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    #16
    In 1979 Pope John Paul II visit the USA. A outdoor Papal Mass was given in Grant Park. The Chicago area Rodgers dealer provided the organ on loan or possibly rented. I remember he commented it to me that he was glad it did not have lighted stop controls, as he thought they would be difficult to see in the sunlight. In an outdoor situation an electronic was probably superior to pipes. If you know Grant Park, it is adjacent to Lake Michigan, and is a relatively flat park with no supporting acoustics such as an ampitheatremight have. Multiple speakers is about the only way to get sound to the masses of people who attended.

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      #17
      Just an hour or so away from me there is a good-sized Catholic church with a nice Rodgers 3m from the 80's, I think it's a model 900 or 925. It has moving drawknobs, one of the few Rodgers consoles I've seen with those. The local lore is that this organ was specially built for a Papal mass somewhere. I can't say for sure, and considering the dealer who sold it to them, I'm even more skeptical. They church supposedly got a "deal" on it because it had been used by the Pope... And it's a beauty, even has reverse-color keys and a deluxe two-tone paint job.

      But the weird thing is that the dealer sold it to them (and claimed that it was set up this way FOR THE POPE) with just TWO ranks of Rodgers pipes (a principal and a bourdon), even though the literature on that model and the service manual clearly state that FOUR ranks is the absolute minimum that will work! Sure enough, when we first got called to service this one 8 or 10 years ago they had always known that half the stops didn't work, but they didn't care. They just used the "ancillary on" piston with everything.

      By the time we saw them, the pipes were so lousy they wouldn't stay in tune overnight, not to mention that they were on a tabletop right behind the choir and blasted the poor choir members away when they got played! After some discussion with the priest and the music director, we silenced the pipes and re-voiced the electronics, re-located the two speaker cabinets of the choir division to a spot right behind the pipes. Nobody noticed that the pipes had been silenced, they just thought we'd finally FIXED the darned things after all these years!
      John
      ----------
      Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
      Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
      Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
      Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

      Comment


        #18
        Allen Organ Company would like to thank the Sistine Chapel Choir for the opportunity to provide an Allen Organ to the Vatican. Two years ago, the Choir contacted our Company after having used an Allen Organ during their United States concert tour. The Choir informed Allen that they were so impressed with the organ’s musical capabilities that they would like to acquire one for use at Papal events in St. Peter’s Square.

        The relatively small Allen Organ was delivered to the Vatican in December 2017. The organ impressed the key music people so much, including Titular Organist Juan Paradell Solé (pictured below), that they tested the instrument in St. Peter’s Basilica itself. Allen was informed at that time that this test was required due to musical challenges in the Basilica. The size and acoustics of St. Peter’s were problematic for the pipe organ, which was unable to optimally support either the Choir or congregational singing. As a result, the Allen was used during 2017’s Christmas Eve Mass and many times since, allowing the organ to play a more prominent role at St. Peter’s Basilica. Mass’s that included the Allen Organ were televised and seen by millions worldwide.

        While the Allen organ is not currently being used inside the Basilica, Allen Organ Company is humbled to have been a part of the music ministry at St. Peter’s Basilica over the past two years.

        Aram Basmadjian
        Vice President - Sales
        Allen Organ Company
        Macungie, PA

        Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0730.JPG Views:	0 Size:	275.3 KB ID:	667470
        Aram Basmadjian
        Vice President - Sales
        ALLEN ORGAN COMPANY
        Macungie, PA

        Comment


        • beel m
          beel m commented
          Editing a comment
          Originally posted by Ahlborn
          it has emerged that the electronic organ installed in St. Peter's is a technically and artistically inferior solution compared to the large pipe organ present in the Basilica, and it was decided to use the pipe organ again.
          As mentioned here and elsewhere this was a smallish, "stock-model" Allen. I would venture to say that if Allen had been commissioned to build a large custom organ with a comprehensive specification and a 'heroic' audio system, the pipe organs might rapidly become redundant, history aside...
          Last edited by myorgan; 10-08-2019, 03:08 PM.

        • ahlborn
          ahlborn commented
          Editing a comment
          If today someone built the pipe organ that Cavaille-Coll designed for St.Peter (with Mutin's additional design changes), I doubt any electronic organ could competing.

        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Mr. Basmadjian,

          Thank you for your post. Discretely, concisely, tactfully, well-put. Allen provided what was requested by the then-organist.

          Michael

        #19
        Seems there are some strange contradictions here...…(blue en red = my emphasis). Read for yourself:

        Originally posted by ahlborn View Post
        An official statement from St.Peter organist informs that the Allen organ will be removed from st.Peter and only the large pipe organs will be used (…). As everyone knows, the electronic instrument was wanted by the ex-director of the choir, Don Massimo Palombella, and my repeated attempts to get it removed were of no avail.
        I reiterate my subsequent "obedience" to a decision that I never approved (…)
        Juan Paradell Solé

        Organista titolare della Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina
        http://blog.messainlatino.it/2019/10...o-rimosso.html
        Originally posted by arab
        The organ impressed the key music people so much, including Titular Organist Juan Paradell Solé (pictured below), that they tested the instrument in St. Peter’s Basilica itself. Allen was informed at that time that this test was required due to musical challenges in the Basilica. The size and acoustics of St. Peter’s were problematic for the pipe organ, which was unable to optimally support either the Choir or congregational singing.
        Apparently mr Solé changed his mind? I'm really confused….

        Comment


        • ahlborn
          ahlborn commented
          Editing a comment
          We need to take a step back to understand how the musical organization in the St.Perer basilica works.

          The three official choirs are Cappella Giulia choir; Cappella Sistina choir, and more recently Coro del Vicariato.
          The Cappella Giulia choir is responsible for accompanying all St.Peter celebrations not presided over by the Pope. Its organists are permanently elected, and in the past they were also used for the Sistine chapel.

          The Cappella Sistina choir deals with exclusively the celebrations presided over by the Pope.
          The Pope, in ancient times did not celebrate in the St.Peter basilica, but in the Sistine chapel: this is why this name was given to the choir.
          Normally, in recent times, the director of the Cappella Sistina choir decides independently the choice of the organist. This means that the organist has little or no authority in the artistic choices and must submit to the choices of the choir director.

          It is emblematic that the official presentation of the electronic organ was made through a video by the choir director (don Massimo Palombella) and not by M°Juan Paradell Solé.

          https://youtu.be/hXAYmzw0XLA
          Last edited by ahlborn; 10-10-2019, 02:17 PM.

        • Dutchy
          Dutchy commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the explanation! I saw the video and I understand your point (although the Dutch Google translation of the Italian tekst was not very good, I guess).

          Nevertheless M° Solé looks happy while sitting on the bench of the organ. And I wonder how he "could be inmpressed so much" as Mr Aramd said.

          Well, never mind. It's nice the pipe organ is used again. No offense to Allan, just as alhlborn I would have said the same if it was any other brand of digital organ, including Johannus, Viscount, Content, Eminent or whatever brands there are. I simply love pipe organs in a big church.

        #20
        Mr beel m said: I would venture to say that if Allen had been commissioned to build a large custom organ with a comprehensive specification and a 'heroic' audio system, the pipe organs might rapidly become redundant, history aside…

        Of course evertbody has right on his own opinion. And I do not doubt Allen (and Johannus, Viscount etc etc) are able to install a very decent and good sounding digital church organ.

        Nevertheless I would ask one question: have you guys ever thought why pipeorgans like Haarlem, Alkmaar, Groningen, Kampen etc (to name only Dutch instruments) are visited by organists and organ music lovers all over the world, why so many CD's are produced on them, why concerts are so well-visited here, etc etc?

        I doubt if any digital church organ can compete with good pipe organs in this respect. From this point of view these pipeorgans are no way 'redundant' or of only historical interest. On the contrary, they are very alive!

        Just my opinion.

        Comment


          #21
          The original conception of the partnership between Allen Organ Company and the Sistine Chapel Choir was that the Allen Organ would be used for events in St. Peter's Square. Although the instrument is no longer being used within the Basilica, Vatican officials have confirmed that the Allen Organ will continue to be used for Papal Liturgies in St. Peter's Square.

          Aram Basmadjian
          Vice President - Sales
          Allen Organ Company
          Aram Basmadjian
          Vice President - Sales
          ALLEN ORGAN COMPANY
          Macungie, PA

          Comment


          • ahlborn
            ahlborn commented
            Editing a comment
            A much more appropriate use.
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