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  • #16
    Re: mixtures!!!



    Sumner is a good read, but I think his statements need some perspective.




    "Mixtures have been misunderstood and abused in England for nearly one and a half centuries" (and he goes on to implicate the U.S. as well).




    I beg to differ - there are many examples of fine 19th century mixture work in the U.K. (T.C. Lewis, for example) and the U.S. (such as the magnificent Hook at Immaculate Conception in Boston). These, and other organs by these buildersdo notcontain mixtures which fitSumner's description of "screaming voices".




    "...it is only in recent years in Britain and the USA that their nature and function as an essential part of even a small organ have been grasped"




    I find this amusing, as Sumner was writing during the apex of the neo-baroque movement, an era rife with screaming mixtures! Wehave since learned (hopefully)that many of the instruments conceived in the neo-classic style were historically misinformed - especially in the area of pipe scales and voicing.




    I agree with absolutely everything else Sumner stated.. []

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    • #17
      Re: mixtures!!!



      Thanks - I'll yield to your expertiece -- it sounds reasonable. I was most interested in Sumner's view that mixtures are "peculiar" (unique) to organs. As such, it seems to me that they are really an important aspect of thevery nature of a pipe organ.The bad examples can be set aside; they do not affect the valueand contribution of the concept of the mixture.




      Maybe my little ramble belongs in the other string about mixtures "Love them...."




      Thanks again -- MN




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      • #18
        Re: mixtures!!!



        Good to see you back Buzzy!




        As for all your comments above ... ditto!

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        • #19
          Re: mixtures!!!

          On most organs, I like mixtures. The profound exception to this is Schlicker. There is one in my area that has EXTREMELY scratchy mixtures that make that "grating" sound when they are played. Drives me crazy!In dramatic contrast, the mighty Moller 4m that I usually play has several wonderful mixtures. On the great, there is a Mixture IV, a VI Cornet, and a Scharf(sp?) III. On the Positif, there is a III Scharf as well. The swell has a Cymbale III as well as a Plein-Jeu (not sure of rank). The pedal also has several mixtures, including a Grave Mixture, a 16 and 32' Grand Cornet (very effective although these are basically not needed because of the 32' Kontraposaune). The mixtures are loud enough to cut through the 8, 4, and 2's, but they don't squeal at the organist at the console or the congregation.

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          • #20
            Re: mixtures!!!



            Hmmm, well I don't understand why the congregation gets the melody from the 4' Diapason. In my church's organ, at least, I can't really pick out the melody unless I turn on the 2' stop, at which point it becomes very clear and I can get the melody from that.




            Mixtures are probably one of the most overused things in the organ recordings I've collected so far, though. They can easily ruin a recording since I won't want to have my ears torn apart for more than three minutes at a time. In fact, I initially used the Mixture III at my church a great deal because it really added a lot of clarity. I thought the sound was grating, though, and assumed it was because of my proximity to the organ. After hearing a recording from the back of the church, though, I started using the Mixture only on occasion and instead learned that the 2' stops will do just as good a job adding the necessary clarity, without the grating brightness. If I need more volume, though, the Mixture will give things quite a jolt!

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            • #21
              Re: mixtures!!!

              [quote user="Moller4/79"]On most organs, I like mixtures. The profound exception to this is Schlicker.[/quote]

              I agree. There's a 1969 Schlicker at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. It hurts my ears! Every manual has a IV mixture except the Positiv that has a III Scharf. Out of the 9 ranks in the positiv, only 3 are below 2'. Oh, did I mention it also has a 32' reed? That organ needs a good tonal refinishing.

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              • #22
                Re: mixtures!!!

                Although it has mostly already been said, I would like to add my reinforcements to the mix. I have played organs where the mixtures scream out like police whistles rather than blending with the ensembles. I have also played organs where the mixtures are so subtle that they barely add more than the most minimal harmonic richness to the ensemble (too minimal). The large Moller 4/79 that has been mentioned sounds close to an ideal situation. I play a Schantz 3/72 that is similar mixture-wise. The Swell Mixture IV is relatively subtle, but adds definite richness and volume to even the full Swell. The voicing on this organ is so exquisitely balanced that one can actually couple the full Swell flue work to the Great at 4-foot with a very pleasant blend and effect. The Choir organ has aZymbell III that adds delightful color. The Pedal organ has a subtle but effective Mixture III. The Positiv has a Kleinmixtur II (at 1-1/3) that is one of the more prominent mixtures on the organ. This borders on being bolder than it shouldbe forthis small division, but it helps it project.The Great principal chorus and mixtures are where thingsget interesting. The Great Mixture IV (1-1/3) really fills out and reinforces the rest of the principal chorus. Add the GreatScharf III, which is more subtle, and you add audible, but not agressive, upper harmonics to the blend. Now add the Great Grand CornetV (full compass, 305 pipes) andone ends up with a bold, rich, resonant sound somewhat like a Willis or a Cavaille-Coll. Yes, I am aware that a Grand Cornet V is actually designed to be a solo stop. But on this organ it works as a chorus mixture, as long as one is conservative about how and when to use it. I agree with Sumner and what has been said in that regard herein. I would go so far as to say that if itdoes not have at least one mixture, or at least some independent mutations that are designed to alsobe combinedto form a mixture, it is not really an organ (IMHO). Thanks for all the fun reading!

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                • #23
                  Re: mixtures!!!



                  [quote user="MD1032"] Hmmm, well I don't understand why the congregation gets the melody from the 4' Diapason. [/quote]




                  I've been thinking a lot about this comment, since it was first mentioned several posts back.




                  I think I might have the answer...




                  I once read that human hearingbecomes increasinglyacute as you approach 4,000Hz;it is much less acute at lower pitches - especially the bass region. You need a much louder sound in the bass in order to distinguish pitch. I think the ear is fairly sensitive to pitch an octaveabove middle C (and beyond).




                  It is possible the ear can hear the 4' diapason more clearly than it can hear lower pitches, and it is possible the singers can more easily tune to it than to an 8' stop.




                  That's my theory, at least. [] Adding a2' would work too, if my reasoning is correct.




                  I've worked with achoir conductor who insisted on always having a 4' stop drawn. Sure enough, the choir sang flat without it.

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