The Grand Choeur, Plein Jeu & Regal tracker action organs are introduced at a time when many organists and churches only see the future in a digital synthesising organ due to costs. The pipe organ is a traditional instrument of the church with the ability to not be outdated. This is as true today as it has always been.
Many household electrical items are throw-away but a pipe organ with electrics from the 1950s is still in operation. Charles James Organs have designed a range of model instruments, built to traditional time-tested principals, bringing a new pipe organ within closer reach of churches who may think they only have the option of a digital instrument - an eventual throw-away item of the modern world as technology improves. The specification may appear small but the possibilities of its design are such that it copes with all genres of music and accompaniment. The Regal without an enclosed department represents the Baroque instruments.
There are two case designs to choose from. The Plein Jeu fits under an arch with a taller central tower and the outer ones dropping below impost level to flank the console. The second design, the Grand Choeur, has a taller overall height than the Plein Jeu suiting a west end gallery position. Taller outer towers raised up to the impost level make this a striking design. The Regal would use both designs of case. The cases represent the best in traditional and contemporary design styles being in harmony with the architecture of any building in Christendom.
The specification of the Franck is over two manuals and pedals with fifty-six and thirty notes respectively. No detail has been overlooked in the design of this range providing customers with competitive prices and unsurpassed quality. The possibilities are endless.
The Great is based on a generously scaled Flûte à Cheminée 8' providing foundation and wonderfully characteristic vitality in its own right also as a solo stop. The Prestant 4' is a chorus stop scaled to blend with the Flute and the entire organ creating excellence to the centre of the chorus. The glorious Bach chorus of the Great performs the Preludes and Fugues as well as hymn playing with effortless ease and glorious tone. Played 'down the octave' the Prestant presents rich Diapason 8' tone useful in the build and solo work. The Block Flute 2', like every voice on the organ, has to work exceptionally hard and be versatile. The scaling design is ingenious having Flute and leanings towards Principal tone capturing 'bell' quality in the treble and clarity in the bass for definition through to the pedal line when required. The 8' and 2' combination is sublime and the need for two separate 2' stops is not necessary. The stop caps the chorus in the most musical manner and Full Organ with the Swell is dramatic.
This is designed as an English Swell to build a chorus of Diapason tone, rather than Flute and Principal, already found on the Great. The two Principal stops build seamlessly to the Trompette providing a pseudo Full Swell. This is the most versatile part of an organ with the tonal pallet and this is true with the Franck's three stops. The Open Diapason is voiced with warmth and intonation, for all occasions, including the atmospherics that the Strings are usually employed for. The full expression is displayed by the box with its huge fully opening shutters. The Gemshorn 4' is cohesive and musical with the Open Diapason, though plenty of harmonic development is obvious, creating singing tone and hints of two foot, the whole chorus displaying a beautiful warmth.
A French-styled Trompette, rather than an English Trumpet, improving versatility, controlled sparkle and brightness to the Full Organ and the possible solo colours being more plentiful. A particular benefit of the Trompette, with the expression box closed, is that it can be used as a Hautbois and when opened, for more splendid occasions, a fanfare reed.
The Sub Bass is generously scaled providing a full fundamental tone to support the entire organ and balanced to purr under quieter stops. The single pedal stop is augmented via the manual to pedal couplers when required. The manual specification is designed allowing one to be coupled increasing the pedal and allowing the other to remain independent as in a Bach chorus.
The manual soundboards are constructed from solid timber and manufactured in the traditional style with bars and slides. Modern materials are used for the slides preventing problems caused by atmospheric changes. The pedal one-stop soundboard is positioned at the rear of the instrument and constructed to the same high standard as the manuals.
The blower feeds one main wind regulator and the main soundboards have their own schwimmer regulators for the ultimate in wind control.
The three stop slider sound board of the swell is enclosed in the traditional manner - a crucial part of an English organ. It is manufactured with solid walls and full length front opening fully to allow the box to be basically unenclosed ensuring the Swell pipe work matches the power of the Great.
The attached oak console is simple in design and all playing aids are easily at hand making for exceptional comfort during playing. There are no pistons or foot levers due to the small specification and ease of control. The manual keyboards are timber with naturals covered in a faux ivory and sharps are solid ebony. The RCO radiating and concave pedal board is manufactured from solid oak including the playing sticks and the sharps are capped in ebony. The actions are totally mechanical including the stop action for a responsive touch with articulation.
(Alternative pedalboards are available as shown)
Compass of the manuals, CC to G, 56 notes.
Compass of the pedals, CCC to F, 30 notes.
Grand Choeur & Plein Jeu
Flûte à Cheminée 8' - 56 pipes
Prestant 4' - 56 pipes
Block Flute 2' - 56 pipes
Principal 8' - 56 pipes
Octave 4' - 56 pipes
Super Octave 2' - 56 pipes
Mixture II-III ranks 144 pipes
Dulzian 16' 56 pipes
Grand Choeur & Plein Jeu
Open Diapason 8' - 56 pipes
Gemshorn 4' - 56 pipes
Trompette 8' - 56 pipes
Holz Gedact 8' - 56 Pipes
Spitz Flöte 4' - 56 pipes
Tertiaan III ranks - 168 pipes
Trommet 8' - 56 pipes
Grand Choeur & Plein Jeu
Sub Bass 16' - 30 pipes
Sub Bass 16' - 30 notes
Principal 8' - from Great
Bassoon 16' - from Great
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Recent times have brought design technology into a new age so that we can show in the most real format a design of how the organ will look in a specific location rather than an architect's impression or 2D line drawing.
"A most imaginative and marvellously flexible scheme for a small organ of just 366 pipes; enabling the organist to tackle most facets of the repertoire, whilst enabling choir and hymn accompaniment in the more modest building.
Two independent manuals, each with their own choruses, and incorporating a Swell reed; something not normally found on organs of this type and size, but enabling both a solo colour and the effect of a full swell chorus. Altogether a most exciting concept where space and cost are of primary importance..... I look forward to playing the prototype!"
Prof. Ian Tracey.
Organist to the City of Liverpool.
Organist Titulaire Liverpool Cathedral.
Music is well said to be the speech of angels.