ORGAN OF THE MONTH 37: July 2005

Great Malvern Priory
(Nicholson, 2004)

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This was the first organ to be rebuilt in the new premises of Nicholson & Co, located just up the road on the outskirts of Malvern (of which more next month).  It is a more than worthy successor to a 2-manual instrument, built for the Priory in 1850 by John Nicholson, that was subsequently expanded to 3-manuals (1862) and had a Solo division added in 1880.

In recent times, Nicholson & Co resumed maintenance of the instrument in the 1990s, when it was in a poor state (the last major work having been done in 1927 by Rushworth & Dreaper).  An appeal, launched in 2000, enabled a total rebuild and internal reorganisation of the organ to be carried out at a cost of almost 400,000.

The action is now electro-pneumatic, replacing an extremely complex pneumatic system, and the organ benefits from an almost totally silent new wind system, using industrial noise attenuation units.  The Swell Organ now speaks over the top of the main case (see left photo) with horizontal shutters that allow the sound to escape equally to both East and West.

The organ was dedicated by the Bishop of Worcester on 26th September 2004 and the inaugural recital by Thomas Trotter followed on 16th October.  A video recording on DVD of the rebuilding of this fine instrument is available from the Priory.


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Last modified: December 29, 2008