Irwin lists this stop with the following description:
A String stop of 8' or 4' on the manuals, formed from conical open metal pipes of slender scale and soft intonation. The timbre is that of a dull String, but there are many luminous and silvery effects possible with these two pitches that other String stops cannot duplicate. Some of the Erzähler's tone is present, and also a considerable amount of the octave harmonic, making this stop one of many beautiful combinational soft stops among the Strings and diminutive Foundation ranks. It is brighter than the Dulciana, but less bright than the Aeoline or Salicional. It creates a quiet and dulcet céleste, suitable for accompaniments if of slow beat.
Sumner also lists it with this description:
A stop first made in Germany at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Mr. Henry Willis III used a quiet, gemshorn-like stop of flute-string tone of this name in his choir or swell organs.
Maclean gives the following scaling information, obtained from “Mr. Willis”, for the CC pipe: 1 1/4" at the top, 3 1/8" at the mouth, 2/9 mouth, 1/2" cut up; lower fifteen pipes bearded. The name probably derives from the Latin word silvestris, meaning “wooded”, “wild” or “rural”. According to legend, Willis copied his stop from Skinner's Erzähler.
All known examples are given below.
Sylvestrina 8', Choir; Westminster Cathedral, London, England; Willis 1922-32.
Sylvestrina 2', Schwellwerk; St. Adalbero, Würzburg, Germany; Rensch 1995.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.|
Sylvestrina.html - Last updated 27 May 2002.