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Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Re: Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Postby Alte_neume » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:11 pm

Ah, now that adds another wrinkle to the decision at hand. I currently am using AKG headphones with amp run through my Mac Pro's sound card. In the future I plan to upgrade to speakers, new external sound card, etc. but not anytime soon.

Perhaps this should also be a consideration in which set I choose: My understanding is that a "surround" set can be used with headphones and then later used for multi-speaker surround set-up. In this case, choosing a "surround" set is potentially an investment.
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Re: Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Postby robsig » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:16 pm

I play a lot of Buxtehude, both the big and small pieces. The Germanic Baroque sample sets I have are Zwolle, Steinkirchen and Zoeblitz. I really love my Steinkirchen! I have found so many beautiful sounds, from the simplest to the most exotic. There are no limits to the variety of sounds you can discover. Often I will take a simple chorale prelude and play it through 3 or 4 times, with different registration. The principals are just lovely, and often 8,4,2 sounds full enough for a pleno without mixture. I often add the 2' flute to the principal chorus, it gives it a special luminosity. For more solidity add the 8' flute. The pedal sounds are beautiful once you get used to them; they are quite different from the manual sounds. In my opinion you can't go wrong with Steinkirchen, you will find variety as you experiment. At first I couldn't find combinations for Bach Trio Sonatas but eventually the solutions revealed themselves. I discovered the use of just the 16' alone in the pedal for quiet pieces, and closing the shutters with a loud accompaniment on the Oberwerk. There is a CD of Martin Bocker playing the real instrument. It sounds fabulous. The first piece is by Scheidemann and sounds like the sounds you want for Buxtehude. Here's the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZxJP3f1N8

Now I also love my Zwolle. I recognize that there is controversy about the neo-baroque restoration, but I find the sounds luminous and enveloping. I play a lot with earphones and I have gotten used to the ample acoustic. This is actually my go-to organ for most music. (I have tuned it down to 430, I just like the way it sounds that way…). There is a simplicity about Buxtehude, along with the gravity, which many organs with beautiful pure sounds will render.
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Re: Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Postby adri » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:38 am

an update about my experience with Zutphen:

The plenum and the reeds are better suited or renaissance and very early baroque music, not so much for Buxtehude larger works and later. For Buxtehude you need well blending "OH" sound reeds, not these more "EH" sounding ones this organ has.

So, I started playing Sweelinck and old Dutch keyboard music and they sound very good here. Careful registration is key with this organ (as with (m)any organ(s), actually!).

But with careful registrations this organ is quite versatile; and despite the enormous reverb, still quite transparent (unlike e.g. Kampen). This includes music from later periods.
The following specification is helpful in terms of dating the pipework:
http://www.baderorgel.nl/dispositie.html
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Re: Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Postby adri » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:47 am

to robsig:

Thanks for that Steinkirchen recoding link; that organ sounds very good ! Nicely played and registered!
Does the sample set sound as good? If it does, it would make a nice addition to my Altenbruch.

http://www.nomine.net/Steinkirchen-St-Nicolai-et-St-Martini-Arp-Schnitger

[url]goart-vas-1.it.gu.se/Webgoart/goart/go_pub.php?p=36&u=1&f=335&l=sv&sectsel=detail&id_nr=5667[/url]

https://www.arp-schnitger-gesellschaft.de/

http://www.leyman.net/z06_orgelsystem/z06_orgelsystem-05_oam_1687_steinkirchen.html


Not sure why 2nd link doesn't link.
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Re: Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Postby Alte_neume » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:45 pm

Thanks again for all comments. So since this thread started, I did my Contrebomarde "homework" and have listened to several hours of Buxtehude performances on Stade, Steinkirchen, & Altenbruch. That taken with comments here, I selected Steinkirchen.

Ultimately, though not 3 manuals, I very much enjoyed each recording I heard, from single stop to plenum. Its presence in the room is relatively generous. Lastly, as a surround set I viewed it as a type of investment. It was a tight race, to be sure. The Stade is a great instrument and was in the end my second runner up. The dry acoustics were its greatest limitation and the sample set had slightly less of a "presence" compared to the other two. That said, the overall sounds produced were very representative of those I hear on my Vogel, Koopman recordings played on other period instruments. Undoubtedly I will buy this in the near future. Lastly, I enjoyed most sounds on Altenbruch and gravitated to the smaller/single stop and reedy registrations. My feelings on the mixtures haven't changed with further listening and they simply wear out my ears. I still may buy this set someday for literally everything else (though, after Stade).

An aside: Thanks for making this forum a practical and entertaining online resource for fellow HW goers!
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Re: Buxtehude Sample Set Decisions

Postby adri » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:23 am

[quote="Alte_neume"]Thanks again for all comments. So since this thread started, I did my Contrebomarde "homework" and have listened to several hours of Buxtehude performances on Stade, Steinkirchen, & Altenbruch. That taken with comments here, I selected Steinkirchen.

Someone who has both, told me that either Steinkirchen or Altenbruch were good choices.

Quick comment about Altenbruch: yes, it's 3-manuals, but in a real sense, the Hauptwerk "continues" in the tiny sounding Brustwerk, as the Hauptwerk comes up somewhat short. So, you could call it a "2-1/2 manual organ". :D

I'm actually thinking to add the Steinkirchen myself. Should be fun to play both organs.
Enjoy, please post recordings on CB and provide feedback via pm.

:D
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