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200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby adri » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:46 am

to Andrew:

Very well said.

The sad thing about organs is that you can easily rebuild them, alter them, add to them, etc. A few instruments have been improved this way over time, whenever the work of the previous builder was respected, but, regretfully, way too many organs have been maimed by the msucial fashions and tastes, financial greed of organbuilders, and shortsightedness of those organists who want to play all literature on their one organ.

First we had the romantic rage in the 19th century that damaged the coherent integrity of many older organs, and then in the 20th century we had the horrible neo-baroque rage that has equally done so much damage (if not more) to so many instruments.

This eclecticism, I repeat, will never ever result in an instrument that can possibly be authentic to music of all periods and regions. It's simply impossible.

There is absolutely no need in Hauptwerk to follow this sad approach. Just load another instrument. So simple. So easy. So wonderful.

The rich in the orient changed their brown rice to white rice and suffered healthwise.
The rich in the west ate more meat than their poorer country folks and suffered all kinds of health issues.
The richer churches had more money to waste on maiming their organs than the poorer churches, who today have the best preserved instruments.

One salient example: the poorer church of Mensingeweer acquired the Arp Schnitger organ that had been abandoned in favor of a new electro-pneumatic organ that has very little artistic merit. Who is the luckier church? The richer or the poorer? That answer is too obvious to state here.

I'm telling you, often lots of money leads to very poor decision making. How much wonderful old stuff gets dumped to make room for so-called better new stuff?

it takes courage to go against unhealthy trends.


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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Antoni Scott » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:20 am

I'm not an organ historian but most of which you state I believe is true. The Los Angeles Organ, originally was placed in the KC music hall which was a large structure and was conceived, I believe, before the high pressure craze. Although I can't say for sure, there was some notoriety to building and having the largest organ. Same for Atlantic City, although neither builder designer would admit it. The seventh manual was added just for that purpose. The Atlantic City organ was criticized at the time as being too loud. The Wanamaker organ as too quiet.

Although this is my opinion, some people (call them purists if you wish) abhor any instrument that exceeds their personal preferences for their particular need at that point in time. Take a baroque type Bourdon of low pressure, unnicked whith a chiff, I have no problem with that stop sitting next to a Bourdon that is nicked. Some do. The problem can be solved by not drawing that stop. As I stated before, I can't see an effective performance of Marchand or Couperin on a modern organ compared to an early Isnard type organ. I have seen plenty of modern organs that have both baroque, romantic and modern voicing, all,in the same organ. I see no issue with having a Zwolle Principal next to a Silberman Principal. More so with the
Montre of the St. Maximin. I have also heard sufficient examples all from the same builder that have differed so widely in scaling and voicing (i.e. Large Open Diapason, Small Open Diapason) that one or the other could have come from a different builder. An example is the Midmer-Losh Open Diapason I through X, plus the Principal, all vastly different in scales, materials and wind pressures, all on the Great, all from the same builder. Same for the Wanamaker string division. I'm sure some purists would not play Bach on such organs, yet I have heard Andre Marschall play Bach on the unabashedly French Gonzales at St. Eustache, Paris and with marvelous effect.

Possibly this argument should end with agreeing to disagree on what is a personal choice. There are sufficient arguments on both sides.


There are others that find the sound of a very large organ to be exciting.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Andrew Grahame » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:39 am

I don’t recall saying anything about not finding the sound of a very large organ exciting.

Last edited by Andrew Grahame on Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby sesquialtera » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:19 pm

ok, we spoke about gigas and number of cores, global historical coherence,
practicality or realism, insanity or purism, and ... musicality,
but what about speakers ? :?:
How can you spread up to 200 different stops through only 2 speakers ? :?:
(Yes, I know it is possible, but how can you keep each sounds distinct ? ) :?:
and what kind, size, number of speakers ? ... headphones ?? :?:
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Antoni Scott » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:41 am

To Sesquialtera:
Your questions are the first common sense ones in this entire thread. You are correct in questioning 200 stops in a Hauptwerk system. Ideally, 200 stops should have an immense multi channel audio system. I live in a condominium and use headphones plus a sub-woofer. I don't use speakers.
Comparing my Custom 200 stop organ to any of the commercially available Hauptwerk sample sets (i.e. the 66 stop Zwolle , or the 40+ stop Caen), ideally these sample sets should have many channels. How many owners do ?
So the question" how do you keep each sound distinct" ? So how do you keep each sound distinct with the Metz, Caen and Zwolle. Practicality requires compromises. Speakers can put you in the poor house. I use AKG 701's since 2008 and have been immensely impressed with them, thanks to Bret Milan's recommendation.
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