KIRKWOOD BAPTIST ChurchKirkwood, Missouri
Opus 56 : 3 manuals, 43 ranks
year complete, 2003
The new three-manual and pedal, 43-rank, Quimby pipe organ, Opus 56, contains all the stops necessary for good liturgical accompaniment and for the successful performance of organ literature from all periods. The concept does not copy any single historical style of organ building. The tonal design is a synthesis, resulting in a concept that is distinctly American. It possesses an unusual high proportion of reed stops, including interesting color reeds like the Clarinet stop. Furthermore, the presence of a solo reed on 15″ wind, the Tuba, is a distinction rarely found even on the largest instruments. The Tuba provides a wonderful climax to the sound of the full organ.
The construction and voicing of the flue pipes is unusual, making use of thick spotted metal (a lead/tin alloy). This, in some cases, is carried down to the 5 1/3′ pipe rather than just the usual 4′ pipe. The construction and voice of the flue pipes in many ways consciously recalls the work of the great English organ builder T.C. Lewis. The visible casework contains polished zinc pipes for notes 1 to 17 of the Great 8′ Principal located on the left side, with pipes for notes 13 to 29 of the Pedal 16′-8′-4′ Principal are located on the right side.
It is not just the tonal resource that makes Opus 56 a very special pipe organ. The mechanism features Quimby Pipe Organs’ own design of Johnson-Blackinton slider windchests with electro-pneumatic pallets. This arrangement produces a mechanism that is extremely kind to the speech of the pipes and at the same time results in amazing clarity, even in the most rapid passages. To this, the QPO system of wind reservoirs adds a wind source that is gently expressive but at the same time free from any hint of instability.
The three-manual and pedal draw knob console for this installation incorporates manuals and pedal board rebuilt from an Æolian-Skinner console with ivory covering for the naturals and ebony sharps for the manuals. The key and stop functions are controlled by a solid-state Peterson multiplex relay system. The solid-state Peterson combination action has 99 levels of memory with programmable crescendos and sforzando.