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Tonal Demonstration of 17 Rank Symphonic Pipe Organ

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  • Tonal Demonstration of 17 Rank Symphonic Pipe Organ


    Allen 965
    Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
    Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
    Hauptwerk 4.2

  • #2
    Very nice presentation! I already knew a lot of the information, but enjoyed it anyway.



    • #3
      Thanks for posting the video. It is a very nice overview of the organ. There are a couple of design choices that I would have changed. I would have made the GT Princ. 2' accessible on its own, instead of only as part of the mixture. I also might have opted for a crescendo pedal, even though I don't use it often; it is such a standard device that it seems like an omission, even on an organ of this size.

      The choir is really in the line of fire, right in front of the case.


      • #4
        One can certainly fault the tonal design (TWO celestes in an organ without a proper principal chorus?!) but it does seem to fit the building well.
        R, Bill Miller (whose Episcopal church is about the same size and acoustics)


        • #5
          I think the thing I like about Jack Bethards and Schoenstein is that they don't design organs like everyone else. Any good 17-rank or similar small instrument is a study in calculated compromise, and you're designing for major effects, not for complete tonal integrity. The "major effect" is a principal chorus, and whether that's 8-4-2-Mixture or 8-4-Low Mixture is splitting hairs a bit in this size organ (and it's important to remember that the 2' in the mixture breaks back to add weight in the treble, rather than running straight to the top, as in an independent stop. This is critical in small buildings when the organ is at close range).

          With that in mind, I'd rather have another 8-foot stop and have to cheat with the super coupler than have an independent 2' principal and not have the additional color of another foundational register. The thing I love about this organ is how dynamic and colorful it is for being so small. I've played quite a few "straight" organs of about the same size of much more conventional design that don't produce nearly as much and as varied a sound.

          Maybe it's not the ideal choice for Bach or polyphony, but for much of the music of the Episcopal/Anglican service, it's a great way to deploy those 17 ranks. Even then, I tend to think that Bach would sound better on this organ than Elgar would sound on a straighter "classic" design. At least in my humble opinion!