The Chapel Organ
In Nov. 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.
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
(58 notes, C – a³)
(58 notes, C – a³)
(30 notes, C – f¹)
10 general combinations with 300 memory levels, Piston sequencer forwards and backwards, 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
Our Sanctuary Organ – Casavant Frères op. 3837
From May through August 2005, a new Casavant organ was installed and voiced in the Sanctuary of The Brick Church. This instrument of four manuals and 118 ranks (6,288 pipes) is one of New York City’s landmark organs. It has few peers in North America as it accurately reproduces the sounds of the great 19th century French organs, especially those built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. This organ is a gift of an anonymous donor in honor of former Senior Minister Dr. Herbert B. Anderson and his wife, Mary Lou S. Anderson.This organ was designed by Jean-Louis Coignet, the world’s leading authority on Cavaillé-Coll and the French Symphonic organ. Dr. Coignet collaborated closely with Keith S. Tóth in all aspects of the design, construction and voicing of this instrument. In this organ, master organ voicer Jean-Sébastien Dufour successfully reproduced the sounds of a late French Symphonic organ. The Brick Church organ is the last instrument to be built by Casavant Frères under the direction of Dr. Coignet, Casavant’s long-time tonal director. The Brick Church organ represents the summation of Dr. Coignet’s lifelong study and research into the French Symphonic organ and the work of the famed 19th-century Parisian organbuilder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Since its installation, the Anderson organ has seen two commercial recordings: “Stephen Tharp plays the Anderson Organ” (JAV Recordings) and “The Complete Organ Works of Marcel Dupré, vol. 11” played by Dutch organist, Ben van Oosten (MD&G label). Both CDs are available through various classical CD websites.Specification of the 4 Manual and Pedal,
118 Rank Casavant Frères Organ, opus 3837
For the Sanctuary of The Brick Presbyterian ChurchGrand-Orgue (Manual I, 61 notes)
Grand-Chœur (Manual I, 61 notes)
Positif expressif (Manual II, 61 notes)
Récit expressif (Manual III, 61 notes)
Solo expressif (Manual IV, 61 notes)
Effet d’orage (thunder pedal)
All pipework is new except for the Solo division’s Flûte célestes II, Cor français, and Cor anglais. The Flûte célestes II and Cor français are from the 1940 Ernest Skinner organ that preceded the 1964 Austin organ at The Brick Church. The Cor anglais is a free-reed stop that was constructed in France during the late 19th century. This stop, from an early Casavant organ, was given to Brick Church by the late organ builder Guy Thérien.