Hello all - I wonder what opinions you have on late 19th century (and some early 20th) pneumatic action pipe organs. Overlapping or not with the "Romantic" concepts of the time.
In many parts of Romania and Eastern Europe (esp. the Austrian-Hungarian space) they have been a norm at a time communities had the money and interest to buy a state-of-the-art organ, and that's what they are stuck with until now...
I presume the corresponding time-money-technology window was much narrower in UK and US, and in West Europe the few examples have been rebuilt with electric actions ?
- Substantial delay from key to attack, sometimes unpredictably different between keys, so
- Needing to decouple finger-concept from ear and its feedback
- Lower reliability, more complex/expensive maintenance so
- Often in poorer shape now than simpler mechanical action organs, even centuries older
- Usually less or no 'fractional' pipe lengths (3rd, 5th harmonics, even mixtures). That's from the ideals of the era ? nothing inherently in pneumatic action against that.
- Allows wider timbral palettes, louder stops without becoming heavy on fingers
- First historical ways to achieve octave couplers, preset combinations, crescendo and other gadgets
Would any experienced organist here prefer to play a pneumatic action instead of electric action, if same gadgets were offered ? [I don't mean just for exploring the spirit of a bygone era...]