The Woodruff Memorial Organ, our opus 649, is an instrument of which our firm is very proud. This is the first Odell organ in over 100 years to return to slider windchest construction.
Equally important is that this organ expresses a new unity of artistic vision. All aspects of the tonal design—specification, stoplist, pipe scales, and especially voicing—were conceived and realized entirely by Edward Odell. We think the result is fresh and exciting.
The tonal design of the organ does not easily yield to a classification. For the modern church organ, our intent is to look first to classical design principles. This calls for a complete principal chorus in the Great, scaled and voiced in correct proportion to the space and use, and whose rightful priority is the leading of congregational song. This is complemented by a true 8’ Gamba; which was created from the original Möller Dulciana by increasing its scale several half tones, by careful raising of the cutups, and by slotting. The division also includes 8’ and 4’ flutes, stopped and open respectively, which complement each other extremely well. The 8’ is also available at 16’, with a wooden bottom octave built and voiced in our shop. An appropriately-scaled English-style Trumpet completes the division.
The Swell is also generously outfitted with flutes. The metal 16’ Rohr Bourdon is also available at 8’ with a subordinate scale to the Great 8’ flute and a lightly arched cut-up. The Salicional and Celeste follow, and the compass of the Celeste was increased, as is our custom. As with the flute, the Swell 8’ Principal is scaled slightly subordinate to the Great and voiced with more articulation. Also available at 4’, it forms a lighter secondary chorus that allows the organist great flexibility in choral accompaniment.
Our distinctively-scaled Harmonic Flute further enriches the division; this is adapted from models from our own 19th -century instruments. The flute chorus is completed with a Nazard, Block Flute and Tierce, allowing for (among other effects) the classical cornet decomposée. The division’s reed complement includes the organ’s original Trompette with French shallots; and an entirely new Oboe, which like the Great reed has English antecedents, as the stop has English shallots and dual-taper resonators, and is half-capped.
The foundation of the Pedal is the original Möller Subbass, placed on new chests to allow for better placement and adjustment of power. The 8’ Principal (the tallest 7 of which are in the left façade) is entirely new, and is available at 4’ to support cantus firmus. A 16’ extension of the Great Trumpet rounds out the additions to the division. The Pedal is further filled out through selective borrowing of manual stops.
We would like to thank the members of Orange Congregational Church who made this project possible, including all the donors, the Organ Committee, and the pastoral staff. We would like to most especially thank the church members that worked closely with us and waited so patiently in order to make the project a success: Bradford Elker, Bradford Gesler, Ronald Barber, Minister Stoddon G.N. King and Church Organist Bryan Campbell.
-- Edward Odell, September 2011, East Haddam, Connecticut.