First Presbyterian Church
New Canaan, Connecticut
Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1492 (1968)
2002–52 ranks

First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church’s Aeolian-Skinner is ideally situated in a sanctuary with excellent acoustics.

Even though the basic design was appropriate, the execution of the tonal scheme produced overly loud and bright sounds for this particular environment. Attempts at “quick fixes” by other firms were undertaken to soften some of the more offensive stops, but these in turn detrimentally affected the tonal sonority of the organ. Likewise after some thirty years, cracks had appeared in some pipes and one windchest, and while some mechanical improvements had been initiated several years ago, the work was incomplete.

The thrust of the Goulding and Wood renovation was two-fold. First was to put the mechanical systems of the organ in top condition employing the latest in solid-state control systems. The second was to address the tonal scheme in accordance with earlier models employed by the Skinner firm that were compatible with the existing design. This primarily involved restoring original wind pressures, revoicing most of the existing pipework, supplying new principal chorus structures, and adding some new voices including a 4’ Clarion and an 8’ Harmonic Flute – stops that were a hallmark of traditional Aeolian-Skinner organs.

The current stoplist with new pipework noted:


           GREAT
16’      Quintade
8’        Principal (new)
8’        Harmonic Flute (new)
8’        Holz Gedeckt
4’        Octave (new)
4’        Block Flute
2’        Super Octave
II          Sesquialtera (new)
IV      Mixture (new)
8‘       Trumpet 
          Tremolo
 
          SWELL
8’        Viole
8’        Viole celeste
8’        Rohr Flute
4’        Principal (new)
4’        Spill Flute
2’        Wald Flute
II        Cornet
III-IV   Plein Jeu
16’      Hautbois (ext. 8’)
8’        Trompette (new)
8’        Hautbois
4’        Clarion (original Trumpet extended)
8’        Trompette  en Chamade
           Tremolo
           MIDI on Swell
           Swell to Swell 16–UO–4
 
           CHOIR
16’      Flute Conique (ext. 8’)
8’        Spitz Principal
8’        Gedeckt
8’        Flute Conique
8’        Flute Celeste
4’        Principal
4’        Zauber Flute
2’        Octave (new)
1 ‘     Quint
III-IV    Scharf
8’        Krummhorn
8’        Trompette en Chamade
           Tremolo
           MIDI on Choir
           Choir to Choir 16–UO–4
 
          PEDAL
32’     Bourdon    (ext. 16‘)
16’     Principal
16’     Bourdon
16’     Quintade (Gt)
16’     Flute Conique (Ch)
8‘       Octave
8‘       Flute (ext. 16)
8‘       Spitz Flute
4‘       Choral Bass (original Sw. Principal)
4‘       Spitz Flute (ext. 8’)
2‘       Spitz Flute (ext. 8’)
III       Mixture
16’      Posaune
16’      Hautbois (Sw)
8’        Posaune (ext. 16’)
4’        Krummhorn (Ch)
8’        Trompette en Chamade   
           MIDI on Pedal

           COUPLERS
           Swell to Great 16–8–4
           Choir to Great 16–8–4
           Swell to Choir 16–8–4
           Great to Choir 8
           Choir to Swell 8
           Great to Pedal 8–4
           Swell to Pedal 8
           Choir to Pedal 8