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C. B. FISK, OPUS 114 (2000)
SEATTLE SYMPHONY BENAROYA HALL
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
62 VOICES • 83 RANKS • 4,490 PIPES
 
The Watjen Concert Organ is an American musical rarity. Opus 114 of the renowned C.B. Fisk Company of Gloucester, MA, it is one of the few large modern organs designed and built expressly for a symphonic concert hall. Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, was opened in 1998; the Watjen Concert Organ was dedicated in July of 2000.

The design of Benaroya Hall, first made public in 1995, included space for a large organ. Craig and Joan Watjen, notable northwest philanthropists and lovers of music, funded design, construction, and installation of the instrument in its entirety, gifting it to the Seattle Symphony.

A symphony hall organ is used in ways rarely required of instruments in other settings. The design of the Watjen Concert Organ reflects this requirement in a number of ways. Its tonal ‘palette’—the number and types of different sounds it can produce—is extensive, and can encompass musical requirements from the Renaissance era to our own. Combinations of sounds typical of French organs of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as the ‘Germanic’ combinations necessary for J.S. Bach’s works, are particularly well represented; also favored are the ‘English’ sounds of the fourth division. When playing with a symphony orchestra, shear power is sometimes required. The Watjen Concert Organ’s dynamic range extends from the barely perceptible to the thunderous. The latter effect is aided by the “tuba” division, a set of pipes driven by a higher wind pressure and designed specifically to accompany a full orchestra at musical climaxes.

Each of the keys and pedals of the organ’s three manual keyboards and the 32-note pedalboard are connected mechanically to a valve controlling the wind to each pipe; when many pipes sound together, a mechanical assist device aids the organist with what otherwise might require the strength of many. This “mechanical” key action—favored by serious organists everywhere—is complemented by a fully electronic stop action, which allows rapid changes of combinations of sounds with a literal push of a button.

The visual aspect of the Watjen Concert Organ bears noting. The large Sitka spruce façade pipes were chosen for their Northwest forest connotations, and mark the instrument unmistakably. The position of the console, in the midst of the façade above the orchestra, affords a view of the organist’s performance—hands, feet, and all—rare with instruments in other venues. The pieces on this recording, the first recorded solo works on the Watjen Concert Organ, have been chosen to highlight the variety of musical styles possible on such a superb instrument.
 

 
GREAT, MANUAL I (61 notes)
Prestant 16' (en  façade)
Octave 8'
Violoncelle 8'
Spillpfeife 8'
Flûte harmonique 8'
Octave 4'
Rohrflöte 4'
Quite 2-2/3'
Superoctave 2'
Terz 1-3/5'
Mixture VI-VIII
Bombarde 16'
Trommeten 8'
Trompette 8'
Clairon 4'

Tuba Magna 16' (ext, Solo)
Tuba Mirabilis 8' (Solo)
Tuba Clarion 4' (Solo)

POSITIVE, MANUAL II
Quintaton 16'
Principal 8'
Salicional 8'
Unda maris 8'
Gedackt 8'
Octave 4'
Baarpijp 4'
Grosse Tierce 3-1/5'
Nasard 2-2/3'
Doublette 2'
Quarte de Nasard 2'
Tierce 1-3/5'
Larigot 1-1/3'
Piccolo 1'
Sharp IV-VI
Dulcian 16'
Trompette 8'
Cromorne 8'

Tuba Magna 16' (ext, Solo)
Tuba Mirabilis 8' (Solo)
Tuba Clarion 4' (Solo)

SWELL, MANUAL III (enclosed)
Bourdon 16'
Diapason 8'
Viole de gambe 8'
Voix céleste 8'
Flûte traversière 8'
Bourdon 8'
Prestant 4'
Flûte octaviante 4'
Octavin 2'
Cornet II (c1-g3)
Plein jeu III-IV
Bombarde 16'
Trompette 8'
Hautbois 8'
Voix humaine 8'
Clairon 4'
 
PEDAL (32 notes)
Prestant 32' (en façade from FF)
Untersatz 32'
Open Wood 16' (from 32’ Untersatz)
Montre 16' (en façade)
Prestant 16' (Great)
Violonbasse 16'
Bourdon 16' (Swell)
Gross Quinte 10-2/3'
Octave 8'
Open Flute 8' (from 32' Open Wood)
Violoncelle 8' (Great)
Spillpfeife 8' (Great)
Superoctave 4'
Mixture IV
Tuba Profunda 32' (ext of Solo Tuba)
Tuba Magna 16' (Solo)
Bombarde 16' (Great)
Posaune 16'
Tuba Mirabilis 8' (Solo)
Trommeten 8' (Great)
Trompette 8' (Great)
Tuba Clarion 4' (Solo)
Clairon 4' (Great)

SOLO Manual I (Enclosed)
Stentor Diapason 8'
Flauto Mirabilis 8' (c1 )
Stentor Octave 4'
Stentor Mixture III-IV
Clarinet 8’

Enclosed in Solo swellbox:
Tuba Magna 16' (ext)
Tuba Mirabilis 8'
Tuba Clarion 4'

COUPLERS:
Positive to Great
Swell to Great
Swell to Positive
Machine on Great
Octaves graves
Great to Pedal
Positive to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell Super to Pedal

General Tremulant
Swell Tremolo rapidé
Solo Tremulant
Flexible Wind
KEY ACTION: Direct mechanical (tracker) with Kowalyshyn Servo-pneumatic Lever
STOP ACTION: Electric Solenoid Combination Action


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Carole Terry plays the Watjen Concert Organ
The first solo recording of the Watjen Concert Organ at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall!  Carole Terry puts the new Fisk organ through its paces in a varied program of works by Mendelssohn, Sweelinck, Bach, Albright, Stanley, Schumann, Vierne
and Widor.

“Carole Terry is a musician's musician who plays with great elegance, but also, when needed, with fire.” — THE AMERICAN ORGANIST
   
 
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