Our Opus 49 was designed and voiced to be well-balanced, flexible, and musically enticing, while also stable in its mechanism and tuning. In creating the new instrument, we happily re-used existing pipes from the church’s prior instrument, integrated with vintage ranks from our inventory and newly-built pipes for Hope Lutheran.
The result is a flexible instrument with two keyboards and pedal, in which all but two sets of pipes are enclosed in swell boxes. These are large enclosures whose louvered fronts permit changes in volume. Such dynamic range gives an instrument of modest size great flexibility in hymn-leading, choral accompaniment, and solo performance.
Sometimes, pipes placed in swell boxes can sound somewhat remote, even with the shutters fully open. In this organ’s engineering, all the bass pipes have been placed at the rear of the boxes, and the treble pipes out front. The shutters open fully 90º. All of these features allow the small pipes to develop fullness and clarity without sounding forced. The newly resonant acoustical space adds immeasurably to the organ’s effectiveness.
When an organ is in equal halves, left and right, it is important that they balance each other without duplication. Each section should bring something distinctive to the partnership. Therefore, while both departments have clear, blending principal choruses, the Great’s is fuller while the Swell’s is leaner and brighter. Flutes are varied in construction and voicing, to provide variety and contrast. While the Swell has the expected vibrant strings, we were glad to include the delicate Great Gemshorn, which expands the organ’s subtler side.
In conception and execution, our goal has been to merge old and new pipework into a modern, dynamic American sound, one that will serve the Lutheran liturgy and a wide range of music with conviction and color. We are proud to offer this new instrument to Hope Lutheran Church, knowing it will bring satisfaction to this active congregation for generations to come.9