St Benedict's Catholic Church
cnr Neville and Justin Streets, Smithfield

Pinchi 1984 (2/16 mechanical)


From SOJ June/July 1984, August/September 1985:

An Italian organ by Pinchi, was inaugurated at St Benedict's Catholic Shrine, Smithfield in 1984.

Whilst all stops use ltalian nomenclature, most names are self-explanatory. One of the unfamiliar names is Flauto a camino, "camino'' simply meanlng "chimney". Thus, the rank is the same as a chimney flute, or Rohrflöte, as it is often called. The Quattro di Ripieno Is a powerful four-rank mixture, the XIX-XXII being a mixture also, having two ranks.

Of great interest is the Voce Humana 8, not a reed, but a soft flue of principal tone, intended for use in combination with the Principale 8, providing an undulating effect. This stop has been used in many ltalian organs for centuries and its use in accompanying parts of the Mass is recorded in several early seventeenth century writings, including one by Constanzo Ategnati. a notable organbullder and musician of early Italian baroque times.

In general, the tonal design of the organ mostly follows the pattern set by other European builders of recent decades, the pleno sounds produced by this organ are not unlike the products from north of the Alps. However, the instrument does have a distinctive tonal flavour, undoubtedly affected by the use of materials and the scaling and voicing traditions employed by the Pinchi firm. The two reeds are of interesting construction, having aluminium boots and flared wooden resonators,the pedal Fagotto being full length to 16 feet. Briefly, some other tonal features include the Principale 8, a pleasant rank of singing quality; the delightful 8 and 4-foot flutes on the enclosed second manual (the Flauto 4 is a Spitzflöte), and the sparkling chorus of this division.

The casework is unusual but functional. The second manual divislon is enclosed behind glass shutters on the left (the swell effect is more successful than one might imagine). The flrst manual division is located above the console, and the pedal, with wooden Subbasso pipes forming the facade, as to the right. Some of the highly burnished front pipes have small inscriptions bearing the names of donors to the organ appeal. The exterior casework is of varnished mahogany, designed to match the church pews and most interior structures of the organ make extensive use of pine. The keyboards are made in ltalian boxwood and ebony and the suspended action employs some metal and plastic components set out in an unusual manner.

The full specification of the organ is set out below:

I MANUALE
Principale
Flauto a camino
Ottava
Flauto
Quattro di Ripieno 19.22.26.29
Voce Humana (T.C.)
Tromba 8'

II MANUALE
Bordone
Flauto
Principale
XIX-XXTI 19.22
Cornetto (T.C.) 12.15.17
Tremolo

PEDALE
Subbasso
Bordone
Basso Corale
Fagotto

COPPLERS (all by toe pedals)
II-I
II-ped
I-ped

8
8
4
2
IV
8
8


8
4
2
II
III



16
8
4
16






56 metal; 5 wood
metal
metal
metal
metal
metal
metal and wood


48 metal: 13 wood
metal
metal
metal
metal



wood
wood
metal
metal and wood






Mechanical action
Total pipes = 1,178
Compass 61/32
Balanced swell pedal