Liverpool – St George’s Hall

St George’s Hall is a Grade I listed building which has been described as one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world.

The building of the hall commenced in 1842 and was finally open for public use in 1854. Its purpose was as a multipurpose community centre where people could be tried for murder, attend a ball or listen to an organ recital – all in one building!

After hearing WT Best playing an organ on the stand of Henry Willis at the Great Exhibition of 1851, Liverpool chose Willis to build the organ in St George’s Hall. The organ, with some 100 speaking stops, was completed in 1855. It was state-of-the art for its time: it had inclined stop jambs, a concave radiating pedalboard, thumb pistons, and was blown by steam engine, except for four heavy pressure reeds which still required hand blowing.

During a rebuild in 1897, a few changes were made. The keyboards were shortened to the now conventional 61 notes, and the Solo organ was enclosed. In the 1931 reconstruction by Henry Willis III, a powerful seven rank mixture was added to the Solo organ. However, the original 1855 Great and Swell organs survived intact.

Unfortunately, St George’s Hall fell into disrepair in the 1980s and the organ became neglected and unusable due to wind leakage. As part of a £23 million award-winning refurbishment project of the Hall, Nicholson & Co was commissioned to restore the historic Father Willis organ and renovate the wind system; this was completed in 2007.

All 18 reservoirs and 25 concussion units were removed and re-leathered and, as access to the pedal reservoirs necessitated lifting out the pedal soundboards and associated pipework, they too have been renovated.

The Hall was re-opened in April 2007 to become once again central to Liverpool’s Cultural Quarter. In 2008 it played an important part of the city’s successful bid to become the European ‘Capital of Culture’.

Specification

Great
Dbl Open Diapason
Bourdon
Open Diapason no 1
Open Diapason no 2
Open Diapason no 3
Tibia
Viola
Stopped Diapason
Quint
Octave
Principal
Octave Viola
Flute
Tenth
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Seventeenth
Doublette II 15.22
Sesquialtera V
   12.15.17.19.22
Mixture IV 15.17.19.22
Contra Trombone
Trombone
Ophicleide
Trumpet
Clarion no 1
Clarion no 2

Swell
Double Diapason
Open Diapason
Geigen Diapason
Rohr Flute
Aeoline
Salicional
Voix Celeste
Principal
Octave Geigen
Wald Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Piccolo
Seventeenth
Doublette II 15.22
Fourniture IV 15.17.19.22
Contra Oboe
Clarinet
Oboe
Clarion no 1
Tremolo
Trombone
Ophicleide
Trumpet
Horn
Clarion no 2

Couplers
There are Octave,
Sub-Octave & Unison Off
couplers on the Solo
Swell & Choir organs

Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Solo to Great
Solo to Swell
Swell to Choir
Solo to Choir
Solo to Pedal
Solo, Tenor Solo to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Choir to Pedal


16
16
8
8
8
8
8
8
51/3
4
4
4
4
3
22/3
2
13/5


 

16
8
8
8
4
4


16
8
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
4
22/3
2
2
13/5


16
8
8
4

16
8
8
8
4

Choir (enclosed)
Contra Viola
Open Diapason
Viola da Gamba
Hohl Flute
Stopped Diapason
Dulciana
Vox Angelica
Principal
Octave Viola
Harmonic Flute
Nazard
Fifteenth
Flageolet
Tierce
Larigot
Septième
Piccolo
Sesquialtera III 17.19.22
Bass Clarinet
Orchestral Oboe
Trumpet
Clarion
Tremolo
Harmonic Gongs

Solo (enclosed)
Quintaten
Tibia
Tibia Clausa
Violoncello
Cello Celestes
Orchestral Flute
Violin (2 ranks)
Piccolo
Cor Anglais
Bassoon
Corno di Bassetto
Vox Humana
Tremolo
French Horn
Double Tuba
Tuba
Tuba Clarion (unenclosed)
Solo Diapason
Grand Chorus VII
   8.12.15.19.22.26.29
Tuba Mirabilis
Cathedral Chimes

Pedal
Resultant Bass
Double Open Bass
Dbl Open Diapason
Open Bass
Contra Bass
Open Diapason
Violon
Bourdon
Salicional
Quintaten
Octave
Principal
Violoncello
Flute
Octave Quint
Fifteenth
Viole
Octave Flute
Fourniture V
   12.15.17.19.22
Mixture III 10.12.15
Bombarde
Posaune
Ophicleide
Clarinet
Clarion
Octave Clarion
Pedal Sostenuto


16
8
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
4
22/3
2
2
13/5
11/3
11/7
1

16
8
8
4

8


16
8
8
8
8
4
4
2
16
8
8
8

8
16
8
4
8

 
8



64
32
32
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
8
8
8
8
51/3
4
4
4

 

32
16
16
16
8
4