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Thread: What is the largest organ?

  1. #1
    Midshipman, Forte
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    What is the largest organ?

    For the past few weeks I've been mulling over a question and wonder if anyone else has any feedback. Krummhorn sparked it when he said a few posts back that the Wanamaker's organ was the largest one in operation. Are there larger ones that aren't in operation?
    One very large one that's not in operation in my area is in storage because (of course!) there isn't the funds to restore it. It's on the list of the world's largest organs, and I'm a bit attatched to it, myself. I've dubbed it "King Kimball" (is that the right name for that company?) Are there large ones in your area that aren't in operation right now?
    Regards, Bill

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hello Bill ...

    Wanamaker's still remains as the largest in "ranks" at 463 with 28,522 pipes. It is my understanding that a total renovation has been in process and about 90% of it is in total operation at this time.

    Atlantic City Conv Hall has more pipes (33,114) but fewer total ranks (449). The entire organ has never been 100% operable at any one given time. I think possibly 20% of it is playable currently. There is some progress being made currently to totally restore this instrument, but the project will most likely take many years and countless $millions$ to bring to total fruition.

    Where was this "King Kimball" before it went to storage?
    Kh ~~.
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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster FinnViking's Avatar
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    There is a homepage dedicated to the Atlantic City instrument. http://www.acchos.org/ Klick "news" and You will see the current status of the organ and its restoration. The organ has not been playable at all for several years, following the restoration of the hall, but it indeed was fully operational until 1944 when a flood destroyed the piston system. Thereafter the organ has silenced section by section, but a restoration has now begun.

  4. #4
    Midshipman, Forte
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    Krummhorn, I'm honestly not sure where "King Kimball" was before they decided to closet it, but I believe it was in a museum or something like that. I'd be happy to get you a link to see more information about it if I could find it after all these years...
    I thought the website about the Atlantic City organ quite incredible. I wonder if the picture on the homepage was taken recently. I'm assuming it doesn't have a current organist, then? I always thought that these stories of disposed organs were quite sad.
    Regards, Bill

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi Bill,

    Yes, the unfortunate demise of some beautiful organs is heart-breaking. Trinity Church in NYC, as a result of 9/11, has their AS organ in storage. The smoke and dust damage all but choked the organ, and the restoration $$$ would run into the millions.

    It would probably be an astonishing report to view if all the silenced pipe organs that were in storage could be accounted for ... then again, I also wonder how many are silenced and remain intact at their original installation sites. Food for thought.
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  6. #6
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Hi Bill,

    .. then again, I also wonder how many are silenced and remain intact at their original installation sites. Food for thought.
    Well Sheffield Cathedral is one. I was talking to the organist over there the other days and they're using a Phoenix digital for now pending decisions on the pipe organ - a process that may not happen for a few years yet.


    (actually as an afterthought - the organist said he didn't much like the digital organ, but I was in the congregation and I have to say it sounded really pretty good in the body of the Cathedral. My only gripe was with the pedals which just didn't quite have that something I expect from a 16/32' reed! - Maybe it was that the ground didn't shake! hehehehehehe!)
    Last edited by NEB; Jul-09-2007 at 13:22.

  7. #7
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    I found out today that Leeds Cathedral is in the same position as Sheffield. So that's another for the list of silent but still in situ...

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Regarding the Sheffield Cathedral organ, from their website this information is available.

    Also, here's some good info on the Leeds Cathedral Organ . Apparently the plan is to fully restore the Klais organ, but in the meantime they are using a non-winded organ.
    Kh ~~.
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  9. #9
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Thanks Krummhorn. Hadn't seen that. I found out from a conversation with another organist from the area. I'll give that a read in the morning.

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to learn who they sampled their sounds from ... for the Phoenix organ. I know, for a fact, that the brand (UK) Makin uses samples from Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican) as its sound base.

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