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Suavial Unknown (Primary)

Suabile Unknown

Suabe Flöte German


There seems to be little agreement on the definition of these names. Locher and Wedgwood describe Suabile and Suavial as names for a soft-toned Geigenprincipal, usually of 8' pitch and starting at tenor C. Hopkins & Rimbault describe Suabe Flöte as a wooden 4' stop with inverted mouths and a clear, liquid tone, starting at tenor C, and attributes its invention to William Hill. Grove, however, describes Suavial and Suabe Flöte as �a narrow-scaled 8' or 4' metal stop popular in southern Germany, Switzerland and the Habsburg countries from c1710 to the early 19th century.� Bonavia-Hunt calls Suabe Flöte a 4' Clarabella, and Maclean describes it as a small-scale metal flute, sometimes harmonic. Audsley considers Suabile to be a synonym for Soave, a different stop. M. Philbert, by way of Audsley, describes Suavial as a German Swiss celeste of Salicional scale, intended to be drawn with a Flute or Bourdon, and of very soft tone that is absorbed by the stop drawn with it. The name comes from the Latin suavis, meaning �sweet�.


Osiris contains a dozen and a half examples of Suavial, all at 8' except for one each at 16', 4', and 2'. Only one example of Suabe Flöte is known, and none of Suabile. Contributions welcome.

Suavial 2', Hauptwerk; Herz-Jesu, Koblenz, Germany; Klais 1959. Suavial 4', Rückpositiv; Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen (Concert Hall), Magdeburg, Germany; Jehmlich 1995.
Suavial 16', Pedal; Lorenzkirche, Nürnberg, Germany; Steinmeyer 1937. Suavial 8', Great; Auditorium, Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA; Hope-Jones 1907. This is the earliest known example.
Suabe-flote 4', Swell; St. Andrew Hall, Glasgow, Scotland; Lewis 1877.
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