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Instruments used in connexion with the project

The following is the specification of the hypothetical instrument from which the registration used in the performing edition will be drawn. Sorabji’s organ music is vast in concept and this is an instrument to match. The organ presented here is firmly rooted in the English Romantic tradition and is in no way an eclectic instrument. Sorabji wrote warmly of such instruments in his reviews of recitals at the Royal Albert Hall and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. However his music is of tremendous communicative force and withstands interpretation on instruments belonging to schools far removed from this and on instruments very much smaller. There is no instance in which more than three manuals is absolutely essential although he himself wrote always for five. The First Organ Symphony has been performed with success on quite a small three manual neoclassical mechanical instrument with compasses of only 56 and 30 notes.

Apart from the size of the stoplist perhaps a couple of the more extravagant features need justification. First the extension of the compasses at the top end. The final moments of the first movement of the Second Organ Symphony climb to a final chord reaching up to top E, 65. It would be exhilarating to really hear this but little is lost by transposing the top notes down an octave. The music is quite playable on the conventional 61 notes compass. The same for the pedal. In the same movement Sorabji writes an agile pedal part rising to top G sharp and A. However the substitution of F sharp and G is equally successful.

Secondly, the stoplist in the pedal suggestions the construction of the world’s second genuine 64 foot reed. Actually only B below the present bottom note is required. All will be made obvious when interested parties see the final chord of the Third Organ Symphony...

Kevin Bowyer

5 manuals, C-E (65 notes). Pedals C-A (34 notes)

Great - 23 Stops

Double Open Diapason 16'  
Bourdon 16'  
Open Diapason no 1 8'  
Open Diapason no 2 8'  
Open Diapason no 3 8'  
Gamba 8'  
Claribel Flute 8'  
Stopped Diapason 8'  
Quint 5 1/3'  
Octave 4'  
Principal 4'  
Gemshorn 4'  
Harmonic Flute 4'  
Tenth 3 1/5'  
Twelfth 2 2/3'  
Super Octave 2'  
Fifteenth 2'  
Seventeenth 1 3/5'  
Mixture ( V  
Fourniture ( V  
Double Trumpet 16'  
Trumpet 8'  
Clarion 4'  
Swell to Great    
Choir to Great    
Solo to Great    
Echo to Great    
Great and Pedal Pistons Coupled
Great Sustain*    

Swell (enclosed) 22 Stops

Contra Salicional 16'  
Lieblich Bourdon 16'  
Geigen Diapason 8'  
Lieblich Gedact  8'  
Salicional 8'  
Vox Angelica (from FF) 8'  
Octave 8'  
Salicet 4'  
Lieblich Flöte 4'  
Nazard 2 2/3'  
Fifteenth 2'  
Lieblich Piccolo 2'  
Seventeenth 1 3/5'  
Sesquialtera ( V  
Mixture ( V  
Contra Hautboy 16'  
Hautboy 8'  
Krummhorn 8'  
Vox Humana  8'  
Waldhorn 16'  
Cornopean 8'  
Clarion 4'  

Super Octave


Sub Octave


Unison Off


Solo to Swell


Echo to Swell


Swell sustain*


Choir (enclosed) - 18 stops

Quintaton 16'  
Violin Diapason 8'  
Viola 8'  
Claribel Flute 8'  
Dulciana 8'  
Unda Maris (from FF) 8'  
Octave Viola 4'  
Suabe Flute 4'  
Nazard 2 2/3'  
Octavin 2'  
Tierce 1 3/5'  
Dulciana Mixture ( V  
Bass Clarinet 16'  
Baryton 16'  
Corno di Bassetto 8'  
Cor Anglais 8'  
Trompette 8'  


Super Octave    
Sub Octave    
Unison Off    

Swell to Choir


Solo to Choir


Echo to Choir


Choir sustain*


Solo (enclosed) - 19 stops

Bourdon 16'  
Contra Viole            16'  
Viole d'Orchestre 8'  
Viole de Gambe 8'  
Violes Célèstes (from FF) 8'  
Flûte Harmonique 8'  
Octave Viole 4'  
Concert Flute 4'  
Violette 2'  
Piccolo Harmonique 2'  
Cornet des Violes (10.12.15) III  
Cor Anglais 16'  
Orchestral Clarinet 8'  
Orchestral Oboe 8'  


French Horn 8'  
Contra Tuba 16'  
Tuba Minor 8'  
Tuba Magna 8' (unenclosed)  
Tuba Clarion 4'  

Super Octave


Sub Octave


Unison Off


Echo to Solo


Solo sustain*


Echo (enclosed) - 21 stops

Echo Bourdon 16'  
Contra Salicional 16'  
Open Diapason 8'  
Lieblich Gedackt 8'  
Echo Gamba 8'  
Vox Angelica (from FF) 8'  
Fugara 4'  
Octave Gamba 4'  
Octave Vox Angelica 4'  
Flute 4'  
Nazard 2 2/3'  
Flageolet 2'  
Tierce 1 3/5'  
Septième 1 1/7'  
Duliana Mixture (15.19.22) III  
Echo Bassoon 16'  
Bass Euphone 16' (free reed)  
Echo Trumpet 8'  
Echo Hautboy 8'  
Euphone 8' (free reed)  
Octave Hautboy 4'  



Super Octave


Sub Octave


Unison Off


Echo sustain*


Pedal - 34 stops (6 borrowed from manuals)

Gravissima (ext.) 64'  
Double Open Diapason (ext.) 32'  
Double Open Wood (ext.) 32'  
Sub Bourdon (ext.) 32'  
Quint (borrowed) 21 1/3'  
Open Metal 16'  
Open Wood 16'  
Violone 16'  
Geigen (from Swell) 16' (enclosed)  
Sub Bass 16'  
Lieblich Bourdon (from Swell) 16' (enclosed)  
Quint 10 2/3'  
Principal 8'  
Octave Wood (ext.) 8'  
Violoncello 8'  
Flute 8'  
Tierce 6 2/5'  
Nazard 5 1/3'  
Septième 4 4/7'  
Fifteenth 4'  
Octave Flute 4'  
Mixture (15.19.22) III  
Fourniture ( IV  
Hautboy (from Swell) 16' (enclosed)  
Bass Clarinet (from Choir)      16' (enclosed)  
Waldhorn (from Swell) 16' (enclosed)  
Octave Waldhorn (from Swell) 8' (enclosed)  
Contra Bombarde (ext.) 64'  
Contra Bombarde 32'  
Contra Trombone (ext) 32' (enclosed in Swell box)  
Ophicleide 16'  
Trombone 16' (enclosed in Swell box)  
Clarion 8'  
Octave Clarion 4'  

Great to Pedal


Swell to Pedal


Choir to Pedal


Solo to Pedal


Solo Octave to Pedal


Echo to Pedal


Pedal Divide


12 Divisional pistons to each department

12 General pistons

Multiple memory levels


Reversible thumb pistons for all unison couplers.

Reversible toe pistons for Great to Pedal and Swell to Great.

Sequencer/Stepper with all usual Advance buttons for hands and feet.
Two Back buttons for hands, one Back button for feet.

*Sustain: When drawn, a note or chord on the manual in question remains sounding when struck until another note or chord is played on that manual, allowing figuration to be played on a separate manual against a sustained sound on another. The effect would be rather like that achieved by the 3rd pedal on the piano.


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