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200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Antoni Scott » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:15 am

All:
Jake just completed a custom 200 stop organ for me which can only be described as magnificent. The specification includes stops from the Cavaille Coll Caen, Silberman Freiburg, the Schniger Zwolle, Forcalquier, St. Maximin and Dom Bedos. A screenshot will be posted shortly.
Its exciting to be able to perform music from all genres. Jake has to be commended in his ability to create such magnificent custom instruments to any specification. It doesn't seem so long ago when an extension was one or two stops, now it can be hundreds.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby engrssc » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:37 am

Big cheer for Jake. He has done some really great things for me as well.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby smfrank » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:19 am

Will this become available? Or is it just for you?
Steve
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby engrssc » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:39 pm

Hi Steve,

Jake works as a private custom "contractor" and as such, most everything he does can be available thru him (for his fee) on a person to person basis..

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Dnsmo » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:14 pm

By the way, Jake is forum user 'subbass32'.

Dennis
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Antoni Scott » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:02 pm

Hi Steve:
Technically this is still a beta version sample. However, everything was working properly. Although the specification is primarily a 200 stop organ, most of it is in Surround, making it a HUGE sample set. It would nice to make this available but that would be up to Jake.
Over a year and a half ago I replaced my aging 2008 MacPro with a newer (2010-2011) MacPro with 12 cores (3.33ghz) and 96 gb of memory. When you download 400 samples (200 front / rear) that takes up a lot of space but the MacPro handles it without an issue. This will probably be the last custom sample set I get, since this latest version has every stop that I wanted.
This entire process with Jake started about four years ago with several interesting experiments to either confirm or dispel the idea that stops from several organs could be mixed and matched successfully. They can.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby sesquialtera » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:02 pm

Very intersting... the quest of the perfect polyvalent universal organ !!

But, what about the acoustic of this "Monster" ?
from a litle chamber organ to a vaste stone cathedral ?
How can you move from one to another ?

I replaced my aging MacPro with a newer MacPro with 12 cores (3.33ghz) and 96 gb of memory.


12 cores + 96 gb of memory !! :lol:

200 stops in surround... I'm sure it will be ok for my win7+4 cores+32 gb :oops:
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Lougheed » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:47 pm

Antoni Scott wrote:This entire process with Jake started about four years ago with several interesting experiments to either confirm or dispel the idea that stops from several organs could be mixed and matched successfully. They can.


Stops from different organs may be successfully mixed and matched, but I have certainly encountered instruments (pipe organs) where this approach has been unsuccessful. A lot rests with the voicing skill level of the builder that is typically adding pipework sourced elsewhere.

In the digital domain, certainly the ambience levels would have to be similar for this approach to work.

I've also heard (and played) pipe-digital combinations that have worked, in fact challenging to tell which is the pipes and which is the digital voices, but also heard (and played) pipe-digital combinations that have not blended successfully, at all. (The word horrible, comes to mind)

I'm hoping we'll be able to hear recordings of this project!
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby adri » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:08 am

I sincerely hope that the following essay is not going to start some big controversy. Also: This is absolutely not intended to hurt anyone's feelings, even though I am incapable of doing so; that's totally up to you; how you take it/interpret it. These are just virtual "words on paper."

Yes, I do speak my mind, I can be outspoken at times, but I am free to say what I feel like saying.

So here goes:

If you truly want to play music from all periods and regions as authentic as possible, such ability can never be determined by the number of stops you gather from different instruments. In that sense, such large 200 stop organs strike me as utter folly.

For example, a North-German baroque organ as by Arp Schnitger is constructed completely differently than let’s say a French Cavaille-Coll organ. The metal alloys, the way the pipes are made, their scaling, the languids, the wind pressure, the type of wind and wind delivery (canalization), the scale and physical layout of the windchests, the type of action, the mixture compositions, the types of reeds, etc.; all these factors are widely different between organs of different periods and regions.

Yes, with expert revoicing (you have be as good as a real organ pipe voicer), perhaps you can bring some harmony between all the different sounds, but I remain 100% convinced that these compromise organs that supposedly can do everything well you throw at it, displays a enormous ignorance on the part of the person/player who apparently is happy with this.

Yes, there seems be a demand by organists to want to play everything on ONE organ, and such instruments are made all the time these days, but I remain musically uninspired by them. They often seem neither fish nor fowl. Why can I say this? Arrogance? Fanatic purism?

I grew in the organ garden of Europe, the province of Groningen, were we have many historical organs spanning centuries. The 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century organs all sound very different from each other, because they were made differently. My ears were exposed to them all and extremely well trained in that respect. Take the sample set of Vollenhove, for example, and it is very clear to my ears what is 17th century and what was added later by two different builders. Not a totally happy marriage.

The organ of the Martini in Groningen seems on paper a total mismatch of pipe material from the Gothic period through the 20th century, but due to careful restoration work, voicing, etc. this instrument sounds quite homogeneous. It also reveals a certain continuity on building principles from those early days through the 18th century; if this organ had let’s say 25% truly romantic stops, they wouldn’t fit in the concept. Still, the success of this instrument’s musicality is owed to the restorer and the advice of organ expert Cor Edskes. That’s why some people call this a Jurgen Ahrend organ.

Thus, homogeneity of the materials/sounds chosen for a large composite organ is tantamount, but whether you can play authentically music of all periods on it? No way. Baroque organs were altered in the 19th century and given stops like Viola di Gamba, Voix Celesta, Clarinet, etc., but would Cesar Franck suddenly go well on such an organ? Of course not. These concessions were a horrible intrusion into the musical unity of the original instrument.

I truly wish the new owner of this 200 stop monster all the musical pleasures it will afford him, but believe me, but I would rather have a smaller instrument that can keep me inspired for hours on end, that draws the musical inspiration from deep within me, having drawn only one stop, that this need for more, more, more. Less is often more.

Note: I am writing this as a matter of organ building principles: a really good organ is one that is totally homogeously built, a true musical unity, in its entire musical cohesiveness approach, and on which even the silliest piece of music sound like a masterpiece and will give you goosebumps continuously.

Also, an instrument, built in a cohesive style, let’s early 19th century, can tolerate and do musical justice to organ literature from a much wider gamut of styles and periods than a so-called modern organ with myriads of stops. For example: The small Riepp in Ottobeuren will tolerate early romantic music very well, even simpler pieces written in the later 19th century. This organ is a prime example of versatility caused by unity of style, and even the silliest of music sound like master pieces on that gem of an instrument. All stops in any combination blend very well. I cannot say the same for the Vollenhove organ.

I know that tastes differ, but I also hope that we get away from this idea that many more stops is better. How many stops you do really need before the specificaiton becomes a prime example of overkill?

Thanks.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby ludu » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:57 pm

I can understand both Antoni’s and Adri’s positions. Trying to play as authentic as possible is not possible with an eclectic 200-stop organ. However, it’s also a pleasure to put one in the shoes of an organist who is responsible for one instrument, and who tries to explore all of its possibilities without any purist mind. Personally, I enjoy those two experiences.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby ppytprs » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:18 pm

The way I read the OP was that the guy was combining all his organs so that he could pick the stops from any of them at a time without having to reload. Not so much as to mix them all together.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:30 pm

I'd like to add my thoughts to the mix. Adri - I couldn't agree more with your views! When I first read the heading of this thread, even before reading the actual post, I was immediately thinking "WHY!". Then the thread itself indicated which sample sets have been combined !!!

Many of the world's super-large pipe organs (Atlantic City, Wanamaker, West Point - to name a few) were conceived to serve a specific purpose, namely to fill a very large acoustic space with sound. Despite many changes made in the course of construction the Atlantic City instrument deserves to be regarded as a coherent unit representative of a particular period/style, and we all eagerly await hearing its full potential in the years to come as the restoration progresses. Although Wanamaker and West Point have both "grown" they still both have at their core the need to fill a particular space with sound, so the various additions have accrued with that central concept in mind.

As a Sydneysider I am reminded that the Sydney Town Hall organ of 1890 - the largest organ in the world at the time of its construction, and containing 126 stops - made no attempt to be anything other than one thing, namely an unashamedly-large representation of just one period/style in organbuilding/organ repertoire. Back in the 1960's this instrument was much criticised for its inability to handle organ works of the French Baroque, despite the fact that it was clearly never intended to do so in the first place.

The notion of being able to play a wide range of repertoire from different periods, styles and countries upon a single instrument is a late 20th-century phenomenon, and over the years this mantra has given rise to countless failed rebuilds. How often have we seen written descriptions of a rebuild stating that the instrument has been "brought up to date" or how certain additions have "filled gaps in the original tonal scheme" when in reality a potentially viable instrument has been turned into a grotesque misfit. Look for example at the measures implemented in more recent times at Gloucester Cathedral to try and coax this instrument back into fulfilling its intended purpose following the controversial 1971 rebuild.

Recently I purchased a CD made on the newly-restored organ formerly of the Adelaide Town Hall, now at Tanunda in South Australia. This Hill organ of 1877 (13 years older than its Sydney counterpart) survived several rebuilds reasonably intact until it was utterly ruined in a misguided reconstruction in 1970. Attempts were made to create a baroque sound from a Victorian foundation. Tonally and mechanically this rebuild was an absolute disaster, leading to the organ's removal and replacement by a new instrument in 1989. The old organ was painstakingly restored over nearly 20 years - a process which involved much reconstruction of missing or scrapped components - and it now sings out in glory within a new home - and with its original identity solidly reinstated. Here's another organ which is representative of one particular period/style and does so to the full. This work was undertaken by the Organ Historical Trust of Australia - of which I am a member - whose purpose is to preserve the originality and integrity of historic pipe organs. The sounds on the CD are glorious to say the least, and show with conviction the merits of designing an organ in light of a single given style and sticking to it.

http://www.barossagallery.com/hillsongrandorgan.htm

One of the greatest benefits I find in Hauptwerk is the ability to switch from one sample set to the next depending upon the repertoire being played. Some producers - notably OrganArt Media - go as far as providing only those sounds, couplers and controls which were on the original instrument - disabling the master couplers and anything else which might allow for a sample set to create sounds not inherent in the actual pipe organ. To try and amalgamate several diverse sample sets into a massive conglomerate is to me an anathema, and an exercise without apparent musical purpose other than to make a big noise.

As others have said above, one hopes that this 200-stop colossus fulfils the intended role as devised by its designer. How that purpose fits into the world of organ repertoire is another matter, and something which I am happy to say I don't understand or relate to.

Andrew
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Antoni Scott » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:19 pm

To respond to Andrew Grahame:
Stephen Smith, in a televised interview back in1998, regarding the Atlantic City organ, suggested that unlike the Midmer-Losh, the Wanamaker was a conglomeration of pipes from several builders with vastly different wind pressures and vastly different scales. The original "Core" organ of about 140 stops by the Los Angeles Art Organ used low wind pressure compared to the hundreds of additional stops added later. In fact, when first installed, it was deemed too quiet for the space so all of the pipes were voiced on higher wind pressure, completely changing the original sound. Almost immediately, 90 more stops were added, all at high wind pressure and again even more high pressure stops were added ( by Kimble )? Atlantic City on the other hand, had all of its stops built for the building but at equally differing wind pressures, etc. Most were built by Midmer-Losh.
Very large organs tend to not have the up front close and personal experience that one experiences from a smaller organ. Both have their place.
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Antoni Scott » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:22 am

Ppytprs:
Thank you for understanding my post !!!
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Re: 200 stop organ from Custom Hauptwerk Organs

Postby Andrew Grahame » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:49 am

Hi Antoni,

As I understand it, the organ at the core of the Wanamaker instrument wasn't designed to fill any particular specific space with sound, but rather as the implementation in practice of the organ design theories expounded by George Ashdown Audsley (1838 - 1925). He was keen about orchestral transcriptions, proliferation of string tone and imitative reeds, enclosure of much of an instrument including most pedal ranks - but always upholding the integrity of the major principal choruses to mixtures (an organ's "harmonic-corroborating stops").

Off the top of my head I recall reading that the construction of this instrument bankrupted the Los Angeles Art Organ Company, leading to it being sold off at a "fire-sale" price to John Wanamaker for his department store a few years after the 1904 St Louis Exhibition at which the organ was showcased. It's little wonder that initially it didn't produce enough sound in that location - especially its softer stops - as it hadn't been designed for that location in the first place. The subsequent additions were evidently necessary in order to adequately fill the huge space with sound in the days before PA technology capable of doing justice to music had been developed.

By contrast, Atlantic City was intended right from the outset to fill an enormous enclosed indoor space with high fidelity sound, and despite many tonal and design changes made on the fly by Senator Richards it still emerged as a unified entity in design, placement and purpose. Pre-1944 reports about that heroic instrument suggest that when fully operational it was highly successful in fulfilling its intended role. Its size, wind pressures, voicing characteristics and multi-chamber layout were all dictated by the space it had to fill with sound. I believe that if modern PA technology had been around back in the 1920's the notion of installing an organ wouldn't have crossed the minds of the building's designers.

Back to the question of a Hauptwerk organ of 200 stops, and my point stands. With these large pipe organs there was a clear sense of purpose in relation to the building housing the instrument, plus the organ's intended musical function. With Atlantic City this was conceived in total from the outset, and at Wanamaker's store it evolved as needed. What is the purpose behind a composite Hauptwerk instrument of such size, especially bearing in mind the relative diversity of the source ranks?

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