Casavant Organ

The 4 manual, 108 rank Casavant organ, Op 1177 (1927) from the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA plays again in its new home after nearly two decades of silence. The organ has been reconstructed by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio and installed in the summer of 2001 in the new 1800 seat sanctuary of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN. Originally installed in George Washington Hall at the academy, the organ was relocated to a new chapel on the campus in 1932 when the burden of the Great Depression prohibited the purchase of a planned new instrument. In this second installation, most of the organ suffered from extremely poor tonal egress with pipes trapped behind walls and facade woodwork. Nearly doomed to become another casualty of the then fashionable "neo-" trends in American organ building, the closeted Casavant survived for almost a half century before the school decided to replace it with a smaller, well-placed instrument.

The organ was sold and moved to a barn in Traverse City, MI where it was to stay temporarily before being reinstalled in a nearby performing arts building. Those plans never materialized, and the organ changed owners several times but remained in the barn and endured over 15 years of grim storage conditions. In 1995 the organ was purchased by a St. Andrew's family and finally moved to safe storage in November of 1996. Due to the unfortunate damage from years of neglect and the care-less loss of critical components, plans for a full restoration of all the chests, console and mechanisms were abandoned. Instead, all new electro-pneumatic chests replace the original ventil chests, and the reconfigured organ includes a new console (with original ivory keys from another 1920's Casavant) and a new facade which was installed by Schantz in the fall of 1999. Of the 7,310 pipes of the organ, almost all are restored original pipes and faithful replicas replace pipes deemed beyond repair. Notable yet somewhat typical attributes of this 1920's Casavant include: 3-32' pedal stops; 73-note manual chests for most stops, including mixtures and Cornets; Diapason choruses in all divisions; 16'-8'-4' chorus reeds in each manual division; 3 amply scaled Cornets; and 9-16' manual stops with only 1 originally borrowed to the pedal, which itself has 14 independent registers. The design architect for the new sanctuary is the Danish firm Friis & Moltke A/S; the acoustical consultant is Kirkegaard & Associates.

Organ Specifications:

Casavant Freres, Opus 1177 (1927)
4 manuals, 108 ranks, 7310 Pipes
99 Levels of Memory

Great Organ (Unenclosed)

  1. 16' Double Open Diapason 73 pipes
  2. 16' Bourdon 73 pipes
  3. 8' First Open Diapason 73 pipes
  4. 8' Second Open Diapason 73 pipes
  5. 8' Third Open Diapason 73 pipes
  6. 8' Hohl Flûte 73 pipes
  7. 8' Bourdon 73 pipes
  8. 8' Gemshorn 73 pipes
  9. 4' Octave 73 pipes
  10. 4' Principal (from #14)
  11. 4' Harmonic Flûte 73 pipes
  12. 2-2/3' Twelfth 73 pipes
  13. 2' Fifteenth 61 pipes
  14. V Cornet 365 pipes 1-8-12-15-17
  15. IV Fourniture 292 pipes 15-17-19-22
  16. 16' Contra Tromba 73 pipes 10" wind pressure
  17. 8' Tromba 73 pipes 10" wind pressure
  18. 4' Clarion 73 pipes 10" wind pressure
  19. 16' Trompette en Chamade (TC) #20
  20. 8' Trompette en Chamade 61 pipes new stop, 10" wind pressure
  21. Chimes
  22. Solo Flues on Great
  23. MIDI on Great

    Total pipes Great Organ 1,801

    Swell Organ (Enclosed and Expressive)
  24. 16' Bourdon 73 pipes
  25. 8' Open Diapason 73 pipes
  26. 8' Geigen Principal 73 pipes
  27. 8' Flûte Traverse 73 pipes
  28. 8' Cor de Nuit 73 pipes
  29. 8' Viola da Gamba 73 pipes
  30. 8' Voix Celeste 73 pipes
  31. 8' Dolcissimo 73 pipes
  32. 8' Dolcissimo Celeste 73 pipes (stop addition from Casavant Opus 1250)
  33. 4' Octave 73 pipes
  34. 4' Flûte Octaviante 73 pipes
  35. 4' Violina 73 pipes
  36. 2' Piccolo 61 pipes
  37. 8' Cornet V 365 pipes 1-8-12-15-17
  38. 2' Plein Jeu IV 292 pipes 15-17-19-22
  39. 16' Double Trumpet 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  40. 8' Cornopean 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  41. 8' Oboe 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  42. 8' Vox Humana 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  43. 4' Clarion 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  44. Tremulant
  45. 8' Trompette en Chamade (#20 Not affected by couplers )
  46. Chimes (Choir)
  47. Celesta (Solo)
  48. MIDI on Swell

    Total pipes Swell Organ 1,959

    Choir Organ (Enclosed and Expressive)
  49. 16' Quintaton 73 pipes
  50. 8' Open Diapason 73 pipes
  51. 8' Melodia 73 pipes
  52. 8' Rohr Flute 73 pipes
  53. 8' Quintadena 73 pipes
  54. 8' Viole d'Orchestre 73 pipes
  55. 8' Viole Celeste 73 pipes
  56. 8' Dulciana 73 pipes
  57. 8' Unda Maris 73 pipes (stop addition from Casavant Opus 1250)
  58. 4' Octave 73 pipes
  59. 4' Flute d'Amour 73 pipes
  60. 2-2/3' Nasard 73 pipes
  61. 2' Flageolet 61 pipes
  62. 1-3/5' Tierce 61 pipes
  63. 1-1/3' Petite Quint 61 pipes
  64. 1-1/7' Septieme 61 pipes
  65. 1' Piccolo 61 pipes
  66. 8' Cornet VIII (derived from #51, 58-64)
  67. 16' Bassoon 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  68. 8' Trumpet 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  69. 8' Clarinet 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  70. 8' Orchestral Oboe 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  71. 4' Clarion 73 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  72. 8' Trompette en chamade ( #20 Not affected by couplers)
  73. Celesta (Solo)
  74. Harp (Solo)
  75. Chimes (Solo)
  76. Tremulant
  77. MIDI on Choir

    Total pipes Choir Organ 1,546

    Solo Organ (Enclosed and Expressive)
  78. 16' Contra Gamba 73 pipes
  79. 8' Diapason 73 pipes
  80. 8' Grosse Flûte 73 pipes
  81. 8' Gamba 73 pipes
  82. 8' Gamba Celeste 73 pipes
  83. 4' Octave 73 pipes
  84. 4' Flute Octaviante 73 pipes
  85. 4' Viola 73 pipes
  86. 2' (from #87) Piccolo
  87. Grand Cornet VII 511 pipes 8-10-12-15-17-19-22
  88. 16' Tuba Magna 73 pipes 20" Wind pressure
  89. 8' Tuba Mirabilis 73 pipes 20" Wind pressure
  90. 8' French Horn 73 pipes 20" Wind pressure
  91. 8' Cor Anglais 73 pipes 20" Wind pressure
  92. 4' Tuba Clarion 73 pipes 20" Wind pressure
  93. Tremulant
  94. 16' Trompette en chamade (TC) #20 Not affected by couplers
  95. 8' Trompette en chamade #20 Not affected by couplers
  96. Chimes 25 Deagan Class A Bells, new action
  97. Celesta 61 Bars Existing resonators; new action
  98. Midi on Solo

    Total pipes Solo Organ 1,460

    Pedal Organ (Unenclosed)
  99. 64' Gravissima 32 Notes (from# 100 Unison #101 Quint)
  100. 32' Double Open Diapason 12 pipes
  101. 32' Soubasse (Bourdon) 12 pipes
  102. 16' Open Diapason 56 pipes
  103. 16' Bourdon 32 pipes
  104. 16' Violone 32 pipes
  105. 16' Dulciana 32 pipes
  106. 16' Gedeckt (swell) from #24
  107. 10-2/3' Quint 44 pipes
  108. 8' Octave #102
  109. 8' Flute 32 pipes
  110. 8' Gedeckt (swell) from #24
  111. 8' Cello 32 pipes
  112. 8' Dulciana #105
  113. 6-2/5' Tierce 32 pipes
  114. 5-1/3' Quint #107
  115. 4' Super Octave #102
  116. 4' Bourdon 32 pipes
  117. 4' Gedeckt (swell) from #24
  118. 4' Dulciana #105
  119. 32' Contra Trombone 12 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  120. 16' Trombone 32 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  121. 16' Bassoon 32 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  122. 8' Trumpet 32 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  123. 4' Clarion 32 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  124. 2' Octave Clarion 32 pipes 10" Wind pressure
  125. 16' Tuba Magna (Solo) #91
  126. 16' Double Tumpet (swell) #39
  127. 8' Trumpet (swell) #39
  128. 8' Trompette en Chamade (Great ) #20
  129. Chimes (solo)
  130. Midi on Pedal

Total pipes Pedal Organ 544


Pipe Totals

Great: 1,801
Swell: 1,959
Choir: 1,546
Solo: 1,460
Pedal: 544

Total Pipes 7,310

Console Details

Couplers

  • 8' Great to Pedal
  • 4' Great to Pedal
  • 8' Swell to Pedal
  • 4' Swell to Pedal
  • 8' Choir to Pedal
  • 4' Choir to Pedal
  • 8' Solo to Pedal
  • 4' Solo to Pedal
  • 16' Swell to Great
  • 8' Swell to Great
  • 4' Swell to Great
  • 16' Swell to Choir
  • 8' Swell to Choir
  • 4' Swell to Choir
  • 16' Choir to Great
  • 8' Choir to Great
  • 4' Choir to Great
  • 16' Solo to Great
  • 8' Solo to Great
  • 4' Solo to Great
  • 16' Solo to Swell
  • 8' Solo to Swell
  • 4' Solo to Swell
  • 16' Solo to Choir
  • 8' Solo to Choir
  • 4' Solo to Choir
  • 8' Great to Solo
  • 8' Swell to Solo
  • 16' Solo to Solo
  • Solo Unison off
  • 4' Solo to Solo
  • 16' Swell to Swell
  • Swell Unison Off
  • 4' Swell to Swell
  • 16' Great to Great
  • Great Unison Off
  • 4' Great to Great
  • 16' Choir to Choir
  • Choir Unison Off
  • 4' Choir to Choir
  • 8' Choir to Solo

Combination Couplers

Choir and Pedal
Great and Pedal
Swell and Pedal
Solo and Pedal


Reversible Pistons

  • Solo to Pedal, thumb and toe
  • Swell to Pedal, thumb and toe
  • Great to Pedal, thumb and toe
  • Choir to Pedal, thumb and toe
  • Swell to Great, thumb
  • Choir to Great, thumb
  • Solo to Great, thumb
  • Swell to Choir, thumb
  • Full Organ I, thumb and toe
  • Full Organ II, thumb and toe
  • 32' Double Open Diapason, toe
  • 32' Soubasse, toe
  • 32' Contra Trombone, toe
  • All reeds silent, toe
  • Great/Pedal reeds silent, toe
  • Great/Choir manual transfer, thumb
  • 64' Gravissima, toe
  • Zimbelstern, thumb and toe (New, 5 bell, enclosed in Solo)

Pedals

Balanced Crescendo Shoe (4 programmable levels)
Balanced Swell Expression Shoe
Balanced Choir Expression Shoe
Balanced Solo Expression Shoe


Expression Pedals

  • Swell Expression Pedal
  • Choir Expression Pedal
  • Solo Expression Pedal
  • Crescendo Pedal
  • Control System
  • 99 Levels of Memory
  • Digital Display
  • Great stops/couplers thumb 10
  • Swell stops/couplers thumb 10
  • Choir stops/couplers thumb 10
  • Solo stops/couplers thumb 10
  • Pedal stops toe 1 - 8
  • Pedal stops thumb 1 - 6
  • General Pistons thumb/toe 10
  • Coupler Pistons thumb 5+0
  • Cancel thumb
  • Setter thumb
  • Memory up/down thumb
  • Piston Sequencer prev/next thumb
  • Crescendo Level thumb

Accessories

Lights for:

  • Music rack
  • Pedal Keyboard

Indicator Lights:

  • Wind
  • Crescendo- bar graph
  • Full Organ I/II
  • All Sells to Swell
  • All Reeds Silent
  • Great/Pedal Reeds Silent
  • Great/Chor Manual transfer

Miscellaneous

  • Moveable drawknob console
  • Equipment Drawers
  • Three disconnect locatins in chancel
  • Existing Ivory Keyboards
  • (1927 Casavant opus 1175)
  • Adjustable Bench
  • Clock
  • Four progammable Crescendo settings
  • Sequencer and MIDI
  • panel and sequence in drawers
  • Piston Sequencer
  • All Swells to Swell RT
  • All Reeds Silent RT
  • Great/Pedal Reeds Silent RT
  • Great/Choir Manual transfer pistons RT
  • Divisional Nameplate Cancel bars
  • Swell Shades Upper/Both/Lower keycheck button
  • Mixture Tierces Silent keycheck button and indicator
  • Pedal Pistons on Great keycheck button
  • Pedal Pistons on Swell keycheck button
  • Pedal Pistons on Choir keycheck button
  • Pedal Pistons on Solo keycheck button

Indicators

  • Crescendo [bar graph]
  • Memory Level Read-out [digital]
  • Crescendo Level Read-out [digital]
  • Piston Sequencer Read-out [digital]
  • Wind
  • Lights:
  • Full Organ I (adjustable)
  • Full Organ II (adjustable)
  • All Swells to Swell
  • All reeds silent
  • Great/Pedal reeds silent
  • Great/Choir manual transfer

Console

  • New Four Manual Drawknob Console
  • Keyboards - Ivory, from Casavant Opus 1175
  • Drawknobs - Imported English shanks with
  • engraved white faces
  • Console Moveable - built-in casters
  • Three disconnect locations in chancel area for
  • plugging in the console.
  • Adjustable bench
  • Clock
  • Combination System:
  • 99 memory levels with digital readout
  • 10 General, thumb and toe pistons
  • 10 Great, thumb pistons
  • 10 Swell, thumb pistons
  • 10 Choir, thumb pistons
  • 10 Solo, thumb pistons
  • 8 Pedal, toe pistons
  • 6 Pedal, thumb pistons
  • General Cancel, thumb
  • Set, thumb piston
  • Memory Level Up, thumb piston
  • Memory Level Down, thumb piston
  • Crescendo Level, thumb piston
  • Divisional cancel bars
  • Piston Sequencer with digital readout
  • MIDI Sequencer
Combination System control panel, Piston Sequencer and MIDI control panel, and sequencer located in drawers.

Casavant Organ History



The Phillips Academy Organ-A Thoroughbred A History of Casavant Opus 1177

by Dr. Thomas Murray, Yale School of Music from The Diapason, June 1979

Many famous organists figure in the story of the giant 1927 Casavant at Phillips Academy. Their names will be mentioned at the appropriate place in this brief account of the organ but I would be amiss if I did not speak first of the remarkable person whose respected presence on the Phillips Andover scene helps to account for the organ's very existence. That man was Carl Pfatteicher, director of music at Phillips from 1912 until 1947. From his own scrapbooks we quickly sense the kind of musician he was - in 1913, a series of Bach lecture-recitals; in 1918, performances of the Orgelbuchlein and the trio sonatas; in 1925, a recital of the precursors of Bach: Cabezon, Scheidt, Raison, Muffat, Lebegue, Buxtehude, Clerambault-all these programs being held in the old "stone chapel" at Phillips. He also brought the best visiting recitalists to the "stone chapel" - Courboin, Farnam, Dupre - and no doubt welcomed them back in later years when he was able to offer them a far better instrument, the one which concerns us now. A gift from Thomas Cochran in memory of his wife, Martha Cochran, the organ in question was first installed in George Washington Hall at the academy. It was officially opened in a recital by Louis Vierne on April 11 of that year, and it is worth noting that M. Vierne closed the performance with his newly-composed Pieces de Fantaisie (1st suite, op. 51), written the previous year and presented for the first time in America on his 1927 tour.

In 1929, again through the generosity of Mr. Cochran, the school began work on a new chapel. It was probably assumed that this building would also have a new organ in due season, but with the burden of the great depression during the ensuing years, a decision was made to move the Casavant organ to the chapel. Thus the instrument began a second chapter in its history in a new location soon after its dedication - barely five years in fact, since the organ was rededicated in the chapel on May 8, 1932. In this chapel the organ has stood to the present time, heard in recitals by the great organists of the era: Bonnet, Dupre, Ramin, Germani (who had also performed on it in its original home), and others.

Given such illustrious performers, one might think that the organ has been heard to excellent advantage, but, unfortunately, such is not the case. The problem here is one over which a performer has no control. The academy organ, all 99 stops of it, is hopelessly, irredeemably buried. Virtually everyone who knows the organ will agree that it does not - it can not - sound well in its present environment. It was probably not very effective in Washington Hall either, if the size of the chamber openings is any indication, but in its present location it is utterly stifled. The sound of the manual divisons is obstructed by an elaborately carved case-facade and grille (the "case" portion is an architect's adaptation of the l8th century 3-tower cases found in many of the old English churches, and is to be utilized in the new chapel organ), while the sound of the pedal organ (or a fraction thereof) is heard through a small arch off to one side. The sound of the Swell fares best in the chapel because of its wide, shallow chamber and high placement. Unquestionably the Choir fares worst, speaking as it does directly into the woodwork of the facade.

But when one penetrates the shell which so effectively imprisons the color and intimacy of the voicing one is impressed (if he has the broadminded musical outlook which will allow an appreciation of this kind of instrument in the first place) with the quality of everything - mechanism, materials and voicing. Why doesn't Phillips keep it and restore it? For one thing (let the prospective buyer be fully aware), everything will need releathering. There are some 20 reservoirs, not to mention the console, swell shade motors and chests. For the organ to function reliably this releathering ought to be done completely, and a thorough search for the very finest leather available would be a wise preliminary task. It makes far better sense for the school to do precisely what it has done: namely, to contract for an instrument of half the size and give it all the advantages of good placement, something which the Casavant will never have in its present site.

Organ CD "Premieres" with Bill Chouinard on the Casavant-Schantz Organ available at the reception desk for $15.00.

Pipedreams Program

Norah Long