This landmark instrument has been a supportive and successful organ for Trinity Cathedral since its installation. But after a generation of usage, Cathedral musicians and clergy understood that tonal opportunities and some mechanical issues required attention.
The organs's original design emphasized upper pitches suitable for a livelier room, but an unsupportive acoustic left the bass balance wanting. Discussion with church musicians and builders brought agreement that this instrument would be complete with additional pedal flue and reed foundation tone. Necessary mechanical work included replacing the failed plastic stop action connectors with metal ball connectors. Additional work included having the manual divisions cleaned, collapsed pipes repaired, regulated, and retempered during this multi-phase project.
Helmut Wolff was given the first opportunity to address solutions to these issues but his schedule did not permit this work at that time. Wahl Organbuilders then proposed a reworked pedal division and a new wind system for the whole organ. We gratefully thank Helmut for his support for this rebuild by his providing a copy of the organ's original drawings and reviewing of the project proposal and drawings.
The most significant change to the instrument was the addition of a new 16' wooden Principal in the pedal division, here called Contrebasse, which replaced a Gross Nazard that was not effective in the bass deficient acoustic. Wahl Organbuilders also took the opportunity of now sufficient height behind the organ to make new, full length bass resonators for the pedal Bombarde, which provided consistent tone quality throughout the rank.
To fit these significantly larger 16' full length open wood flue and reed stops, replacement pedal windchests, key action, stop action, winding, and casework had to be built. The physical result was improved access to the pipes and mechanism for tuning and servicing. A generous new double wedge bellows wind supply in the new matching pedal casework provided expanded usable floor area in the organ loft for choir and instruments.
The tonal result was the rejuvenation of an already excellent instrument with an improved bass support for the pedal and whole organ. Higher pedal chest placement provided better pedal projection in the room. Numerous other activities provided a general check-up to assure continued generations of service from the instrument.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
1979 Wolff Organ op. 22
2004 Wahl rebuilt Pedal division
8 Flute a Cheminee
8 Viol di Gamba
2 2/3 Nazard*
IV*/ III* Fourniture
8 Flute a Cheminee
4 Flute a Fuseau
2 2-3 Quinte*
1 1/3 Larigot
* pairs indicate half hitch
Tremblant Forte (to the Manuals)
Five Couplers and Three Reversibles