TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
9th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music 

Organs in Trinity College Dublin

There are three organs extant which have connections with Trinity College, Dublin.

The Chapel

 

The present Chapel organ was built in 1968 by the London based firm J W Walker using the original (though enlarged) Green case. The consultant and designer was Ralph Downes who was at the forefront of the British organ revival movement.. He stated that he was trying to produce the smallest possible three manual instrument which would fit authentically into the old case and also provide a really comprehensive range tonally. However, the organ did not fit into Greenís case which was extended to accommodate the instrument. A pedal department was provided which was absent on the Green instrument. The high mixtures and robust reeds give the organ a very strong character and they could hardly be more different to the delicate tone of Greenís instrument. 

Samuel Green built the first organ for the current Chapel Building at a cost of 500 guineas. It was completed in 1797 and as Green died in 1796, it is likely that this organ was completed by his widow Sarah and his foreman Benjamin Blyth. The great and swell departmens of this organ were moved to Durrow parish church in 1838, and William Teleford added a new choir organ and pedal organ at Durrow. This instrumenmt is virtually untouched since then. Until the 1990ís, only a couple of stops were sounding and it was still hand-blown. Trevor Crowe has undertaken some initial restoration of the organ and the organ is now reproducing a sound not far from its eighteenth century origins.

The orinal stop list is 
 
Great
Open Diapason
Stop Diapason
Principal
Twelth
Fifteenth
Sesquialtra
Cornet
Trumpet
Swell
Open Diapason
Dulciana
Stop Diapason
Principal
Cornet
Hautboy
Choir
Stop Diapason
Dulciana
Principal
Fifteenth

 

The Public Theatre

The oldest surviving material is the case of the organ in the Public Theatre of the College.  This case is thought to be by Lancelot Pease who came to Ireland in the post restoration period, taking a place as a Vicar Choral in Christ Church Cathedral in 1667. A contract for his organ at Trinity is dated 1684 and the stop list was:
Diapason, mettle
Principal, mettle
Diapason, wood
Flute, wood
15 mettle
15 mettle
furniture
cornett
This organ predates the both the Public Theathre and the present Chapel building and it was probably housed in an earlier Chapel building.

This one manual organ was rebuilt in 1701 in Peaseís case by the Frenchman and former apprentice to Renatus Harris, Jean-Baptiste Cavaille (or Cuvaille) who added a second manual. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the existing pipework and mechanism was replaced by the Irish organ builder, William Teleford with further additions by Willis this century.

The magnificent case is the crowning glory of the Public Theatre and it is hoped that a full-scale restoration will be possible in the near future.

 



Last updated on 16 February 2000 by Yo Tomita