Manuel Rosales: 213.925.8633
Office: 323.262.9253
Fax: 323.262.8018




Opus 30

St. James Cathedral
804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-1296

Rosales Organ Builders, Inc.
Los Angeles, California

Notes from the Dedication Recital

(Welcome to the first recital on Rosales Organ Builders Opus 30.) It is with great pleasure that we present this new instrument to the parish of St. James Cathedral and to the music community of Greater Seattle. It was a tremendous honor to have been chosen to build the new East gallery instrument and I am deeply indebted to all who have worked to make this project a reality.

In my initial proposal for the new East, it was important for the design of the new instrument to strike a balance between the new organ's role a leader in the music for the liturgy as well as its role as a solo instrument. Also taken into consideration was the instrument's compatibility with the existing Hutchings-Votey organ at the West end. This fine instrument, which has served the needs of the Cathedral for nearly a century, deserved to be complimented and enhanced and not necessarily overshadowed by the new organ.

In designing an organ, probably more than any other instrument, it is important to consider the matter or style and cultural reference. Towards this end, I have chosen to use as a point of departure the great organs of France. There an organ culture developed that was almost entirely centered on the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Much of the music written for those instruments was based on the ancient chants and was intended for use during the Mass. Given the solidity and massive sound of the 1907 Hutchings-Votey organ, the new Rosales organ, based on the French models, would bring a fresh, bright, crisp sound to the wonderful acoustics of St. James Cathedral. A sound that would be perceived of as complementary to the old organ as well as being distinctive on its own. Also, the new organ, although not particularly a large instrument, would offer an organist most of the resources needed to play the vast range of French literature.

Organ building in France has spanned over 500 years and although the style of organs has logically evolved, there are a remarkable number of common elements which can be found throughout the last three centuries. Among these are the Montres (principal chorus stops) whose pipes are constructed of an alloy rich in the metal tin and whose sound is full and opulent. Pipes made of tin need not be loud to be heard.

Another color group are the Bourdons and the mutation stops (Nasard, Tierce, Cornet). These are particularly distinctive and offer the organist a colorful palette of tonal possibilities. Imitative French style flute stops (Flûte harmonique, Flûte traversière, Flûte octaviante, Octavin) are found in our Récit and Solo divisions.

The hallmark of the French organ, however, has been their distinctive style of reed tone. French style reeds (Bombarde, Trompette, Clarion) produce a full throated, unapologetic sound which transforms a stately chorus of Principal pipes into a fiery, roaring ensemble, abundant in harmonics and awesome in its tonal complexity.

In the mid-ninteenth French organ building reached one of its many high points with the work of the young builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll . His work set the standard by which all French organ building was judged. He developed a tonal style which retained the best elements of the previous centuries’ work while looking forward with inventiveness and new approaches to organ design and tone. It is Cavaillé-Coll’s work in general which has most influenced the tonal design of Opus 30.

With the historic material at the core of its tonal design, Rosales Organ Builders Opus 30 is itself a modern, singularly distinctive instrument, created for St. James Cathedral and its wonderful acoustical environment. And, while Opus 30 reflects our admiration and love for great organs of the past, its design and construction employ modern technological systems and techniques which allow it to serve the needs of our time. We hope that this instrument will take its place next to the Hutchings-Votey in the Cathedral’s life and work and serve this community for many generations to come.

Manuel J. Rosales
President and Tonal Director

Some technical information:

The four divisions of the new organ are placed as follows:

  • The Grand-Orgue is in the central pair of cases;
  • The Récit expressif is in the left case;
  • The Solo expressif is in the right case;
  • The Pédale in placed throughout all three cases with the large pipe standing on the east gallery.

The façade pipes comprise the largest pipes of the 16’ Montre, 8’ Montre, 4’ Flûte en façade, Pédale 8’ Octave. The lowest note in the façade is 16’ E.

The windpressure used in this new organ are:

  • 3-3/4” for the Grand-Orgue;
  • 4” for the Récit expressif;
  • 4-1/4” for the Solo expressif;
  • 4-1/2” and 5” for the Pédale.

Slider and pallet, tone-channel wind chests are employed throughout the instrument with many of the bass pipes on individual chest actions.

The installation commenced in September 1999 with the first use of the organ on Christmas Eve. The on-site voicing and tonal finishing process has taken 6 months.

The prototype the organ case was derived from the Holzhay organ in the 18th century abbey of Neresheim in Southern Germany.


Grand-Orgue — Manual II
16' Montre (façade)
8' Montre (façade)
8' Bourdon
8' Flûte douce
8' Flûte céleste (EE)
4' Prestant
4' Flûte conique
2-2/3' Quinte
2' Doublette
IV-V Plein jeu
16' Contre Basson
8' Trompette
4' Clairon
Récit expressif — Manual III or I
16' Bourdon
8' Diapason
8' Flûte traversière
8' Viole de Gambe
8' Voix céleste (CC)
4' Octave
4' Flûte octaviante
2-2/3' Nasard
2' Octavin
1-3/5' Tierce
II-IV Plein jeu harmonique
8' Trompette
8' Hautbois
8' Voix humaine
Solo expressif — Manual IV or I
16' Flûte en façade (Pédale)
8' Violoncelle
8' Flûte harmonique
4' Octave
V Cornet
8' Trompette
8' Clarinette
4' Clairon
32' Bourdon (H-V) (ext. 16')
16' Montre (façade) (G-O)
16' Soubasse
16' Bourdon (Réc.)
8' Octave (façade)
8' Flûte (Solo)
8' Violoncelle (Solo)
8' Basse (ext. 16')
4' Flûte en façade
16' Bombarde
16' Basson (G-O)
8' 1ère Trompette (ext.)
8' 2ème Trompette (Solo)
4' Clairon (Solo)
Clochettes (eight bells)
Rossignol (2 pipes in water)
Master expression
38 stops / 49 speaking stops
49 ranks
Grand-Orgue / Pédale 8'
"Récit / Pédale 8', 4'"
"Solo / Pédale 8', 4'"
"Récit / Grand-Orgue 16', 8', 4'"
"Solo / Grand-Orgue 16', 8', 4'"
"Solo / Récit 16', 8', 4'"
"Récit / Récit 16', 4'"
"Récit / Solo 16', 8', 4'"
"Solo / Solo 16', 4' "
"(Péd. 16' Bombarde, notes 1-12, play on Solo
when both 8' Trompette and Solo 16' are on.)"
H.V. On
Rosales Off
Hutchings-Votey Inter Manual Couplers
Great / Pedal
Swell / Pedal
Swell /Pedal 4'
Choir / Pedal
Solo / Pedal
Swell / Great
Choir / Great
Solo / Great
Swell / Choir
Great / Solo






Rosales Pipe Organ Services, Inc.   3020 East Olympic Boulevard  ▪  Los Angeles  CA  90023-3402
Manuel Rosales: 213.925.8633    Office: 323.262.9253    Fax: 323.262.8018