Our Organs

Sanctuary Organ

Th. Frobenius & Sønner, op. 765, 1972

This organ was the first large Danish organ and the first (and still largest) by the Frobenius firm imported to the United States; since that time three other Frobenius organs have been installed in California, Florida and upstate New York. Since its installation it has been featured in recitals by such artists as Finn Viderø, Mireille Lagacé and E. Power Biggs; in two national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, played by Roberta Gary in 1976 and Peter Sykes in 1990; and in tours by the Gesellschaft der Orgelfreunde of Germany and the American Institute of Organbuilders.

Its tonal design reflects an eclectic, neo-classic ideal, with a stoplist including German, French, Italian, and Spanish elements encompassing three centuries of organbuilding history. It features open-toed voicing of pipes of high tin content, steady wind,and equal temperament; the tonal regulation is unusually meticulous. The stoplist is unique in having exactly the same number of stops on every division; the console design is patterned after the organs of Cavaillé-Coll, with manual order (from the bottom) Great-Positiv-Swell and terraced drawknob layout. There are 40 stops and f55 ranks, the number of pipes totaling 2,949. The mechanical key action is constructed entirely of wood. The facade design mirrors exactly the internal arrangements; the manual chest layouts are in tritones, the pedal chest layout in minor thirds. The case is of pine, measuring 21'x 21'.

Restoration work performed by the Frobenius firm in the early fall of 1995 included a thorough cleaning and through-tuning, a completely new stop action and SSL combination action, tonal re-regulation, and general mechanical refurbishing, including refelting, regulation and new pedal keys. 

The organ is played an average of six hours each day by students from the Longy School of Music and Boston University. The organ is featured in a CD recording on the Conch Classics label entitled “Organ Music of Bach and Franck,” performed by James Johnson, Music Director of First Church from 1972 to 1977.

To hear audio samples of our organ, played by Peter Sykes, Director of Music, please visit our Listen (Music Clips) page.

LINDSAY CHAPEL ORGAN

The organ in Lindsay Chapel was built for the Clark family of Weston in 1973 by the Noack Organ Company of Georgetown. It was moved to the Chapel in June of 2010 initially for display purposes and was subsequently purchased by First Church. It has three stops, three ranks of pipes on one manual, with a permanently coupled 30-note flat pedalboard, and is tuned in the Valotti temperament at A-440.

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