D. A. Flentrop - 1965
Paul Fritts & Co., Organ Builders - 1992/95 renovation
4 Manuals & Pedals 58 Stops/79 Ranks 3,944 Pipes
One of the most extraordinary things about the organ at St. Mark’s is the fact that it sits in an Episcopal cathedral. Built in 1965 by the Dirk Flentrop Orgelbouw of Zaandam, The Netherlands, the instrument represents that decade’s best understanding of 18th-century North European organ building. When Peter Hallock, organist and choirmaster of the St. Mark's, chose an organ designed primarily for playing the music of Bach, he broke new ground for an Anglican cathedral.
The organ is situated in a large rear gallery, with plenty of room for a choir and instrumentalists. The unfinished concrete structure of the cathedral provides six-and-one-half seconds of reverberation, which is surprisingly clear everywhere in the room. Gentle voicing and good acoustics makes the organ quite suitable for accompanying Anglican organ-choir anthems, while a full complement of reeds and warm foundations enrich the performance of Romantic repertoire.
The organ design was the larger of two proposed by Flentrop. It features a full-length 32-foot Prestant in the pedal, one of the few ever made by the Flentrop firm. In 1992, the organ was renovated by Paul Fritts & Co. to address minor problems caused by age. The organ was cleaned, mechanical elements were made to work as new, pipes with sagging languids were restored, but the original voicing of the instrument was left undisturbed. In addition to these renovations, three new reed stops were added: 16' and 8' Hoofdwerk Trompets inside the case to complement the en chamde reeds, and a full-length 32-foot pedal reed. The 60's-era electric stop/combination action was replaced with a more reliable modern combination action, some of the keyboards were converted to suspended action, and a I + III coupler was added to aid the performance of French Romantic literature. In 1995, following earthquake damage, scaffolding was erected in front of the main case, enabling the Fritts firm to improve the operation of the swell mechanism (which was not accessible during the 1992 renovation). The structural stability of the organ was also improved, and repairs were made to a few broken pipes and trackers.
St. Mark’s Flentrop is one of the largest 20th-century organs employing mechanical (“tracker”) key action, and its success has influenced organ building throughout the United States. It remains a “landmark instrument” of international note.
Stop List (Note: Boldface Type indicates new work completed in 1992/1995)
Hoofdwerk II - 56 notes
IV Mixtuur (224 Pipes)
III Scherp (186 Pipes)
16 Trompet (horizontal)
8 Trompet (horizontal)
Rugwerk I - 56 notes
II Sesquialter (112 Pipes)
III Mixtuur (168 Pipes)
III Scherp (168 Pipes)
Bovenwerk III (Swell*) 56 notes
8 Zweving (44 Pipes)
V Mixtuur (280 Pipes)
*Mechanically Operated Swell Shutters
Borstwerk IV - 56 notes
8 Gedekt (wood)
II Cymbel (112 Pipes)
Pedaal - 32 notes
32 Prestant (12 + 20 from 16')
16 Subbas (wood)
2 + 1 Nacthoorn (64 Pipes)
VII Mixtuur (224 Pipes)
32 Bazuin (8w/24m)
Suspended key action and electric stop action
Solid state combination action (255 memory levels)
Couplers and general pistons duplicated on toe studs.
Couplers II + I, II + III, I + III, Ped + I (Rugwerk), Ped + II (Hoofdwerk), Ped + III (Bovenwerk)
6 Combinations per Division
8 General Pistons
1 General Cancel
1 Setter Position