The Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Provincetown is fortunate to have a fully functioning historic 1850 Edwin Holbrook organ, restored and renovated by Stephen J. Russell & Co. in 2001.
Notes and specifications from the restoration and renovation.
Two manuals and a pedal.
Wind pressure: 2 ¾”
Pitch: A=440 at 72 degrees
GREAT. 56 note compass (bottom manual).
Diapason 8′, big and bright.
Melodia 8 and stopped flute bass, a little louder and cleaner than before, otherwise very sweet for a Melodia.
Dulciana 8 tf, soft and typical, use with flute bass.
Viola 8 tf, medium strength string – gemshorn tone, use with flute bass.
Flute 4’, small-scale Rohrflute, very nice.
Principal 4′, normal scale and average volume, somewhat bright tone.
Twelfth 2 2/3′, typical, a bit brighter than before.
Fifteenth 2′, typical, perky.
Tierce 1 3/5, new addition, bright, matches twelfth for English chamber organ sesquialtera tone.
SWELL. 56 note compass (labeled “Choir” for
couplers and stop names) (top manual)
Diapason 8′ tc, big and bright (same scale as Great) but more distant due to placement; use with flute bass.
Rohrflute 8’, and flute bass (1-12). A nice rohrflute for the period.
Dulciana 8, a fairly big string (for the period), a nice balance to the Great Viola.
Principal 4’, somewhat narrow scale, bright; works well with either Gt 8′.
Twelfth 2 2/3, very narrow in the bass but normal in the treble; somewhat bright, stringy voicing.
Fifteenth, same description as Twelfth.
Oboe 8′, The only reed in the organ; much better than before; re-worked by Dave Broome.
Tremulant, historic construction after Dom Bedos (a Holbrook original!); speed and depth varies with demand.
PEDAL. 27 note compass (originally 18).
Position Middle C manual over Tenor C pedal (typical older tracker). Flat, not radiating, Pedal keyboard.
Open Wood. 16 A wind hog; don’t hold double pedal with full organ and fistfuls of notes for a long time or it might run out of wind.
SubBass. 16 added Steere pipes medium volume.
Bourdon. 8 extension of Subbass by transmission of wind; low cut and slightly articulate.
Balanced Swell pedal in normal location, over E-F in pedal tenor
Pedal keyboard placed in a position typical of AGO 2 manual consoles. Fairly comfortable to play. No sense of falling off the bench.
Pitch is a t A=440 at 72 degrees.
Ted Gilbert performed most of the re-voicing & regulation. The organ retains a typical early American tonal quality, though somewhat brighter than the later 19th century work we are accustomed to hearing. The key action is very comfortable for an old tracker without couplers. With Swell to Great engaged, it does take a bit of work to play. The action is the same as the original Holbrook.
Key aspects of the historically sensitive renovation in 2001: