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Opus 120

Lausanne Cathedral

Lausanne, Switzerland

Ranks: 135
Pipes: 7313
Created: 2003/2013

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In 1993 Lausanne Cathedral organist Jean-Christophe Geiser was on a tour of a number of concert venues in America. He played our Meyerson Symphony Center organ in Dallas and then came to Boston to visit our instruments at King’s Chapel, Old West Church, and Harvard University’s Memorial Church.  It was this experience in Texas and Massachusetts that led him to include C. B. Fisk as the only American entrant on the short list of companies invited to submit proposals when a competition was held in 1998 to replace the aging organ in the 2,000 seat, 13th-century cathedral. 

Our innovative and eclectic design won the competition and construction of the project began in 2001. In the liner notes to Jean-Christophe Geiser’s recording L’orgue á 4 visages, Wolfram Adolph writes: “To perform a wide range of repertoire in concerts and in the protestant services in the cathedral, the new organ contains four different musical style options in one great cathedral organ: the French classic style of Francois-Henri Cliquot, north German sounds of the polyphonic Hanseatic aesthetics of the 17th and 18th centuries, typical French symphonic colors after Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899) and German romantic stops in the style of Friedrich Ladegast.” 

Opus 120 is the first American pipe organ in a European cathedral.  The five-manual, one hundred-nine stop organ includes 7,313 pipes. Our first task was to arrange all the pipes to allow them to speak directly into the incredible acoustics of the cavernous nave. It was quickly evident that a huge cantilever would be necessary, and a massive steel framework was engineered to support the suspended towers containing a majority of the manual divisions. Opus 120 is by far our workshop’s magnum opus.  The project included not only our own thirty-five organbuilders and our American subcontractors, but also Swiss architects, Italian designers, Canadian woodworkers, British computer experts, and German pipemakers.

In late November 2002 nearly fifty tons of components for Opus 120 were carefully packed into five forty-foot ocean containers.  They traveled from Gloucester to Montreal by air ride semi-trailer, by ship to Rotterdam, by barge up the Rhine to Basel, and finally by truck to Lausanne. After more than 48,000 hours of work in the Fisk shop and 12,000 hours on site in Switzerland, the organ was dedicated at the beginning of December 2003, in concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne and Jean-Christophe Geiser as organist.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Opus 120, the long-awaited Fernwerk division (“Far Away”, or “Echo” division) was installed in the fall of 2013.  Employing new pipework as well as pipes from a 100-year-old Kuhn instrument, the Fernwerk was placed high up in the North Transept of the Cathedral and can be played from either of the main organ’s two consoles via fiber-optic cable.

Opus 120

Grand Orgue Man II
Principal 32ʹ      from 16ʹ
Montre 16ʹ
Bourdon 16ʹ
Montre 8ʹ
Gambe 8ʹ
Flûte harmonique 8ʹ
Bourdon 8ʹ
Prestant 4ʹ
Octave 4ʹ
Quinte 2 2/3ʹ
Doublette 2ʹ
Terz 1 3/5ʹ
Fourniture VII
Cymbale V
Mixtur VI‐IX
Bombarde 16ʹ
Trompette 8ʹ
Clairon 4ʹ
Trommet 16ʹ
Trommet 8ʹ

Positif‐de‐Dos Man I
Quintadehn 16ʹ
Prinzipal 8ʹ
Gedackt 8ʹ
Oktave 4ʹ
Rohrflöte 4ʹ
Grosse Tierce 3 1/5ʹ
Nasard 2 2/3ʹ
Doublette 2ʹ
Quarte de Nasard 2ʹ
Tierce 1 3/5ʹ
Larigot 1 1/3ʹ
Piccolo 1ʹ
Plein jeu V
Scharff IV
Dulcian 16ʹ
Cromorne 8ʹ

Positif expressif Man III
Salicional 8ʹ
Unda maris 8ʹ (C
Flûte harmonique 8ʹ
Bourdon 8ʹ
Voix éolienne (C0)
Fugara 4ʹ
Zartflöte 4ʹ
Violine 2ʹ
Sesquialtera II
Harmonia aetheria V
Cor anglais 16ʹ
Basson 8ʹ
Clairon 4ʹ

Récit expressif Man IV
Bourdon 16ʹ
Diapason 8ʹ
Viole de gambe 8ʹ
Voix céleste 8ʹ
Flûte traversière 8ʹ
Bourdon 8ʹ
Prestant 4ʹ
Flûte octaviante 4ʹ
Quinte 2 2/3ʹ
Octavin 2ʹ
Tierce 1 3/5ʹ
Plein jeu IV
Bombarde 16ʹ
Trompette harmonique 8ʹ
Clairon harmonique 4ʹ
Basson‐Hautbois 8ʹ
Clarinette 8ʹ
Voix humaine 8ʹ

Bombardes Man V
Montre 8ʹ
Flûte creuse 8ʹ
Flûte ouverte 4ʹ
Grand Cornet V
Trompette 8ʹ
Clairon 4ʹ
Trompette en chamade 8ʹ
Clairon en chamade 4ʹ

Principal 32ʹ      GO
Bourdon 32ʹ
Grosse Quinte 21 1/3ʹ
Contrebasse 16ʹ
Montre 16ʹ      GO
Principal 16ʹ
Violonbasse 16ʹ
Bourdon 16ʹ      from 32ʹ
Basse Quinte 10 2/3ʹ
Octave 8ʹ
Violoncelle 8ʹ       GO
Flûte 8ʹ       from Contrebasse
Bourdon 8ʹ       from 32ʹ
Quinte 5 1/3ʹ
Octave 4ʹ
Flûte 4ʹ       from Contrebasse
Mixture IV
Contre Bombarde 32ʹ         from 16ʹ
Bombarde classique 16ʹ
Bombarde 16ʹ       GO
Trompette 8′       GO
Clairon 4ʹ         GO
Posaune 16ʹ
Trommet 16ʹ       GO
Trommet 8ʹ       GO

Fernwerk Floating
Bourdon 16ʹ
Principal 8ʹ
Salicional 8ʹ
Voix céleste 8ʹ (C0)
Flûte 8ʹ
Flûte d’amour 8ʹ
Bourdon 8ʹ
Prestant 4ʹ
Flûte traversière 4ʹ
Trompette 8ʹ
Voix humaine 8ʹ


Pos‐de‐Dos to GO
Pos expressif to GO
Récit expressif to GO
Bombardes to GO
Octaves grave GO
Octaves grave Pos exp
Positif‐de‐Dos to Pos exp
Récit expressif to Pos exp
Bombardes to Pos exp
Octaves graves Fernwerk
Octaves aiguë Fernwerk
GO to Pédale
Positif‐de‐Dos to Pédale
Positif expressif to Pédale
Récit expressif to Pédale
Bombardes to Pédale
Fernwerk to Pédale


General Tremulant
Pos‐de‐Dos Tremulant doux
Récit exp Trémolo rapide
Fernwerk Tremblant

Servopneumatic Levers:
Grand Orgue
Positif expressif
Attached mechanical keydesk
Electric Mobile keydesk