Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Thoughts on the synphonic organ vs the Classic

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Thoughts on the synphonic organ vs the Classic

    Its been a busy fall semester and i have put things aside so i can focus on schooling but I figured out this year I will make it upon myself to start essaying my thoughts on the pipe organ and I started by putting some thoughts down on paper and I wrote this down somewhere and i will do my best to recall what i wrote so here it goes and this may be a new thought because i had the time to sit and think about it.

    The reason why the symphonic organ came about was really the increased study in perfecting the ranks that were intended to imitate the instruments of an orchestra within the relm of the church pipe organ. Here was the spark that started it all the people who think that the synphonic organ was something to be rather distasteful is not understanding that this was a logical extension to broaden the pipe organ repertoire.

    Further more it is noted among the critics of church organs, Audsley understood that mixtures were screechy and harmonic collaborating ranks were unscientifically relegated, Hope-Jones seemed understand that harmonic collaborating ranks and mixtures were unnecessary because in rendering orchestral music, their is no need for two flute players to play in successive fifths to make something sound richer, thus the omission of these stops.

    It was not a thumb in the eye of Bach or a move away from Bach but rather a progression that needed to happen in order for the unit orchestra to exist. What the pushers of the reform movement did not understand what they had at their finger tips, instead of working with what they had they pushed away and destroyed great works.

    I further assert is that their premise was wrong to begin with. instead of ripping good pipe organs out what they should have done, is translated Bach into orchestral transcriptions and then move from their and take that step to making that symphonic organ transcription of the orchestral transcription, moving from straight from Barque to symphonic without that extra step was the Achilles heel that hindered it to begin with. The tonal pallet that was given was correct, the reform movement did not comprehend what was given and how to take it and go further with it.

    At the same time when Hope-Jones appeared the move from having church music a central part of music it was moving towards secular music, their was sweeping cultural shift in music education. town halls were increasingly becoming equipped with pipe organs I am not saying whatever or not churches were loosing their hold has being the central point to which people assembled for entertainment or decisions regarding was a good decision or not but the decoupling of culture and religion was widening and evident thus pipe organs that were involved in that split had two choices, either stay the same or take the chance at the changing musical landscape in regards orchestral music.



    Thoughts anyone on what you have just read i open the thread to debate.
    Instruments:
    22/8 Button accordion.

  • #2
    I have had to do a great deal of guessing at what you mean because ... it must be said ... your writing style is not the clearest. You make some assumptions that I am not sure exist in actual fact. Organs, be they symphonic or classic exist mainly to allow a single performer to produce the sonic equivalent of a large force of musicians. Economy in other words. Your opinion that in order to engender greater appreciation for the symphonic organ that Baroque works should first have been transcribed for modern orchestra so they could then be transcribed for organ performance ... no. Just no. As it is, 'some' Bach organ works were transcribed for symphony orchestra. The comment about two flute players playing in successive fifths ... I don't know about fifths but I know that symphony orchestras do use flutes and NOT in unison so ... I'm not sure what point is being made. Tell you what, you clarify your argument and I will tell you what I think of the Symphonic vs Classic organ.

    Ever since the age of Capitalism all forms of creativity for hire have struggled with the right balance of value for money. Mixtures went away, not because they were not necessary but because they required a huge investment in materials and craftwork. When the project was well funded, 'some' mixtures were included on even Symphonic Organs but certainly fewer than in Bach's time. Not all of Bach's music is sacred. Not even all of Bach's organ music, but then, as now, you were more likely to find a substantial organ in a church than anywhere else. Non-church Symphonic Organs have never been a serious threat to church organs.

    Comment


    • #3
      You only have to listen to the Stokowski transcription of the Bach Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor (in Fantasia) to realize that the symphony cannot perform well as a simulation of an organ and it's pretty obvious to anyone who has spent much time with organs to realize that they don't make a good simulation of a symphony.

      Organs and symphonic instruments are different instruments with different sounds--while some stops having a somewhat instrumental sound have frequently been included in the organ, the backbone of the classical organ is the Principal (diapason) and there is no instrumental equivalent, though the un-percussed sound of the piano comes quite close to my ears.

      I think most organists these days recognize the value of good mixtures, as they make the organ sound better.

      I think we now live in a time where we can undertand that any specific organ is representative of the musical tastes of the times in which it was built, and there really isn't any organ that is perfectly matched for all musical periods and styles. The symphonic organ came about as a result of the musical style of the time.

      Personally, I don't care for orchestral transcriptions played on the organ--if I want to hear orchestral music, I'll listen to an orchestra.

      One of the great revelations of my musical growth was my first hearing of Pictures at an Exhibition on the instrument for which it was written--the piano. I had previously only known the orchestral transcription, the piano let me hear it as a virtuoso piece. After that, I never wanted to hear it played by an orchestra.

      Comment


      • #4
        As a college student, you should also learn the difference between "loose" and "lose."

        Comment


        • #5
          I find myself hesitating to respond to this thread, because I have a certain fondness for the symphonic organ, since it is related to the theatre organ, which I also like, being an aficionado of gospel music. It is easy to pick on the original post, which does contain a lot of rambling and grammatical errors. But on the other hand, let's try to help this fellow-he is a college student, after all.

          Unfortunately, we live in a day when people do not appreciate classical music, and especially organ music. Tales are told of how people would stand in long lines waiting to get in for the first concert on Ernest Skinner organs, which were definitely symphonic. No classical organ today would attract that kind of enthusiasm. Maybe it was because there was no such thing then as "canned" music, and people weren't saturated with music everywhere they went. But once the pendulum in organ building swung back toward classical sound and specifications, that sort of excitement departed.

          If I were specing a new pipe organ, I would not go for Baroque voicing. Rather, I would aim somewhere between Aeolian-Skinner American Classic and the later Moller style of voicing, with enough extra voices to do a far job of playing what could be called "symphonic" works. a much smaller version of the Moller organ at Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC. would be what I would like.
          Mike

          My home organ is a Theatre III with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by m&m's View Post
            I find myself hesitating to respond to this thread, because I have a certain fondness for the symphonic organ, since it is related to the theatre organ, which I also like, being an aficionado of gospel music. It is easy to pick on the original post, which does contain a lot of rambling and grammatical errors. But on the other hand, let's try to help this fellow-he is a college student, after all.
            I believe pointing out grammar and spelling errors is helpful for a college student. No disrespect intended.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think your observations suffer from a cultural bias and a preference for orchestral music. A similar cultural bias is evident in original film scores which are almost exclusively in the late Romantic orchestral style. The notion that Bach's organ music should be somehow adapted and transcribed to accommodate the tonal characteristics of the symphonic organs strikes me as strange.

              Your point of view seems to rely on the generalization that baroque organs are screechy and unpleasant sounding while symphonic organs are lush and pleasant to listen to. This simply isn't so. There are perfectly lovely sounding baroque style instruments and dreadful mushy sounding instruments from the first half of the 20th century out there. There is this notion that organs replaced during the organ reform movement were all gems worthy of preservation, but that is not so. While no doubt some of those destroyed instruments did not deserve their fate, I'd argue that majority of them were unsuited for their purpose.

              Certainly some organs are more suited to certain styles of music than others, but it does not follow that organs not conforming to one's musical preferences are somehow inferior and unworthy.
              Last edited by Admin; 09-07-2018, 07:24 PM.
              -Admin

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

              Comment


              • #8

                Where to begin......

                I don't wish to sound overly critical (which it probably will come across that way, it isn't my intention) however, I think that some of your statements are based on an incorrect understanding of the history of the organ as it relates to "symphonic" versus "classical" versus (neo)baroque (organ revival movement) to current organ building trends.

                Let's go back to the beginning...the symphonic style organ had it's genesis mostly in the mid and late career of A. Cavaille-Coll of France. His innovations in the tonal (and somewhat mechanical) make up of the organ he built spawned a new style of composition particularly in the works of Cesar Franck and his contemporaries.

                If you hear the organs built by the great end-of-19th-century Builders such as the Hooks, Roosevelt, and numerous other builders, You would know that their 'upperwork' (i.e. mixtures) were anything but screaming and screeching. Nor were the upperwork of the 2 great Baroque period builders that way (I refer to Silbermann and Schnitger).

                Along about the time Audsely put pen to (much) paper and composed "the Art of Organ Building", American organbuilders had yet to adopt the "symphonic" model, even in the larger instruments being built. In 1906 (when A of AB was published), Ernest M Skinner had just started out on his own. It was the middle and later organs that Skinner built that transformed the American organ builders to follow suit in adopting 'symphonic' (or more accurately 'orchestral') voices to the American organ tonal pallet. Along with the necessity of higher wind pressures needed to achieve his tonally desired results, Skinner brought many innovations to the mechanics of the organ so that he could make use of the tonal style he espoused.

                Hope Jones was a mechanical and electrical innovator (some use the word genius), but with the exception of the 20 year or so period of the building of unit organs (a.k.a. theatre organs or unit orchestras as Hope-Jones called them) his tonal ideas really never caught on. Hope-Jones worked for several american organbuilding firms (Skinner, Austin, Wurlitzer) in addition to a relatively unsuccessful try or two to operate his own firm (both in England and the US). Numerous organ building firms did adopt the unit system in building lower-cost church organs, but some decided that the cost savings were overshadowed by the tonal limitations imposed by small, heavily unified organs.

                The supposition you make about two flute players playing in fifths....where did that 'gem' come from? It is widely acknowledged that multiple instruments of a similar kind (violins, trumpets, woodwinds, et al) playing in both unisons and intervals do indeed produce a more lush sound...a sound made very popular by the Philadelphia Orchestra under both Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy both live and in recordings.

                Phew - this is getting pretty long-winded.....so let me just offer this thought...you need to do a LOT more research and gain a correct understanding of the evolution of organbuilding, and not rely so heavily on the musings of Audsely. Consider that he only ever had a scant few of organs that he designed actually having been built, Audsely was an amateur with lots of opinions some good, some not. His magnum opus (which was actually built) bankrupted the company that built it.

                One other thought about the rise of orchestral organs....Skinner in particular loved orchestral music and it was his desire to build organs that could musically render orchestral music with some sense of fidelity (faithfulness to the composer's wishes). You have to understand, also, that at that point in history, symphonic orchestras were few and far between, so the 'common man' had only the organ on which to hear those orchestral works unless they lived in the few cities that had big orchestras. Recording arts were in their infancy, as was radio broadcast technology. With the advent of higher fidelity recordings and mass distribution, the market for 'symphonic' organs waned (combined with the changing tastes of organists) causing styles to trend back towards the more 'classic' tonal style.

                Rick in VA

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by m&m's View Post
                  I find myself hesitating to respond to this thread, because I have a certain fondness for the symphonic organ, since it is related to the theatre organ, which I also like, being an aficionado of gospel music. It is easy to pick on the original post, which does contain a lot of rambling and grammatical errors. But on the other hand, let's try to help this fellow-he is a college student, after all.

                  Unfortunately, we live in a day when people do not appreciate classical music, and especially organ music. Tales are told of how people would stand in long lines waiting to get in for the first concert on Ernest Skinner organs, which were definitely symphonic. No classical organ today would attract that kind of enthusiasm. Maybe it was because there was no such thing then as "canned" music, and people weren't saturated with music everywhere they went. But once the pendulum in organ building swung back toward classical sound and specifications, that sort of excitement departed.

                  If I were specing a new pipe organ, I would not go for Baroque voicing. Rather, I would aim somewhere between Aeolian-Skinner American Classic and the later Moller style of voicing, with enough extra voices to do a far job of playing what could be called "symphonic" works. a much smaller version of the Moller organ at Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC. would be what I would like.
                  I worked not that far from St. Ignatius Loyola, NYC and on the night the Mander was getting its dedication recital I thought I could beat the crowd and get there early. Yah, right. I think they broke every fire regulation in the city that night and still turned hundreds away. 1993. Who knew. But I take your point. In any case, "build it and they will come" is very appropriate here. The C.B. Fisk firm is not known for making lush, Romantic instruments and Schoenstein is not known for their neo-Baroque recreations. Both firms are considered successful and their newest instruments always generate buzz in the organ community. If there is one thing to take from your message though, I think it would be this: 'symphonic' can be applied to just about every kind of organ style there is, not just the obvious monsters like Longwood Gardens or the Wanamaker instrument. The Fisk at Myerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, TX could fairly be called 'symphonic' if you accept my usage of the term.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Myerson Fisk is definitely "Texan"--those 32' metal pipes in the façade are quite imposing. It is, of course, an excellent instrument and scaled to handle working with a 100+ instrument orchestra.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think he was making the point that a mutation rank has no orchestral equivalent.
                      Casey

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SubBase View Post
                        I think he was making the point that a mutation rank has no orchestral equivalent.
                        Casey
                        Maybe, but then neither do we have a harp in a symphonic organ.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SubBase View Post
                          I think he was making the point that a mutation rank has no orchestral equivalent.
                          Casey
                          Thanks, thank you are the first one understand what i was trying to put across.
                          Instruments:
                          22/8 Button accordion.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ben Madison View Post
                            Thanks, thank you are the first one understand what i was trying to put across.
                            But it kinda does, that's the problem. Because you have multiple clarinets, multiple flutes, multiple horns, multiple of everything, in most symphonies you have people playing in octaves, fifths, and thirds with the other parts. And I also think you misunderstand what a symphonic organ is. They're not a replacement of a classical organ, it's an extension of them. They still have mixtures, mutations, principal choruses, all of the things that you would associate with the classical organ, but they also have orchestral sounds. The "unit orchestra" and the like are usually called "orchestral organs" and the distinction does have to be made. It's impossible to accurately play Bach, Buxtehude, Daquin, Wesley, Stanley, Greene or any other baroque/classical works on an orchestral organ, but it is possible to do so with a symphonic organ. And about mutations, symphonic organs had more mutations than a classical organ. b21st, 1-1/7', 8/9', other weird things.

                            My bigger question here is "Why does the organ have to imitate an orchestra?". What purpose does it serve? The only real reason that organs were required to replace symphony orchestras in the first place was because going to a concert was really expensive, and it was cheaper for a city to have an organist that could perform those works by himself. Before the advent of easily accessible home music, the only way to listen to orchestral music was by going to a concert, until the invention of the symphonic organ. Look at the organ in St George's Hall, Liverpool. Every time the orchestra up the road put on a concert, the city organist would go and have a look at the programme, get the scores out of the library and play the same concert for free on the organ. This was fantastic for people that couldn't afford to to the orchestral performance, but we aren't in that situation anymore. If I want to listen to Mahler 5, I go on Spotify, hook it up to my home stereo and listen away. I don't need to go to a concert to hear it. That's why I find orchestral organs so frustrating. I personally think that organs should be built for playing organ music, not an ultimately inferior version of an orchestral piece.

                            And god, I love organ symphonies. But they were written for organ, not for an orchestra. And that's the ultimate definition of a symphonic organ: An organ that has the expressive and tonal capabilities to play a symphony, but preferably one written for organ. And an orchestral piece played on an organ is never going to sound as good anyway. You can't get the second viola to play one specific A slightly louder to emphasise a chord, or get accurate pizzicato on the violins. Can you imagine trying to play the clarinet glissando from Rhapsody in Blue on an organ? You can't pitch-blend like that on an organ, and so you won't get the same effect. It's nonsensical to think that an organ can replace an orchestra, no matter how much we like to pretend that it can. And "expanding organ literature"? There's a couple of easy ways to do that. 1. Write new organ literature. 2. Play more than BWV565, Widor's Toccata and the like. There are THOUSANDS of organ works. We are not limited in any way. Why expand the literature when only a fifth of it is ever played? The orchestral organ fundamentally doesn't have a reason to exist. Its sole reason for being around has been replaced by a succession of recording technologies and cheaper concerts. However, you can't play Bach well with an orchestra. That's not what it was written for. Hence the Organ Reform Movement. Suddenly "wow, we can play the music how it was intended, rather than a bastardised transcription of a transcription. This sounds way better!". Because orchestral organs are a bad replacement for an orchestra, and an even worse replacement of a classical organ.
                            Last edited by APipeOrganist; 09-10-2018, 03:14 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SubBase View Post
                              I think he was making the point that a mutation rank has no orchestral equivalent.
                              Casey
                              Originally posted by Ben Madison View Post
                              Thanks, thank you are the first one understand what i was trying to put across.
                              If you are reading this, both of you have also seen post #14 and in the very first line it accurately and succicntly shows why both of you are incorrect. The only difference between the organ and the orchestra with respect to mixtures is that the orchestral mixture is dynamic. It exists in the score, and not in the relay system.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X