The Hook and Hastings organ at The Church of the Immaculate Conception on Harrison Avenue in Boston's South End.

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The Elias and George Greenleaf Hook Pipe Organ




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In 1863 the firm of E. and G.G. Hook,then located near Roxbury Crossing, built a pipe organ for the Church of the Immaculate Conception, itself but two years old.The instrument, of 3 manuals and pedal, boasted 47 speaking stops. Thepress of the time received the new organ with great enthusiasm, comparingit quite favorably to the new German organ, by the Walcker firm, whichhad been dedicated in the Boston Music Hall only three months prior tothe opening concert on the Hook.
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Some stops prepared for in the originalplan and construction, including the 32’ Contra Bourdon of the Pedal, wereadded in the following years. Major rebuilding and expansion of the organwere undertaken in 1902:
  • The assisted mechanical action was replacedby an electropneumatic action.
  • manual and pedal compass were extended (to61-30); the pipework was re-pitched to the lower orchestral standard ofthe time.
  • a new console, facing the organ, replaced the original console,which had faced the altar.
  • A fourth manual division, the Solo,was added, featuring some of the more Romantic voices that had recentlybecome popular.
In the 1902 rebuilding, the tonal characterof original part of the organ was little changed from its 1863 sound, andthe voicings of all the pipework has remained substantially unaltered from1902 til the present, providing us with a remarkable musical heritage.There have been, over the years, significant changes in the winding systemand the combination action, and in the stop mechanisms, both at the consoleand at the chests.
Time has taken its toll on this venerableorgan. A team of experts on the organs of the Hooks has been advising us on appropriatestewardship of this musical treasure, that its sounds may continue, formany years to come, to edify and inspire us all and to give eloquent praiseto God.

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