Inside the handsome Gothic-revival church by James Renwick in Ipswich, Massachusetts stands one of the most colorful early instruments of Charles Fisk. Opus 62 at Ascension Memorial Episcopal Church is a two-manual and pedal instrument of twenty-three stops and twenty-eight ranks.
The organ’s warm flute and foundation stops support both congregational singing and choral repertoire. Embracing the breadth of organ literature, the instrument speaks with a decidedly French accent, and is especially suited to the performance of repertoire from the French Classical period. The Trumpet and Clarion of the Great are inspired by the work of 18th century French builder François-Henri Clicqout. A complete jeu de tierce is available on the Great division, a luxury for a two-manual instrument. Finally, the thrilling grand jeux brings to life the music of François Couperin and his contemporaries.
Several stops are reconditioned from the preceding instrument, an early twentieth-century Hutchings. The Great Bourdon, Swell Open and Stopped Diapasons, and Pedal Flûte are seamlessly incorporated with the new Fisk stops. Opus 62 is the first organ on which Charles Fisk experimented with historic temperaments, in this case Kirnberger III.
The visual design is based upon Opus 57 in Willimantic, Connecticut, but the Brustwerk is enlarged into a full Swell division with shutters incorporated into two large doors above the keydesk.
The organ was dedicated in December 1974 by André Isoir, titular organist of the abbey church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris.