Opus 615 of the organ maker Casavant & Frères. Built in 1915 and inaurated on September 26th of that same year, the instrument has gone through a major restoration in 1995 under the supervision of its resident organist, Jacques Boucher.
Following the 1911 fire that destroyed the first organ and part of the church, the organ maker Casavant & Frères submits a plan for an even bigger organ, including a second smaller organ that would be installed in the church’s sanctuary.
Both organs are built in 1915 and inaugurated on Septembre 26th of that same year by the church’s resident organist, the organist and composer Alexis Contant. The great organ is known still today as one of the most remarkable instruments of North-American organ building.
The contract for construction of the organ was negociated in 1914 for the amount of $22 000. Added to this amount was another $2 200 for the cabinetry, also built by Casavant according to the plans of architect Claude St-Jean. Also, extra amounts have been allocated for the four angel statues that top the great organ, achieved by the sculptor Rho.
In 1995, a major restoration was required after 80 years of continuous service. The restoration gave to the thousands of pipes of the Casavant organ a harmony that serves with great joy the repertoire of the French symphonic literature without leaving aside the richness of five centuries of organ repertoire. The restoration was achieved under the supervision of resident organist Jacques Boucher, supported by organists Antoine Bouchard, Christopher Jackson and Antoine Reboulot who acted as consultants.
The restoration also allowed to modernize the console of the great organ. By doing so, it was also connected to the sanctuary organ, allowing to control both instruments at the same time.
Soon after its inauguration, the organ quickly became a reference instrument and a symbol of the ingeniosity of Québec’s organ build engineering skills.
Enriched by a perfectly clear acoustic that advantages its music, this great instrument has inspired a highly respected artistic life while keeping an essential role in the local culture.
Many programs produced by the Société Radio-Canada (French division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) as well as the production of a large discography that received great honours have greatly contributed to the important presence or this organ on many continents.
- Four keyboards, five divisions, pedals
- 68 stops, 92 ranks
- Electro-pneumatic key and stop action
- The console is equipped with a digital sequencer
- The great organ’s console is also connected to the sanctuary organ, allowing to play both instruments at the same time
|Great organ||Swell (enclosed)|
|Flûte harmonique||8’||Flûte harmonique||8’|
|Bourdon||8’||Viole de gambe||8’|
|Flûte ouverte||4’||Flûte traverse||4’|
|Positive (enclosed)||Solo (enclosed)|
|Flûte à cheminée||8’||Violoncelle||8’|
|Flûte douce (à fuseau)||4’||Piccolo (harmonique)||2’|
|Flûte||2’||Clochettes 1 1/3’, 1’ harmoniques||II|
|Plein jeu harmonique||II-V||Musette||8’|
|Grand cornet 16’||V||Flûte (6 polyphones)||32’|
|Cornet 8’||V||Flûte ouverte||16’|