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Galway Cathedral - Gallery Organ

RegionCo. Galway - Galway City
Uploaded byRay O'Donnell
Builder(s)
Rushworth & Dreaper (1966)
Trevor Crowe Ltd (2007)
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The Gallery Organ in Galway Cathedral was built originally in 1966 by the Liverpool firm of Rushworth & Dreaper. It was extensively rebuilt and enlarged by Trevor Crowe between 2006 and 2007, making it the largest organ west of the Shannon. Speaking from its commanding position high on the west wall into the warm, resonant acoustic of Galway Cathedral, this is probably the most exciting instrument in Ireland today.

The original Rushworth & Dreaper instrument had 45 stops, the bulk of them on the Great, Swell and Pedal; the Positif division (as it was then named) was a fairly typical 1960s attempt at neo-classicism, with little more than a few flutes and mutations. The remainder of the instrument was rather woolly in character, with the majority of the pipes not speaking to their full effect; during the 2006-2007 rebuild it was discovered that the tips had been closed down considerably, presumably because the original builders found that it was all too loud in the Cathedral.

The 2006-2007 rebuild enlarged the instrument considerably, bringing it up to 59 stops. A large amount of new pipework was installed, mostly on the Great; another notable addition to the Great was an original Stahlhut Harmonic Flute 8 of 1893, in the style of Cavaillé-Coll. The Positive was beefed out with Principals 8 and 4, a mixture and a chorus reed, bringing it into line with the rest of the instrument. Much of the extension which was a feature of the old instrument was removed; the Great and Positive now have independent stops throughout, and the Great, which had been crammed onto a single unit chest, is now spread across two slider chests.

The pipework of the organ was also revoiced to speak to its full potential in the acoustic of the Cathedral. The result is a spectacular improvement in the beauty and quality of the sound, and particularly in the clarity of speech despite the large degree of reverberation in the building.

Finally, a completely new console was installed, designed to be compact yet comfortable, with all stops and facilities within easy reach. The old electric-pneumatic swell-box action, which had never worked particularly well, was replaced with a direct mechanical action which is completely reliable and much more sensitive.

The organ features a full range of registration aids. Each manual has eight combinations, with 16 levels of memory, and there are 16 general combinations with 96 levels of memory. The general combinations are positioned in groups of four, to left and right of the Swell and Great divisional combinations. There are sixteen toe-studs, eight either side of the centrally-mounted Swell pedal; the player can choose whether they operate as general combinations or as Swell and Pedal divisional combinations.

Additionally, a sequencer with 999 possible slots is also available, and five "Advance" thumb-pistons are positioned around the console - one of these is a remote thumb-piston for the use of an assistant. When the sequencer is switched off, the "Advance" pistons step through the general combinations instead.

A major series of concerts has been presented on Galway Cathedral organ since 1994; full details at http://recitals.galwaycathedral.ie.

Great
Double Diapason16
Open Diapason8
Fugara8
Harmonic Flute8
Stopped Diapason8
Principal4
Spitz Flute4
Twelfth2 2/3
Fifteenth2
Flute2
Tierce1 3/5
Mixture19.22.26.29
Posaune16
Trumpet8
Clarion4
 
Positive
Principal8
Rohr Flute8
Violincello8
Dolce8
Octave4
Koppel Flute4
Fifteenth2
Scharff22.26.29
Posaune8
Cromorne8
Bombarde16
Bombarde8
 
Swell
Bourdon16
Open Diapason8
Hohl Flute8
Gemshorn8
Viola8
Viola Celeste8
Principal4
Hohl Flute4
Gemshorn4
Gemshorn2
Mixture12.19.22
Bassoon16
Trumpet8
Oboe8
Vox Humana8
Clarion4
 
Pedal
Subbass32
Open Wood16
Open Diapason16
Violone16
Subbass16
Octave8
Violincello8
Bass Flute8
Fifteenth4
Flute4
Twentysecond2
Mixture12.19.26.29
Bombarde16
Posaune16
Trumpet8
Clarion4
 
Couplers & Accessories
Swell to Great
Swell to Positive
Swell to Pedal
Positive to Great
Positive to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Great Tremulant
Swell Tremulant
Swell Strings Octave