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  • New Member and Interest in the National Cathedral Instrument



    Hello All:




    I am Craig Johnson and live in Lock Haven, Pa. Over the years I have come to know organ builders...organists and all they represent.I have a concern about the above mentioned instrument.




    I realize the core Skinner instrument has been bumped...bruised and rebuilt with less than favorable results. Following President Fords funeral I went to the Great Organ website to recheck the memberable voices still singing forth.




    It was then I saw where they are planning on major work. My question is how can a tracker interface with a romantic new instrument using some of the famous EM Skinner pipework from the original instrument?




    My suggestion which won't be done, is to restore the original Skinner instrument and then and only then add on to complete the original instrument.




    There is a legacy here and no matter what current day builders and planners say when someone mentions the National Cathedral they are also talking about EM Skinners greatest instrument built.




    I just hope that in say 20 years after this new avenue is finished experts don't say I wish we had saved the great Skinner instrument.




    Your thoughts?




    Best,




    Craig


  • #2
    Re: New Member and Interest in the National Cathedral Instrument

    welcome aboard, I agree certianly that the E.M. Skinner work that remains be saved/restored to the extent possible.

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    • #3
      Re: New Member and Interest in the National Cathedral Instrument

      I think when one considers the idea of restoration, one might ask, restored to which incarnation, the 1958? 1937? I would venture to guess alterations to the mechanism by Wicks in '93  probably made restoration a more expensive option than a new organ.  I have very little direct experience or knowledge of the National Cathedral organ, but it is generally acknowledged that the organ has been far removed from anything that Skinner knew.

       Given Dobson's current position and recent successes with Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles and Verizon Hall, they seem a logical choice.  We can regret the passing of Mr. Skinner's work, but we must also admit that much better and more successful examples of his work exist and have been (and will be) preserved and restored.  In the case of the National Cathedral I think we should rejoice in that a firm that was once condsidered a small regional builder has risen to produce intstruments that are truly world-class, and they will undoubtedly do so for National Cathedral.  

      The wisdom of integrating two instruments (the new mechancial action Casavant in the Gallery) can certainly be debated. Supposedly some builders asked to tender proposals for the Gallery organ withdrew based in the request that the organ be playable form the Chancel console.  Some have argued that the acoustic will make the "marriage" of the two organs unwieldy, and that in the final analysis the feature will be seldom used.  Only time will tell.  Having seen and heard recent work from both firms,  I am confident they will be delivering first-class work.

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      • #4
        Re: New Member and Interest in the National Cathedral Instrument

        gr... EMS and his amazing work.  If he'd made crappy instruments we wouldn't have to worry about this. 

        Same thing's going on here in BC, but with a 99.999% original EMS.

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        • #5
          Re: New Member and Interest in the National Cathedral Instrument



          Well said, Edward O.!




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