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West Point Organ Complete Specification

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  • West Point Organ Complete Specification

    I have not yet located a complete stoplist for the West Point Cadet Chapel Organ. I have found several general ones, but not yet one that lists the entire row by row layout of the 800+ stops. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • #2
    I have not looked for such a thing but I wonder why it would be so hard. Last I knew the WPCCO was ~185 ranks. I 'think' I may have heard in passing that it was closer to 205 ranks now. Even allowing for mixtures ... 800+ stops? I don't even think the Wanamaker Organ has 800 speaking stops. You may in fact be looking at more complete stop lists than you know.

    Edit: So ... I was wrong. Happens. Organ was 375 ranks in 2007. 874 speaking stops. Here is the specification. Was not hard to find at all. Understanding the point of it will be the hard part.
    Last edited by Leisesturm; 01-13-2020, 02:52 PM.

    Comment


    • Organist2020
      Organist2020 commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok. Thanks! I jus was uncertain because it didn’t seem like there were 800 stops on the lists I saw, including that one. Also, when I look at pictures of the organ, the stop tabs have tons of wording on them. Any ideas?

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Organist2020,

      When I looked at the list Leisesturm linked, it does, indeed, appear to contain ±800 stop names. I just counted the shortest list of the 5 columns, then multiplied it by 5. My guestimate using this method did come up with approximately 800 stop names.

      OTOH, not all stop names are created equal. Some (i.e. Mixtures) have more than 5 ranks, while others (i.e. 32' Contre Posaune) are simply 12-note extensions of another rank. Other ranks are only treble or bass half of the keyboard (like Celestes), while others drop pipes toward the extremities of the keyboard. For those reasons, on many organs–especially larger organs–it is extremely difficult to obtain an accurage rank count, much less pipe count.

      Michael

  • #3
    Just because it's a big organ doesn't means it's great. Although I've never heard it myself, everyone says that it's something like what you'd get if you combine organs played by Bach, Elgar, Hollins, and Widor.
    Organs I play regularly:
    -Estey Opus 3103, II/8 (1938)
    -Schantz Opus 2145/2224, IV/86 (1998-2002)

    For a list of other organs I've played, see my bio.

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by St Josaphat
      it's something like what you'd get if you combine organs played by Bach, Elgar, Hollins, and Widor.
      In other words, because it has stops capable of reproducing all genres, it cannot be a good organ? Perhaps in the wrong hands. Hmmm.

      Michael

  • #4
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    In other words, because it has stops capable of reproducing all genres, it cannot be a good organ? Perhaps in the wrong hands. Hmmm.

    Michael
    myorgan I just know that if I were to play that organ I would want to put full organ on... and by doing that I would literally put every stop on and couple everything to the Great and the Pedal!

    I did play at Boardwalk Hall a few months ago, so that was fun.
    Organs I play regularly:
    -Estey Opus 3103, II/8 (1938)
    -Schantz Opus 2145/2224, IV/86 (1998-2002)

    For a list of other organs I've played, see my bio.

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by St Josaphat
      @myorgan I just know that if I were to play that organ I would want to put full organ on... and by doing that I would literally put every stop on and couple everything to the Great and the Pedal!
      Thus the difference between a new organist and a seasoned organist. With "all the stops," you're just wasting wind. I daresay that Aeoline, Dulciana, or Erzähler will never be heard on full organ.

      Michael

  • #5
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    Thus the difference between a new organist and a seasoned organist. With "all the stops," you're just wasting wind. I daresay that Aeoline, Dulciana, or Erzähler will never be heard on full organ.

    Michael
    I know! I wouldn't actually! I'd just be tempted too... but no. I've only been playing organ for two years, but I consider myself very good at registration.
    Organs I play regularly:
    -Estey Opus 3103, II/8 (1938)
    -Schantz Opus 2145/2224, IV/86 (1998-2002)

    For a list of other organs I've played, see my bio.

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting how various organists get into the profession–some organists' forte is sight-reading, some improvisation, some classical, and some registration. It's interesting how we get "hooked."

      It is my understanding the Wanamaker String division is designed so the organist can sweep one hand across the string division tabs to gradually build a string crescendo via registration. I've never seen it or heard it, but have always wanted to.

      Michael

  • #6
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    It is my understanding the Wanamaker String division is designed so the organist can sweep one hand across the string division tabs to gradually build a string crescendo via registration. I've never seen it or heard it, but have always wanted to.
    Sounds like fun! Are all the divisions enclosed, other than the facade, of course?
    Organs I play regularly:
    -Estey Opus 3103, II/8 (1938)
    -Schantz Opus 2145/2224, IV/86 (1998-2002)

    For a list of other organs I've played, see my bio.

    Comment


    • #7
      Originally posted by St Josaphat View Post
      Sounds like fun! Are all the divisions enclosed, other than the facade, of course?
      I don't know the answer to that question. I believe I read it in some literature about the organ somewhere.

      My only experience with the Wannamaker organ was during the 100th anniversary, and I had to talk a rather large man off the organ bench so I could actually see the organ when our group went by the console. When we went into the chambers, the person giving the tour wasn't very knowledgeable and they were running out of time at the end of the day, so we missed most of the chambers.

      With the exception of Longwood Gardens, I've been disappointed with my experiences visiting almost every large organ in the US. I've given up, actually. We travel hundreds of miles (sometimes thousands) to visit an organ on the public tours, and play backseat to tourists asking asinine questions, tour guides explaining to us that there is at least one pipe per note we see on the keyboard, or tour guides thinking what they have to say is worth the endless pratter. It is so tempting to ask a technical question they probably wouldn't know!

      I've actually found organs and organists in Europe to be far more friendly to travelers. I guess they have a less-entitled mindset in their musical world.

      Sorry, rant over.

      Michael
      Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
      • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
      • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
      • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

      Comment


      • Leisesturm
        Leisesturm commented
        Editing a comment
        I think what you mean to say, Michael is: "I've never read that before" because I'm pretty certain that you have heard Bach preludes and some fugues played with a 16' reed in the pedal. We all have. That is how ubiquitous the practice is. Please, someone, anyone, agree with this. If you insist, however, I can find written instruction on the registration of Bach works that direct the practice.

      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Leisesturm
        I think what you mean to say, Michael is: "I've never read that before" because I'm pretty certain that you have heard Bach preludes and some fugues played with a 16' reed in the pedal.
        Don't count on it!!! In Music History class my junior year of college, the professor made the statement that everyone had heard a complete work of Beethoven. He could not believe I had never heard a complete work of Beethoven–even Für Elise. You can guess what the assignment was that night!

        Michael

      • tbeck
        tbeck commented
        Editing a comment
        Michael, I would take issue with your music professor. It's true that most serious musicians would have heard most of Beethoven's major works, but he was fairly prolific. And then he wrote some real turkeys that are seldom performed. Did you know he wrote an oratorio called "Christ on the Mount of Olives?" If you haven't heard of it, or heard it, there's a good reason. It's not a great piece. Maybe not even a good one. How about "Wellington's Victory?" Again, not great. I wonder how many recordings that music professor has of it. I haven't heard all of his 16 string quartets. How many people have heard all of them?

    • #8
      Originally posted by Leisesturm
      Which Prelude in C by Bach, Ben? There are at least two of note. And 'growly'? You can do better than that. It is established performance practice for works of Bach to use a 16' solo reed in the Pedal registration. Just shows there is no accounting for taste. I do not go out of my way to listen to Bach works performed on Cavaille-Coll organs. In any case, you need no lament the fact that Aristide Cavaille-Coll wasn't able to build any of his oeuvre in the States. I am pretty sure that either the Longwood or Wanamaker organs could sound exactly like a C.C. if the organist wanted it to. When playing Bach, most American organists don't want to sound like they are trying to play Durufle. It's a style thing ...
      I have errored, it was Prelude in C# Minor by Rachmaninoff transcribed for pipe organ Vierne
       
      Last edited by myorgan; 04-09-2020, 06:19 AM. Reason: Fix quote.
      Instruments:
      22/8 Button accordion.

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Ben,

        If you're going to quote a person, please click on "Quote" under their post. That way someone doesn't need to fix it for you.

        Michael

        P.S. Are you sure it wasn't a transcript by Chopin of a transcript of Mozart by Buxtehude?

      • St Josaphat
        St Josaphat commented
        Editing a comment
        She is just amazing. She can improvise things that many organists can't even play off of sheet music!

      • tbeck
        tbeck commented
        Editing a comment
        Bach...Rachmaninoff. What's the diff? Who can tell them apart? Like Sting and Elgar.

    • #9
      Originally posted by tbeck View Post
      Bach...Rachmaninoff. What's the diff? Who can tell them apart? Like Sting and Elgar.
      I mean, Elgar is a little better than Sting, but they're both great! I'm generally not a fan of Bach, I only like a few of his works.
      Organs I play regularly:
      -Estey Opus 3103, II/8 (1938)
      -Schantz Opus 2145/2224, IV/86 (1998-2002)

      For a list of other organs I've played, see my bio.

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a relief! I take it you disagree with M. Guilmant in his article On Bach Music published in the November 1904 copy of The Organist, published by the Lorenz Corporation.

        Organ music reached its climax with Bach; it may, perhaps, be said that all music did.
        [snip]
        Bach's genius was most flexible; and many of his works indicate that, if he had been disposed to become a dramatic composer, he might have done so successfully.

        Just sayin'!

        Michael

    • #10
      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
      That's a relief! I take it you disagree with M. Guilmant in his article On Bach Music published in the November 1904 copy of The Organist, published by the Lorenz Corporation.

      Organ music reached its climax with Bach; it may, perhaps, be said that all music did.
      [snip]
      Bach's genius was most flexible; and many of his works indicate that, if he had been disposed to become a dramatic composer, he might have done so successfully.

      Just sayin'!

      Michael
      I definitely agree with M. Guilmant on this one. To be fair though, Bach could probably play with one foot better than I can play with my two hands and two feet! I have been listening to a lot of Pachelbel recently, it's far superior to Bach in my opinion.
      Organs I play regularly:
      -Estey Opus 3103, II/8 (1938)
      -Schantz Opus 2145/2224, IV/86 (1998-2002)

      For a list of other organs I've played, see my bio.

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Unfortunately for us, that's probably true (foot comment)–and he had short pedals for the most part (not in ALL locations, though).

        Michael

    • #11
      Originally posted by Ben Madison View Post
      I have errored, it was Prelude in C# Minor by Rachmaninoff transcribed for pipe organ Vierne
      Well ... if one of the most talented French organists of our time playing on one of the most well regarded French organs of our time wasn't able to turn in a noteworthy performance of a transcription by one of the most well regarded French organist/arranger/composers of all time ... well, I just don't know ...

      Comment


      • #12
        Originally posted by St Josaphat View Post

        I mean, Elgar is a little better than Sting, but they're both great! I'm generally not a fan of Bach, I only like a few of his works.
        I don't think I have ever heard a real organist say without apology that they are not in awe of J.S. Bach as an organ composer. It does beg the question ... those few worthy examples of The Master's catalog ... what might they be? Inquiring minds are dying to know. BTW, with no hyperbole whatsoever: all great organists and no small amount of lesser ones regard Bach as the consummate musician and composer. It might possibly be a necessary quality in a successful musician. Right up there with perfect pitch and ambidexterity ...

        Comment


        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Could it be that he doesn't like most of the pieces because they are overused? I know I tend to get worn out on some of Bach's pieces that are overplayed, overused, and/or poorly played or used in an inappropriate manner.

          Michael

        • Leisesturm
          Leisesturm commented
          Editing a comment
          et tu Michaele?

        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Quelque fois, Leisesturm, seulement quelque fois!

          Michel

      • #13
        Originally posted by St Josaphat View Post

        I definitely agree with M. Guilmant on this one. To be fair though, Bach could probably play with one foot better than I can play with my two hands and two feet! I have been listening to a lot of Pachelbel recently, it's far superior to Bach in my opinion.
        Them's fightin' words. You must know that Guilmant was NOT talking about Bach's technical dexterity or execution, something he could not possibly know anything about. He was talking about the timeless and permanent record of Bach's compositional genius. You would not be the first person to rank Bach a lesser composer than others of his age but those critiques came from Bach's own time. Hundreds of years later we know the truth: Bach has no equal in his own time in the composition of not just organ music but any other kind of music that existed then. This isn't to say that Pachelbel, Telemann, Corelli, Vivaldi and many others were "inferior". Clearly they also stood the test of time, and we are able to enjoy what they contributed along with what Bach contributed.

        Do we say Sting is better than Elton John? We shouldn't. I enjoy them both, sometimes in the same day. Is Elgar better than Vaughan-Williams? I haven't any idea. It's never occurred to me to want to rank composers the way we rank athletes. Runs batted in, or baskets from 3 point range can be quantified and tabulated and there you are. How do you compare piano concerto's by two different composers even of the same era? Bach wrote a famous organ Chorale Prelude on "Schumke Dich". So did Pachelbel. So did lots of other composers. Pachelbel's version is actually pretty good. Does that make him 'far superior' to Bach. Hardly. Because Bach also wrote the Prelude and Fugue in Eb (St. Anne) and Pachelbel has nothing even close to that on record.

        Comment


        • #14
          Of course it's difficult to make objective judgments about music, but I think it is possible to a degree. In making that judgment it is important to separate what we like or enjoy from evaluating the quality of a work. And not just in music, but in any facet of life. For instance, I know that a meal prepared by a Michelin four-star chef is technically better than a box of Kraft mac & cheese, but I might prefer the mac & cheese. (I probably don't but I've never had such a meal.) Likewise with music. The craft of Bach's music is of the highest order. Whether you enjoy it or not is a different matter. I personally detest Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, but I recognize it's greatness. Having said that, I think the vocal writing is atrocious.

          So I consider it important to be as unbiased as possible in evaluating the craft and technique of a work of art quite apart from one's own reaction to it. And for the record, I think Elgar is a good composer, but I don't want to listen to any more of it.

          Comment


          • #15
            I think we can cut Beethoven some slack as I understand it, he was profoundly deaf by the time he composed the 9th Symphony. He just might be the only composer in human history with cojones big enough to want keep writing for the public after his hearing went away ...

            Comment


            • tbeck
              tbeck commented
              Editing a comment
              I did cut him some slack. I said I appreciate the greatness of the piece. I just don't like it. I don't like listening to it, and I don't like playing it. By the way, I don't think it's necessary to hear music externally when composing music. Don't you hear music in your head when you read sheet music? Can't you "imagine" music without hearing it externally?
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