St. Matthias Catholic Church - Ridgewood (Queens), N.Y. (photo: Forgotten New York)
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St. Matthias Church
(Roman Catholic)

58-15 Catalpa Avenue
Ridgewood (Queens), N.Y. 11385
http://saintmatthiaschurch.net

Organ Specifications:
III/40 Casavant Frères, Op. 3573 (1983); rev.
• II/ Midmer-Losh Organ Company (1932) – Lower Church
III/37 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 568 (1925); enl. (1953)
II/10 A.B. Felgemaker, Op. 1168 (1913)
I/9 Henry Erben – relocated by Felgemaker as Op. 1033
               
1909 drawing of St. Matthias Catholic Church - Ridgewood (Queens), N.Y. (photo: Forgotten New York)  
In May of 1908, the Bishop of Brooklyn was travelling to Rome via ocean liner and had an inspiration to build a church in Ridgewood and name it after Matthias, one of the Apostles. In 1909, the first St. Matthias Church and School was built as an all-in-one building on Catalpa Avenue in Ridgewood, which is on the border between Brooklyn and Queens. In 1978, Ridgewood was officially given a postal zipcode in the borough of Queens.

  St. Matthias Catholic Church - Ridgewood (Queens), N.Y. (photo: Forgotten New York)
By 1917, St. Matthias was overflowing with parishoners, and plans were made for a larger church. Due to delays caused by World War I, the new church was finally completed in 1926. The school was then expanded to occupy the entire old building.

Originally built to serve immigrants from Germany, the church has evolved over the decades to include masses and services in German, Spanish, Polish and English.
               
Casavant Frères, Limitée
St. Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada – Opus 3573 (1983)
Electric-slider action
3 manuals, 31 stops, 40 ranks


In 1983, a new three-manual organ was installed by Casavant Frères of Canada. As originally built, the organ had 30 stops and 38 ranks. The instrument has electric-slider chest action controlled by a detached electric console. William Whitehead was the consultant and also played the dedicatory recital on November 13, 1983.

At some point, two independent ranks were added to the Pedal: a 16' Bordun and an 8' Gedacktflöte; both ranks are extended downward to provide pipes for the 32' Untersatz (which was originally a Resultant).
               
Hauptwerk (Manual I) – 56 notes, partially enclosed
16
  Bordun (wood)
56
2
  Gemshorn *
56
8
  Prinzipal
56
1 3/5
  Terz *
56
8
  Rohrflöte *
56
    Mixtur V ranks
280
4
  Oktave
56
8
  Trompete *
56
4
  Flöte *
56
    Tremulant  
2 2/3
  Nasat *
56
   
* enclosed
               
Schwellwerk (Manua II) – 56 notes, enclosed
8
  Gedackt
56
    Scharf IV ranks
224
8
  Salizional
56
16
  Dulzian
56
8
  Schwebung [TC]
44
8
  Oboe
56
4
  Prinzipal
56
4
  Clarine
56
2
  Octave
56
    Tremulant  
    Sesquialtera II ranks
112
       
               
Solowerk (Manual III) – 56 notes
8
  Festliche trompete [hi-press.]
56
       
               
Pedal – 30 notes
32
  Untersatz [orig. Resultant]
4
  Oktave
30
16
  Prinzipal
30
  Mixtur IV ranks
120
16
  Bordun + [orig. from HW]
37
32
  Posaune [L/2 ext.]
12
8
  Oktave
30
16
  Posaune
30
8
  Gedacktflöte +
40
8
  Trompete
30
           
+ add'l pipes comprise 32' Untersatz
Couplers
    Hauptwerk/Pedal (II-P)     Schwellwerk/Hauptwerk (III-II)
    Schwellwerk/Pedal (III-P)     Solowerk/Hauptwerk (I-II)
    Solowerk/Pedal (I-P)     Schwellwerk/Solowerk (III-I)
               
Adjustable Combinations
    5 to Hauptwerk (thumb)     5 General (thumb & toe)
    5 to Schwellwerk (thumb)     Cancel (thumb)
    5 to Pedal (toe)      
               
Balanced Pedals
    Hauptwerk Expression        
    Schwellwerk Expression        
               
Midmer-Losh Organ Company
Merrick, N.Y. (1932)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals


This organ, installed in the Lower Church, has been replaced by an Allen electronic instrument. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Op. 568 (1925); enlarged (1953)
"Electro-magnetic" action
3 manuals, 39 stops, 37 ranks


The Articles of Agreement (May 7, 1925) between J.H. & C.S. Odell and St. Matthias Church show that Odell would install a three-manual organ on or before November 14, 1925, for a consideration of $14,200. Odell installed the organ in chambers located on both sides of the art glass window in the church tower. The case was made of oak, finished to match church woodwork or furniture. In 1953, the Odell firm added a four-stop Positiv and chest.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
61
8
  Clarabella
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Second Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Dulciana
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Viol di Gamba
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flute Traverso
73
8
  Open Diapason
73
16
  Fagotta
73
8
  Stopped Diapason
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Viol d'Orchestre
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Dolce d'Amour
73
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
73
4
  Flute D'Amour
73
8
  Melodia
73
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Aeoline
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
    Tremulant  
               
Positiv Organ (playable from Swell, Great, Choir and Pedals) – 61 notes [added 1953]
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
2
  Doublette
61
1
  Flageolet
61
               
Pedal Organ – 5 stops – 32 notes [these stops are missing from available records]
16
  Double Open Diapason
44
8
  Flute [ext. Op. Diap.]
16
  Bourdon
32
8
  Cello
32
16
  Gedeckt
SW
     
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'       Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'  
    Swell to Pedal 8'       Great 16', 4'  
    Choir to Pedal 8'       Swell 16', 4', Unison Off  
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'       Choir 16', 4', Unison Off  
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'       Pedal 4'  
               
Combinations (visible and adjustable at Organ Bench)
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 operating on all stops of Swell Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 operating on all stops of Great Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 operating on all stops of Choir Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 operating on all stops of Pedal Organ
               
Full Organ Combinations
1-2-3-0 Three Pedal Pistons and Release adjustable to full organ combinations
               
    "In operating Pedal Pistons all stop action is automatically cancelled (without effecting the position of the stop registers) thereby allowing the performer to prepare in advance and while playing any combination desired which may be brought into operation at the desired moment by pressing Release Piston."  
               
Pedal Movements
    Crescendo Pedal       Balanced Swell Pedal  
    Sforzando Pedal Reversible       Balanced Choir Pedal  
    Great to Pedal Reversible          
               
Accessories
    Wind Indicator        
    Sforzando Indicator        
    Crescendo Indicator          
               
A. B. Felgemaker
Buffalo, N.Y. – Opus 1168 (1913)
Tubular-pneumatic action
Detached and reversed console
2 manuals, 10 stops, 10 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
8
  Melodia
61
8
  Viola da Gamba
61
4
  Principal
61
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Salicional
61
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
8
  Oboe
61
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Violoncello
30
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal       Swell to Swell 16', 4', Separation
    Swell to Pedal       All Couplers Off  
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'          
               
Combinations (visible adjustable)
    Great and Pedal organ          
    Swell and Pedal organ          
               
Pedal Movements
    Reversing Pedal – Great to Pedal coupler      
    Balanced Swell pedal          
    Balanced Crescendo pedal          
               
Accessories
    Tremolo       Organist's bench  
    Wind indicator       Water motor  
    Crescendo indicator       Pump handle  
               
Henry Erben
New York City
Mechanical action
1 manual, 9 stops, 7 ranks


The first known organ for St. Matthias' Church was originally built by Henry Erben of New York City for an unknown venue in Conneautville, Penn. This second-hand organ was relocated by A.B. Felgemaker (as Opus 1033) on September 10, 1909. The organ was powered by a water engine (also second-hand), which operated on 30 pounds of pressure.
               
Manual – 58 notes
8
  Viola [TC]
46
4
  Principal [TC]
46
8
  Dulciana [TC]
46
4
  Flute [TC]
46
8
  Melodia [TC]
46
4
  Octave Bass
12
8
  Stopped Diapason Bass
12
2
  Fifteenth
58
               
Pedal – 27 notes
16
  Bourdon
27
       
               
Coupler
    Manual to Pedal          
               
Dimensions
    Height: 9' 7"          
    Width: 12'          
    Depth: 13' 6"          
               
Sources:
     J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co. Articles of Agreement (May 7, 1925). Specification of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 568 (1925). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Kloda, Barry. Electronic correspondence (June 26, 2010) regarding added Pedal stops for Casavant Frères organ, Op. 3573 (1983).
     Kubler, Joseph C. Factory Specification of Casavant Frères organ, Op. 3573 (1983).
     Odell, Edward. Factory specification of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 568 (1925).
     Odell Organs opus list, compiled by Sand Lawn. Courtesy David Scribner.
     Tellers, Aaron (Tellers Organ Company). Specification of Henry Erben organ.
     Tellers, Aaron. Specification of Felgemaker Organ.
     The Times Newsweekly Archives (week of July 15, 2004). http://timesnewsweekly.com.

Illustrations:
     Forgotten New York web site: http://www.forgotten-ny.com