In November 1994 Guilbault-Thérien, Inc. of St-Hyacinthe, Québec, was commissioned to build a new organ for our chapel.
By the end of May 1996, the organ had been completely assembled, voiced and tuned in the chapel.
This two-manual and pedal instrument has 19 stops and 26 ranks. Its specification was drawn up in consultation with Keith S. Tóth, our minister of music. The organ's overall design is strongly influenced by the French choir organs (orgues de choeur) and smaller grand orgues of the middle part of the 19th century, especially those instruments built by the famous Parisian firm of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Although this instrument is not an exact replica of such instruments, one can easily define this new organ as built à la manière of Cavaillé-Coll with adaptations incorporating late 20th century organ-building practices. In August 2012 the voicing of this organ was thoroughly revised by master voicer Jean-Sébastien Dufour of Les Ateliers Guilbault, Bellavance, Carignan in collaboration with Keith S. Tóth. The organ's voicing, originally reflecting voicing techniques of the mid-19th century, is now more reflective of Cavaillé-Coll's later 19th century instruments in the symphonic style.
The organ case is of solid American black walnut and is stained to match the chapel's existing walnut woodwork. The case design closely resembles the orgue de salon built by Cavaillé-Coll for the composer Charles-François Gounod. Hand carved ornaments and moldings are patterned after the chapel's architectural details.
The console is patterned after those by Cavaillé-Coll. The suspended action keyboards have mammoth tusk ivory naturals and ebony sharps; the pedalboard is of maple with ebony caps for the sharps.The organ is equipped with a state-of-the-art, touch-screen controlled combination and sequencer system designed for this organ by Syncordia International, Inc. of St.-Lambert, Québec.
Virtuoso organist Madame Lynne Davis Firmin-Didot, Professor of Organ at the French National Regional Conservatory of Caen in Basse Normandie and titular organist of the 1868 Cavaillé-Coll grand organ in the Church of St.-Pierre in Dreux, France, played the opening recitals on October 25-26, 1996. Subsequent recitals in the dedicatory series were played by K. Bryan Kirk, Keith S. Tóth, and Mollie H. Nichols, respectively.
To learn more about the award winning CD, "Paris On Park Avenue", recorded on this instrument by Keith S. Toth, please contact him.
Stoplist of the Chapel Organ
Guilbault-Thérien, Inc., St. Hyacinthe, Québec
Opus 42 (1996)
(58 notes, C - a³) Bourdon 16', Montre 8', Flûte harmonique 8', Salicional 8', Prestant 4', Doublette 2', Plein Jeu III-IV, Récit au Grand-Orgue
(58 notes, C - a³) Cor de nuit 8’, Viole de gambe 8', Voix céleste 8, Flûte octaviante 4’, Octavin 2’, Cornet V, Basson-Hautbois 8, Trompette 8’, Trémolo
(30 notes, C - f¹) Soubasse 16', Violoncelle 8', Bourdon 8', Basson 16', Grand-Orgue à la Pédale, Récit à la Pédale
10 general combinations with 2040 memory levels, Sequencer with 2040 memory levels, Appel des anches, Grand Jeu Trémolo, Effet d'orage - "storm effect"
A Note from Mme Jacqueline G. Cavaillé-Coll to Keith S. Toth:
18 August 1997
New York City
What a pleasure it is for me to have the privilege to hear, and to inspect closely, the orqan of the Chapel, the work of the firm Guilbault-Thérien. This excellent small instrument pays homage to the memory of my great-grandfather, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and also reproduces as faithfully as possible the tone colours of a great Cavaillé-Coll organ. My congratulations to the orqan builder, the organist, and to the people of the "Brick Presbyterian Church" of Park Avenue in New York City, who have made possible this great deed.
Yours sincerely, Mr. Toth,
Jacqueline G. Cavaillé-Coll
direct great-granddaughter of Aristide
18 août 1997
New York City
Quel plaisir pour moi d'avoir eu le privilège d'entendre, et de regarder de près, l'orgue de Chapelle, oeuvre de la manufacture Guilbault-Thérien. Cet excellent petit instrument rend hommage au souvenir de mon arrière-grand-père, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, en reproduisant aussi fidèlement que possible la couleur tonale d'un grand orgue Cavaillé-Coll. Mes félicitations au facteur d'orgues, à l'organiste, et aux personnalités de la "Brick Presbyterian Church" de Park Avenue à New York City, qui ont rendu possible ce haut fait.
Veuillez agréer, Monsieur Toth, l'expression de mes sentiments distingués.
Jacqueline G. Cavaillé-Coll
arrière-petite-fille d'Aristide en direct