A majestic hymn for your Sunday: HELMSLEY, Lo he comes with clouds descending
HELMSLEY, as harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the 1906 English Hymnal, is a truly majestic tune for all time matched to the Advent text, Lo, he comes with clouds descending. According to Raymond Glover, the tune, already 150 years old by the time RVW published his version, was set to an insubstantial Baroque harmonization. Listen for the dialogs in this demo, which take advantage of the way both text and tune have opportunities to sing back and forth.
The organ is all GCPO, choir is a trebles-and-men Korg soundfont, as my followership holds the Anglican cathedral choral sound as the ideal. In this incarnation of a GCPO realization, I've attempted to demonstrate a three-manual instrument with multiple piston changes. I've also let the tremulant in on the principals and strings - it gives a nice celeste effect, which creates a bit of 'sweetness' you can hear in the higher register sounds, following the a cappella choir section.
For foundations, I brought in a couple choruses from the GCPO Romantic Organ library. All the other voices are custom combinations from the two modern instruments. Since GCPO doesn't simulate the way an organist manages the instrument via the console, I used separate staves for each manual (plus the pedal), then employ channel expressions to simulate piston activations.
Re: A majestic hymn for your Sunday: HELMSLEY, Lo he comes with clouds descending
I've isolated the organ part, as the 'choir' is burying the instrumental details.
you should hear
reed and flue voices building or switching in the pedal (my own build)
changes to the upper register (sometimes dominated by flutes and strings, sometimes principals and reeds)
changes in contrast (changing whether the aural weight is in 'middle' voices, or in lots of upper and lower registers)
My custom pedal is in a separate aria player instance, and a couple prominent combinations (so far):
A dulcian paired with a fagotto in the pedal gives a sharp reedy sound with a bright nasal character
The posaune and trompette combination adds that low growl (posaune) with a sharp attack (trompette)
These are almost always used in combination with something else - foundations of low principals, 'strings,' etc. I'm really liking the detail I can create in the pedal. Give a listen. (Download the .wav file if you want to hear some of the detail lost in the mp3...and soundcloud is even worse.)