organ175 - Birmingham Organists' Association

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organ 175

January 2017

4 manuals
64 speaking stops

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Bath Abbey


Norman & Beard, 1895, 1914
Hill, Norman & Beard, 1972/3
Johannes Klais, 1997


Bath Abbey

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Organ of the Month archive
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The 2016 IAO Music Festival (formerly Congress) was based in Bath and for the next few months we shall feature Organs of the Month seen & heard by the several BOA members who attended. Appropriately enough, for our 175th Organ of the Month, the featured instrument is the mighty Bath Abbey organ, reconstructed with additions by the famous German (Bonn) firm of Orgelbau Klais.

Approximately half the pipes of the present instrument were provided by Klais; the remainder, following restoration, come from earlier instruments by Wm Hill, by Norman & Beard, and by HNB. The action is now mechanical with electric coupling.

At the time of moving the organ to the north transept, it comprised four manuals and 54 stops.  Following war damage, it was enlarged - including in 1948 a Tuba - and reached it largest size (67 stops) following the 1972 rebuild.  This was when a new Rückpositiv division was added in a case by Alan Rome bracketed out from the balustrade .

The 1997 scheme, with Nicolas Kynaston as consultant, involved a completely new internal design.  The wind pressures of the older instrument were maintained.  IAO President (2015-7) Dr Peter King is Organist Emeritus of Bath Abbey, following his retirement in 2016 after 30 years' service as its Director of Music.

You can listen to excerpts from Peter King's DVD of the Bath Abbey organ as January 17's Music of the Month.

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