Organ

Casavant Organ, post-Explosion, pre-fire

Casavant Organ, post-Explosion, pre-fire

The Létourneau organ Opus 76 at Saint George’s is one of the finest mechanical action organs in Eastern Canada. Installed in the fall of 2002, the 25-stop two-manual organ occupies the same location as its predecessor, a 1912 Casavant Organ which was destroyed in the fire of June, 1994. A year before the fire, the old organ had been painstakingly restored by Letourneau Ltee. In the weeks following the fire, Fernand Létourneau travelled to Halifax to assess the damage, and generously dismantled whatever could be salvaged and stored it in his atelier in Ste-Hyacinthe, Quebec.

It was later determined that water had damaged the organ beyond repair. The choice of Orgues Létourneau Ltée as the builder of the new organ was obvious, not only for the superb quality of their craftsmanship but also in respect of the relationship which had been forged between the builder and the Parish. Monsieur Létourneau gave the parish a price for a new organ not long after the fire and, with great generosity, held that price until the organ was finally built and installed in 2002. It was launched with a recital by the well-known American organist and Bach scholar Joan Lippincott. Létourneau’s Opus 76 is a testament to this parish’s commitment to fine music. Its tonal design is suited both to liturgical and concert repertoire, and will, it is hoped, serve to inspire future generations of developing church musicians.

Finished instrument Photo by Ian Urquhart

Finished instrument
Photo by Ian Urquhart

The restoration of Saint George’s Round Church following the fire of June 2, 1994 has included measures that ensure that the church continues as a place of worshipful music and also a unique historic venue for performance. The church’s circular shape and umbrella dome give it remarkable acoustic qualities; other refinements during reconstruction, such as choosing plaster of special hardness for the organ bay, enhances the church’s voice.

On October 7, 2002, Opus 76 of the Orgues Letourneau Ltee arrived at the Round Church. This began the final stage of an exciting project of a 25 stop Mechanical Action instrument from one the world’s premier organ builders. The installation and voicing were completed in early November. See the gallery below for pictures of the delivery and installation.

2012 marked the tenth anniversary of our magnificent Letourneau organ, Op 76. Fernand Letourneau came to perform a light restoration of the instrument in late November 2012, including some re-voicing of pipes and a general tuning. In honour of this 10th year milestone a Gala Organ Concert took place April 14, 2013 featuring our Director of Music Garth MacPhee, joined by Tempest Baroque Ensemble to perform works by Handel and Bach.

 

Orgues Letourneau Ltee OPUS 76

Great Swell (expressive) Pedal
Bourdon 16′ Stopped Diapason 8′ Subbass 16′
Open Diapason 8′ Viola da Gamba 8′ Principal 8′
Chimney Flute 8′ Viola Celeste 8′ Bass Flute 8′
Principal 4′ Spindle Flute 4′ Choral Bass 4′
Spire Flute 4′ Fifteenth 2′ Trombone 16′
Nazard 2 2/3′ Sharp Mixture III 1′ Trumpet 8′
Block Flute 2′ Bassoon 16′ Schalmey 4′
Tierce 1 3/5′ Oboe 8′
Mixture IV 1 1/3′
Trumpet 8′