CATANIA (Italy) – S.Agata Cathedral
Our Company is back in Sicily – Catania ten years after our restoration, in 2004, of the great organ built by Donato Del Piano in the church of St. Nicolò La Rena. The new challenge was to rebuild the organ of the Cathedral that was originally commissioned by Cardinal Joseph Benedict Dusmet to the French organbuilder Nicolas Théodore Jaquot in 1877. The instrument, with three manuals, was relocated from the choir in the apse to the balcony on the main entrance and enlarged in 1926 by the Italian builders ‘Laudani e Giudici’. The work carried out in 1926 included the complete reconstruction of the organ with the replacement of the original Jaquot windchests, a new pneumatic transmission operated by a new console.
After a preliminary inspection we found an important presence of original Jaquot pipes alongside new stops by Laudani e Giudici.
Taking into account the various options, it was decided to revert back to the origins: rebuilding the mechanical tracker action instrument but at the same time maintaining the new stops added in 1926 by Laudani e Guidici.
We decided to place the old French pipes on independent windchests with independent wind supply. The newer pipes (1926) are also placed on mechanical slider chests.
The organist can chose to use only the French stops or to play the whole organ.
Starting from these historic-artistic choices, we faced a great technical challenge: the design of a fully mechanical instrument with independent windchests respecting the original features.
This means that each manual has double windchests: the Jaquot pipes are placed on traditional slider chests, while those from Laudani e Giudici are placed on mechanical windchests with special servo-assisted valves.
The stop action is mechanical and, due to its complexity, employs a very refined technique with the application of innovative solutions already found in the sailing field. To assist the organists, it was decided to combine the traditional mechanical action with a solid-state system with memories for adjustable combinations. Even in this case, an innovative technique was adopted. This is capable of ensuring fluidity, low noise and synchronism in the movement of the transmissions, very useful in problematic environments where climatic conditions can be particularly difficult. The console, newly built, has three keyboards of 58 keys (C-a”’) and 30 pedals (C-f”).
The instrument has more than 3.000 pipes.
3 keyboards with 58 keys (C-a) – pedalboard with 30 pedals (C-f)
|Keyboard I – GREAT ORGAN Jaquot|
|9.||Forniture 4/6 rangs||2′|
|10.||Basson – Hautbois||8′|
|Keyboard I – GREAT ORGAN Laudani e Giudici|
|16.||Ripieno 3 file||1.1/3′|
|Keyboard III – CLAVIER DE BOMBARDE Jaquot|
|33||Cornet 5 rangs||8′|
|45.||I al Ped|
|46.||II al Ped|
|47.||III al Ped|
|48.||III al I|
|49.||II al I|
|Keyboard II – RECITATIVO ESPR. Jaquot|
|Keyboard II – RECITATIVO ESPR. Laudani e Giudici|
|30.||Ripieno 5 file||2′|
|PEDAL – Jaquot|
|PEDAL – Laudani e Giudici|