PipeChat Digest #1031 - Monday, August 16, 1999
 
Re: Big Catholic Organs
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
 


(back) Subject: Re: Big Catholic Organs From: ScottFop@aol.com Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 02:24:18 EDT   In a message dated 8/15/99 2:26:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time, = Oboe32@aol.com writes:   << Now we all know that there is a large instrument at the Royal Shrine in Michigan, = thank you kindly Scott!! Are there any others out there though!?? Specs would = be cool!! Thanx in advance! >>   Ooooh- COOL! I didn't know that I played in my very own Chapelle Royale! hee hee. Anyway- as per request, below is a bit of history and the specs = of the Kilgen in the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, = Michigan:     THE NATIONAL SHRINE KILGEN (Specs et al) As per request(s), listed below are the specifications and details of the pipe organ built by Geo. Kilgen & Son of St. Louis, MO, Opus #5180 and installed in 1934 in the Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan. = Father Charles Coughlin, founding pastor of the Shrine in 1926, began the parish in a small wooden chapel-like building which burned three years = later. After the fire the present chapel (Narthex) was built, followed by the = tower and then the main church. The facilities were built beginning in 1929 and =   were completed in 1934. Funds for the construction of the church came = from private donation and from the Radio League of the Little Flower which was also founded by Fr. Coughlin and had brought the Royal Oak church into national prominence. The "Little Flower" refers to Saint Therese of the = Child Jesus and of the Holy Face from Lisieux, France.   Fr. Coughlin originally desired a large Casavant for the Shrine. Two = things caused the change regarding selection of the builder of the organ. First = of all Fr. Coughlin and Casavant Freres, Ltee. could not agree on the details =   regarding the overall design, price and building of the instrument and, secondly, Fr. Coughlin was a close acquaintance of the Cardinal Archbishop = of the Archdiocese of New York City at the time and had learned of the = success they had seen from their Kilgen which was installed in 1929. He had also learned of the difficulties St. Patrick's had experienced by having two separate instruments controlled by two separate organists on two separate consoles. He wanted a different arrangement, hence- the letter at the end = of this document changing the console order.   From the documentation we have and from speaking with Robert Mitchell of Pittsburgh, the Shrine instrument was designed by Charles Courboin and = Pietro Yon (representing Kilgen) in conjunction with the Shrine's organist Cyril Guthrow. Mitchell, at the time of the organ's installation in 1934, was a = 22 year old member of the Kilgen installation staff and assistant reed = regulator for Kilgen. The dedicatory recital was played by Courboin in 1934. The = tonal finishing was personally carried out on site by Henry Vincent Willis, = nephew of Henry "Father" Willis. In addition to his duties for Kilgen, Willis = also worked as a tonal finished for Welte and Wicks. Another member of the = Kilgen crew from St. Louis was James Aebel, who stayed in Detroit after the organ =   was installed and personally maintained it on behalf of the Kilgen firm = until the late 1950's.   During the restoration which began in 1996- the only modifications include =   the addition of a Peterson Solid State relay, expression engines and combination action. These additions and the new relay, which replace the former Kilgen electro-mechanical equipment which had long since ceased to operate, will enable the organist to have multiple levels of combination memory, four settable crescendo pedal levels and tuttis as well as the addition of a MIDI playback unit. I do consider the Shrine (and myself) = very fortunate indeed to have such a valuable and tonally intact, extant = example of American organ building history. The organ was built during the transitional period between the Symphonic and the American Classic organ. =     The Swell mixture is referred to as a "Rye type" mixture. This description =   comes from the Kilgen contract and refers to the new Kilgen organ which = was designed by Charles Courboin and installed in the Church of the Resurrection in Rye, New York when he was the organist there. It had shown up on = several other organ contracts and Kilgen shop notes in the 1930's. There are = three resultants in the organ as there is not space for even a single 32' pedal flue extension. Lastly, the organ was installed with a "Liturgical = Trumpet" with brass resonators. Following the initial installation and dedication = it was replaced with the Solo Tuba Mirabilis on 12" as per the original contract.   Alice Fiedler Kilgen, great granddaughter of George Kilgen and daughter of =   Charles Kilgen, has sent much documentation and has contributed much to = the gaining of information regarding the organ's history and installation. She =   contacted the Shrine upon hearing of the organ's restoration project to request that the original Geo. Kilgen and Son nameplates be retained on = both consoles. She also verified that the Kilgen firm and family always considered the Shrine organ to be one of its very finest.   The National Shrine organ is the largest original Kilgen pipe organ = remaining in existence and was designated an Historic American Pipe Organ by the = Organ Historical Society in September of 1998.   The following is taken verbatim, including some hand written notes, from = the original Kilgen contract: Geo. Kilgen & Son, St. Louis, Mo SHRINE OF THE LITTLE FLOWER, Royal Oak, Mich Four Manual and Pedal Main Organ Two Manual and Pedal Antiphonal Organ (handwritten note: "this was = canceled and another 4 manual was ordered. See extra price.") Two consoles, both four manual for Main Organ and Antiphonal, Stop Key Wing Type Main Organ located in four expression chambers in gallery toward Narthex of Church Antiphonal Organ located in two expression chambers in basement of Church with tone conduits leading through floor in Auditorium near main Altar Main organ to be screened by ornate grilles   Main Organ: GREAT ORGAN (Enclosed) 8" Pressure 1. Spitzfloete, 16 ft, 36 top, 2/3 flat 1/5, 73 pipes 2. First Diapason, 8 ft, (Double Languid) 42, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 3. Second Diapason, 8 ft, 44, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 4. Third Diapason, 8 ft, 46, flat 1/4, 73 pipes 5. Flute Harmonique, 8ft, (Pure Tin), 46, flat 2/9, 1-61 slotted, 73 pipes 6. Gemshorn, 8 ft, 54, top 1/3, flat 1/4, 73 pipes 7. Prestant, 4 ft, 56, flat 1/4, 1-24 slotted, 73 pipes = (handwritten: "upper") 8. Flute Octaviante, 4 ft, (Pure Tin), 60, Fl Har, flat 2/9, 1-49 = slotted, 73 pipes 9. Twelfth, 2-2/3 ft, 68, flat 2/9, 61 pipes 10. Fifteenth, 2 ft, 70, flat 2/9, 61 pipes 11. Plein Jeu (VII Ranks) see diagram (handwritten: "2 magnets"), 427 = pipes 15-19-22-26-29-33-36 12. Double Trumpet, 16 ft, 6, 73 pipes 13. Tromba, 8 ft, 5, 73 pipes 14. Clarion, 4 ft, 3, 73 pipes 15. Ripieno Combination (No. 1) 16. Ripieno Combination (No. 2) 17. Harp, 16 ft 18. Harp, 8 ft, 61 bars 19. Celesta, 4 ft 20. Vibraphone, 8 ft (handwritten note: "Deagon Cata. #5761, Vacuum Action-$720.00-Req. 4872A") 21. Chimes, 8 ft, (In Great box), 25 tubes (handwritten note: "K & L Grade A, Req. 4832A, $144.00 net") Ripieno Comb. No. 1 to draw Plein Jeu 1st, 2nd, 3rd ranks and No. 6, 8, 9 Ripieno Comb. No. 2 to draw Plein jeu 1st, 2nd, 3rd ranks and No. = 4,5,7,9,10 SWELL ORGAN (Enclosed) 7" Pressure 22. Bourdon, 16 ft, No. 2 Manual, 73 pipes 23. Principal, 8 ft, 44, 1-61 slotted, flat 1/4, 73 pipes 24. Stopped Flute, 8 ft, No. 2 new scale, No. 2 sass, 73 pipes 25. Salicional, 8 ft, 58, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 26. Voix Celeste, 8 ft, 58, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 27. Dolce Flute, 8 ft, 50, top 2/3, flat 1/6, 73 pipes 28. Dolce Flute Celeste, 8 ft, 50, top 1/3, flat 1/6, 61 pipes 29. Aeoline, 8 ft, 60, flat 1/5, 73 pipes 30. Geigen Octave, 4 ft, 58 flat 1/4, 1-49 slotted, 73 pipes 31. Flute Triangulaire, 4 ft, Reg., 73 pipes 32. Flautino, 2 ft, 70, flat 2/9, 61 pipes 33. Mixture (III Ranks) Rye Type, 183 pipes, 12-15-19 34. Posaune, 16 ft, 5", 73 pipes 35. Trumpet, 8 ft, 4", 73 pipes 36. Oboe d'Amore, 8 ft, Reg., Capped, 73 pipes 37. Clarion, 4 ft, 2 5/8, 73 pipes 38. Vox Humana, 8 ft, Reg., 73 pipes 39. Ripieno Combination (No. 1) Draw No. 27-31-33 40. Ripieno Combination (No. 2) Draw No. 24-25-30-32-35 41. Harp, 16 ft, from Great, 61 notes 42. Harp, 8 ft, from great, 61 notes 43. Celesta, 4 ft, from Great, 49 notes 44. Vibraphone, 8 ft, from Great, 61 notes 45. Chimes, 8 ft, from Great, 25 notes Tremolo CHOIR ORGAN (Enclosed) 6" Pressure 46. Contra Gamba, 16 ft, 46, flat 2/9, not slotted, 73 pipes 47. Diapason, 8 ft, 46, flat 1/4, 73 pipes 48. Hohl Flute, 8 ft, new scale, 73 pipes 49. Viole d'Orchestre, 8 ft, 60, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 50. Viole d'Orchestre Celeste, 8 ft, 62, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 51. Dulciana, 8 ft, 56, flat 1/5, 73 pipes 52. Unda Maris, 8 ft, 56, flat 1/5, 73 pipes 53. Gemshorn, 4 ft, 65, Top 2/3, flat 1/4, 73 pipes 54. Flauto Traverso, 4 ft, Reg., 73 pipes 55. Rohr Nassart, 2-2/3 ft, 67, flat 1/5, 61 pipes 56. Piccolo Harmonique, 2 ft, 70, flat 2/9, 61 pipes 57. Carillon (III Ranks), (Pure Tin), 183 pipes (handwritten: " 3 magnets"), 12-17-22 58. Trompette, 8 ft, 3", 73 pipes 59. Clarinette, 8 ft, Reg., 73 pipes 60. Orchestral Oboe, 8 ft, Reg, 73 pipes 61. Ripieno Combination, Draw No. 51-53-56-57 62. Harp, 16 ft, From Great, 61 notes 63. Harp, 8 ft, 61 notes 64. Celesta, 4 ft, From Great, 49 notes 65. Vibraphone, 8', From Great, 61 notes 66. Chimes, 8 ft, From Great, 61 notes Tremolo SOLO ORGAN (Enclosed) 12" Pressure 67. Contra Gedeckt, 16 ft, 1-24 No. 2 Ped Bdn, 25-73 No. 1 St. Diap, 73 = pipes 68. Flauto Mirabilis, 8 ft, (Wood, Harmonic) new scale, 73 pipes 69. Gross Gedeckt, 8 ft, No. 2 Tibia Clausa, 73 pipes 70. Gross Gamba, 8 ft, 54, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 71. Gross Gamba Celeste, 8 ft, 55, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 72. Octave, 4 ft, 54, flat 2/9, 1-24 slotted, 73 pipes 73. Flute, 4 ft, ext. Contra Gedeckt, 24 pipes 74. Cymbale (VII Ranks), See Diagram, 427 pipes (handwritten: "3 = magnets") 12-15-19-22-26-29-33 75. Tuba Mirabilis, 8 ft, 5-1/2, 73 pipes 76. French Horn, 8 ft, Reg., 73 pipes 77. Harp, 16 ft, From Great, 61 notes 78. Harp, 8 ft, From Great, 61 notes 79. Celesta, 4 ft, From Great, 49 notes 80. Vibraphone, 8 ft, From Great, 61 notes 81. Chimes, 8 ft, From Great, 25 notes Tremolo PEDAL ORGAN 82. Resultant, 32 ft, (Diapason), Bourdon #1, 12 pipes, 16' G, 8" = Pressure 83. Resultant, 32 ft, (Gedeckt) Swell, Bour CCC to G etc, 32 notes 84. Contra Bass, 16 ft, No. 2 Pedal Open Scale (wood), 32 pipes, 8" = Pressure 85. Violone, 16 ft, 42, flat 2/9, 32 pipes, 8" pressure 86. Contra Gedeckt, 16 ft (Solo), 32 notes 87. Bourdon, 16 ft, No. 1 Pedal Scale, 32 pipes, 8" Pressure 88. Octave, 8 ft (Extended Contra Bass), 12 pipes 89. Cello, 8 ft (Extended Violone), 12 pipes 90. Flute, 8 ft (Extended Bourdon), 12 pipes 91. Quint, 5-1/3 ft, (From Contra Bass), 32 notes 92. Super Octave, 4 ft (Extended Octave), 12 pipes 93. Flute, 4 ft ( Extended Flute), 12 pipes 94. Doublette, 2 ft (Extended Super Octave), 12 pipes 95. Contra Posaune, 32 ft, (Ext Sw Posaune), 12 pipes, 12" Pressure (10"3 = C)* 96. Trombone, 16 ft, 32 pipes, 8" Pressure 97. Trumpet, 8 ft (Extended Trombone), 12 pipes 98. Clarion, 4 ft (Extended Trumpet), 12 pipes 99. Contra Gambe, 16 ft, (Choir) 32 notes 100. Spitz Floete, 16 ft (Great), 32 notes 101. Posaune, 16 ft (Swell), 32 notes 102. Double Trumpet, 16 ft (Great), 32 notes 103. Spitz Floete, 8 ft (Great), 32 notes 104. Echo Bourdon, 16 ft (Swell), 32 notes 105. Still Gedeckt, 8 ft (Swell), 32 notes 106. Chimes, 8 ft (Great), 25 notes *(handwritten note): "Blocks for 32' Posaune- by Stuckstide + Bros, 2735 Lyon Street, St. Louis. 12 ps. 440-1/2 lb., Lead- $15.41. We made = patterns- 3 sizes." Antiphonal Organ: GREAT ORGAN (Enclosed) 6" Pressure 107. Open Diapason, 8 ft, 43, flat 1/4, 73 pipes 108. Melodia, 8 ft, No. 1, No. 2 St. Bass, 73 pipes 109. Dulciana, 8 ft, 56, flat 1/5, 73 pipes 110. Octave, 4 ft, 58, flat 1/4, 1-24 slotted, 73 pipes 111. Harmonic Flute, 4 ft, 60, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 112. Mixture (IV Ranks) See Diagram, 244 pipes, 12-15-19-22 113. Trumpet, 8 ft, 4", 73 pipes 114. Celesta, 8 ft (Swell box), 37 bars (handwritten: "K-L in StK.") 115. Chimes, 8 ft, 25 tubes,(handwritten: "K-L Grade A, Req. 4832A, = $144.00) Tremolo SWELL ORGAN (Enclosed) 6" Pressure 116. Bourdon, 16 ft, No. 2 Manual, 73 pipes 117. Principal, 8 ft, 44, flat 1/4, 1-61 slotted, 73 pipes 118. Rohrfloete, 8 ft, No. 3 Fl d'Am., No. 2 St. Bass, 73 pipes 119. Viola da Gamba, 8 ft, 58, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 120. Voix Celeste, 8 ft, 58, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 121. Spitzfloete, 4 ft, 62, top 1/5, flat 2/9, 73 pipes 122. Flautino, 2 ft, 70, 61 pipes 123. Oboe, 8 ft, Reg. Open Type, 73 pipes 124. Vox Humana, 8 ft, Reg., 73 pipes 125. Celesta, 8 ft, 25 notes (handwritten: " K+L #137") 126. Chimes, 8 ft (From Great), 25 notes Tremolo (two, one affecting each chest) PEDAL ORGAN, 8" Pressure 127. Resultant, 32 ft, 32 notes 128. Sub Bass, 16 ft, No. 1, 32 pipes 129. Echo Bourdon, 16 ft (From Swell), 32 notes 130. Bass Flute, 8 ft, Ext. Sub Bass, 12 pipes 131. Still Gedeckt, 8 ft, 32 notes 132. Posaune, 16 ft, Ext. Trumpet, 12 pipes 133. Chimes, 8 ft (Great), 25 notes   Couplers: MAIN GREAT Swell to Great 16 Swell to Great 8 Swell to Great 4 Choir to Great 16 Choir to Great 8 Choir to Great 4 Solo to Great 16 Solo to Great 8 Solo to Great 4 Great to Great 16 Great Unison Off Great to Great 4 Antiphonal Swell to Great 16 Antiphonal Swell to Great 8 Antiphonal Swell to Great 4 Antiphonal Great to Great 16 Antiphonal Great to Great 8 Antiphonal Great to Great 4 MAIN SWELL Solo to Swell 16 Solo to Swell 8 Solo to Swell 4 Swell to Swell 16 Swell Unison Off Swell to Swell 4 Antiphonal Swell to Swell 16 Antiphonal Swell to Swell 8 Antiphonal Swell to Swell 4 MAIN CHOIR: Swell to Choir 16 Swell to Choir 8 Swell to Choir 4 Solo to Choir 16 Solo to Choir 8 Solo to Choir 4 Choir to Choir 16 Choir Unison Off Choir to Choir 4 Antiphonal Swell to Choir 16 Antiphonal Swell to Choir 8 Antiphonal Swell to Choir 4 MAIN SOLO Great to Solo 8 Solo to Solo 16 Solo Unison Off Solo to Solo 4 Antiphonal Great to Solo 16 Antiphonal Great to Solo 8 Antiphonal Great to Solo 4 Antiphonal Swell to Solo 16 Antiphonal Swell to Solo 8 Antiphonal Swell to Solo 4 MAIN PEDAL Great to Pedal 8 Great to Pedal 4 Swell to Pedal 8 Swell to pedal 4 Choir to Pedal 8 Choir to Pedal 4 Solo to Pedal 8 Solo to Pedal 4 Pedal to Pedal 4 Antiphonal Great to Pedal 8 Antiphonal Great to Pedal 4 Antiphonal Swell to Pedal 8 Antiphonal Swell to Pedal 4   ANTIPHONAL GREAT Swell to Great 16 Swell to Great 8 Swell to Great 4 Great to Great 16 Great Unison Off Great to Great 4 ANTIPHONAL SWELL Swell to Swell 16 Swell Unison Off Swell to Swell 4 ANTIPHONAL PEDAL Great to Pedal 8 Great to Pedal 4 Swell to Pedal 8 Swell to Pedal 4 PISTONS Swell to Great Choir to Great Solo to Great Swell to Choir Solo to Choir Great to Pedal (thumb and toe) Swell to Pedal Choir to Pedal Solo to Pedal Antiphonal Great to Pedal (thumb and toe) Antiphonal Swell to Pedal (thumb and toe) Antiphonal Swell to Great (thumb and toe)   Alternator (Antiphonal On/Main Off) Antiphonal On Main Full Organ (Main) Full Organ (Antiphonal) thumb and toe Full Organ (Entire) Special pistons (under Choir at right): Main Organ Crescendo Pedal (On & Off) Antiphonal Organ Crescendo Pedal (On & Off) COMBINATION PISTONS (Controlled by patented Ball Bearing Setter Action, adjustable by setter piston moving stop keys on and off) Great 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and Cancel Swell 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and Cancel Choir 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and Cancel Solo 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and Cancel Pedal 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and Cancel (Independent) Entire Organ 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 and Cancel Couplers 1-2-3-4-5 and Cancel Antiphonal Great 1-2-3-4 and Cancel Antiphonal Swell 1-2-3-4 and Cancel Antiphonal Pedal 1-2-3 and Cancel Antiphonal Entire Organ 1-2-3-4 and Cancel BALANCED PEDALS Expression Pedal to Great-Main Expression Pedal to Swell-Main Expression to Choir-Main Expression to Solo-Main Expression to Antipohonal Great Expression to Antiphonal Swell Crescendo Pedal ACCESSORIES Expression Selector with Crescendo Indicator (positive) On and Off piston separating Pedal Stops from each Manual's Combinations 16 ft Manual Stops Eliminator- on/off reversible working on general = pistons 16 ft Manual Couplers Eliminator- on/off reversible working on general = pistons 4 ft Manual Stops Eliminator- on/off reversible working on general pistons 4 ft Pedal Couplers Eliminator- on/off reversible working on general = pistons Main Console on and off reversible with light indicator Antiphonal Console on and off reversible with light indicator Current Indicator - Main and Antiphonal   (Handwritten notes:) "#Console Plate about Mr. Morrel- see letter 12/14/33. Out- E.R.K. = 8/14/35" "#G.E. or Westinghouse Motors (See Spencer Req 4788A)" And, finally- a letter signed by Fr. Charles Coughlin: Geo. Kilgen & Son, Inc., Jan. 26, 1934 St. Louis, Missouri Gentlemen, I wish to make a change in the console arrangement on the organ which I ordered from you on September 12, 1933, for the Shrine of the Little = Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan. This is my order and authority for you to eliminate the four manual = draw-knob type console with remote-control combination system as well as the two = manual stop-key type console, called for in the specification attached to the = order referred to. I further authorize you to supply, in lieu of the aforementioned equipment =   which I have ordered eliminated, a new four manual wing type console with stop-key control to be placed in the gallery near the main organ, and = another four manual wing type console with stop-key control to be placed on the = first floor of the church in the choir stalls near the main altar; both of these =   consoles to have duplicate systems of control and are to be so arranged = that both of them will play the main organ and the antiphonal organ. I understand that the changes herein specified will cost in addition to = the sum called for in the original organ contract of September 12, 1933, and I =   agree to pay the additional sum of $1000.00 on completion of this work in = the church. This is, of course, to include the complete installation of the items mentioned herein, as well as the freight charges thereon. I further order that these new four manual consoles should be of the roller-top-desk type. SHRINE OF THE LITTLE FLOWER By Chas. E. Coughlin (typed by Kilgen:) This letter was received from Father Coughlin Jan. 29, 1934 GEO. KILGEN & Son, INC. I.S. 2/6/34 A footnote: the original price for the building and installation of the Kilgen Grand Organ, Opus #5180 for the Shrine of the Little Flower in = Royal Oak, Michigan in 1933 was $50,000.00. Then there was the additional = $1000.00 cost for the twin 4 manual consoles in 1934, before the completion of the installation. _______________________________________ Compiled by Scott F. Foppiano, June 14, 1998 _______________________________________