|Region||Co. Galway - Galway City|
|Uploaded by||Ray O'Donnell|
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.
|Couplers & Accessories|
|Swell to Great|
|Swell to Positive|
|Swell to Pedal|
|Positive to Great|
|Positive to Pedal|
|Great to Pedal|
|Swell Strings Octave|