Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sacred Heart Catholic Church


Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 855 (1931) in Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Pittsburgh, PA)
 
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Pittsburgh, PA)
 
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Pittsburgh, PA)
 
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Pittsburgh, PA)
 
 
 
Builder:        Skinner Organ Company
   Year:        1931
   Opus:        855 / 855-A
   
No. manuals:    4
No. stops:      37 (40 prepared for)
No. ranks:      50 (45 prepared for)
No. pipes:      3,035

Specification

           GREAT ORGAN                               SWELL ORGAN
       16' Diapason              pf              16' Bourdon               73
        8' First Diapason        pf               8' Geigen Diapason       73
        8' Second Diapason       61               8' Rohrflöte             73
        8' Third Diapason        61               8' Salicional            73
        8' Flute Harmonique      61               8' Voix Celeste          pf
        8' Stopped Diapason      61               8' Flauto Dolce          pf
    5 1/3' Quint                 pf               8' Flute Celeste         pf
        4' Octave                61               8' Aeoline               73
        4' Gemshorn              61               4' Octave Geigen         73
    3 1/5' Tenth                 pf               4' Lieblich Flute        pf
    2 2/3' Octave Quint          pf               2' Fifteenth             pf
        2' Super Octave          61               V  Mixture              305
       IV  Harmonics             pf             III  Carillon              pf
       16' Contra Tromba         pf              16' Posaune               73
        8' Tromba                pf               8' Trumpet               73
        4' Clarion               pf               8' Oboe                  73
                                                  4' Clarion               73
           CHOIR ORGAN                               Tremolo
       16' Contra Spitzflöte     pf
        8' Spitzflöte            73                  SOLO ORGAN (prepared for)
        8' Viola                 pf               8' Orchestral Flute
        8' Dulciana              73               8' Cello
        8' Unda Maris (TC)       pf               8' Cello Celeste
        4' Gemshorn              73               4' Flute Harmonique
        4' Flauto Traverso       pf               8' Tuba Mirabilis
    2 2/3' Nazard                pf               8' English Horn
        2' Flautino              pf                  Tremolo
    1 3/5' Tierce                pf
    1 1/3' Larigot               pf                  PEDAL ORGAN
       IV  Dulciana Mixture     244              32' Contra Bourdon        pf
       16' Fagotto               pf              16' Diapason              32
        8' Trumpet               pf              16' Contra Bass           32
        8' Clarinet              pf              16' Diapason              GT pf
           Tremolo                               16' Bourdon               32
                                                 16' Spitzflöte            CH pf
           ECHO ORGAN (prepared for)             16' Echo Lieblich         SW
        8' Echo Viole                             8' Octave                12
        8' Viole Celeste                          8' Flute                 12
        8' Cor de Nuit                            8' Spitzflöte            CH
        8' Vox Humana                             8' Still Gedeckt         SW
           Tremolo                                4' Super Octave          12
           Chimes                                IV  Mixture               pf
                                                 32' Contra Bombarde       pf
           ANTIPHONAL ORGAN (1957, Op. 855-A)    16' Bombarde              pf
        8' Principal             61              16' Fagotto               CH pf
        4' Octave                61               8' Octave Bombarde       pf
    III-V  Kleinmixtur          245               4' Clairon               pf
  VI-VIII  Plein Jeu            427
        8' Trompette Harmonique  61
        4' Clairon Harmonique    12

Source: Allen Kinzey

Photos 1-3 Source: Jeff Scofield

Photo 4 Source: C Z Sound

Notes: Sacred Heart Church is located in the affluent Shadyside section of Pittsburgh, directly across the street from Calvary Episcopal Church, with its IV/142 Casavant.

The gothic nave is of cathedral size – very lofty and reverberant. The organ was originally planned for 95 ranks, but only 33 ranks were installed, according to the OHS Opus List. An Antiphonal division was installed as Op. 855-A in 1957. Some more stops must have been added along the way. The main organ chambers, located in the chancel, are hidden by drapes. The choir is divided on each side of the chancel and the console is on the left side facing toward the nave. The console cabinet is quite interesting – it picks up the unique design of the choir stalls. A gentleman who was practicing at the time of my visit was quite helpful with details about the organ, to the extent of his knowledge, and did a good demo for me. He mentioned that the drawknobs, couplers and pistons were replaced by Allen knobs, couplers and pistons a few years back. The console now has a solid row of pistons under each manual, with no road signs whatsoever.

The organ sounded excellent - very English.  The Antiphonal and the Trompette Harmonique were quite effective.

The contract was signed with Skinner, but the organ was completed as an Aeolian-Skinner.

Console replaced c.2006 with console from Op. 991 (Broadway Tabernacle, New York City)

Organ Historical Society Database: http://database.organsociety.org/SingleOrganDetails.php?OrganID=23701