Abbotsleigh Girls' School
Pacific Highway, Wahroonga

West & Pemmer 1992 (2/28 mechanical)







From SOJ August/September 1990, June/July 1992, Summer 1994-95

For a 10 page paper on the project of creating a "Bach" organ at Abbotsleigh, please click here to view a scanned version of David Rumsey's article published in the June/July 1992 Sydney Organ Journal.

The Abbotsleigh organ was built by the partnership of Josef Pemmer of Austria and expatriate Australian, Rowan West who was responsible for the scaling, pipe design and construction, and voicing. David Rumsey acted as the supervising consultant.

Rowan West served an apprenticeship with Roger H. Pogson and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1975 to study his art in Europe. From 1979 to 1986 he was a voicer with Klais. He qualified as a master organ builder in 1987.

Josef Pemmer began his career working with Gregor Hradetsky in 1971. He also worked with the Hradetsky team on the Sydney Opera House organ in 1978. He completed his organ building studies in 1980.

Great research was undertaken to ensure that the organ was built closely to Silbermann practices. The specification was designed taking into account the stop-list which Bach drew up for the church in Bad Berka in 1742/43. Beyond this, reference was made to other instruments known to have been associated with Bach and his music - Mühlhausen and Weimer Castle Church amongst others.

The specification is:

Great
Quintadena
Principal
Viola da Gamba
Rohrflöte
Octave
Gedackt
Quinte
Octave
Mixtur
Scharff
Fagott
Trompete

Positiv
Gedackt
Quintadena
Principal
Rohrflöte
Nazard
Octave
Terz
Scharff
Dulzian

Pedal
Subbass
Octave
Gedacktbass
Octave
Rauschpfeife
Posaune
Trompete

Couplers
Great to Pedal
Positiv to Pedal
Positiv to Great

Tremulant

16
8
8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2
III
II
16
8


8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2
1-3/5
III
8


16
8
8
4
II
16
8








Stop for steady wind
Electric as well as hand-operated wind supply

Pitch A = 440Hz

Tempering: Barnes

Compass 56/30

Flat, parallel pedalboard






Photos: Donn Mendoza (Oct 2009)