Hear the New Organ Pipes

Photo4March 1 is the first Sunday we hear the three new replacement stops installed in our 1873 Johnson & Sons pipe organ. The von Beckerath firm began making these pipes late last year; two members of the firm flew here from Hamburg and spent last week installing and voicing the pipes. The offertory today features these three new organ voices: the soft, undulating tones on the Swell organ (played from the top keyboard) are the Salicional and Voix Celeste. These are the string voices of the organ, meant to imitate those same orchestral sounds. The other new voice is the Great Harmonic Flute, which is arguably the most important solo voice of the organ. It plays from the middle keyboard and it is the only stop in the organ with two mouths per pipe. The effect, as heard in Vierne’s Claire de Lune, is that of the breathy, transparent sound produced by a flute player. Over the next two weeks, we will hear additional music featuring these three new stops, including two new anthems written for them and our choir by our organist, Steve Ketterer.

On March 8, the choir will sing an anthem written by Steve wrote to feature the three new replacement stops we just added. The soft, undulating tones are the new Salicional and Voix Celeste; the sole flute sound is the new Harmonic Flute – the only stop in the organ whose pipes have double mouths. Construction of the pipes began last year at the von Beckerath shop in Hamburg, and two voicers spent the last of February installing and custom-regulating the new pipes for our sanctuary.

On March 15, the choir will sing another anthem Steve wrote for choir and cello to feature the three new replacement stops we just added. The soft, undulating tones are the new Salicional and Voix Celeste; the sole flute sound is the new Harmonic Flute – the only stop in the organ whose pipes have double mouths. Construction of the pipes began last year at the von Beckerath shop in Hamburg; the head voicer flew here from Germany with his assistant to spend the last week of February installing and custom-regulating the new pipes for our sanctuary.

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