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Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-Coll?

Playing or learning the organ, hints, tips and tricks, registrations, techniques, fingerings, ...

Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-Coll?

Postby cthart » Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:52 pm

Hi,

How often does one need registration assistants when playing a real Cavaille-Coll organ? How much can be achieved just through the preparation of "jeux de combinasion" and the use of the "anches" pedals? When performing eg a Franck Chorale, can one change a few stops by hand during natural breaks in the piece and use the anches pedal for bringing on the "heavy artillery"?

Bonus Hauptwerk question: how many toe-studs will I need for activating the pedals on the Cavaille-Coll Caen sample set? Some could possibly be activated by touch screen (eg Tremolo ?), but I would like to duplicate the "Cavaille-Coll" experience and performance practice as much as possible.

Thanks!
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Re: Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-C

Postby mnailor » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:59 pm

In the Franck Chorales, you can hand register most of the incremental changes when one hand is free, or use a few divisional (scoped) pistons where that's too awkward, for example if it means poking at a touch screen.

The big changes do work by presetting the Anches (upperwork and chorus reeds) by hand and using the ventils to bring those stops in and out, and I find it necessary to do that with my feet most of the time. I have a partly disabled left hand, so pressing thumb pistons while both hands are playing is difficult.

I'd say the minimum toe studs are 4 ventils, 3 manual couplers, and at least the G.O to Pedal coupler for Franck. The GO to Pedal transmits through if other manuals are coupled to the GO. But for Widor you need all 3 pedal couplers as toe studs. So 8 or 10 for basic functionality. The Caen sample set has 15 foot switches.

If you look at the available pedals on St Clotilde in Franck's time, there were also suboctave couplers for each manual, but no Recit to G.O. coupler. He had to couple R to Pos and Pos to GO, which transmitted R through. Same for R to Pedal.

After playing with the ventils for a while, I ended up using a uniform piston layout for all the Romantic/Symphonic sample sets that works on English and Americsn organs, too. I kept forgetting to hand set the reeds and upperwork on the CC and Mutin organs, then hitting a ventil and cursing myself when nothing happened. So now toe studs add the stops (reversibles) and the ventils are always on. Lazy but less embarrassing for me...
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Re: Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-C

Postby mnailor » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:03 pm

P.S. My house didn't come with a registrant, but I've seen videos of Daniel Roth playing at St Sulpice, and there was an assistant involved. (I want a house elf, too.)
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Re: Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-C

Postby rhedgebeth » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:40 pm

mnailor wrote:P.S. My house didn't come with a registrant, but I've seen videos of Daniel Roth playing at St Sulpice, and there was an assistant involved. (I want a house elf, too.)


There are typically two registrants at St. Sulpice, one for each side. They are usually managing the very atypical (and original) adjustable combinations. These work separately for each side and each division. The hand registration is captured, then held as the stops are changed (generally by the registrants). When called, the new combination is then enabled. I'm not aware that this system was ever used again - only at SS? The system does not operate couplers, ventils or the high pressure reed (Trompette coudée à forte pression). The latter is often referred to as being en chamade, but is actually hooded. If you look at pictures of the casework you can just make these out below the foot of the right hand carved figure at the top center of the case.http://pleasuresofthepipes.info/images/StSulpice-pietbron2.jpg http://www.stsulpice.com/Images/photos_jan08/SS_case_top.JPG
http://www.stsulpice.com/Images/photos_ ... amade1.JPG
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Re: Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-C

Postby mnailor » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:03 pm

Thank you for sharing that!
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Re: Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-C

Postby soyeso » Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:30 am

Here's an interesting example of what one (talented) person can do alone. The organ was built in 1890.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39i5AsfWoqM

Playing the music of Reger on this organ has challenges as Reger often moves from ppp to fff and everywhere in between and suddenly. See how Jean-Baptiste deals with registration changes it at 3:36
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Re: Registration assistants when playing a (real) Cavaille-C

Postby Erzahler » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:22 am

It's good to see him changing stops - often on YouTube this is edited out by showing the view from another camera.
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