• Organists of the forum,

    I assume I'm not the only one who has gone down this line of thought before. If you got to design an organ from scratch, what would it be (stoplist, voicing style, etc)? This is assuming cost, space, and other constraints are of no concern. I'll go first. I would have a three manual, very French romantic organ. See the attached for my ideal stoplist.

    I hope you guys find this fun. I'm interested to see everyone else's organs.
    Thanked by 1Lars
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    If I could choose, it would be a copy of the big H&H in Coventry Cathedral. I won't list the stops since they are available online. A link.
    https://www.harrisonorgans.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Coventry-Cathedral-full-spec-2020.pdf
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Being obsessed with the stoplist was the greatest flaw of American Classic and neoclassical organ builders, who created instruments which were not cohesive and did not blend as a whole. St. Ouen should not work at all on paper—but it is magnificent in reality.

    My reasonable ideal would be very close to Saint-Sernin with the Cornets decomposed.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • Nathan,

    I'm somewhere near the bottom of the totem of organists on the forum, so take what I'm about to write with several buckets of salt if the betters here contradict it. If the ideas I present here are too obvious to need to be said, here, again, treat these as they deserve to be treated.

    1) The organ and the building in which it sings should be compatible. A diamond in last week's potato peelings is (admittedly) still a diamond, but it will only shine properly when the detritus is removed.

    2) The organ should have stops fitting for the repertoire played, so if the organist principally plays simple, short, quiet music, solo stops may be useful, but bombastic chamade trumpets not. If one is at Westminster Cathedral, on the other hand..... If the organist (for whatever reason) mostly accompanies hymns, the organ must have stops fitting for that purpose.

    3) The organ should take into account where it is, in another sense: in the desert south-west of the United States, where wild swings in temperature and humidity are not common, the organ has a greater latitude of stops than, say, in my home town, where there are really 3 tuning seasons. (The problem isn't a limit on the quality of pipes, but their tendency to slip off pitch).
  • A replica of Hereford Cathedral's organ. Big English organs where you can so smoothly open up the swell division to get full organ is the greatest sound in the world to me. And it's got a tuba so...
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  • Palestrina
    Posts: 353
    I would like to echo Chris’s sentiments regarding the connection between the instrument and the building - in my view the two are always connected, such that one cannot conceive of one without the other.

    Within the parameters of the building (which should decide voicing, scaling and wind pressures), I would suggest that an outstanding and ideal instrument possesses the following qualities also:
    1. A superb, sensitive playing action, making a lie of the notion that one is one’s own worst critic,
    2. A coherent tonal structure, in which each stop has a genuine role, rather than existing for vanity’s sake, and
    3. The capacity of the instrument to produce three basic textures, namely a plenum, trio and solo/accompaniment.

    If an organ possesses these three qualities and is suitable for its building, I believe it will be an outstanding success, perhaps moving beyond the notion of ‘ideal’ and replicated organs from other locations.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    The organ should have stops fitting for the repertoire played, so if the organist principally plays simple, short, quiet music, solo stops may be useful, but bombastic chamade trumpets not.


    Solo chamades that can carry over a tutti but are otherwise unusable are much inferior to Cavaillé-Coll chamades, in my eyes. French composers would simply indicate GPR over PR if they wanted an individual line to be heard (Widor—Symphonie Nr. 7)

    The duplexed chamades on OP's "French" disposition would never be seen on a French instrument for that specific reason.
  • Ultra-Trad Dream Organ

    I/6 — Fully Enclosed

    Manual:
    Dolce Bourdon, 8’
    Voix Timide (cel.), 8’
    Pitch Pipe (Aeoline), 8’ [mounted behind high altar to give celebrant pitches in audibly to the congregation]
    Irish Whistle, 4’
    Festival Oboe Gamba, 8’
    Tremblant I
    Tremblant II
    Man. Unison Off

    Pedal
    16’ Lieblich Baß
    Man. to Ped.
    Ped. Unison Off

    Designed lovingly with years of “feedback” in mind.
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 85
    Ideal organ? Infinite budget? Infinite room?
    this is just too much.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    If it were me, I'd just buy one of the Cavaille-Colles in Paris and have it shipped over.
    Thanked by 1PhilipPowell
  • How many times have we heard organist B complain that organist A had cursed all his successors with his favoured stops and tonal design. And we all know that organist B would do the same given the opportunity.

    For me a 16 on the great and on the swell is a necessity, One on the positiv is nice, as are two full compass tierces on two manuals for to play French duos pour les tierces. Too, the positiv should have a full complement of renaissance reeds for 16' to 8 to 4. Finally, an organ without a full swell is incomplete.

    Of all the dozens of organs I have played I consider the Pasi at Houston's Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart to be the most perfect - every single stop is a work of art. The Pietr Visser-Rowland at UT Austin is worthy of note.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    Nihil, that made me laugh out loud.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • francis
    Posts: 10,081
    I HAD one, and I DEARLY miss it!!! (and yes, MJO, it was a Pasi... [tis my avatar])

    here...

    https://www.pasiorgans.com/instruments/opus5.html

    SHORT STORY... I was taking the post as interim DoM... I was talking to the pastor who was desperate to hire someone, and I was his first choice at the time... I said to him, "Father, is there a pipe organ in the church?" to which he responded, "I think it's pipes... I'll send you a picture." I got the picture the next day and thought, 'who in the world owns a Ferrari and doesn't know it?!'

    However, with mostly German blood (and beer... [not sure if there is more blood or more beer]) running through my veins, nothing comes close to the ability of the right organ to illuminate the glory of polyphony...

    In that regard, I suspect THIS IS the ultimate.

    https://youtu.be/UsQhMgqxjmI

    ABOUT:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_of_St._Ludgeri_in_Norden


  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    What is a “suiavial”? Never heard of it.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • francis
    Posts: 10,081
    It... is... gorgeous

    blend of baroque flute and string
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    The Pasi seems like a beautiful instrument, and what a change from the typical American fare!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    Easy on the eyes too.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Just be glad that ultra-trad dream organ is not a flailer and hooty
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,000
    Or a Chameleon Skimmer
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Actually, I wouldn't mind at all having an actual unaltered Skinner.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 488
    For me I think of these things.

    1) The room. Of all the revered organs in the world, I can only think of one highly praised that was not in a lush, reverberant space. (Riverside Church, NY, which was acoustically dead when built, and has been fixed since. Its fame was of course due to Virgil Fox and his unique way of playing, and also technological wizardry in the many recordings he made there.) If the room doesn’t sing, I don’t want to hear the organ, no matter how big or expensive it was. To me that’s the first and greatest determiner of an organ’s success.

    2) Every stop is beautiful, with a unique color, and can be used with any other stop to make something lovely. We have so many organs where there’s identical beige 8 Gedeckts in each division, an 8 principal on the great that’s useless alone, and maybe the exact same kind of strings in swell and choir. Couple them together and the effect is minimal. What a waste of materials! But realistically, how many liturgies do we play where mp-mf 8’ tone is constantly required….how many Subvenites and wedding psalms and Benedictions and Schubert Aves and Last Gospels. What poverty to have only one or two possibilities besides the plenum or grand jeu!

    3) Can it accompany one baby chorister, singing her first solo? Can it provide the choir with a clear sense of pitch and balance well with them? Can it play for a packed house on Easter, and do all these without being harsh, timid, or monotonous?

    4) Is the console layout and combination action comfortable for improvisation and frequent usage, or is it unnecessarily cumbersome and illogical?

    5) Can it produce a smooth, seamless crescendo, e.g. for a five-minute buildup from the end of the offertory chant to the end of the incensation of the people at midnight Mass, and also such a decrescendo? Does the ear get tired of it in the process, or does it still sound alive?

    Only after those are covered do I start wondering about whether 17th-century Thuringia vs. Cavialle-Colle/Mutin c. 1900 vs. 1915 Skinner vs. Willis III vs. von Beckerath would do a better job. I have played a very few organs in totally different styles that can do all these things with ease and beauty, and many more monsters that purport to be “eclectic”, and fail on all these counts.

    I think there was a very interesting time just before 1900, when modern organbuilding had really become established and reached a high level of artistry, but before electricity and the inventions of Hope-Jones became ubiquitous, and everything got more and more extreme. The organs of that period are full of life and character, fairly simplistic in mechanism, but nonet
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • I agree that the duplexed charades are not quite true French in style. I chose to have them that way because I wanted it to be almost a floating solo, only it's a solo division of one stop. It kind of goes with what Chris said about the organ needing to be usable. If I am accompanying a hymn on "my organ," I would want to be able to do fanfares or solo a melody with it.

    I also agree that you need a building which allows the organ to speak well. I would probably have included that when I listed other constraints as not being an issue.

    I chose French because it is, I think, the most versatile style of voicing (I also like the sound of it the best). To give an example of versatility, I think Bach would sound better on a Cavaille Coll than Vierne, Widor, Dupre, etc would sound on a chiffy German instrument. I know that is a matter of personal opinion. When I said a French romantic organ, I should have been clearer. I would want the voicing on the pipes to be done in a French style. I love the French style of flues with very minimal if no chiff. I also love the strength of French reeds. Nothing matches a 16' Bombarde, or even a 32' Bombarde at the finale of postludes. I did include the 16' Basson borrowed from the Swell to the pedal if you need a lighter reed for use in Bach.

    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    I love the original Skinner at holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo. I wouldn’t mind one of those…

    Stunning room (with acoustics to match), and a four manual Skinner left in its original condition a century later? Yes, please.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    To give an example of versatility, I think Bach would sound better on a Cavaille Coll than Vierne, Widor, Dupre, etc would sound on a chiffy German instrument. I know that is a matter of personal opinion.
    A true Cavaillé-Coll, yes - mainly because he would often recycle the existing Clicquot plein-jeu which does very well in contrapuntal music (with a handful of additional stops to strengthen the lower register)

    What people stereotyped as Cavaillé-Colls after his death? Of course not.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    What people stereotyped as Cavaillé-Colls after his death? Of course not.
    Similarly, what people stereotyped as "baroque" in the 1970's...

    I doubt that Bach would have cared for mixtures that peel the plaster off the ceiling any more than we do...
    Thanked by 1francis
  • francis
    Posts: 10,081
    To give an example of versatility, I think Bach would sound better on a Cavaille Coll than Vierne, Widor, Dupre, etc would sound on a chiffy German instrument. I know that is a matter of personal opinion.
    No, it is the manner of composing that makes the specific organ suited to the piece. Bach is pure transparent counterpoint. After the Baroque everything went (downhill in my opinion) toward simulating an orchestra and more toward homophony. This is why I have so often expressed that the Classical era composers are boring to me.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Bach is pure transparent counterpoint.
    Bach is so, so much more than the detached craftsman of counterpoint that he was always made out to be.
    After the Baroque everything went (downhill in my opinion) toward simulating an orchestra and more toward homophony.
    None of the great French or German Romantic builders were remotely interested in "simulating an orchestra". This was an American phenomenon that was chiefly confined to theatre organs. (By this logic, alternating between Positiv and Hauptwerk is also nothing more than "simulating a concerto".)
    Similarly, what people stereotyped as "baroque" in the 1970's...

    I doubt that Bach would have cared for mixtures that peel the plaster off the ceiling any more than we do...
    One exposure to the grand Joseph Gabler organ in Weingarten, or the brilliant Silbermann instrument in Freiberg with its magnificent combination of French and German styles, should dispel any such neo-Baroque misconceptions. Even Schnitgers are far more gentle and mellifluous than what was imposed on us in the twentieth century.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,081
    anyway, you can split the hairs, but that was the general trend over the centuries.

    BTW @schonbergian... I was not arguing for the 20th century version of baroque copycats... I am a fan of the true German instruments of old that show the true beauty of the Baroque era organs. Many people don't know the dif.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    I wouldn't buy an organ from a country that has lost two world wars. Put those mixtures in your pipe and smoke it.

    I think the Naumburg Hildebrandt on which Bach actually consulted during construction and which he played, is probably more of an authentic "Bach organ" than most out there, this country included. Many of the so-called neo Baroque organs are just bad organs that may do one or two things somewhat well, but have little versatility. They also sound bad.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    Many of the so-called neo Baroque organs are just bad organs that may do one or two things somewhat well, but have little versatility.
    I teach on a gorgeous Taylor & Boody at Goshen College which is placed in an absolute gem of a concert hall (4 stories tall with thick concrete walls and a stone floor, which makes for very beautiful acoustics for the organ; these can be altered at will by heavy felt curtains that can be raised up to dampen the hall for other ensembles). I love the instrument dearly, and it is finely regulated and well-voiced. It is built in the North German Baroque style, however it eschews the excesses of the orgelbewegung movement.

    That said, it is a bit of a one-trick pony and makes for a frustrating teaching instrument in some regards. There are no registrational aids, there's no swell box, no celest, etc. It is beautiful for what it is. I may be able to wax poetic about finessing articulation on the very sensitive tracker action, but I cannot teach kids now to work a swell box. I cannot discuss the manner in which you can register hymns and make rapid registrational changes to tonally paint the verses. My students can only work up very basic registrational changes for their juries since they don't have registrants. etc.

    I have a student now who is quite advanced and is working on the Franck Prelude, Fugue, & Variation. There is no swell box to manipulate; no hautbois... only a german trumpet on the Hauptwerk and a (again, lovely for what it is) cromorne on the Oberwerk... hardly appropriate substitutes for the hautbois in a box.

    Don't misread me: I'm more than pleased to teach on such a fine instrument, and I remind my students regularly what a privilege it is to have unfettered access to a million dollar organ... but then we also have plenty of discussions about the limitations of the instrument and what that means for us, and the clever ways that we can try to adapt things. (Learning to adapt rep. to an instrument is an essential skill, so it's not all for naught...) but when it comes to presenting a wider array of repertoire... it just can't swing it. It speaks with too thick an accent, and the actual mechanics of the console make it difficult. (Again, no registrational aids and flat, non-radiating pedalboard [which I don't mind], for starters)

    This is why I always try to think of the people who may come after me at a job. I might love a farty muzette or rankette more than anything, but I wouldn't install one at the expense of a much more useful Oboe, and I would even forego a whole rank of pipes to afford modern playing aids, which I personally consider essential to provide maximum flexibility with an instrument. I also think swell boxes are a must... you can always leave them wide open when you want to do an "authentic" interpretation of historical repertoire... but you can never go back and make an organ softer without them.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    I also think swell boxes are a must... you can always leave them wide open when you want to do an "authentic" interpretation of historical repertoire... but you can never go back and make an organ softer without them.
    Swell shutters alter the acoustic properties of what they enclose even when they are fully open, which is one reason I despise the trend of enclosing as much as possible with certain organs. That said, a decently sized Schwellwerk on its own is well within the German organ tradition.
    My students can only work up very basic registrational changes for their juries since they don't have registrants. etc.
    No registrants for juries even on a purely mechanical instrument? That would be unheard of here.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    We are a hole-in-the-wall tiny school, and while the music department is surprisingly robust, I don’t have any majors, and some semesters it’s a studio of 1. Hard to drum up someone who knows what they are doing when there’s only one student taking lessons and they are the one playing. Just is what it is.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    I watched Daniel Roth play the Reubke 94th Psalm at St. Sulpice. He and two registrants were pulling stops, working swell boxes, all the while Roth was barking commands to them while playing. The effort as well as the mind control needed to play that incredibly gorgeous organ was mind-numbing. Perhaps we don't appreciate enough what earlier organists had to deal with and that we are fortunate to have the playing aids we have today. Registrants generally get on my nerves moving around me so I appreciated the controls and combination action on the mighty Schantz I played for twenty years. Being rather short of leg, I hate flat pedalboards, too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhJ-CQp9lug&t=565s

    The Taylor and Boody may be gorgeous to your ears but not to mine. But then, I have never been a fan of German Baroque music or organs. I used to give my teachers fits over that until I landed a professor who loved French and English music and organs. My profs couldn't fathom where I had gone wrong - LOL.


    This is why I always try to think of the people who may come after me at a job.


    So many don't think of those who come later. I have seen churches invest millions in impractical instruments for the organist to play 3 recitals a year. The remainder of the year for worship, the instrument is useless. I would go for a good service instrument rather than a concert or museum piece organ in a church. Leave that to colleges and recital halls.

    An afterthought. The organ will be around for maybe 50+ years. Will the organist be there that long?


  • Charles -

    Your assessment reminds me of the time I left the large Lutheran church I served for fifteen years. I was playing my last service in what I thought was a normal manner in what I had thought was a normal service. My successor was in the congregation that day and was overheard telling this person and that that he was 'of course, just a church organist, not a recitalist'. What a sad and all too often encountered attitude to both worship of the Lord and those who offer the worship.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Jackson, I gave recitals, too. I didn't encourage the church to spend big bucks on a primarily recital instrument. I rebuilt/reused and kept costs as low as possible. I left that 70-year-old instrument in better shape than I found it. I would never encourage a church to replace a good instrument for one to please the tastes of an organist. Many talented organists flit from one job to another and have no plans to stay in any one place for years to come. As SS noted above it is too bad many organists don't think of the persons who will succeed them when advocating for a new instrument.
  • Charles, I'm weird in that I love Bach's music, but I hate the German style of organ building. The chiff (even milder chiff) gets really annoying to me after a while.

    I did try to make my organ fairly versatile. It has everything pretty much where you would expect it. The Oboe is on the Swell, the Clarinette is on the Choir, the solo Cornet is on the Swell and a secondary one is on the choir, the Great has the biggest mixture. I tried to make it so that you could play solo literature how it was written to be played with the stops the composer would ask for. My organ could also definitely be used liturgically too. If I compare my stoplist to that of the 3 manual Rodgers I play for mass, I have pretty much everything that is on the Rodgers plus some things that I would like to have on the Rodgers. My organ shown above is definitely what I would want to be playing, but I don't think it is weird that someone else couldn't sit down at it and play it well.

    Edit: Correct a typo.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    What I find interesting, Nathan, is that Bach was not really a North German. While he was influenced by North Germans, he seemed rather eclectic in using German, French, and Italian musical influences. He wasn't Catholic, but no one is perfect.

    I don't actually hate Bach and have played some of his more lyrical pieces. I think the biggest issue, other than the grating clanking N. German organs, is that I don't like fugues. Interestingly, I had to play the Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor for my senior recital. I held out for a French piece as well, and did the Franck Chorale No. 3.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    While he was influenced by North Germans, he seemed rather eclectic in using German, French, and Italian musical influences. He wasn't Catholic, but no one is perfect.
    This is one of the reasons I advocate for a Silbermann as the instrument par excellence for interpreting the works of Bach.
  • I actually love fugues. I'm an accountant (church music is my hobby), and accounting is something that is very structured with a lot of formal rules. Bach's counterpoint and his fugues make a lot of sense to me because they also have a lot of structure to them.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    I am a retired librarian/music teacher/IT teacher/organist who still works part-time for the government agency I retired from. I find fugues too structured and they seem like formula music. I freely admit to being a Romantic but do also like French Baroque. All, including Bach, far better than what you are likely to hear at a local Catholic parish on Sunday morning.
  • It's interesting that the reason I like fugues is the reason you dislike them. I agree that some of them do sound formulaic. What do you think of some of the romantic era or early 20th century fugues?

    I do enjoy French romantic music. I'm really big on Alexandre Guilmant (I started a thread about him a while back), though I need to spend more time looking at Franck.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Guilmant is seriously underrated by the Baroque fanatics. I have found his music to be quite useful liturgically.

    Fugues? I guess you either like them or you don't. I tend to lose interest in them half-way through.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    I looooove fugues. They are to me one of the best bits of organ playing. Good fugues are not boring in the slightest, and true masters can do all sorts of amazing and unexpected things that all fit within the larger fugal framework. I see fugues a bit more loosely than some, however. I took a class on Sonata form in grad school (turns out, sonatas are... well, not very codified, in truth. There are so many examples of composers only loosely following the form that when you take them all together, you realize that sonatas are not nearly as cut and dry as undergraduate theory books would have you believe...) Fugues are, in my opinion anyway, a bit like that. It's a generic frame around which all sorts of things can be built. Every house has a 2x4 frame, but heavenly day, they can look very different once all the finishing touches are put on.

    So for me, it's fugues, trios, and toccatas. Fugues because I love the order and find them fascinating... like a good tapestry. Trios because I adore the texture and they are fun to play, and toccatas, well... because who doesn't love a good barn burner?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Barn burners are good! Audiences love them, too.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    that he was 'of course, just a church organist, not a recitalist'.
    nothing wrong with that, in truth.

    I had a "come to Jesus" talk with my graduate professor 2/3 of the way through my degree. He wanted me to learn a large Reger work, along with some little italian ditty. I pushed back on the italian piece because I found it so painfully boring (no offense, anyone). But as for the Reger... well (and this will be anathema to some) I really do not care for his organ works. Some of them are epic, and I'm happy to listen to other people play them, but I haven't the slightest desire to work on one myself.

    I distinctly remember telling him point blank: "the truth is, all I want to be is a good church organist. I have no illusions of grandeur, and don't desire to have a recitalist's career. I just want to play well for Mass."

    I could have learned the Reger, but it would have also taken me a full year of painstaking labour that I would have resented the entire time. Mercifully he relented and I pivoted to another project. But the moral of the story is, it's OK to just want to be a good church organist, and not a 'recitalist' as such.
  • Palestrina
    Posts: 353
    There is no such thing as a single ‘ideal’ Bach organ. Bach’s earlier organ works use Buxtehude as a model; Buxtehude composed in the North German (Schnitger) tradition. Other works are more suited to instruments further south.

    I am amused at how often the North German tradition is disparaged in favour of the so-called Silbermann aesthetic. A few points here:
    1. We have no definitive sources on the correct wind pressures for Silbermann’s instruments,
    2. None of Silbermann’s original mixtures have survived (which should tell you something about how organists of the period rated them), and
    3. Silberman invariably ripped out whatever the church happened to have at the time and installed his new organs; Schnitger always retained the best of the past and incorporated it into his new organs. As such, Schnitger organs contain pipework that dates back centuries before the man himself and are a bridge to a more ancient past.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    3. Silberman invariably ripped out whatever the church happened to have at the time and installed his new organs; Schnitger always retained the best of the past and incorporated it into his new organs. As such, Schnitger organs contain pipework that dates back centuries before the man himself and are a bridge to a more ancient past.
    People love the Cavaillé-Coll organs that feature little old pipework just as much as they love Saint-Sulpice and Notre-Dame, so I'm unsure how much difference it would make towards the overall aesthetic.

    Either way, the criterion for a polyphonic organ should be its ability to project multiple lines with clarity throughout all registers, and not its adherence to a very specific tonal idiom that found no currency outside of that geographic area.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    I think a moral is that organists and organ builders love to tinker and "improve" on what predecessors have done.
  • Palestrina
    Posts: 353
    Schönbergian, the short answer to your question about the contribution of ancient pipework to an overall aesthetic is to read the significant body of research GOArt has published on the subject.

    CharlesW, that’s the exact opposite of Silbermann’s approach!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    I generally wonder on boasts by builders of retaining pipework from an older instrument. That's no guarantee you will hear what the original builder intended. That old work could be so revoiced and altered it has become nothing like the original.

    On the other hand, I have seen additions by a famous American builder who will remain nameless. Those additions sit side by side with the old pipework and no attempt was ever made to blend them together. In effect, you have two instruments for any practical purposes.

    Pick your brand of crazy. You will find it all in the organ world.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    But as for the Reger... well (and this will be anathema to some) I really do not care for his organ works. Some of them are epic, and I'm happy to listen to other people play them, but I haven't the slightest desire to work on one myself.


    My organ professor once said, "Reger has too many notes."