organ123 - Birmingham Organists' Association

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organ 123

September 2012

5 manuals
93 speaking stops

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Edmund Schulze, 1862
Norman & Beard, 1910
Walker & Sons Ltd, 1935, 1960, 1999

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The last member of the
famous Schulze family
of German organ builders.

A year ago, we featured the famous Schulze organ at Armley.  Now, on the occasion of its 150th anniversary this month, we feature Schulze's magnum opus: the magnificent five-manual instrument he built for Doncaster Parish Church, described by Dr Nicholas Thistlethwaite as 'one of the two most influential organs built in England during the second half of the [19th] century'.

The innovations introduced by Schulze in this landmark instrument include a triangular section Hohl Flute 8ft, the first known example of a wooden Violone 16ft fitted with box mouth to steady the speech, a Pedal Contra Posaune 32ft employing a free, rather than a conventional beating, reed, and a manual 32ft Sub Bass.  The huge (especially by 19th century standards) Pedal Organ of 25 independent stops is particularly significant in the context of other contemporary English pedal divisions.  

Amongst other things, new blowing plant, a new console and a replacement action have been provided during the last 150 years but, with the exception of a new Solo Division with unenclosed Tuba by Norman & Beard in 1910, the organ today is tonally very much as Schulze left it - for which we can all be grateful!   

Your Webmaster recently had the pleasure of attending a recital here given by Colin Walsh (Lincoln Cathedral) when the superb qualities of the Schulze pipework were very much in evidence.  As Colin agreed in conversation afterwards, the effect of the choruses is so much more than the sum of the individual stops, such is the attention to detail of pipe scaling & voicing.

If you have never been to hear the Doncaster Schulze, what better time could there be than in its 150th anniversary year!

You can listen to a (short) recording of this organ as September 12's Music of the Month

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