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Is there anywhere else that equals being an Episcopalian in NYC?

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  • Is there anywhere else that equals being an Episcopalian in NYC?

    I was just looking at the line-up of instruments. New York City in general is pretty ridiculous and an organ-lovers paradise unequalled by any other single location I can think of, except perhaps Paris or London (less instruments, but more history). But the Episcopal churches in Manhattan take the cake. It's an embarrassment of musical riches:

    St. John The Divine: IV/146 G. Donald Harrison Aeolian-Skinner (rebuilt Quimby, 2008)
    Ascension Episcopal: IV/111 Pascal Quorin (2011, French classic/romantic with tracker and electric action consoles)
    Grace Church: IV/87 Taylor & Boody (2013)
    Holy Trinity: III/55 Reiger (1987)
    Church Of The Heavenly Rest: V/137 Austin (rebuilt 1995)
    St. Bartholomew's: V/225 Joseph Whiteford Aeolian Skinner (1971)
    St. James: IV/87 & II/18 Schoenstein (chancel and gallery, 2008-2009)
    St. Mary The Virgin: IV/93 G. Donald Harrison Aeolian-Skinner (rebuilt 1988-2002)
    St. Thomas: IV/124 Dobson (2018) & II/32 Taylor & Boody (1996, Baroque-style tracker, gallery)
    Transfiguration Episcopal: III/48 C.B. Fisk (1988)

    And that's just some of the highlights!

  • #2
    There are a lot of wealthy folks in NYC who like to be seen as patrons of the church.

    David

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    • #3
      That's apparently just Manhattan; Even more if you go into the boroughs. Even into Nassau and Suffolk Co. (LI)
      Casey

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      • #4
        That's just Manhattan, and just Episcopal parishes. I think many of the best organs happen to be in Episcopal churches, but there are many others, including the 1993 N.P. Mander 4-manual french-style tracker gem at St. Ignatius Loyola, the 4-manual Kuhn at Alice Tully Hall, the massive Aeolian-Skinner at Riverside, and so on and so forth.

        There are not nearly as many noteworthy organs in the boroughs if for no other reason than there is less money concentrated outside of Manhattan, but they do exist. There are a few wonderful organs on Long Island such as the IV/103 Casavant at Cathedral of the Incarnation (Episcopal) in Garden City. The same is true where I live in New Jersey, about 30 minutes out of Manhattan. What IS true is that there are a lot of pipe organs in general in my area, and many of them are quite nice and well-maintained, even if most of them are not landmarks like the above list. Manhattan is just the capstone of this trend.

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        • #5
          Insofar as such a thing is possible, NYC is the cultural capital of the western world. And the leading city of American commerce...important because pipe organs are rather expensive. So it would be surprising if this weren't the case. (And no, this is not a anti-European viewpoint. Europe's culture is too diffused over various cities for any one to take the crown. Europe is obviously the birthplace of western culture.)
          In 100 years things could be quite different as pertains to culture at large. But it's unlikely to matter in this context. These particular pipe organs will remain symbols of US early to mid 20th century economic might and the largest ones will still have their world distribution skewed to the US East Coast.

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          • #6
            Michael,

            Have you ever checked out the AGO Page: http://www.nycago.org/organs/nyc/?

            You can search by denomination, builder, etc. You may even find some some organs you didn't know about. I'd imagine it's quite a project to keep the page up-to-date and accurate! I just checked in a Klais organ I played there. It was the first organ I'd ever seen with pipes up-side-down. The church is Lutheran, though. In the basement of the Citibank building (at least it was at the time).

            Enjoy searching!

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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            • #7
              I always like to mention the big Roosevelt in Harlem (All Saints RCC) Yes, it was enlarged by Welte-Tripp in the 30s where a 4th manual was added (and a 32ft pedal reed) but the Rosy pipes are all still there. Needs restoration the worst way, if the building does not come down first. It was the last Roosevelt completed, and IIRC the second-largest they ever built.
              Casey

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