Search:
Submit Search


Which instrument to play Bach?

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby JPSmith » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:06 pm

Mr. Kooiker has stated the reality of Zwolle very succinctly. Its current state reflects what Flentrop thought a Schnitger organ should sound like in 1955. A lot has been learned since then. More recent scholarship has determined that many aspects of historic Baroque organs that were thought to be "romantic" changes made during previous renovations, and which were reversed during renovations done in the early neo-baroque movement of the 50s and 60s, were in fact part of the original instrument. For example, in some cases the neo-Baroque renovators lowered wind pressures below what are now known to be the original pressures, to obtain a lighter tone quality that they assumed was closer to the original. Marcussen's restoration of the renowned Christian Muller organ at St. Bavo's is a good example of this.

All this is not to say that Zwolle isn't a beautiful sounding organ -- only that it likely doesn't currently sound anything like it did when it was first built.
JPSmith
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:53 am
Location: Champaign IL

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:26 pm

RoyKnight wrote:Patrick,

- 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.


This is the installation I use. I have had no problems at all with the Zwolle, and I use some really full combinations. Interesting to me is the inclusion of registrations on the demo site for the Zwolle. I play the Buxtehude f# minor, and I actually use the indicated registrations used on the demo. It gives a good impetus for learning to register the instrument - for example how to build a Plenum. I agree with you, although I appreciate the historical, the sound is more important to me than the heritage. Last night, prompted by this post, I tried the Buxtehude on the some of the other "baroque" sample sets I have, which includes the beautifully articulate Anloo, and I am still most satisfied with the Zwolle. You have an exciting decision to make, don't you?


Thanks to share your experience Roy! 8)

RoyKnight wrote:
Speaking of Dutch organs, I'd like to put in a plug for the Hinsz Bovenkirk for Bach, even though I'm not sure it fits into an 8GB Mac Mini.


Actually it does. I used the default install (16 bit, multiple loops, compressed 6.5 GB) The only thing I notice is that on rapid passages with a large combination, some of the reverb starts to cut off. It and the Caen C.C.seem to be the organs I most frequent have loaded.

I, too, love the Hinz; it has one of the most beautiful acoustic spaces to play in. I do not use it for learning a new piece, but oh, what a performance after a piece is learned! This is why I did not list it as a "Bach learning" set, even though Bach works wonderfully on it.

I have found the 8GB Mac Mini to be surprisingly powerful, with native dual monitor capability.


It looks this Mini has loads of resources and good surprise inside! 8)

It's an interesting point of view to make the distinction between an instrument to learn, and an instrument to perform. I guess I can understand the difference - keep the "real" one when ready to have an additional emotion - but is there any reason to justify this segregation rehearsing / performing? :wink:
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:36 pm

ajt wrote:The test for me is whether I can register a trio successfully on an organ. I make no claims as to knowing what's an "authentic" Bach sound, but with registering a trio I aim to be able to get 3 different registrations (i.e. each manual + pedal) with equal balance and differing enough tonality to be able to pick out each part.


A very technical approach of the question... which is quite interesting! 8)

I guess by refering to "trio" you are referring to the trio sonatas... Well, given my level, I'm far from approaching them... and my skills when registering are even more basic. But it's interesting indeed to be aware of such consideration. :wink:

Thanks for sharing, ajt. 8)

I can't think of any Bach that requires 3 manuals; most of his works implement colour changes either through changes of texture or a quick manual change for echo, that kind of thing, but no rapid registration changes needed (many would argue no changes at all; you have to play an organ from roughly Bach's time to realise just how unwieldy the mechanics are). So, the Pipeloops Silbermann works well on that front.


I was one of those many arguing no change at all. Even when thinking of building a console, and for the very same reason, I'm considering having no piston at all... :wink:
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:38 pm

jocr wrote:I'm somewhat partial to OAM's Bosch Schnitger,
http://www.virtuallybaroque.com/list5gar.htm
but enjoy Bach on a wide variety of instruments.


Always the same old question... as I try to have as many opinions as possible to try to build my own - what makes you be partial to this one, James? :wink:

Thanks in advance! :P
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:39 pm

Franz64 wrote:Regarding comments on the unsuitability of a rather dry sound (such as in the Trost by OAM) to play Bach, I mildly disagree: it is true that a generous acoustics makes the organ sound more majestic, but risks to be a nuisance in the rendition of the complex counterpoint of Bach works. It might not be a coincidence that many/most churches where Bach was (or might have been) organist have the same rather dry acoustics as the Waltershausen Stadtkirche: this type of acoustics really favors contrapuntal clarity, clearly aimed at by Bach.


Another interesting point of view... Thanks Franz! 8)
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:44 pm

deWaverley wrote:.
Another strong vote here for Vollenhove ("OAM's Bosch Schnitger"). I play it every day, and the quality of sampling is just leagues ahead of anything else out there...and as Iain said, the acoustic is close to perfection.

deW

(I haven't, sadly, got the Trost, but it sounds like that is a little masterpiece as well).

.


Thanks deW. 8)

By any chance, do you own the Anloo as well? How would you rate the two instruments by comparison to each other - so to help me to know how to consider the Vollenhove? :wink:
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:45 pm

stevebryson wrote:Speaking of Dutch organs, I'd like to put in a plug for the Hinsz Bovenkirk for Bach, even though I'm not sure it fits into an 8GB Mac Mini. Vol I would fit, but I think it is a bit small and doesn't have much of a tonal palette (very few reeds). Vol II is plenty to get really great Bach registrations. The thing is, to fit Vol II you'd have to choose 16 bit. I'm not sure how much that would compromise the sound. For those with more memory, I have spent many hours in bliss playing Bach on the Hinsz. Brett's BWV 565 in the Hinsz demos is a great example, and he did that with just Vol I!


I shall add it to the list... Thanks Steve for your input! 8)
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:50 pm

gecko wrote:Bravo to Franz64 for his comments on acoustics. The most valuable thing about a wet acoustic, for me at least, is that it saves practice time, but it really doesn't do the music any good. Sort of like playing piano with the pedal down all the time.


Thanks for sharing, gecko! 8)

Since I'm a terrible player, I might think I'm not so bad after all thanks to the reverb... At least it will give me some confidence! :lol:
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby pat17 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:50 pm

imcg110 wrote:Much as I love playing the Bovenkerk organ - I would not choose to use it to learn Bach. It is great for well practised music you are taking into the public domain - to get used to playing in a big acoustic, or just for the thrill of doing it at home. The Hinsz, as presented, will not do your technique a lot of favours as a practise organ. It is much harder work too to register and control those little rapid sequences effectively.
Vollenhove, although not historically a "Bach" organ, I find the ideal balance between articulation (more gentle than some northern organs) and acoustic (just about perfect). I can get it registered in seconds and play it for hours without ever feeling I am fighting the mechanics or acoustic.
Trost will open your eyes to the hidden beauty of the more contrapuntal music and will make you think harder about how you present the contapuntal themes in a more orchestral manner. You just hear the lines so much better on Trost than any other organ. You will however need to relearn all you thought was Gospel in registration terms!!


Thanks for this detailed explanation, Iain! Again this segregation practicing/performing. Is it a question linked to making it more difficult when rehearsing so you are more comfortable when doing it "for real"? :wink:

I suppose it all depends what you are looking for - If you have a secure repertoire of Bach under the fingers, one of the big acoustic organs will be great fun to play and impress your friends. If you want to learn more Bach, go for Vollenhove - it is very user friendly. If you want to explore the more subtle aspects of the music or give new life to what you thought were familiar pieces, go for the luxury of Trost


Clear. Thanks again! 8)
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby stevebryson » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:17 pm

ajt wrote:I can't think of any Bach that requires 3 manuals...


Assuming by "requires" we mean what is needed to meet Bach's apparent intent, BWV 720 in one source (Walther) is marked "a 3 claviers et pedale" explicitly calling for Fagotto 16' and sesquialtera and indicating manual changes (though another source from Krebs only calls for 2 claviers). The mavens at Barenreiter go for the 3 claviers and registration. This is a way fun and quirky early piece which some sources say Bach composed to show off the new organ at Muhlhausen.

But BWV 720 is a notable exception that, as they say, proves the rule.
stevebryson
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: Corte Madera, California

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby ajt » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:52 pm

pat17 wrote:[
I was one of those many arguing no change at all. Even when thinking of building a console, and for the very same reason, I'm considering having no piston at all... :wink:


Excellent :-) The other 2 good reasons for the Pipeloops Silbermann are: 1. Free trial available for download, 2. pleasant but minimal acoustic.
Adrian
User avatar
ajt
Member
 
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:40 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby deWaverley » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:19 pm

Patrick - in answer to your question...actually I was unaware of the Anloo organ until this thread! The specs of that and the Vollenhove are vaguely similar, so maybe a move from Anloo to Vollenhove will not be enough of a change to be worthwhile for you (even though the Vol has a much better acoustic...and, judging by the Anloo demos, a little bit more of a warm sound than the Anloo...I love the Prospectum business model, btw).

So, for bigger organs you are probably looking at Trost or Zwolle or even Hinsz (if you want that sort of enormous acoustic). The next OAM one to be released (Stade) looks pretty tasty too.

Sorry not to be any more help.

deW
deWaverley
Member
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:33 pm
Location: UK, Bath

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby stevebryson » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:35 am

The discussions about the various large organs in this thread are really interesting, and I'm learning a lot about issues with acoustics etc for the different organ sets.

I'd like to spin this discussion in a slightly different direction. I have the (complete) Hinsz, and I'd very much like to also have the Trost. But spending nearly $1000 on yet another large, high-quality baroque organ just does not make sense in my financial reality (I have, however, been able to convince the spousal-powers-that-be that another $1000+ for a different style organ like the Salisbury Willis makes sense, especially in installments).

So for those of us on good-sized but still limited budgets, what large baroque organ would you recommend if you could only buy one? For example, the Trost and Vol II of the Hinsz are about the same price. This question is inspired by the observations that a dryer organ is good for learning but a wet one is good for performance, and that some organs are harder to register than others, but once you get the registration down the former may have a stronger sound. How would you balance short term learning vs. long-term performance?

Of course this question is academic for me since I already have the Hinsz (and am very happy with it - did I mention that? :D ). But I think it's an interesting question.

As a side note, this really has nothing to do with how I chose which organ to buy. I simply listened to the demos (making sure there was no added acoustics) and only bought organs that I felt absolutely compelled to buy. In the end I found this a pretty good selection criterion.
stevebryson
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: Corte Madera, California

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby Jon Hammond » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:48 am

The Willis produces a fine sound. But, without chiff.
Jon Hammond
Member
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 7:06 am
Location: Fairfield Glade, TN, USA

Re: Which instrument to play Bach?

Postby JPSmith » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:13 pm

stevebryson wrote:So for those of us on good-sized but still limited budgets, what large baroque organ would you recommend if you could only buy one? For example, the Trost and Vol II of the Hinsz are about the same price. This question is inspired by the observations that a dryer organ is good for learning but a wet one is good for performance, and that some organs are harder to register than others, but once you get the registration down the former may have a stronger sound. How would you balance short term learning vs. long-term performance?

Of course this question is academic for me since I already have the Hinsz (and am very happy with it - did I mention that? :D ). But I think it's an interesting question.



Assuming the primary criterion is suitability for Bach, I would have to pick Trost. Setting aside the practical advantages or disadvantages of various acoustics, the Thuringian-style organ in a relatively dry parish church must be the sound concept Bach had in mind for his mature organ works since (as noted above) his works would have been performed nearly exclusively on this type of instrument during his lifetime. The Trost exemplifies the sound of the late-baroque Thuringian organ and includes many of the specific and very "progressive" stops Bach is known to have liked. So if the goal (elusive though it may be) is to hear Bach's works the way he intended I think the Trost has to get the nod, as beautiful as the Hinsz is.
JPSmith
Member
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:53 am
Location: Champaign IL

PreviousNext

Return to Hauptwerk instruments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests