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Rooted firmly in historic principles, Opus 126’s tonal design is a unique blending of elements chosen specifically to meet the musical needs of both Episcopal liturgy and university instruction, as it serves both St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the East Carolina University School of Music. Responding to the organ committee’s request for an instrument that “convincingly plays a broad range of organ repertoire, but which is especially sympathetic to Romantic tonal ideals,” we looked to the work of the late 19th-century French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll as a tonal point of departure. French Romantic organs, including those at Caen, Toulouse, Rouen, Lyon, and, in Paris, St. Sulpice and Sacré Cœur, were thoroughly reviewed to distill the essence of the work of Cavaillé-Coll and his contemporaries; surviving Classical French instruments in Houdon, Souvigny, and Poitiers were studied, as were several noteworthy North and Central German instruments from the time of Buxtehude and Bach. 

All told, the Grand Orgue, Positif, and Récit divisions contain ten 8’ flue stops of widely varying timbres. When drawn together they form the fonds d’huit, or 8’ foundations, a combination of stops frequently called for in French 19th- and 20th-century scores. The organ’s twelve reed stops are also worthy of note. The French chorus reeds, modeled after the work of Cavaillé-Coll to capture the drama of his cathedral organs, create one of this organ’s most formidable effects. Complete French Romantic reed batteries are available in both the Grand Orgue and the Récit divisions at 16’, 8’, and 4’ pitch, and the Pédale division borrows its reed battery from the Grand Orgue. In the Pédale the Bombarde 16’ is extended downward to 32’ pitch, giving the organ its climax stop at the bass end of the tonal spectrum. The Récit Hautbois, imitative of oboe tone, is more restrained and vocal, while the Positif Cromorne has a more extroverted personality reminiscent of the clarinet. Finally, the organ boasts a high-pressure reed stop, the hooded Tuba Mirabilis, designed and voiced for soloing hymn melodies and for accompanying large processions. While constructed in the French manner, its heavier tongues and high wind pressure give the Tuba a marked nobility of tone. Housed within the Positif division’s expression box, its great power can be held in check or given free rein.

In order to give the organ the ability to perform music from earlier periods as well, certain stops were added to this Romantic core. Two German reeds—the Grand Orgue Trommeten 8’ and the Pédale Posaune 16’—with their greater ability to blend with fluework, differ greatly from the splashier trumpets of France. The Trommeten, a gentle chorus reed, is modeled after a similar stop found in the 1642 Brunner organ in Tellingstedt, Germany. The Posaune, based on that found in the Arp Schnitger organ in Dedesdorf, provides a smooth, foundational underpinning to the manual choruses, allowing for very convincing performance of the German Baroque repertoire. Thus, complete well-balanced flue choruses are found in each manual division, and all reeds and mutations necessary for authoritative performance of the Classical literature are present.

In order to enhance Opus 126’s flexibility and expressivity, two of its three manual divisions—the Positif and the Récit—were placed under expression in heavily built wooden enclosures fitted with louvers controlled by the organist.

Early and frequent exchanges of ideas and opinions among architects Atkin, Olshin, Lawson-Bell, liturgical designer Terry Eason, acoustician Dana Kirkegaard and our own firm made possible an acoustic all too rare in modern ecclesiastical buildings. That this acoustic should have been obtained in a visually satisfying yet peacefully beautiful setting is all the more a testament to the virtues of such cooperation.

Charles Fisk often repeated the statement, “The most important stop on any organ is the room,” and that sentiment is made manifest in this building, which inspired us to rise to new heights in our work.

   David Pike and Gregory Bover

      C. B. Fisk & Co.



The Perkins and Wells Memorial Organ      C. B. Fisk, Opus 126

44 voices    57 ranks    3,119 pipes


Grand Orgue, 61 notes, Manual en façade
Montre 16’     

Montre 8’

Salicional 8’

Flûte conique 8’

Flûte harmonique 8’

Prestant 4’

Flûte ouverte 4’

Quinte 2 2/3’

Doublette 2’

Tierce 1 3/5’

Plein jeu harmonique II-VI

Plein jeu VI

Bombarde 16’

Trompette 8’

Trommeten 8’

Clairon 4’


Positif expressif, 61 notes, Manual II enclosed

Principal 8’

Cor de Nuit 8’

Prestant 4’

Flûte douce 4’

Nasard 2 2/3’

Doublette 2’

Tierce 1 3/5’

Plein Jeu IV

Cromorne 8’

Tuba Mirabilis 8’


Récit expressif, 61 notes, Manual III enclosed

Bourdon 16’

Viole de gambe 8’

Voix céleste 8’

Flûte traversière 8’

Bourdon 8’

Flûte octaviante 4’

Octavin 2’      

Plein jeu IV-V

Cornet III (from tenor G)

Basson 16’     

Trompette 8’

Hautbois 8’

Clairon 4’


Pédale, 32 notes

Bourdon (ext)  32’

Contrebasse 16’

Montre (GO) 16’

Bourdon (Rec) 16’

Octave 8’

Flûte conique  (GO) 8’

Salicional (GO) 8’

Octave 4’

Contre Bombarde (ext) 32’

Bombarde (GO) 16’

Posaune 16’

Trompette (GO) 8’

Trommeten (GO) 8’

Clairon (GO) 4’


Alternating stops have two stop knobs, one in the Grand Orgue and one in the Pédale. The stop may be used in one division or the other, but not simultaneously unless the Grand Orgue to Pédale coupler is drawn.


Couplers and Accessories:


Positif expressif to Grand Orgue

Récit expressif to Grand Orgue

Récit expressif to Positif expressif


Grand Orgue to Pédale

Positif expressif to Pédale

Récit expressif to Pédale

Récit expressif to Pédale 4’

Octaves graves


Key Action:  

Direct mechanical (tracker), except for the largest pipes of the organ, which are pneumatically controlled. A Kowalyshyn Servopneumatic Lever provides a pneumatic assist (similar to a Barker Machine, but more refined) to the Grand Orgue key action. It includes an “Octaves graves” coupler, which couples the servopneumatic lever to itself, one octave lower. It therefore couples the Grand Orgue to itself at sub-octaves and any division coupled to the Grand Orgue also appears on the Grand Orgue at sub-octaves.


Stop Action:

Solenoids, electronically controlled.

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Pas de Dieu: Music Sublime and Spirited - Janette Fishell Greater Love: The English choral and organ tradition - ECU Chamber Singers - Daniel Bara Hommage a Messiaen; La Nativite du Seigneur - Colin Andrews
Pas de Dieu: Music Sublime & Spirited/Fishell
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Hommage á Messiaen/Colin Andrews
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On this first recording of the "French symphonic" Fisk organ, opus 126, Janette Fishell plays a brilliant program that includes the world premiere of Ferko's Livre d'orgue. A superb acoustic also enhances stunning performances of the rarely heard Litaize and Duruflé's masterpiece on "Veni Creator." The ECU Chamber Singers and organist Janette Fishell are conducted by Daniel Bara in these monuments of the English choral tradition. The choir’s sound is greatly enhanced by the sumptuous acoustics of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, and its large, new Fisk organ. Olivier Messiaen’s French-Catholic mysticism is reflected in his unique musical vocabulary—it forms the basis of one of the most important organ repertoires of the twentieth century. His “Nativity Suite” is one of the most popular of his early organ works, offering musical meditations on the themes and characters of the Christmas story. Also included is the premiere recording of Lionel Rogg’s "Hommage à Messiaen". Acclaimed organist Colin Andrews presents his own musical homage for the centenary of Messiaen’s birth (2008). (Part of the Complete Organ Works of Messiaen by Colin Andrews -- LRCD-1163)
Les Corps Glorieux/Andrews Les Corps Glorieux/Andrews Appear and Inspire / East Carolina Chamber Singers / Franklin
Messiaen: Les Corps Glorieux/Colin Andrews
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Messiaen: l'Ascension et la Messe de la Pentecote/Andrews
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Each of the seven movements of this powerful work presents a musical and theological statement, expressed in Messiaen’s unique musical vocabulary. The haunting opening creates a mystical, mantra-like atmosphere that lays the path for an hour of extraordinarily compelling music. Colin Andrews, a large Fisk organ, and the acoustics of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, NC, are the ideal ensemble for Messiaen’s mystical masterpiece. (Part of the Complete Organ Works of Messiaen by Colin Andrews -- LRCD-1163) Colin Andrews, a large Fisk organ, and the acoustics of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, NC, are the ideal ensemble for Messiaen’s most popular organ work, the Ascension Suite, and his evocative Mass for Pentecost. (Part of the Complete Organ Works of Messiaen by Colin Andrews -- LRCD-1163) The award-winning East Carolina University Chamber Singers are directed here by James Franklin. Recorded in one of our favorite acoustics (St Paul's Episcopal, Greenville, NC---our 6th in this room), the Singers are accompanied by Andrew Scanlon on the French Romantic style three-manual organ by C. B. Fisk. The Producer for this album is the multi-Grammy award winner, Blanton Alspaugh. Franklin has programmed significant works from the 19th and 20th centuries, including Britten's Hymn to St Cecilia, Rutter's "Be Thou my Vision", Biebl's Ave Maria, and works by Bairstow, Martin, Durufle, Elgar, Mendelssohn, and Arvo Part.
Messiaen: Meditations sur le mystere de la Sainte Trinite / Andrews Messiaen: Complete Organ Works / Andrews (8 CDs!)
Messiaen: Complete Organ Works / Andrews (8 CDs!)
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Intended as his final major work for organ, Messiaen's "Meditations on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity" is the culmination of his lifetime work as a composer for the organ. Begun as a set of improvisations celebrating the renovation of the organ at Trinity (and the church's 100th anniversary),  "Meditations" employs new musical languages to explore the mysteries of Christian faith. (Part of The Complete Organ Works of Olivier Messiaen by Colin Andrews, LRCD-1163) A monumental achievement---Colin Andrews is one of only a handful of organists that has recorded Messiaen's complete works for organ. This recording is also the first of Messiaen's complete works to be recorded on American organs, both built by C. B. Fisk.  "Andrews is a master at capturing the grandeur, spaciousness and reverence of this music, and he offers new and compelling interpretations. He is not afraid to explore what Messiaen himself described as ‘extremely delicate variations of rhythm and tempo’ – inflections that are intensely personal, impossible to notate or replicate and are frequently captivating. The enormous variety of touches called for across the cycle are worthy of mention, most notably a wonderfully smooth legato...The recording quality is excellent, with Roger Sherman from Loft expertly negotiating the challenge of recording organs in resonant rooms, balancing clarity with spaciousness...Highly recommended." - Sydney Organ Journal