opened, the bellows consequently closing. The key is thus relieved from the combined resistance of the main pallets, coupling movements, and the heavy wind-pressure; and the touch can consequently be adjusted to any degree of elastic resistance pleasant to the performer.
1834. York Minster. Elliott & Hill.
The organ in York Minster, which had been twice enlarged—about 1754, and again in 1813—was a third time altered and considerably increased in size in 1823, by Ward of York; who among other things added a Pedal Organ of thirteen stops to FFF, containing two Double Diapasons down to FFFF, 24 feet length, etc. The fire of 1829 cleared all this away; and Messrs. Elliott & Hill were then engaged to erect an entirely new organ, under the superintendence of the late Dr. Camidge.
It had been found from experience that the vast area of York Minster required an immense amount of organ tone to fill it adequately, and with the view of supplying this, Dr. Camidge seems to have selected as the foundation of his plan, the type of a large ordinary Great Organ of the period, of twelve stops, which he followed almost literally, and then had that disposition inserted twice over. The compass of the Great and Choir Manuals he extended downwards to CCC, 16 feet, and upwards to C in altissimo; and the Pedal Organ he designed to include four 'Double' Stops of 32 feet, and four 'Unisons' of 16 feet. The great fault in the scheme lay in the entire omission from the Manuals of all sub-octave Foundation-stops—i.e. stops sounding the 16-feet tone on the 8-feet key—and consequently also of all the Mutation-stops due to that sound. In spite of the great aggregation of pipes, therefore, the numerous manual stops produced no massiveness of effect, while as the Pedal had no less than four ponderous sub-octave registers, and, with the manuals coupled, a total of over forty stops, the only possible result from such an arrangement was a 'top-and-bottom' effect.
The original scheme of the organ—which underwent thorough revision and improvement in 1859—is given below. This organ had a radiating pedal-board. The organ erected in Mitcham church in 1834, and originally made by Bruce of Edinburgh, also had a radiating pedal-board, of peculiar construction.
|Great Organ. 24 stops.|
|(East soundboards.)||(West soundboards.)|
|1.||Open Diapason||16||13.||Open Diapason||16|
|2.||Open Diapason||16||14.||Open Diapason||16|
|3.||Stopped Diapason||16||15.||Stopped Diapason||16|
|6.||Principal, wood (Flute)||8||18.||Principal, wood (Flute)||8|
|9.||Sesquialtera 7 ranks||21.||Sesquialtera, 7 ranks|
|Choir organ. 9 stops.|
|Swell organ. 12 stops.|
|41.||Sesquialtera, 4 ranks|
|Pedal organ. 9 stops.|
|46.||Double open, wood||32|
|47.||Double open, metal||32|
|48.||Double stopped, wood||32|
|49.||Open Diapason, wood||16|
|50.||Open Diapason, wood||16|
|51.||Open Diapason, metal||16|
|52.||Sacbut (reed), wood||32|
|Compass, Gt. and Chr. CCC to in altmo (6 octaves); 73 notes.
Swl. CC to in altmo. (5 octaves); 61 notes.
Pedal Organ, CCC to Tenor C; 25 notes.
Manual and Pedal couplers. Radiating Pedal-board.
Not long after the completion of the York organ the late Dr. (then Mr.) Gauntlett made a praiseworthy effort to introduce some of the leading features of the Continental principle of organ-building into England; and being heartily seconded by the late Mr. William Hill, his endeavours were attended with a considerable amount of success. The 8-feet compass was gradually accepted as the proper range for the Manuals, although at times greatly opposed: the sub-octave (16 feet) manual stops, which had been essayed successively by Parker, Schnetzler, and Lincoln, at last obtained favourable recognition, together with the Twelfth thereto, viz. the Quint of 5½ feet. Double manual reeds were incorporated; and the importance of and necessity for the independent Pedal Organ was also demonstrated. The weak points were the number of half and incomplete stops, which retarded the process of quick registering; and the short range of the Pedal Organ, which, instead of being, like the pedals themselves, upwards of two octaves in compass, from CCC, consisted of a single octave only, which then repeated. This defect—a continuation of the old 'return pedal-pipe' system—had to be remedied before a clear and intelligible reading of Bach's Fugues, or any other essentially organ music, could be given.
1840. Town Hall, Birmingham.
Elliott & Hill.
'Borrowed' Solo Organ.
The peculiarity in this organ, independently of its general excellence, consisted in its 'Combination or Solo Organ.' By an ingenious mechanical contrivance almost any stop or stops of the swell or choir organs could be played on a fourth manual, without interfering with their arrangement, or their own separate keyboards. The stops that could thus be used in combination were the following:—
- It was stated at the time this organ was made that the largest pedal-pipe would hold a glass of ale for every man, woman, and child then residing within the walls of the city of York.
- A double reed-stop (double bassoon, down to the DDD pipe) formed a portion of the Great Organ of the Instrument erected by John Byfleld, Jun., in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, in 1751.