25 March 2008

from The Organ in Ampleforth Abbey (L.S. Barnard)

But a tuba, however fine, is a tuba among many: the trompetta argentea on the other hand, is in a class by itself. Lodged in the small arch high above the altar, it is an astounding piece of voicing, a trumpet of unexampled colour, power and brilliance. It is a special stop for special occasions. It is right for fanfares on great festal days: it would be in the worst taste to use it much, or often, or as an ordinary organ stop. But it is a thrilling sound! And it seems to throw the real organ tone into sharp relief: after a fanfare on the trompetta, the chorus work proper sounds doubly grand.

1 comment:

jd said...

I don't have the musical skills to recognise the stop that Barnard is describing. I do know that one of the great joys of the week is to listen to William Dore or one of his students playing the Ampleforth Abbey organ (and the trumpets from time to time), during and after mass. Dore's choice of Sunday mass recessional pieces can usually be guaranteed to show off the organ and the trumpets to their best.

A wonderful sound.