After a dear friend, organ tuner and master pipe voicer Robert R. Byrd III passed away several years ago, there was nobody in the Boston Metro area to tune continuo organs for various orchestras and choral groups. Our company was hired to tune these organs. The experience of tuning these small organs sparked an interest in designing our own instrument.
The 2015 Boston Early Music Festival provided us with a great opportunity to talk with some of the best continuo players in the world. We then asked them to tell us what they want in a continuo organ. Time after time, so many requests were the same: a 4' Principal, standard size keys and an expanded specification. Milling through all the feedback, we began designing an organ.
So many small continuo organs are a compromise..... a small scaled 8' Gedeckt to fit within the casework, pitch sag due to a small blower and schwimmer regulator and limited stops.
Rather than base our portable organ on historic examples, we decided to approach the design fresh, taking suggestions from many organists. The resulting instrument will be like no other built in the US.
Among the goals of this project is to:
The following is an example of the larger specification for our portable organ.
8' Diapason Bass (1-12 common with Gedeckt & 13-24 common with 4' Principal)
8' Diapason Treble
8' Gedeckt Bass
8' Gedeckt Treble
4' Principal Bass
4' Principal Treble
4' Spindle Flute Bass
4' Spindle Flute Treble
2 2/3' Nazard Treble
2' Gemshorn Bass
2' Gemshorn Treble
1 3/5' Tierce Treble
1 1/3' Quint Treble
1' Sifflöte Bass
We have begun construction on two of these organs. For the larger specification, and without an overly ornate casework, the base price is just under $100,000. We expect to have one complete by early to mid 2022.