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One or two expressive divisions-which?

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  • One or two expressive divisions-which?



    In 1985 the Lutheran Church on the West Side replaced their 1865 Johnson/1940 Hillgreen[all expressive in 2 boxes] with a new 3m Austin with 1 expressive section-the swell- and 2 unexpressive--great and positiv. My OLD teacher said he wishes they had 2 enclosed sections. But, this man was an old school figure in the area. The organ he played till he retired was a 4m then later 3m Austin with 4 enclosed divisions including most of the great though the first 3 stops were on an open soundboard. Incidentally that was one of few Austins that had a separate great box and gemshorn celeste in the great. Only other I remember is St James Cathedral Church-4m 1920- Leo Sowerbys church--with an enclosed great gemshorn celeste!--except his enclosed great was enclosed with the choir. Orpha Osche offers the 1920 specs in her Austin book with an error-the great principal diapason 8 is missing in her list and a later spitzflote 8 is listed as if it was original to 1920 when actually is was more like the 1960s when an additional 2m Austin went into the transept.




    For YOUR taste and needs; on a 3m-do you prefer 1 or 2 expressive sections?


  • #2
    Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?

    [quote user="sesquialtera16"]


    For YOUR taste and needs; on a 3m-do you prefer 1 or 2 expressive sections?



    [/quote]



    I prefer 2 enclosed divisions - Swell and Positif. I feel like I have more control over the instrument that way. In fact, I probably wouldn't mind if the Great/Pedal was enclosed as well. On my Baldwin, the Great/Pos are enclosed together, and it often comes in handy!



    With that being said, perhaps the most expressive organ I've ever heard is the Fisk at the Meyerson (if anyone has a recording of Mary Preston playing the Jongen Sonata Eroica, they know exactly what I'm talking about). However, most of her crescendos/decrescendos were masterfully done with adding/removing stops, as the 4 manual instrument only has 2 enclosed divisions - the Swell and the Tuba! (I can't remember if there is a Crescendo shoe or not - I don't think there is).



    - sbd

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



      Our church organ has two expressive divisions, the Choir and the Swell. Our music director prefers this both for accompanying the choir and because he plays all of the literature, including the French Romantic and Expressionist works. (Please do not ask me to define my terms; your bestguess is close enough for this discussion.) He uses the expression shades rather liberally.




      I, on the other hand, am more of a liturgical organist and what literature I play is more for preludes, communions, and postludes. For example, for communion last weekend I played Louis Vierne's Berceuse with all the shades wide open until the final few bars. I achieved dynamic contrasts by coupling the Swell to the Choir and both of them to the Great and switching manuals where appropriate. Due to the nature of the piece, the dynamic changes were minimal because the entire piece was soft andserene. While unorthodox, this worked out fine. I cannot explain why I feel more comfortable playing this way; but I do.




      I suppose if I ever learn to play more of the literature in a strictly orthodox manner, I would prefer the two enclosed divisions rather than one.




      Our Great and Pedal are unenclosed and we also have a Positiv division in the chancel. (The main organ is in the loft.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



        For church I prefer all divisions (except Great & Pedal) to be enclosed.




        I have an enclosed Choir and Swell. However, I'd gladly trade in two expressive divisions for one that is effective! If the chamber walls are thin or if the shades are ineffective thenall the shades in the world are pointless...




        All that flappinglooks impressive however. Or distracting.




        PS: Try tracking down a squeak when you have 96 shades. [:(]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



          In the very earliest of the 70s our college music dept had as principal recital organ a 3m w/ 2 enc divisions--the latter a cute choir-positif.




          Later afterI left school the prof got a new 3m w/ 1 enc swell--unenclosed gt and pos. As I was granted use of that organ by subsequent admins from the university that had gone in dutch on the cost of the organI learned to get by w/ only the one --the sw. NowI am spoiled! I have 5 swell boxes and 2 unenclosed including a real 32!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



            The organI use :




            gt




            quintade16




            diapason8




            principal8*




            bourdon 8




            gemshorn 8




            spitzflote 8*




            spitz celeste 8*




            octave 4




            principal 4*




            nachthorn 4




            quint 2-2/3




            superoctave2




            fifteenth 2*




            furniture iv




            mixture iii*




            *separate swell-box





            swell




            bourdon 16




            geigen8




            rohrflote 8




            melodia 8*




            gamba 8




            vox celeste 8




            aeoline 8*




            vox angelica 8*




            principal 4




            waldflote 4




            stopped diapason 4*




            blockflote 2




            flachflote 2*




            sesquialtera ii*




            pleinjeu iv




            bassoon 16




            trumpet 8*




            trompette 8




            oboe8




            vox8




            clarion 4


            *=separate swell-box





            choir positif




            nasonflute8




            dulciana8




            undamaris8




            prestant4




            koppelflote4




            oktav2




            quint1-1/3




            sesquialtera ii




            cymbal iii




            krummhorn8






            solo-bombarde




            orch flute 8




            cello




            cello celeste 8




            harmonicflute4




            frenchhorn8




            englishhorn8




            trompette harmonique 8




            clarion harmonique 4





            pedal




            soubasse32




            contrabass16




            violone 16




            bourdon 16 I




            bourdon 16 II




            quintade 16




            gedeckt 16




            gemshorn 16




            principal 8




            spitzflote 8




            flute 8




            quintatetn 8




            gedeckt 8




            choralbass 4




            spitzflote 4




            flute 2




            mixture iii




            bombarde 16




            bassoon 16




            trompette 8




            krummhorn 4

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?

              [quote user="MenchenStimme"]

              For example, for communion last weekend I played Louis Vierne's Berceuse with all the shades wide open until the final few bars. I achieved dynamic contrasts by coupling the Swell to the Choir and both of them to the Great and switching manuals where appropriate. Due to the nature of the piece, the dynamic changes were minimal because the entire piece was soft andserene. While unorthodox, this worked out fine. I cannot explain why I feel more comfortable playing this way; but I do.




              [/quote]



              That seems an odd decision to me. What about the frequent 2 bar cresc and dim that should be done with the Swell box? Did you just ignore them?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



                Yes, Simon, I confess that I did ignore them. I freely admit that my interpretation was unorthodox. If anyone else in the church was aware of this, it either did not bother them or they were too polite to say so.




                [:$]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?

                  I doubt it bothered anyone at all, and I didn't mean to sound as critical as I seem to on rereading my post. It's just one of those little details I couldn't imagine leaving out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



                    No problem, Simon! I fully understand and respect your position.




                    Cheers!!




                    [D][<:o)]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?

                      I prefer as many as the instrument size will justify, but at least two. You can keep the shutters open if you don't want to use them. One of the most interesting effects possible is to couple two expressive manuals together with contrasting registration on each (example a flute celeste on one and a string or small diapason on the other) then close one of the boxes. As you play on the one manual gradually open the box that is closed and close the box that is open. The tonal quality of the music gradually blends from the one registration to the other while maintaining a hint of both. The effect can be incredible on the right piece. You can also use this technique to bring more stops in without the sudden jump so common with many crescendo pedals.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?

                        I attended a recital by a former business contact John Rose of Hartford Conn about 20 years ago at the Riverside Church in Manhattan in which John was doing the Franck Prelude Et Fugue and Variation.He used two coupled solo- ish reeds: a hautbois in the swell and an english horn in the solo. He would open one box while closing the other back and forth. The effect was clever and the melody bounced from the chamber above the console on a beautiful double-bell english horn; to the chamber across the chancel on the swell hautbois. A charming contrast and bright idea.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



                          [quote user="sesquialtera16"]I attended a recital by a former business contact John Rose of Hartford Conn about 20 years ago at the Riverside Church in Manhattan in which John was doing the Franck Prelude Et Fugue and Variation.He used two coupled solo- ish reeds: a hautbois in the swell and an english horn in the solo. He would open one box while closing the other back and forth. The effect was clever and the melody bounced from the chamber above the console on a beautiful double-bell english horn; to the chamber across the chancel on the swell hautbois. A charming contrast and bright idea.[/quote]



                          Very clever! Maybe not authentic, but very clever indeed. I'll need to keep that in mind!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?

                               I'm a big fan of total or near-total expression, particularly in the Moller style where the Great and Choir are enclosed together.  The new organ at my Church was modeled along these lines, albeit on a smaller scale:

                            Great Organ - Enclosed with Choir

                            8' First Diapason
                            8' Second Diapason
                            8' Gamba
                            8' Gedeckt
                            4' Octave (Ext)
                            4' Wald Flute
                            2' Fifteenth (Ext)
                            III Mixture (Prep)
                            8' Tromba

                            Swell Organ - Enclosed

                            8' Geigen Diapason
                            8' Salicional
                            8' Voix Celeste
                            8' Chimney Flute
                            4' Salicet (Ext)
                            4' Flute
                            2' Harmonic Piccolo (Ext)
                            8' Fagotto
                            8' Cornopean

                            Choir Organ - Enclosed with Great

                            8' Diapason (Great)
                            8' Gamba (Great)
                            8' Wald Flute (Great)
                            8' Flute Celeste
                            4' Gambette (Ext. Great)
                            4' Flute d' Amour
                            8' Tuba (Unenclosed)

                            Pedal Organ

                            32' Acoustic Bass (Lieblich plus 1-12 quint pipes)
                            16' Major Bass
                            16' Lieblich Gedeckt (Ext. Great)
                            8' Diapason (Great)
                            8' Bass Flute (Ext.)
                            8' Gedeckt (Great)
                            8' Cello (Swell)
                            16' Trombone (Prep)
                            8' Tromba (Great)
                            8' Cornopean (Swell)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: One or two expressive divisions-which?



                              I'm not sure I would agree with an expressive positiv. I think it would probably sound weird. The positiv is supposed to be free and open to allow its chiffy nature to come out to its full extent.




                              Most organs I know have Choir and Swell under expression, nothing else. This makes the most sense to me, although there should be some 16' soft stopped basses (liblichs or bourdons) under expression.

                              Comment

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