The new organ in Appleton Chapel is nearing completion, and will be ready for use on December 18. The organ proper is already finished, some minor matters of adjustment and tuning being all that remain before it can be used. The instrument has been placed in the balcony opposite the platform, and is as large a one as could possibly be installed. It is a notable embodiment of the latest advances in the art of organ construction, combining the highest artistic results in voicing and tonal beauty with the greatest skill in mechanical and electrical details.
In designing an organ careful consideration is necessary for the size, shape and physical conditions of the auditorium which it is to fill, and the particular place which it is to occupy. The tonal scale was fixed in accordance with these conditions, and the danger in such a large organ of making the tone oppressively heavy and overpowering successfully avoided. Yet the life, buoyancy and moving power of the mass of tone has been abundantly maintained. Those in charge of the work declare that the aim of furnishing the Chapel with an instrument worthy of its environment, broad in scope and varied in resource, has been fully realized.
An important feature is the operation of the swell shutters by a form of electro-pneumatic engine perfected by Mr. Ernest M. Skinner, the builder. It affords an extraordinary command of the swell shades, giving no trace of sudden or erratic movement when the folds are opened. This swell engine is regarded by its inventor as the greatest single advance in the mechanism of the modern organ.
The action is electro-pneumatic, an extremely delicate one capable of developing great speed. Indeed, the mechanism of the finest grand piano is far slower and less responsive than that of this type of organ.
Great care has been observed in so voicing the stops that each shall blend with the other without losing its own individuality. The aim of the builders has been toward flexibility and virility. The orchestral oboe, English horn, and the clarinet are unusually good reproductions or their orchestral prototypes. The diapasons are sonorous, the reeds commanding and brilliant, the strings crisp and represented in great variety.
The better characteristics of the organs of an earlier time have been retained and combined with the more distinctive qualities of the modern organ. This instrument of 25 stops is more varied in its resources than one of 50 stops built on the plan of twenty years ago. The stops of the modern organ combine so much more beautifully that they are much richer in effect, and more varied in their range of expression