The Cathedral Church of St. John, Albuquerque
Reuter Organ Company
Op. 918/2210 (1950/2001)
The newly refurbished and expanded Reuter op. 2210 at the Cathedral of St. John’s is an exceptional instrument. At 102 stops, 65 ranks, and 3,800 pipes, it is the largest pipe organ in New Mexico. More importantly, however, it is an extremely varied and exquisitely balanced instrument, perfectly suited to the warm acoustics of John Gaw Meems great sanctuary. Capable of the softest purr with its celestes and vox humana, or the mightiest roar from its battery of trumpets, the new organ continually thrills and inspires.
The current instrument uses nearly all of the pipework from the original organ built in 1952 (Reuter Opus 918). Since the $625,000 Cathedral Organ Restoration and Enhancement (CORE) project was completed in 2002, however, tonal gaps have been filled, stops have been balanced, and electronics and mechanisms have been brought to state of the art. An additional major undertaking of this project was the complete refurbishment of the chancel that has greatly improved the ability of the organ and the choirs to project sound out into the Cathedral nave.
St. John’s experience in planning, designing, raising funds, and executing its organ restoration was faith-affirming and, at times, seemingly miraculous. We did have a few rough patches and nervous moments, but with the grace of God, and through excellent leadership and the supportive efforts of hundreds of people, the Cathedral parish overcame the challenges and achieved a dream. When the time came to inaugurate the new instrument, which had been mute for six months during construction, the Cathedral and greater Albuquerque communities filled the church beyond capacity and shared this Prayer for a New Organ:
Lord God, thy beauty is ancient yet ever new, thy wisdom guides the world in right order and thy goodness gives the world its variety and splendor. The choirs of angels join together to offer their praises by obeying thy commands. The galaxies sing thy praises by the pattern of their movement that follows thy laws. The voices of the redeemed join in a chorus of praise to thy holiness as they sing to thee in mind and heart. We thy people, joyously gathered in this church, wish to join our voices to the universal hymn of praise. So that our song might rise more worthily to thy majesty, we present this organ for thy blessing. Grant that its music may lead us to express our prayer and praise in melodies that are pleasing to thee. Amen.