organ104 - Birmingham Organists' Association

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no. 104

February 2011

4 manuals
98 speaking stops

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Derby Cathedral


John Compton, 1939
Rushworth & Dreaper, 1992

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Together with Organ of the Month 101, this was the organ that was featured in last year's Midlands Organ Day. The Cathedral of All Saints has an instrument with a huge stoplist but, being a product of the John Compton company, all is not quite as it seems: there is considerable use of extension!

However, the organ does incorporate about 1500 pipes from an earlier organ by Thomas Elliot (1808) that was rebuilt in 1879 by John Stringer, and this enabled much of the Swell and one section of the Choir divisions to be "straight".

The commission was awarded to Compton on the eve of World War II and it is a tribute to the efficiency of the Compton workforce that it was completed before the end of the year.
It survived unmodified until 1992, when Rushworth & Dreaper (who took over the Compton pipe-organ business when it ceased trading in 1965, and when the electronic department became Makin Organs) replaced the transmission system, made some tonal changes (including the addition of a Vox Humana and Cornet) and mounted the console on a moveable platform.

Almost the whole of the pipework is enclosed, with the Great, Choir and Pedal in one box while the Swell and Solo are in separate boxes.
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