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The Great Organ of Washington National Cathedral was built by the Ernest M. Skinner & Son Organ Company and installed in 1938, at which time construction of the cathedral itself was approximately one-third complete.  The original instrument was designed to fill the relatively limited space of the choir with organ tone, as in the 1930s no one really knew if or when the entire building would be finished.

As construction of the cathedral continued through the 1940s and 50s and the room grew in size, it became necessary to consider changes to the 1938 instrument which would help its sound fill the growing building.  The first additions to the organ were made in 1963 when the Brustwerk and Positiv divisions were installed in the musicians’ galleries in the first bay of the Great Choir.  The Trompette-en-Chamade was installed above the High Altar in 1964.  These additions were built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company.Major renovation and revision of the organ took place between 1973 and 1976.  More than half of the original Skinner pipework was removed, replaced by almost 7,000 new pipes.  This work drastically changed the character of the instrument that was once one of Mr. Skinner’s masterpieces. 

The present organ consists of 121 stops, 189 ranks, and 10,647 pipes.



GREAT
First bay north triforium

16'  Diapason

16'  Violon (ext.)

16'  Bourdon

8'  Prinzipal

8'  Spitz Prinzipal

8'  Waldföte

8'  Holz Bordun

8'  Salicional

8'  Violon

8'  Erzähler

4' Oktav

4'  Spitzoktav

4'  Koppel Flöte

2-2/3'  Quinte

2'  Super Oktav

2'  Blockflöte

  Sesquialtera II

  Klein Mixtur IV


Mixtur IV-V 

   Scharf IV 

    Terzzymbel VI-X 

16'  Bombarde

8'  Posthorn

8'  Trompette

4'  Clairon

8'  Trompette en Chamade (So)

8'  Tuba Mirabilis (So)



CHOIR 
Third bay north triforium

16'  Gemshorn

8'  Chimney Flute

8'  Viola Pomposa

8'  Viola Pomposa Celeste   

8'–4'  Chœur des Violes V (Sw)

8'  Viole Céleste II

8'  Kleiner Erzähler II

4'  Principal

4'  Harmonic Flute

4'  Fugara

2-2/3'  Rohrnasat

2'  Hellflöte

1-3/5'  Terz

   Mixture III-IV 

   Glockenspiel II 

16'  Orchestral Bassoon

8'  Trumpet

8'  Cromorne

4'  Regal

8'  Tuba Mirabilis (So)  

8'  Trompette en Chamade (So)   

8'  Posthorn (Gt)


Harp


Celesta


Zimbelstern


Tremolo



SWELL
First bay south triforium

16'  Violoncelle (ext.)

8' Montre

8'  Violoncelle Céleste II

4'  Prestant

   Plein Jeu V 

   Cymbale IV 

16'  Bombarde

8'  Trompette

4'  Clairon
  

Second bay north triforium

16'  Flûte Courte

8'  Bourdon

8'  Flûte à Fuseau

8'  Viole de Gambe

8'  Viole Céleste

8'  Voix Céleste II

8'  Flute Celeste II

4'  Octave

4'  Flûte Travesière

2-2/3'  Nasard

2'  Octavin

1-3/5'  Tierce

   Petit Jeu IV

16'  Posaune

8'  2ème Trompette

8'  Hautbois

8'  Cor d’Amour

4'  2ème Clairon 


Tremolo       



Fifth bay south triforium

8' Flûte d’Argent II

8'–4' Chœur des Violes V

8'  Éoliènne Céleste II

8'  Voix Humaine


Tremolo



SOLO
Fourth bay north triforium 

8'  Diapason

8'  Flauto Mirabilis II

8'  Gamba

8'  Gamba Celeste

4'  Orchestral Flute

   Full Mixture VII

16'  Corno di Bassetto (ext.)

8'  Trompette Harmonique

8'  French Horn

8'  Corno di Bassetto

8'  English Horn

8'  Flügel Horn

4'  Clairon Harmonique

8'  Trompette en Chamade

8'  Tuba Mirabilis

16'  Posthorn (Gt)

8'  Posthorn (Gt)

   Tremolo



PEDAL
First through fourth bays, south triforium

32'  Subbass (ext.)

32'  Kontra Violon (ext.)

16'  Contre Basse

16'  Principal

16'  Diapason (Gt)

16'  Bourdon

16'  Violon (Gt)

16'  Violoncelle (Sw)

16'  Gemshorn (Ch)

16'  Flûte Courte (Sw)

10-2/3'  Quinte (Gr. Kornett)

8'  Octave

8'  Diapason (Gt)

8'  Spitzflöte

8'  Gedackt

8'  Violoncelle Céleste II (Sw)

8'  Flûte Courte (Sw)

5-1/3'  Quinte

4'  Choralbass

4'  Cor de Nuit

2'  Fife

   Rauschquint II 

   Fourniture IV 

   Acuta III

   Gross Kornett IV 

64'  Bombarde Basse (ext.)

32'  Contra Bombarde

32'  Contra Fagotto (ext.)

16'  Ophicléide

16'  Bombarde (Sw)

16'  Fagotto

8'  Trompette

8'  Bombarde (Sw)

8'  Posthorn (Gt)

8'  Tuba Mirabilis (So)

8'  Trompette en Chamade (So)

4'  Clairon

2'  Zink



BRUSTWERK
First bay north gallery

8'  Spitz Prinzipal

4'  Praestant

2-2/3'   Koppel Nasat

2'  Lieblich Prinzipal


Mixtur IV-VI 

8'  Rankett



POSITIV
First bay south gallery

8'  Nason Gedackt

4'  Rohrflöte

2'  Nachthorn

1-3/5'  Terz

1-1/3'  Larigot

1'  Sifflöte

   Zymbel IV

4'  Rankett (Brustwerk)


Tremulant



GALLERY PEDAL
First bays north, and south galleries

16'  Gedacktbass (ext.)

8'  Oktav

8'  Nason Gedackt (Positiv)

4'  Superoktav (ext.)

4'  Rohrflöte (Positiv)

16'  Rankett (Brustwerk)

4'  Rankett (Brustwerk)


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Marches - Douglas Major 20th-century Organ Music Two - Ray and Elizabeth Chenault Silent Night Washington - National Cathedral Choirs
Marches/Douglas Major
Our Price: $18.98
Douglas Major takes you on a marching tour of the grand Skinner organ of Washington National Cathedral. From Sousa to Bach, here are some of the most famous, and most stirring marches ever written, played on a large organ in a Gothic acoustic... World Premiere Recordings! Organ duo Elizabeth and Raymond Chenault perform a recital of world premiers, many of which they commissioned. At their disposal is the large E. M. Skinner organ of the National Cathedral, later enlarged by Aeolian-Skinner. Ends with a rousing rendition of Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. This Christmas recording features the Choir of Men and Boys at the National Cathedral. Traditional anthems, congregational singing and organ solos combine in the Gothic cathedral's acoustical cavern to create a recording of distinctive beauty.
Masterworks by Bach - Douglas Major - Washington National Cathedral French Masterpieces - Douglas Major - Washington National Cathedral Hymns Through Centuries volume 1 - Cathedral Choral Society - J. Reilly Lewis
Masterworks by Bach/Major
Our Price: $18.98
French Masterpieces
Our Price: $18.98
Large-scale Bach works are featured here on a large organ in one of the largest churches in the hemisphere. Grand! Franck and Widor established French Romantic organ work.  Franck's Grande pièce symphonique was the first to use the term "symphony"; Widor's fifth symphony is perhaps the most famous work of the genre, and concludes with his ever-popular Toccata.  The works of both composers are well-suited to the grand, Gothic space of the National Cathedral. This is our most popular hymn CD. Great hymns from the broad church tradition sung by a large choir in a monumental space with a large organ.  You will be singing along—guaranteed! Includes "Ye watchers and ye holy ones," "A mighty fortress is our God," "O sacred head," "All glory, laud and honor," "Abide with me," "Rock of Ages" and many other favorites.
Hymns Through Centuries volume 2 - Cathedral Choral Society - J. Reilly Lewis Welcome All Wonders - Cathedral Choral Society - J. Reilly Lewis Sound from Heaven/Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral Choral Society follows their best-selling first volume of great hymns.  Booklet contains notes on the history of each hymn and texts.  Includes "In the bleak midwinter," "Rejoice, ye pure in Heart!," "Come down, O Love divine,":All my hope on God is founded," and "Lord of all hopefulness" among many others. Known for their best-selling CD series, "Hymns through the Centuries," the Cathedral Choral Society presents a new program of Christmas works in the spacious acoustics of the Washington National Cathedral. Includes carols with instrumental accompaniment and solo works for carillon, brass, and organ. This recording brings together a splendid tapestry of music from the Franco-Belgian tradition, including traditional Gregorian chant, monody from the Notre Dame Conductus which flourished in Paris circa 1200, and the medieval "Messe de Tournai." This music is paired with the excerpts from the Pentecost Mass for organ by Olivier Messiaen, the 20th century Roman Catholic mystic; also Messiaen's choral motet, "O Sacrum Convivium," and music from the Cathedral's 53-bell carillon.
A Centennial Celebration/Washington National Cathedral Washington National Cathedral 20th-21st-century Music for Two - Ray and Elizabeth Chenault
Music from Organists and Choirmasters at the Washington National Cathedral from 1907 to 2007. Scott Dettra presents a program of large-organ favorites on this, the final recording of the Washington National Cathedral's Great Organ. World Premiere Recordings!  The Chenaults play newly commissioned works for two in their fourth volume on Gothic. Every work is a world premiere recording on this disc. This recording features the Aeolian-Skinner organs at the Washington National Cathedral, and at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Amarillo, TX.
Hymns Through Centuries volumes 1 & 2 - Cathedral Choral Society - J. Reilly Lewis
Hymns through the Centuries vol. 1 & 2/Cathedral Choral Society (2 CDs!)
List Price: $37.96
Our Price: $24.98
You save $12.98!
A special price on our two most popular hymn CDs. Great hymns from the broad church tradition sung by a large choir in a monumental space with a large organ. You will be singing along—guaranteed!

Includes "Ye watchers and ye holy ones," "A mighty fortress is our God," "O sacred head," "All glory, laud and honor," "Abide with me," "Rock of Ages" and many other favorites.
   
 
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