From the builder’s perspective:
“Why can’t all of our organs be just like this one?” This is typical of the comments I kept receiving from our craftsmen throughout the project. From the factory floor to the on-site installation, they loved this job. What made this project so special? It was the wonderful setting you provided for our work .It is said and truthfully so, that the most important stop on an organ is the room in which it is housed. We don’t very often get such a perfect situation – hence the comments from our peo ple. Just as a beautiful gem stone is enhanced by its setting, the tone of an organ is enhanced by the quality of the resonance in the room. Here we have an ideal com bination of resonance and clarity thanks to the excellent acoustical design.
We have spent a great deal of time studying the master organ builders’ work in England as well as here in the United States. We have taken beautiful sounds that are appropriate from all of these traditions and blended them into an American-style instrument. You will hear influences of French, German and English tone thus stretching the capability of the instrument to render various types of music.
Organ pipes do not have the ability to change their volume. The only way that can be accomplished is by placing pipes in a large box and opening and closing shut ters (like Venetian blinds) at the front of the box. This organ has four separate expression boxes. This allows an organist to play the softest voices at a nearly inaudible whisper and the loudest voices at a commanding level of noble power when needed.
Creating a pipe organ must be a partnership among builders, architects, consultants and the church if it is to be successful. The support we received here was invaluable.
From everyone at Schoenstein, we extend thanks for giving us the opportunity to make an instrument that we hope will be a source of continuing inspiration to the congregation for generations to come.
Jack M. Bethards,
Schoenstein & Co., San Francisco