Search:
Submit Search


Which instrument to play Bach?

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:15 am

I know what you are going to tell me - look at the forum, you have thousands of answers for that! :wink:

This is where the problem is - too many options are available, to the extent I don't know what to do. :oops:

The point is - till today, I'm enjoying the Anloo organ quite a bit. Now that I succeeded to have 8 GB in my Mini, I think I can go to a larger instrument, with more options - stops in the Anloo instrument are a bit limited. Since I am mainly playing (slaughtering?) Bach with my headphones, I would prefer to have a wet instrument. :wink:

Given this basic information, which instrument do you recommend? :wink:

Thanks in advance for your suggestions! :P


Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby Dutch Brad » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:41 am

Trost, Waltershausen (OAM). It is a large 3-manual organ which Bach might have played and in any case was familiar with the builder and the type of organ. If you are looking for something smaller, then the Vollenhove organ (OAM) is a good alternative. The Hoofdwerk is a milder Renaissance style and the Rugwerk a more North-German Baroque style. A new CD of the Vollenhove organ was just released with music of Van de Noordt, Bach, Buxtehude, Walther and Bruhns. It is truly an amazing organ. Both with multiple releases, etc and of the highest standards.
Dutch Brad
Member
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 10:47 am
Location: Netherlands

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby imcg110 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:42 am

Ditto!
Trost is quite amazing - rather dry, but such an amazing tonal pallete.
Vollenhove is very versatile, lots of contrast between HW and RP, near perfect acoustic, and with the extended edition a very complete organ.
User avatar
imcg110
Member
 
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:25 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:41 am

Thanks to you both!

It looks they have both their pros and cons...

It's quite logical, but it's not helping me - if Trost is definitively more attracting for its impressive choice of stops, it looks sound quality is more in favour of Vollehhove. Unfortunately I'm not ready to buy the two of them... :oops:

At least, thanks to you, I'm reducing the number of options... By the way, do you own them? What is you personal preference between those two sets, and if I may ask, what makes you favouring one on the other? :wink:

Thanks again!

Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby polikimre » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:09 am

Don't forget the Freiberg organ from Sonus paradisi!
User avatar
polikimre
Member
 
Posts: 672
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:39 pm
Location: USA, NC, Cary

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby RoyKnight » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:22 am

Patrick

When I play Bach or Buxtehude I usually use Sonus Paradisi St. Michael's Zwolle, wet. This was the actual instrument that inspired Biggs to challenge American organ builders to incorporate a more classic specification in their new organs. It is a large instrument with real clarity, and really comprehensive baroque specifications. While very large, it still possesses a nice intimacy on lighter registrations. I bought the dry when I had only my MacBook with 4GB, but when I bought a Mini with 8GB I ordered the wet. The wet is so much more satisfying and it is still acoustically "friendly".

Roy
"Practice makes permanent"
RoyKnight
Member
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:46 pm
Location: Grafton, WV

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby Jim Reid » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:46 pm

However, the Zwolle organ, as Jiri Zurek sampled it, was heavily "modified"
by Flentrop after Biggs time. Further, Jiri has reported that he was asked
to sample the organ for "archive and reference" purposes, as the church
authorities want to un-Flentrop it or otherwise revoice/pipe the instrument back close
to the sound of the original! I bought the wet sample set before I knew of
the church's apparent dissatisfaction about the Flentrop "sound". I also
felt that what I received and heard from the sample set was NOT what
I had heard, even played ever so briefly, there in the Summer of 1981; Jiri's
explanation told me what had happened later! I cannot recall when I last
loaded the Flentrop-Zwolle sample set to use. Read Jiri Zureks comments here:

http://www.sonusparadisi.cz/organs/zwolle/history.0.asp

As for the other two, yes for the less chordal, less "complex" Bach, the
Viollenhove organ is fine; it has fewer stops/pipes than the Anloo also.
For example to study the Bach choral "Liebstier Jesu wir sind hier" the Vollenhove
is fine. But, such is NOT the sound Bach knew. As mentioned above,
the Trost Walterhausen organ sampled by Prof. Maier of OAM was auditioned
and likely played by Bach. It has the "gravitas" which Bach found lacking
from so many other instruments he had been asked to hear/comment about
(he was paid to do so, BTW). Trost had been an apprentice to Silberman;
seems Silberman might have accompanied Bach when he visited Walterhausen.
For another organ by Trost which Bach also visited, a written report of Bach's
comment about it seems to exist; Bach pronounced Trost's organs to be
"satisfactory", and perhaps as an afterthought, "very fine".

Were I only able to buy one of the three samples sets discussed, and
planned to really study the works of J S Bach, I would buy the Trost,
and urge you also to it. The organ of Vollenhoven in the Netherlands fits
the Dutch playing tradition, not Bach's; tonally and acoustically, the Vollenhoven
organ is also very well sampled and presented by Prof. Maier I just believe
it not the best of these for in depth Bach music/style study.
Jim Reid
User avatar
Jim Reid
Member
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Kauai, Hawaii

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby ajt » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:30 pm

I like the Pipeloops Silbermann - 2m, not a massive instrument, but some real beauty.
Adrian
User avatar
ajt
Member
 
Posts: 841
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:40 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby RoyKnight » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:33 pm

I realize the history of the Zwolle organ, but it is still great for practicing and performing Bach. It works well on the big works and on more intimate chorale preludes and trios. Just my personal preference. I notice, that even without the wind mechanism in America, it seems to "breathe" more than other sample sets without the wind modeling.

Roy
"Practice makes permanent"
RoyKnight
Member
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:46 pm
Location: Grafton, WV

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:59 am

polikimre wrote:Don't forget the Freiberg organ from Sonus paradisi!


Thanks for the suggestion, Imre! What makes you favour this instrument for Bach music? What specific advantages does he present? :wink:

Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:12 am

RoyKnight wrote:When I play Bach or Buxtehude I usually use Sonus Paradisi St. Michael's Zwolle, wet. This was the actual instrument that inspired Biggs to challenge American organ builders to incorporate a more classic specification in their new organs. It is a large instrument with real clarity, and really comprehensive baroque specifications. While very large, it still possesses a nice intimacy on lighter registrations. I bought the dry when I had only my MacBook with 4GB, but when I bought a Mini with 8GB I ordered the wet. The wet is so much more satisfying and it is still acoustically "friendly".


Thanks for the suggestion Roy, and thanks for the detailed comment / explanation! :wink:

By the way, I have read that for large instruments like OrganArt Media's Trost is it recommended to have a QuadCore machine with 8 GB RAM. In that regard, do you experience any kind of limitation with your Mini when playing the wet Zwolle instrument that may come from some lack of power? Is the wet version more demanding on the micro-processor than the dry one? :wink:

Besides, how have you set it? Considering the RAM you have, it looks from Sonus Paradisi's website there are two possibilities to remain below your maximum capacity -

- 6 GB or RAM - precisely 4.812 MB of RAM for the Zwolle Wet, loaded in 14-bits, memory compression, full multiple releases, all loops.
- 8 GB of RAM - precisely 6.5 GB of RAM for the Zwolle Wet, loaded in 16-bits, memory compression, full multiple releases, all loops.


Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:47 am

Thanks for your detailed explanation, Jim! 8)

When I read all the comments posted on that forum, I do have the feeling most if not all fellow Hauptwerkians are either professional organists or musicologists... and maybe both! :wink:

Jim Reid wrote:But, such is NOT the sound Bach knew


You can say the same about the Anloo organ. I'm not sure Bach has ever travelled to the Netherlands, and if he did, the Anloo was completed only 30 years on so before he passed away. But still, I love the sound of the Anloo organ to play Bach. :wink:

As a matter of fact, I'm not at a level where I look for historical precision as an absolute requirement. If I were, the first thing to be done would be to immediately stop pretending playing Bach! My practice is bad enough to fully justify my playing with headphones only... :oops:

What matters to me is to feel the joy of playing a music I like, even if not doing it well, with a sound which I valuate.

My setup is quite basic - at least for the time being - but the sound part is fairly good in my opinion. Good enough to make me feel I'm playing a real organ when listening to the Anloo, and actually having a more "pure" sound than a SACD can reproduce on a purely acoustic point of view.

This is the same kind of sensation I am now looking for, with more diversity in terms of possibilities (hence my request for a larger instrument with more stops), with a sound quality that is at least matching the Anloo one... :wink:

I hope I made myself clear... :oops:

Jim Reid wrote:Were I only able to buy one of the three samples sets discussed, and
planned to really study the works of J S Bach, I would buy the Trost,
and urge you also to it. The organ of Vollenhoven in the Netherlands fits
the Dutch playing tradition, not Bach's; tonally and acoustically, the Vollenhoven
organ is also very well sampled and presented by Prof. Maier I just believe
it not the best of these for in depth Bach music/style study.


Besides its price, the main drawback I see to the Trost is it's relatively dry. :oops:

Thanks again for your detailed comment, Jim! 8)

Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:50 am

ajt wrote:I like the Pipeloops Silbermann - 2m, not a massive instrument, but some real beauty.


Thanks ajt! 8)

Can you please elaborate on the reasons that make you recommend this instrument? Do you think it is adapted to all Bach's organ music (considering I shall probably never be good enough to go to the major works like the toccatas...)? :wink:

Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby polikimre » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:04 am

I suggest a purely practical and strictly nonscientific approach for choosing the right sampleset for Bach. Listen to Bach's works on Contrebombarde and pcorgan.com and choose the organ that you like best. If you want some guidance, then also look at the date when the organ was completed and audition only18th century instruments (and maybe also some neobaroque ones). This is how I chose Anloo, which I like very much, and decided to buy the Freiberg Silbermann organ sometime in the future.

For example, no matter how good an organ the Trost is, or how very likely it is that Bach himself played it, I just don't like its sound. Find something that pleases you, after all, you'll be the audience, too.

Also, issues like the spatial image and the reverb are both decisive factors in whether you'll like a set or not. Freiberg comes in four versions: dry, direct wet, diffuse wet and surround, and the two wet sets are in the same package.
User avatar
polikimre
Member
 
Posts: 672
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:39 pm
Location: USA, NC, Cary

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:39 am

polikimre wrote:I suggest a purely practical and strictly nonscientific approach for choosing the right sampleset for Bach. Listen to Bach's works on Contrebombarde and pcorgan.com and choose the organ that you like best. If you want some guidance, then also look at the date when the organ was completed and audition only18th century instruments (and maybe also some neobaroque ones).


I completely agree with that approach, Imre. If you have read my answers to fellow Hauptwerkians, I have already stressed the pleasure (of sound) should come before the historical aspect. Not that I consider it being pointless - I do love history as a general matter of fact - but in this specific case, and as far as I am concerned, this is not the main criteria. Maybe because I have never studied musicology - which I regret.

Said in a different way, one of my favorite Bach recordings are Ton Koopman's. He's a real genius when touching the keyboards, and I love the pure sound that comes out of my loudspeakers, even though Ton is recording on Dutch instruments only which can by no means have been played by Bach himself!

This is how I chose Anloo, which I like very much, and decided to buy the Freiberg Silbermann organ sometime in the future.


Quite interesting to know about this choice... with this background! Anloo is my favourite instrument, which I am currently "playing" almost all of the time. :wink:

For example, no matter how good an organ the Trost is, or how very likely it is that Bach himself played it, I just don't like its sound. Find something that pleases you, after all, you'll be the audience, too.

Also, issues like the spatial image and the reverb are both decisive factors in whether you'll like a set or not. Freiberg comes in four versions: dry, direct wet, diffuse wet and surround, and the two wet sets are in the same package.


Since investing in a new instrument will represent quite a large investment for me, I would like to make sure I'm going to the "ideal" instrument without any mistake or disappointment - ideal for me indeed. This is why I'm curious about all what can be said, all arguments pro and con, in order to help me to the final choice. I prefer to spend some time looking for advice, in order to cover if possible all aspects, I'm too fresh to Hauptwerk to claim I can make a sure choice on my own - I'm not necessarily aware of all aspects to be considered. Not yet at least. :wink:

I have downloaded samples from the 5 instruments that have been mentioned on this thread (Trost, Vollenhove, Freiberg, Zwolle and Silbermann in chronological order of the posts), in different versions when available, and I shall listen to them when I can dedicate enough time to cover all of them in one session only - it might prove to be the most difficult bit. :wink:

Thanks again for your detailed comments! 8)


Patrick
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Next

Return to Hauptwerk instruments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 4 guests