St Joachim's Catholic Church
cnr John and Keating Streets, Lidcombe
Pinchi 1985 (2/16 mechanical)
Dr Kelvin Hastie writes (SOJ June/July 1985):
The instrument was installed to mark the centenary of the foundation of the Parish and was blessed by Bishop P. Murphy on April 1, 1985. Following celebration of the Eucharist, an inaugural recital was given by Nello Catarcia (organist of the Duomo in Orvieto, Italy) and David Rumsey (from the Department of Organ and Church Music at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music).
The instrument is unlike the 1984 Smithfield Pinchi in several ways - the layout of departments, the manual and pedal compasses, the console arrangements, the specification and voicing treatment are all different, although both instruments are of 16 speaking stops and mechanical action. In terms of layout and specification, the Lidcombe organ closely follows the postwar "orgelbewegung" pattern which employs separate cases for each department. The use of the northern European Rückpositiv (literally "back positive" located at the edge of the gallery has solved the problem posed by the low rose window. Interestingly, this is only the fourth modern Sydney organ to employ this feature - the others being located at the Great Hall, the Conservatorium and tbe Opera House.
The pipes for Manual II (Great) are located in the left case and those for the pedal on the right. The console is centrally located and by using a mirror the organist can see over the Rückpositiv to the front of the nave and altar. The casework is constructed an Olmo, an Italian hardwood and the pipes of the outermost towers are of flamed copper. It is pleasing that all parts of the instrument are readily accessible for maintenance and tuning and one can walk around the organ to view all sections through several doors. Unusually the Great manual is the upper manual of the two.
The pipework is of largely standard deslgn, although the reeds are worthy of special note. The pedal Fagotto, as at Smithfield, is a full-length example in wood and the Regale, a stop of great charm, is also wooden. It sits at the rear of the Rückpositiv to provide easy tuning access. The pipes fit directly into the soundboard, using the top of it to form part of the ''boot'' of each pipe. The tuning wires protrude from the centre of each pipe and there is also a small metal hood used for tuning as well. The Manuale II Tromba, unlike its Smithfield counterpart, is metal and produces a less strident tone. All open metal pipes in the organ are cone tuned.
The instrument ls very powerful, the full organ being particularly loud in the gallery. The Manuale II Mixture (Quattro do ripieno IV) has a prominent quint content which is not to the liking of all, but is a characteristlc of the twentieth-century Italianate style. Many useful combinations are provided an the wide range of flute registers, although the Flautino 2' belonging to Manuale I is more like a principal In its tone.
This fine instrument (Pinchi 0p.369) is a welcome addition to our famlly of organs. Other organs built recently by this firm are instruments in Foligno, Babbice Mare, St Floriano di Castelfranco Veneto, Lecce, Campobasso (all in Italy), Fleurus (Belgium), and in Bucharest (Romania).
Clearly the return to the use of mechanical action in new organs has not only revived many skills of fine craftsmanship (generally lacking in the era when electric action was exclusively used) but has also revived confidence in the pipe organ and its promise of longevity. The growing healthy attitude to pipe organs and good church muslc in our Catholic Churches is very encouraging.
(Photos above: Brett McKern Oct 2015)
The specification is:
Flauto a camino
Quattro do Ripieno
(by hitch pedals)
Mechanical action throughout.
Total number of pipes = 1,048
a Translated as ''chimney flute''.
b Literally ''fifteenth"
c Translated as ''bourdon made from wood"