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West Point Organ Complete Specification

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  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    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

  • Organist2020
    commented on 's reply
    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?

  • tbeck
    commented on 's reply
    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?

  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    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
    commented on 's reply
    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?

  • Leisesturm
    replied
    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 ...

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  • tbeck
    replied
    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.

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  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Quelque fois, Leisesturm, seulement quelque fois!

    Michel

  • Leisesturm
    commented on 's reply
    et tu Michaele?

  • Leisesturm
    commented on 's reply
    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.

  • Leisesturm
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    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
    replied
    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 ...

    Leave a comment:


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

    Michael

  • Leisesturm
    replied
    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 ...

    Leave a comment:

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