Opus 75

Nov 8, 03:44 AM

Photo: Gilded Rosette detail, Opus 75 photo by Nelson Vigneault, 2011 ©

Opus 75

St. Mary's Cathedral
Portland, Oregon

Year of Commission 1993

In 1994 St. Mary's Cathedral closed to undergo a complete renovation. As part of the renewal two new organs were needed. Fr. Phillip Waibel, a Benedictine monk from Mount Angel Abbey,( see opus 79 & 80) was in charge of finding a organ builder for the balcony instrument and a smaller organ for the right transept on the main floor of the cathedral. The cathedral opened in 1996 to celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding.

The Ott firm received the commission to build the choir organ and the Richard Bond Pipe Organ firm was selected to rebuild and installed the balcony organ.

The case work of the Ott Choir Organ is out of red oak and stained to match the surrounding woodwork. The upper and lower lips of the façade pipes and the rosaries on the organ case are gold leaved. The two manual divisions, with the exception of the Prinzipal 8’, are under a common expression.

The Great and Pedal divisions of the balcony organ, built by Murray M. Harris and restored by the Richard Bond Organ Company, can also be played (coupled) from the choir organ manuals and pedal key-boards. Approximate two hundred feet separate the two instruments. The organist at the choir organ is aware of a small time delay in hearing the balcony organ and the same is observed playing the choir organ from the balcony organ. The congregation, seated between the instruments, is not aware of this acoustical delay. Blending the two instruments is a enjoyable experience, the romantic sound of the balcony organ blends nicely with the brighter sounding choir instrument.

The Richard Bond Pipe Organ firm was selected to rebuilt and installed this three manual balcony organ with 37 stops and 41 ranks. This instrument was originally built in 1904 by the Los Angeles Art Organ Co., under the direction of Murray M. Harris, for Holy Cross Catholic Church in San Francisco. The earthquake of 1989 forced the closure of the parish. The Archdiocese of Portland acquired the instrument, with the intent of installing it in St. Mary's Cathedral.

18 stops | 19 ranks
Mechanical action