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December 1st, 2009 - New Organ for St Patrick's Huddersfield
New Organ for St Patrick's Huddersfield

Anton Skrabl was chosen to build the new organ in St Patrick's Church Huddersfield after a lengthy tendering process where builders from across Europe were invited to submit their proposals. The Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds, Benjamin Saunders together with the church's organ consultant, Dr John Rowntree and the parish priest, Fr Ian Smith to made several visits to see the most recent examples of new organs by Skrabl in Austria and Slovenia. The client wanted the firm to build an organ very much in their house style rather than an imitation of any other national school, especially since their voicing is in sympathy with the singing style of the best accompanimental organs in England.

St Patrick's, has a lively choral tradition (part of the Leeds Cathedral outreach programme), and the new organ is equipped with plenty of cantabile style foundation work which supports the congregation as well as the intelligent ears of the church's boys' and adult choirs. As a recital instrument, furnished with the classical colours of cornet, cromhorne, trompette and posaune, it has received favourable comparisons with other European organs installed in England this year from individual experts and professional bodies. The colourful flutes and warm principals are further enhanced through a mild deviation from equal temperament, that of tuning of the English theorist, Thomas Young.

The organ has a tall solid oak case with sympathetic pipe shades, and is complemented with an ergonomically outstanding console inlaid with ebony and bone. To minimise any maintenance expense for future generations, the mechanical key action is mirrored with a mechanical stop and coupling mechanism. Skrabl also undertook the refurbishment and re-flooring of the entire organ gallery, giving a great aesthetic unity to the building and integration of the new material with the old. It is easy to use the language of superlatives, but here they are sincere and deserved: one would need to travel far, and search hard to find a more musically voiced classical organ in England.

Further information can be found here.


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