Arr. by Ellen J Lorenz. Really it's the same piece but I'll take flats over sharps and time!! lol

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Bill,

    The only time I heard the Wanamaker was for the 100th anniversary. However, I was only there for a few organists I'd never heard of before. Mr. Conte's performance with the Phily group was well balanced, but weighted too heavily on the symphonic group–as it probably should have been. The organ can be wonderful, but if the person playing it cannot register it well....

    If the concern about the celestes is accurate, that could explain a lot.

    Michael

  • beel m
    replied
    The flat-tuned string ranks were tuned sharp?? I am there all the time and never heard that. Next time I go to Macy's (prolly early next week) I'll ask Curt, if he's there.

    Leave a comment:


  • AllenAnalog
    commented on 's reply
    For those who have not heard the Fox recording:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYkLHFMKWSg

    Remember, this is an older recording so some of the high frequencies may have been lost (or never existed in the first place) on that tape before it was transferred to digital media. The organ does have upperwork, mutations and mixtures so it is not what I would call a tubby organ like some of its brethren of that era.

    And of course there was no working combination action on the organ at that time so registration changes were by hand.

  • mlaird
    commented on 's reply
    Virgil wrote that arrangement for Wanamaker's, so that is THE definitive rendition of the piece. However, hearing it played at Wanamaker's now doesn't sound the same as when Virgil played it, for both good and bad reasons. The bad reason, IMHO, is that the String division's flat stops have been retuned to be sharp instead of flat, which makes the celeste effect different than it used to be. The good reasons are that the organ is much more in tune than it used to be back when Virgil played it, nearly all of it is working properly, and the acoustics have been vastly improved. I wish the organ weren't quite as much in tune as it is now, but that's personal preference, perhaps since I grew used to it being out of tune when I heard it growing up near Philly.

  • beel m
    commented on 's reply
    Michael, re: your last three sentences... have you heard the Wanamaker organ recently? What you describe sounds more like the "bad old days" when those velour draperies everywhere soaked up sound like a sponge. (More than once Nelson B told me that he was tempted to take care of the 'drapery problem' with a gas can and a match...) Now things are much better and the organ certainly has lots of brilliance... and I've heard it live over the past 50 years or so. BTW the new Opus 2 relay is instantaneous as opposed to the long lag of the old relay system, which amazes me. Just thinking out loud...

  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    The Wanamaker is truly an early 20th century organ, in that it consists primarily of 16', 8', and some 4' stop pitches. Of course there are other pitches on the organ, but organs of that era had mostly large-scale lower work without enough upper work to balance with the lower work.

    By contrast, the Allen is quite probably an American Classic organ which has a more modern approach to the balance between the lower and upper work, making sure there are enough high frequencies to contrast with the low.

    Hope that helps clarify why organs of that ilk sound so different. Oh, and I had another thought. Considering the distances in the room where the Wanamaker exists, high frequencies have a hard time filling that space without sounding shrill–if you can hear them at all. Lower frequencies are able to develop and bloom in such a large space, thereby accounting for the "tubby" sound of the organ.

    Michael
Working...
X