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The Organ in Brentwood Cathedral

Brentwood Cathedral's organOriginally built by Hunter in 1881, for the church of St. Mary-at-the-Walls, Colchester, the Cathedral organ is now sited at the west end of the original Gothic nave of Brentwood's Victorian Catholic church, in a case designed by the architect of the new Cathedral, Quinlan Terry.

When St. Mary's became an Arts Centre in 1977, the organ was given to Brentwood Cathedral, and was completely rebuilt and restored by Percy Daniel & Co Ltd. of Clevedon for installation in the new Cathedral dedicated in 1991.

The organ has recently been thoroughly cleaned and refurbished through the generosity of the Brentwood Diocesan Cathedral and Choral Trust Fund. A new solo Fanfare Trumpet stop has been added together with tonal revisions to the positive completed by Percy Daniel & Co Ltd and Dr David Frostick.

Click images for enlargement.
 
Stop list


Detailed history and description

Brentwood Cathedral's organThe Cathedral organ was built by the London firm of Alfred Hunter in 1881 for the church of St. Mary-at-the-Walls, Colchester. It was rebuilt by Hill, Norman and Beard in 1931, when the Twelfth and the Mixture on the Great Organ were replaced by Diapasons. The organist at this period was W.F.Kingdon, who had been appointed to St. Mary's from St. Lawrence Jewry in London. The choir organ was later enclosed in a swell box, which rather spoilt the tone, and was also muffled by the Bass pipes of the Double Open Diapason. Nevertheless, the organ sounded remarkably well in this church, its Hunter ancestry (the firm was noted for the high quality of its pipe-work) and the Hill, Norman and Beard finish giving it a rich Pleno with some charming soft stops.

After the closure of the church in 1977, it became the property of the Redundant Churches' Fund and was subsequently reopened as an Arts Centre, the organ being used for recitals. Later, in need of complete rebuilding and restoration, it was offered as a gift to Brentwood's Catholic Cathedral by the Diocese of Chelmsford.

In its present setting it has been totally rebuilt and enlarged. The splendid classical case was designed by the architect of the new Cathedral, Quinlan Terry. Viewed both from the east, looking down the nave of the old church, and from across the new building, the organ harmonises well with its surroundings.

Stephen King, Cathedral organistThe organ builders, Daniel of Clevedon, have provided a three-manual scheme with a new unenclosed positive division. A three-rank Mixture has been restored to the Great organ, and the provision of two sets of independently controlled swell shutters facing east and north respectively provides a strong and versatile Swell division as a contrast to the Great. The addition of a Twelfth to the Swell organ makes a valuable contribution to the tonal variety of this division. The action is electro-pneumatic, and a full complement of registration aids (thumb and toe pistons) are adjustable by means of a new solid state capture system, with twelve levels of memory.

The organ is a fine example of the English Romantic tradition, while being well suited to the performance of organ music of all periods. This is important as the instrument is used for very varied accompaniment purposes, as well as for recital and concert work.

The organ has recently been thoroughly cleaned and refurbished through the generosity of the Brentwood Diocesan Cathedral and Choral Trust Fund. A new solo Fanfare Trumpet stop has been added together with tonal revisions to the positive completed by Percy Daniel & Co Ltd and Dr David Frostick.


Stop list

Great       Swell  
1. Double Open Diapason
2. Open Diapason No.1
3. Open Diapason No.2
4. Clarabella
5. Dulciana
6. Principal
7. Harmonic Flute
8. Fifteenth
9. Mixture 19.22.26
10.Trumpet
11.Clarion
12.Corno di Bassetto
 
 
 
 
 
16
 8
 8
 8
 8
 4
 4
 2
 3 rks
 8
 4
 8
 
 
 
 
 
    1. Lieblich Bourdon
2. Geigen Principal
3. Lieblich Gedackt
4. Gamba
5. Voix Celeste T.C.
6. Flute
7. Geigen Principal
8. Fifteenth
9. Mixture 19.22
10.Contra Fagotto
11.Cornopean
12.Oboe
13.Clarion
    Tremulant
    Swell Suboctave
    Swell Octave
    Swell Unison Off
16
 8
 8
 8
 8
 4
 4
 2
 2 rks
16
 8
 8
 4
 
 
 
 
 
Positive       Pedal  
1. Gedeckt
2. Principal
3. Nazard
4. Block Flute
5. Tierce
6. Sifflet
7. Sharp Mixture (22)26.29
8. Corno di Bassetto
9. Trumpet
10.Fanfare trumpet
    Tremulant
    Positive Suboctave
 
 8
 4
 2 2/3
 2
 1 3/5
 1
 3 rks
 8
 8
 
 
 
 
    1. Acoustic Bass
2. Open Diapason
3. Violone
4. Bourdon
5. Principal
6. Bass Flute
7. Octave Flute
8. Twenty-second
9. Posaune
10.Contra Fagotto
11.Trumpet
12.Fanfare Trumpet
13.Clarion
 32
 16
 16
 16
  8
  8
  4
  2
 16
 16
  8
  8
  4
 


Couplers     Accessories
Swell to Great
Swell to Positive
Positive to Great
Positive to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Great and Pedal Combinations
Coupled
 
 
 
    7 adjustable thumb pistons to Great
6 adjustable thumb pistons to Positive
7 adjustable thumb pistons to Swell
7 toe pistons to Swell (duplicating)
7 adjustable toe pistons to Pedal
1 thumb reverser Swell to Great
1 thumb reverser Great to Pedal
1 toe reverser Great to Pedal
1 toe reverser Swell to Great
8 adjustable General thumb pistons
1 General Cancel thumb piston



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