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Visited a 1968(?) Reuter organ

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    Visited a 1968(?) Reuter organ

    Today I spent a little time with a Reuter organ, I think from 1968. I have actually heard it before but was able to fiddle with it a bit today. It's a nice sounding organ with a nice console, some of the reeds and flutes sounded really nice. Although it unfortunately needs some work. As I understand it, whatever work it does need would be pretty expensive. Further, the music director is leaving in a couple of months and he thinks the church may end up closing. The thought of this organ going completely into disrepair is depressing...

    One thing of note is that I was able to hear a 32' resultant. It does sort of create a 'heavy' impression but it didn't have the same deep shaking effect (at least compared to the 32' bourdon on the Walker at my church). It sounds more like the lame 32' bourdon on the v2 voicing of my home organ, although much better.

    The console. The manuals feel nice (ivory keys) and the organ has an overall decent feel to it:

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    The stops:

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    Some of the exposed pipes.

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    Viscount C400 3-manual
    8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
    Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

    #2
    Reuter was building some quite nice classic revival sounds in the 60's and 70's when Franklin Mitchell was trying to do there what Phelps was doing (successfully) at Casavant, and John Hose, then Don Gillett (less successfully) at Moller. It's tragic that well-intentioned, but obviously tone-deaf aficiaonados just discard hundreds of fine musical instruments all the time because they don't have the 'cool' pedigree. I think Wicks has suffered this more than just about any other builder. Hey, people with lots of $ and no ears....start listening.

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      #3
      Originally posted by otispit View Post
      Reuter was building some quite nice classic revival sounds in the 60's and 70's when Franklin Mitchell was trying to do there what Phelps was doing (successfully) at Casavant, and John Hose, then Don Gillett (less successfully) at Moller. It's tragic that well-intentioned, but obviously tone-deaf aficiaonados just discard hundreds of fine musical instruments all the time because they don't have the 'cool' pedigree. I think Wicks has suffered this more than just about any other builder. Hey, people with lots of $ and no ears....start listening.
      That's the curse of every variation of fashion, including just about all forms of music. In organ building, I think there ARE extremes that are fatally compromised musical instruments, such as the uber-neo-baroque organs of the 1960's that had no real foundations and piles of screechy upperwork, or the tubby "orchestral" organs of the 1920's that had no vertical choruses whatsoever.

      That said, there are many, many, viable musical instruments in between those two extremes. What's really ironic is that in our area (NYC), there are several notable churches that are pulling out quite nice, well-built neo-baroque organs to replace them with symphonic organs, which will also be quite well-done. The ironic part is that in several cases, the church pulled out a decent symphonic organ 50 years ago to install the baroque organ! There are also some cases where a symphonic organ was adapted to the prevailing musical trends to the point of losing its tonal integrity, and needing to be replaced with an organ that is startlingly like the original organ pre-modification.

      Assuming a generally well-built organ, I think there is real musical wisdom and maturity in learning to adapt one's self to the instrument, rather than constantly seeking to always adapt the instrument.

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        #4
        Originally posted by michaelhoddy View Post
        Assuming a generally well-built organ, I think there is real musical wisdom and maturity in learning to adapt one's self to the instrument, rather than constantly seeking to always adapt the instrument.
        I can't remember the last time I read a quote that I so much agree with.

        I did a lot of subbing from 2010-2016 and wish I had $500 for every time the incumbent told me his/her church organ was "awful and it's impossible to do anything with it" and yet I thought it was fine, and I'm pretty critical. The incumbents involved just didn't like their instrument... luckily for their churches, most weren't able to demand and get additions, major changes, or a new organ.

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