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Church of Ss Joseph and Benildus, Newtown, Waterford

RegionCo. Waterford
Uploaded byRay O'Donnell
Irish Organ Company (c. 1968)

This instrument was built by the Irish Organ Company, and has two manuals and pedals. The action is electric; the swell-pedal is of the balanced type; the console is detached, and there is no organ case. There are no couplers.

David Forde writes: "The church is a modern octagonal building with a typical Vatican II layout, the altar being placed centrally. The organ is an example of the Irish Organ Company's standard 'Cosgrove Organ' a small 3 or 4 unit extension instrument for churches with limited funds and limited musical pretensions.

"The organ is housed in chamber on one of the eight walls with a facade of equal length zinc dummy pipes. This chamber is too small for the organ and many parts are almost inaccessible. The console, a simple affair not unlike the Compton electronic consoles of the time, is placed on the church floor, behind the congregation and therefore the organist has the worst aural aspect possible. Much of the pipework is second-hand, possibly Conacher material, and the trumpet rank is quite good.

"The organ falls into all the pitfalls of extension organs however and ultimately it is very limited in use. It has none of the scaling sophistication of the better examples of Compton extension organs, and the Open diapason rank is far too big for the rest of the instrument. Additionally, the absence of an enclosed principal seriously detracts from the effect of the Swell division. The duplication of the flute unit, in particular, means that there is no independence between the divisions.

"The greatest failing of the organ is, however, the dreadful wind system. One small bellows regulates the wind of the entire organ which is fed to the various chest through Kopex (flexible trunks), wind being supplied by an under-power blower. The result is a subtle and, to a trained ear, infuriating pitch drop (c. quarter tone) when a bass note is played - indeed fast pedalling leads to a tremulant effect on the upper-work. This constant 'pitch-bending' means that the organ is hopeless of accompanying singing, which is about all its specification could allow.

"Although this writer believes, desperately unfashionably, that a well-designed extension organ can make a musically viable alternative to an electronic organ, this organ is not an example."

The extension scheme is as follows:

  • Diapason unit: Great 8, 4 & 2; Swell 8 & 4; Pedal 4
  • Flute unit: Great 8 & 4; Swell 8, 4, 2 2/3 & 2; Pedal 16, 8 & 4
  • Salicional unit: Great 8 & 2 2/3; Swell 16, 8 & 4; Pedal 8
  • Trumpet unit: Great 8 & 4; Swell 8 & 4; Pedal 8
Open Diapason8
Stopped Diapason8
Nason Flute4
Twelfth2 2/3
Contra Salicional (TC)16
Lieblich Gedackt8
Lieblich Flute4
Nazard2 2/3
Bass Flute8