Pipe Organs of Durham and the North East
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University College Chapel, Durham
University College is sited in Durham's Norman castle and is the oldest college in the University, founded in 1832.
The organ in the Chapel originates from the Father Smith instrument in the Cathedral, built in 1667. In 1873 the Smith organ, by this time on the floor east of the choir stalls in the Cathedral Choir, was dismantled. Most was stored and ultimately the pipework and working parts lost, but the Chair organ was acquired and installed by Harrison & Harrison on the west gallery behind the old Smith Chair case in University College's Tunstall Chapel . The overal structure, three stop Great, Pedal, and action were all new, but the previous Cathedral Chair organ formed a Swell division in a new box.
|Open Diapason||8'||Open Diapason *||8'||Lieblich Bourdon||16'|
|Lieblich Gedact||8'||Stopped Diapason $||8'||Great to Pedal|
|Harmonic Flute||4'||Dulciana $||8'||Swell to Pedal|
|Swell to Great||Bell Gamba *||8'|
# Smith 1685
^ Snetzler 1765
$ Bishop 1844
* Bishop 1859
In 1925 Harrison & Harrison rebuilt the instrument in its "multum in parvo" style, with standard console and fittings, as follows:-
|Contra Dulciana||16'||Lieblich Gedact||8'||Sub Bass||16'|
|Open Diapason||8'||Salicional||8'||Great to Pedal|
|Claribel Flute||8'||Lieblich Flute||4'||Swell to Pedal|
|Swell to Great|
The organ was refurbished and the specification was changed again, to that found today, by Brian Brighton on behalf of J.W.Walker in 1981, with the pipework for the Fifteenth and Octave Geigen derived from the previous Contra Dulciana and Salicional respectively. Further refurbishment work has been undertaken in 2005.
|Open Diapason||8'||Lieblich Gedact||8'||Sub Bass||16'|
|Claribel Flute||8'||Flute [old]||4'||Great to Pedal|
|Octave [old]||4'||Octave Geigen||4'||Swell to Pedal|
|Fifteenth [part old]||2'||Oboe||8'|
|Swell to Great|
|This instrument, with its delightful carved and
painted 17th century casework, is quite sufficient for the small Tunstall
Chapel of University College. The Great Open is typically bold, and must
be used with care - the 4' and 2' stops are smaller, forming a bright,
prompt speaking chorus. The rich Claribel Flute allows a useful smaller
foundation for the chorus, but is a fine solo voice as well.
On the Swell, the Walker work in 1981 sought to afford greater independence and versatily - the Gedact and Geigen forming a good secondary ensemble which matches the Great Flute and Principal ideally. The second 4', a Flute, is an old rank with chimneys. The Oboe is mediocre (known affectionately as The Duck by organists in the College)- its rather rough tone is not the finest known, but with use of the Swell enclosure it can be tamed.
The Pedal Sub Bass is just adequate to support the manual pipework, although it does lose its effect further down in the Chapel - from the console it sounds fine. This rank is sited to the left (south) side of the instrument, behind the curtains. The console is on the north side of the instrument, accessed from the Castle stairs.
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