AVA206: I am to give a recital on an organ which has 3 mutation stops and would like to demonstrate all 3 during the recital
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start Episode 206, of #AskVidasAndAusra Podcast. This question was sent by Alison. And she writes:
I enjoying reading your blog and would appreciate some advice on repertoire using the mutation stops. I am to give a recital on an organ which has 3 mutation stops and would like to demonstrate all 3 during the recital. I have looked out a Cornet Voluntary by John Stanley and a tierce en taille by Michel Corrette, but perhaps you could suggest some other repertoire I could play?
Here is the full specification of the organ:
Department and Stop list
Pedal Key action Suspended Stop action Me Compass-low Compass-high Keys
1 Sub Bass 16 RDH Bourdon
Manual I Key action Suspended Stop action Me Compass-low Compass-high Keys
2 Principal 8
3 Stopped Diapason 8
4 Octave 4
5 Fifteenth 2
6 Nineteenth 1 1/3
7 Twentysecond 1
Manual II Key action Suspended Stop action Me Compass-low Compass-high Keys
8 Gedackt 8
9 Chimney Flute 4
10 Nazard 2 2/3
11 Flute 2
12 Tierce 1 3/5
Console type attached Stop type drawstop Pedalboard radiating concave
Naturals black, sharps black/white; couplers by hitch down pedal;
Manual II to Manual I
Manual II to Pedal
Manual I to Pedal
I hope you will use this question in your blog.
V: Basically, you can find the specification in the description of this conversation as a text. But we could also summarize, right? In the pedal, if it has only one stop, SubBass 16’, in the first manual, if it has Principle 8’, Stop Diapason 8’, Octave 4’, 15 2’, 19 1 1/3’, so that’s the mutation. And then 22nd one foot. And then on the second manual, Gedacht 8’, Chimney Flute 4’, Nazard 2 2/3’, Flute 2’ and Tierce 1 3/5’. Basically on the second manual it has two mutations—a fifth sound and a Tierce sound. And in the manual one he has a high pitched fifth; 1 1/3, right?
A: Yes, that’s right.
V: So the most common mutations, I would say.
A: Yes, yes.
V: And if he has suspended key action, which means the keys should be depressed quite lightly, in Italian fashion, I believe, according to this specification.
A: Yes, it looks like very much Italian, because it doesn’t have reeds.
V: So, so she chose Cornier Voluntary by John Stanley. Let’s see if we could build the Cornier. For Cornier remember we need five banks.
A: Yes, that’s right.
V: 8, 4, a fifth, a two foot and a third. So on the second manual you have all, everything you need, right? Because we have to remember that they have to be flutes.
A: That’s right, so it looks like, you know, the second manual is actually a Cornier.
A: If you pull all stops together.
V: And then Tierce en Taille by Michel Corrette is something different. Tierce en taille. Tierce en taille means, it’s like a Cornier but in the tenor.
A: That’s right. It’s a French manor. Piece written in French manor.
V: Maybe without Nazard. Maybe, maybe Gedacht 8’, Chimney Flute 4’, sometimes for depth and reinforcement and this Tierce. And that might be enough, don’t you think?
A: Yes, I think so. I actually have to listen to that balance. Because sometimes its sort of risky you know, to decide to, what stops you will pull out before you actually, you know, play on that particular organ. Because, well, some, some stops, sometimes stops sound so much different from what you imagined. And from sort of, common, common stops. So you need to adjust right on the spot. But, but I think it might work.
V: And, my guess is that 1 1/3 19th on the first manual might be a principal stop.
A: Yes, that could be. Because it looks like you know, the first manual is stronger. It has no other principles.
V: So what we’ll be suggesting next might not work for the first manual. What about the ornamented chorales? You see? They’re probably more suited for the second manual, right?
A: Could be. But then it would probably be hard, you know, to select something for accompaniment on a different manual.
V: Well, sometimes you can play with Octave 4’ but one octave lower. If the tenor is not lower than tenor C.
A: That’s right. But then again, you know, maybe you could use one of those new principles. Probably Principle 8’ not a stop Diapason. What do you think?
V: Yeah, if it’s not too loud of course.
A: I know. You need to check the balance.
V: If it’s too loud then check Octave 4’ one octave lower and you have a couple of choices here on the second manual, to bring out the melody.
A: What do you think; would it possible to accompany the Gedacht 8’ on the second manual and then play solo on the first manual?
V: With 19th?
V: And stop Diapason?
A: Yes. Would that be possible, a possibility?
V: It could be possible, yeah. It could be possible. If it’s not too harsh, this 19th. If it’s not…
A: Yes. Then again you have to check on the spot to listen to how it sounds.
V: Right. So any type of ornamented melody in the soprano might work for any of those mutations, high pitched 3rd stops, like 1 1/3’ or Nazard together with Gedacht, right? Or a Tierce together with Gedacht, without Nazard.
A: What, let’s say, you know, if you would go to that organ and you would find out that mutations are just really loud. What would you do?
V: I don’t…
A: I think, I think it would work for Stanley like, you know, well, that piece, but, but for major ornamented chorale it would be too much. Would it be possible to register and not use mutations?
V: Yeah. Principle 8’ or Octave 4’ one octave lower, would be perfectly suitable for the solo voice, I think.
A: And what would you do when for accompaniment on the Gedacht 8’ or would you also add Chimney Flute 4’?
V: Chimney Flute 4’ of course. And we have to probably recommend to Allison to use Chimney alone sometimes in the demonstration too.
A: Yes. That would be nice. Because some pieces sound just beautiful played on the 4’ flute.
V: Or Flute 2’ on some passages.
A: That’s true.
V: If it’s a full, full demonstration too. So lots of choices even though it is just a twelve stop organ.
A: I know. You could also use some gap registrations as well you know, like 2’ 8 and 2 together.
V: Oh, you mean on the second manual Gedacht 8’ and Flute 2’,,,
A: That’s right.
V: Would sound perfect for, or even for ornamented chorale.
A: That’s right. Sometimes it works very nice.
V: Or remember you played the Canzona by Scheidemann this way.
A: Yes. I did it, and it worked quite well.
V: Mmm, hmm. It think you have to, you have to maybe play with coupler in the pedal, sometimes, right? To reinforce,,,
A: Yes. Yes, I think so, yes.
V: Because Subbass alone is not enough sometimes. Then you need to do either pedals to manual two or pedals to manual one, depending on which manual is accompanying.
V: Yes. But I think it’s, you know, its a nice, nice size instrument. It seems like it’s not a big one but you can still do lots of things with it. Don’t you think so?
V: I think so, yeah. And hopefully the room is a little bit reverberant so it can even enlarge the sound and reinforce the acoustics. Excellent! Lots of variety. It can be done very nicely I think during the recital. So you don’t need to have hundreds of stops to register some elegant and delightful organ music and play for, for thirty minutes or entire hour this way.
V: Yes, that’s right.
V: Even solo organ music, you don’t need to play with, with a friend or a singer. I mean you could, if you have an instrumentalist, but it’s perfectly possible to do a solo recital this way.
V: Yes and I think some Italian music would work well on this kind of instrument. Remember those sonatas, by,,,
V: By, by, I’m thinking about, eh, you’re thinking about Italians, right?
V: And we played it?
A: Well, yes you did. Remember, at the museum.
V: Oh, Gaetano Valerj’s sonatas are perfect for this too.
A: That’s what I thought but I also forgot his name. Getting old.
V: Mmm, hmm. Thank you guys. This was Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: Please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice…
A: Miracles happen!
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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