Built for and installed in St. Paul’s Memorial Reformed Church, Reading, Pennsylvania in 1929, the Opus 774 is a beautiful instrument, representing the finest of moderate-sized organs designed and built by E.M. Skinner, one of the foremost American organ builders of the twentieth century. The original donors of the organ also endowed it, so it was maintained in its original, pristine condition – no alterations or changes of any kind were ever made to the instrument. Sadly, the church itself had no such endowment and was forced to close due to declining membership. The new owners of the building had no need for the organ nor desire to maintain it, and so offered it for sale. St. Mark’s, with an aging organ in need of much work, purchased the Opus 774 in December of 2004. The organ was removed and placed in storage until such time as it could be installed in its new home in 2009.
The organ is beautiful to see as well as hear. With a concern for its historic significance, much care has been taken to restore the instrument, using original parts whenever possible. All the pipes, reservoirs, cases and the blower have been lovingly cleaned and restored. The console was executed in the Gothic revival style, hand-carved of American black walnut, and retains its original finish.
After CLR Resources and Evensong merged, this sample set is now available from Evensong.