Voicing the Organ/Cleveland in Concert 

April 21, 2015

Many in the congregation have asked the question, "What does voicing mean? and  “How long will it take?” The process of voicing is a very important part of our organ project and the process began last week. 

Most of the organ pipes are in place now behind the façade you can see from the congregation.  Voicing is the act of adjusting an organ pipe so that it conforms to the standards of tone and pitch and color to conform to Plymouth acoustics. Voicing 3,500 pipes takes about six months.

I’m very happy Fisk has engaged Bertrand Cattiaux from France, who was responsible for overseeing the restoration of the organ at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. This is exciting, as our instrument is designed in the great 19th Century French romantic tradition of organ builder Cavaille-Coll.  Working with other voicers from Fisk, Bertrand helps guide them in the unique voicing style of the French romantic tradition.  Beginning Sunday, April 26, I will play on two or three sets of pipes. Every Sunday for the next couple of months, I will then demonstrate a set (or stop) of pipes that have recently been voiced.

The question,“What is unique about a French romantic organ?” came up several times. In the 19th century, the symphony orchestra grew much larger in size and scale. Parisian builder Cavaille-Coll revolutionized organ building in France, imitating sounds of the 19th Century orchestra. In the baroque period, organs were built to play the great polyphonic music of Bach, whereas 19th century organs of France were designed to play the more homophonic orchestral music of composers such as Cesar Franck and Charles Marie Widor. Right away, you will hear in the new Plymouth UCC organ round rich tones that will speak beautifully into our new acoustic. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project!

Doug Cleveland  

Hear Doug Cleveland perform on the Fisk organ in Benaroya Hall Monday May 11 at 7:30 pm

Hear Doug Cleveland perform on the Fisk organ 7:30 pm Monday, May 11, in Benaroya Hall. In anticipation Plymouth's Fisk organ, listen to Doug on the Watjen Concert Organ. Doug will be joined by Benjamin Lulich, newly appointed Seattle Symphony Principal Clarinet. A block of tickets has been donated to Plymouth UCC to encourage everyone to attend. Seats are located in the center of the hall, which Doug recommends for optimal sound. Several pairs of aisle seats are also available. Tickets are normally $20, however these were purchased at a favorable group rate of $10. Tickets are available at the church office in return for a donation to Plymouth Church. Donations made to Plymouth UCC in excess of the $10.00 face value may be tax deductible.


George Frideric Handel: Concerto in B-flat major, Op. 4, No. 2

Nicolaus Bruhns: Praeludium in G major

J.S. Bach: The Schiibler Chorales

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Fantasia in F minor, K. 608

Joseph Jongen: Scherzetto

Joseph Jongen: Toccata

Edward Elgar: Imperial March

Henry Mollicone: Elegy for Organ and Clarinet (World Premiere)

Ned Rorem: View from the Oldest House: Sunday Night

William Albright: From Organbook III: Nocturn, Jig for the Feet

Marcel Dupre: Deux Esquisses, Op. 41

Topics: Church Life, Events


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