Parish News


The organ of St. Francis Catholic Church in Rhodes was built in 1939 by the well known organ manufacturer, Pinchi but its construction was not completed until after the start of the Second World War, according to the builder’s son, Guido Pinchi. This organ is still the biggest church organ in Greece. It has two manual keyboards and a pedal-board. The console is in the nave of the church and is connected to the pipes by a strong thick cable. This kind of connection is called “electrical action”.
The organ has a total of 1609 pipes, 671 of which, belonging to the bottom manual keyboard, are called the Organo Grande (Great Organ) and are distributed in 11 ranks with 7 stops. The upper manual keyboard is named the Organo Espressivo (Swell Organ) and has 842 pipes distributed in 14 ranks with 10 stops. The pipes of this section are enclosed in a swell box with shutters opening towards the nave and the more they are opened by the corresponding pedal, the more sound escapes from the box.
The pedal-board section has 96 pipes which are installed at the back of the organ and they are not visible from the façade. These pipes are huge, the biggest being 5 meters tall and played from the first pedal key by the Contrabass 16’ stop.
There are six more stops on the console to control various accessories such as Tremolo, where a device causes the sound to vibrate, and the “Unione Tastieri”, where another device connects the two manual keyboards so that when the organist plays on the bottom manual, the upper manual also sounds. Pedal couplers are used also to connect the manuals to the pedals, as are octave intra-manual and inter-manual couplers where the super octave notes are also played from bottom notes.
In order for the organ to be played successfully, a huge bellows is set beneath the chests holding the pipes and this provides the pipe systems with the air they need under pressure via leather conduits.
The pipes of this organ are of the Flue and Reeds category. Most of them are Flues, like the pipes of the façade. The reeds have a metal tongue which vibrates to produce the sound. The two stops from this family are called Trumpet and Oboe.
The organ also has the well known family of string-tone pipes, where pipes with small scaling produce a sound like the orchestral strings. These stops are named Viola and Coro de Violes and if the Celeste stop is added to them, the sound which is produced is undulating. The voicing of the pipes is ideal for Romantic and Contemporary music, but Baroque music can also be played with success.

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