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Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

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  • Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

    Anyone heard of this instrument? It has a real 32' reed and it's only 13 Ranks! I believe it was printed in the American organist magazine a good while back. Wow, I must admit I was quite surprised to see this after I had managed to crawl back into my chair. What irony this is, surely this phenomenon is like putting a Sousaphone in an orchestra of Piccolos! Still amazed, I don't understand why on earth an organbuilder would use the money for a 32' and not put the money towards more foundation ranks or a good solid mixture on the great. One last thing I don't understand is why the 32' is called a Contra Fagotto and not a Double Trumpet. Any reason? And I thought that two manual organs with chamades were a bit over the top...

    Anyways, I thought you guys might find this interesting if you have not already seen it.

    The Link:

    I bet it's really fun to play, though.

  • #2
    Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

    hehehe..interesting...I wish I had the space for a 32' pedal reed on my 5 rank Reuter ;)


    • #3
      Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

      I agree, it's a very strange spec. I can't figure out easily what the borrows must be because it looks more like a 20 stop / 25 rank spec. My reading is that the 32' stop might be the only one on the pedal that is not a borrow? Granted I haven't tried to figure out a stop=rank=pipe equivalence in a while.

      I think super octave 2 and a quint 1 1/3 would sound pretty mixture-y.


      • #4
        Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

        If it seems strange, it is strange.[:D]

        I'm pretty sure it would sound as strange as one might imagine too.

        Not something I'd want to encounter... [^o)]


        • #5
          Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

          That's an awful lot of pedal. Strange organ indeed.


          • #6
            Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

            It is indeed a strange organ. I wish it wasn't so far from me; I would love to take a close look at it.

            The 32' Contrafagotto might just be an extension of the 16' trumpet; I have heard of 16' Fagottos being extensions of 8' Trumpets. I am surprised, though, that in an organ so small the 32' is actually composed of pipework, and is not electronic.


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


            • #7
              Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

              You guys just have a bad case of suppressedplenum envy. We allwish we had that 32' reed, now don't we?

              This does look like an organbegging for some digital augmentation. How aboutsome mixtures, another celeste, a 4' principal in the swell,another 16' stop on the pedal -- that Bourdon issurely overbearing against the celeste andinadequate against the tutti.Six or eightdigital stops wouldn't cost much to add and would fill out the stoplist nicely. But that's coming from a real non-purist.

              But it's a nice spec for only 13 ranks. Bound to be some detectable unification, but what else can you do given the price of ranks these days.


              *** 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!



              • #8
                Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                Maybe they were planning a future expansion? Who knows, maybe a slip of the pen on the builders spec sheet? What a nasty surprise that would be!



                • #9
                  Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                  Minus the 32-foot reed, this organ is not unlike my residence instrument. They are very fortunate to have the space to install the 32 horizontally. Perhaps there is vision at work here after all. Now that the 32 is in, future donors can concentrate on "straightening out" the specification as John Bird suggests; but with real pipes. This is much more likely to happen. What I am suggesting is that had the money spent on the 32 gone toward making the tonal scheme better in the hope of adding the 32 "some day" that probably never would have happened. Now the 32 is done, it is more likely that the less costly and more orthodox improvements will happen with time. So, 100 years from now the organ may be better overall that it otherwise would have been. And yes, I think that we all want a 32-foot reed.



                  • #10
                    Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                    [quote user="jbird604"]You guys just have a bad case of suppressedplenum envy. We allwish we had that 32' reed, now don't we?[/quote]I play plenty of organs with real 32' reeds - full-length, at that - however, I use this stop very judiciously.

                    Chamades and 32' reeds are useful in proportion to how often they are used, and in a tiny Episcopal church I can't imagine that would be very often.

                    Actually, because the spec is so small I get the feeling that the organist uses the Chamade and 32' stops quite a bit more often than the congregation might wish! [:D]

                    A 32' half-length reed (if it is even that long?) is such a nice sound, close up - especially useful for the more comical moments in the worship service. [8-)]


                    • #11
                      Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                      I think the organ would do nicely with a 16' Contra Salicional extension laid on its side in the place of the 32' Contra Fagotto, that would make service playing so much easier on the organist. I also might add proper upperwork to the great division like a good III Mixture 19-22-26 (no one can go wrong with on of those) and a small harmonic flute for the swell division would be put to good use!

                      My two cents worth of bupkes. What would you guys add/take away to make this organ sound better?



                      • #12
                        Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                        I was thinking about this earlier and started to wonder, what constitutes having a (real) 32' pedal? At what point is the organ 'large enough', practically, for these scales to be considered? 

                        A 32' reed seems over the top, but what about a much softer rank? 

                        On the other hand, most of the digital organs I've played, even the smallest, had some form of 32' stop (whether 'real' or resultant). Granted, they were a tad out of date even then.




                        • #13
                          Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                          [quote user="Violoncello"]What would you guys add/take away to make this organ sound better?[/quote]

                          OK, here's my 'improved' version (on paper, at least -a valid assessment could only be madeby hearing the organ!) [:)]

                          16’ Double Melodia 16’ Stopped Diapason (Sw, ext.)
                          8’ Principal
                          8’ Melodia (I might replace this with a more flexible stop, such as a Chimney Flute)
                          4’ Octave
                          4’ Hohl Flote (Hohlflöte)
                          2’ Super Octave
                          1 1/3’ Quint 1 1/3’ Mixture IV
                          16’Oboe (Sw.)
                          8’ Trumpet (Sw.)
                          8’ Clarinet (Sw.) (I would have this playable from the Great, but in the Swell box)
                          8’ Trumpet Imperial
                          Swell to Great 8’ to 4’

                          8’ Stopped Diapason
                          8’ Salicional
                          8’ Vox Celeste
                          4’ Gedeckt Flute
                          2’ Flautino
                          II Cornet (I wouldsplit this on to two drawknobs, for flexibility)
                          16’ Clarinet TC 16’Oboe (ext)
                          8’ Trumpet
                          4’ Clarion 8’Oboe (No need for a 4' chorus reed in such a small room)
                          8’ Trumpet Imperial

                          16’ Bourdon
                          16’ Stopped Diapason (Sw) (With this stop, the 16’ Bourdon can be sufficiently loud)
                          8’ Pedal Principal (One assumes it is a Pedal Principal [:D])
                          8’ Melodia (or Chimney Flute, if the Great stop is replaced)
                          4’ Choral Bass (hopefully this is soft enough to do double duty as a 4’ Flute)
                          32’ Cornet III
                          32’ Contra Fagotto
                          16’ Trumpet (I assume thisis a Swell borrow, in which case
                          8’Trumpet (it is silly to not include borrows at 8' and 4',
                          4’ Trumpet (in consideration of organ literature.

                          Great to Pedal 8’ and 4’
                          Swell to Pedal 8’ and 4’

                          The money saved by not having a 32' reed or a Chamade, would go towards having the 16'/8' Oboe unit, a 12-note Stopped Diapason 16' extension, and a proper Great Mixture IV.


                          • #14
                            Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                            The builder has a complimentary CD featuring this organ as well as another one. He'll be gald to send you one.

                            I suppose I should go and hear/try this organ. It's only about 15-20 minutes away from me. My colleagues who have heard it have said nice things about it, despite its unusual stoplist. IIRC, the 32' reed is very understated.


                            • #15
                              Re: Have You Seen This? My Goodness!

                              I've never been able to understand the logic of inclusions of 32 foot ranks in these smaller schemes. As others have said, it would be money worth spending on other, more useful ranks.

                              In Britain, there is a 32 foot reed on a fairly small two manual organ - I include the link below for organ spec anoraks - which is somewhat unique. Not only is the stop label blank, but it is also playable only by engaging a switch operated by a key. I gather that the organist is somewhat protective of this stop. It's name is somewhat dubious, too...