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"Iconic" organs of each decade

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  • "Iconic" organs of each decade



    With some of the recent discussions about churches tossing out their (possibly historic, or relatively new) organs, I thought of posing this question...




    What is the most important/significant/impressive organ built in the 1950's, and what makes it so special? I'm looking for a specific installation rather than a builder, and a new organ as opposed to a rebuild.




    Then answer the same question forthe 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, and post-2000.




    Size alone should not be the determining factor.




    I realize it may take a while to come up with some opinions, but that's OK.




    I'll throw one out, off the top of my head... For the 1990's I might list this one: http://guilbault-therien.ntic.qc.ca/gsemin.html


  • #2
    Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



    I'd have to say the Meyerson Fisk for the 90s. It sparked the new concert hall organ movement and arguably is responsible for Disney Hall, Kimmel Center, Nashville and many others.



    For the 60s I would say the Phelps-a-vant tracker at Colorado State University. It was the first tracker at an American University and is the reason many universities have trackers today. Back then it had a huge cult following of "tracker backers" who were throwing out swell boxes, dropping wind pressures, and adding upperwork.



    Soubasse, why do you list the guilbault-therien organ?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



      Although it's not a church, I'm going to have to say for the 90's the Fisk at the Meyerson here in Dallas. It's my favourite organ ever constructed, and is easily the most versatile tonally. It overall is just a superb instrument in a fantastic room.



      Also, after reading "All the Stops," I think that the organ at Riverside is worth mentioning. I know Riverside had a Hook/Hastings prior, but I was fairly sure the Aeolian Skinner was a new instrument (maybe I'm wrong). I know Virgil Fox pushed to get the instrument put in (his way, of course), so I think that would be a notable instrument of the late 50's early 60's.



      Cheers!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



        Guh, I'm having trouble finding a link for it. No picture or stoplist; the website for the C.B. Fisk Organ at the Stanford University Chapen is rather frustrating. It was built in 1984, and combines two different tuning principles. I haven't seen any other instruments that can do what Fisk did with that one; he made a 17-pipe octave that can switch between well-tempered tuning and mean tempered with a flick of a level. It's a four-manual tracker organ, and I can be persuaded to provide a stoplist if anyone wants it; it's in this technique book I have (which has some beautiful pictures).'





        Best link I can find: http://www.stanford.edu/group/religi...ml#fisk-nanney

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



          Kudos go to the Fisk atMeyerson(especially for resuscitating the Résonance concept), and also toRosales forreminding us thatmechanical actions can also controla more romanticspec (Trinity Episcopal,Portland). Kudos also go to Van den Heuvel for revisiting the tenets of Cavaillé-Coll, especially the Barker lever, ventils, and divided windpressure. Jean Guillou and Detlev Kleukershowed ussome intriguing tonal schemes. For better or worse, the façade at Disney Hall shook up organ-lovers and the general public and got people to thinking about the organ in a new way.




          [quote user="Pipedreamer"] Guh, I'm having trouble finding a link for it. No picture or stoplist; the website for the C.B. Fisk Organ at the Stanford University Chapen is rather frustrating.[/quote]




          Fisk has redone their website, and I found the Stanford organ with photo & stoplist. Here you go: http://www.cbfisk.com/do/DisplayInstrument/instId/85




          [quote user="PleinJeu"] Soubasse,why do you list the guilbault-therien organ?[/quote]




          I'll admit that this organ is unlikely to be at the top of anyone's list but I am very impressed with it from a conceptual standpoint,and Iwasequally impressed withtherealization of that concept (listening to it in person). As far as I can tell, it is the first modernattempt at a full-blown, uncompromisingFrench baroque organ.




          When you consider the importance of the French classical genre, it is amazing that nobody had the gumption to build such a thing in modern times.




          I think the Organ Reform Movement was so smitten with the German baroque/Bach that the early Frenchstyle was unjustlyoverlooked. I'm glad to see that is being rectified. The Dom Bedos re-creation in Bordeaux isanotherexcellentexample: http://www.france-orgue.fr/bordeaux/index.php?zpg=bdx.org.cpn




          Another organ that intrigues me: the Munetaka Yokota organ built for Chico State in the 1980's: http://www.csuchico.edu/mus/organ/stoplist1.htm I remember reading that the builder enlisted a number of students to help build this organ according to organbuilding practices contemporary with Silbermann and Hildebrandt. It gives "organic" a new meaning.




          As far as historical tuning, I'm aware of the temperament lever at Stanford.This concept carried to an extreme can be seen at theTokyo Metropolitan Art Space Organ (discussed recently in this thread: http://organforum.com/forums/thread/37026.aspx). What astonishes me is that the entire organ can be spun around to present an entirely different organ. The specification is such that it should be able to play a wide range of literature in a convincing manner.




          One of the most interesting21st-century organsis the Fisk recently installed in Lausanne: http://www.cbfisk.com/do/DisplayInstrument/instId/120 Although I'm not fond of the instrument from a tonal standpoint, what it represents has ramifications beyond any musical considerations: it is the first American organ built for a European cathedral.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



            Thank you very much Soubasse!





            I'm learning that with the organ world, it takes a lot more tenacity to find and pull stuff up than in the percussion world.





            Or knowing the right people...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade

              Another vote of support for the Dom Bedos. But do you count it for 1840 or 1990? [8-|] Of course they had the advantage of the book in the reconstruction. But if you read the whole story, then a lot of the pipework actually survived but had to be redone because in bad -metalurgical- condition. The old website of the city of Bordeaux had a lot more info.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade

                For this decade: the Disney organ definitely qualifies as "iconic", though the visual design was a collaboration between Frank Gehry and Rosales, while the organ was built by the now-closed Glatter-Gotz firm.  The organ caused a lot of controversy in professional circles well before it went in.

                For me  it would be a toss up between this and the new Dobson at  Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center.  Honorable mention must also go to the new Fritts in Columbus and the new Beckerath at the Kopondoga in Russia.

                For the 1990s I think the Mander at St. Ignatius must be considered.  At the time it represented a significant departure, especially compared to the other recent organs in NYC.  It definitely changed the way I thought about visual design.

                I am having difficulties coming up with anything for the 1980s or 1970s.   These were somewhat dark times for domestic organbuilding.

                I'll mull this one over and get back to you...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade

                  This one is debatable, as to how to consider it, but for the 70's I would nominate either black Beauty (of Heavy Organ fame) or perhaps the Allen Touring organ. While neither one was great as far as organs go, they were/are pretty iconic, and pretty important, as they were tools that Virgil Fox used to try to bring the organ - and the work of his beloved J.S. Bach - to the masses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade

                    We might also consider the Duke Chapel Flentrop for the 70s. It was the last big organ Dirk Flentrop had a big hand in.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade

                      The Flentrop is an excellent choice for the 1970s.  I would also nominate the 1979 Fisk at House of Hope.  Orlos III, anyone?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade

                        For the50's: the1958 Flentrop in the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard. ThroughBiggs' recordings and broadcasts, this instrument had an enormous impacton numerousorgans built over the next 20+ years. And although the style pendulumhas nowswung inthe other direction, it remains a darn good instrument.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



                          Austin's suggestion of nominating one of Virgil's touring organs brings up the point that far more people heard "Black Beauty" than will ever hear most of these other organs. Certainly his two electronic organs had moreimpact on American popular culture and the prominence of the organ during his lifetime than most major pipe organ installations could ever hope for.




                          Come to think of it, it almost seems that the death of Virgil marked the beginning of the current anti-organ trend in many churches today. Perhaps he was doing even more for the organ than he or we realized.




                          BTW, on the Fisk in Dallas, what (to show my ignorance) is the "Resonance" division? And thanks for mentioning that one. It is an easy day's drive from me, and I'm going to make a point of going to see and hear it before I die. So I can tell St. Peter that, yes, I did get around to seeing at least one great American organ.




                          John


                          John
                          ----------
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                          • #14
                            Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



                            Hi John,




                            For an example of a resonance division, please see the link below and look at Manual IV Grand Choir:




                            http://www.rieger-kloss.com/our_organs/3719/3719.html




                            Cheers!




                            [D]


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: "Iconic" organs of each decade



                              Mench,




                              Thanks for the link and info. So, the "Resonance" division (as I understand the Rieger-Kloss explanation) involves giving all the pedal stops 61 pipes instead of 32, then making the entire pedal division playable from the fourth manual? How interesting!




                              I've driven down Government Street in Mobile a number of times, as we usually go down to the Redneck Riviera every summer, and sometimes cut through Mobile instead of taking the bypass around. I don't remember that church, but I wasn't looking for it. Maybe sometime I'll stop in and see that organ.




                              John


                              John
                              ----------
                              *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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