The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, New York.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, New York.

Gothic Glory #1048

…a visit to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City to revisit the newly restored 146-rank Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ in this world’s largest Gothic landmark.

Hour 1

JOSEPH JONGEN: Toccata, Opus 81 –Marsha Heather Long; Koch CD-7008

ALEC WYTON: Fanfare –Marilyn Keiser; Pro Organo CD 7250

JOHANNES BRAHMS: 2 Chorale-preludes, Opus 122, Herzlich tut mich verlangen; Herzlich tut mich erfreuenThierry Escaich; Pro Organo CD 7250

DANIEL ROTH: Improvisaton on O Sons and DaughtersDaniel Roth; Pro Organo CD 7250

TRADITIONAL (arranged Paul Winter & Paul Halley): Golden Apples of the SunKaran Casey, vocal; Paul Winter, sax; Paul Halley, organ; Living Music LMUS0036

SIR EDWARD ELGAR (arranged by Conte): Enigma Selected Variations –Peter Richard Conte; Pro Organo CD 7250

Filler –TRADITIONAL: (see above)

Hour 2

JOHN DUNSTABLE (arranged by E. Power Biggs): Agincourt Hymn. LOUIS VIERNE: Prelude Number 5, from 24 Pieces in Free Style, Opus 31. MARCEL DUPRÉ: Final, from Seven Pieces, Opus 27 –Michael Murray; Telarc CD-80169

STEVE GORN/DOROTHY PAPADAKOS: Cedars of LebanonSteve Gorn, clarinet; Dorothy Papadakos, organ; Pro Organo CD 7116

NORMAN COKE-JEPHCOTT: Toccata on a National Air –Norman Coke-Jephcott; VOA 08

RICHARD WAGNER (arranged by Edwin H. Lemare): Parsifal Prelude –Anthony Newman; CBS/Sony LP 33268

LOUIS VIERNE (transcribed by Maurice Duruflé): Meditation –Marsha Heather Long; Koch CD-7008

OLIVIER LATRY: Improvisation on Ave maris stellaOlivier Latry; Pro Organo CD 7250

Filler –LOUIS VIERNE Meditation (see above)


This impressive, immense, and very famous Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, Opus 150A, from 1954 with 146-ranks and 8,514 individual pipes, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, is celebrated for its brilliant and opulent tone.

Following a disastrous fire on December 18, 2001, both the entire Cathedral interior and this musical masterpiece by organ architect G. Donald Harrison required a thorough cleaning. The organ also benefited from a concurrent restoration, work accomplished by the firm of Quimby Pipe Organs of Warrensburg, MO, in conjunction with Cathedral Organ Curator Douglas Hunt.

To understand the scope of such a project, and appreciate the myriad details that go together to make a pipe organ ‘possible’, read the full story and view the dozens of illustrative color photos. No wonder the pipe organ still, without question, is the King of Instruments!

The first recordings of the restored organ, From Ashes to Glory, have just been issued on the Pro Organo label in CD and DVD format.