There seems to be something about Mormons and organs. The LDS maintain two huge organs in Salt Lake City - one and the tabernacle and another at the General Conference Center. The little brother RLDS/Community of Christ has two large organs as well, one in the Auditorium and the other in the Temple. Both organs are different - Aeolian-Skinner of Boston installed the Auditorium’s organ in 1959 - they had also extensively re-worked the Tabernacle’s organ in 1948 - and Casavant Freres of Quebec did the Temple’s organ. Each organ has a definitely different sound, with different workings. Due to the organ and to the larger size of the Auditorium, the organist has to be aware of a time delay in input and output that is not a problem with the Temple’s organ. The sounds of each are magnificent and you can attend daily recitals in the summer (June - August) at 3 pm and on Sundays at 3 pm the rest of the year. The place of the recitals switches back and forth between the two buildings. Recitals are shared by a staff of some 30+ organists who enjoy to talk about the instruments and the specific challenges each offers at the end of the recitals.
Built of 5685 pipes ranging in size from ¼ inch to nearly 40 feet tall, the Temple organ was built and installed by the Quebec organ company Casavant Freres Limitee in 1992-93. It is a gorgeous instrument with a brighter sound than the mellower sounding Auditorium organ across the street. The trumpet pipes – trompette enchanade – in the Auditorium are placed in the rear of the seating opposite the main organ pipes. Here, in the Temple, space is more constrained and the trompette enchanade extends from the middle of the main pipe organ array. Organ recitals are given at 3 PM on Sundays for free to those who like to show up. Check ahead of time, however, as the site of the recital varies from the Auditorium or the Temple. Recitals last about a half hour and normally feature classical movements. At the conclusion of the recital, organists invite visitors to come up and see the organ at closer range, answering questions and possibly allowing a riff or two on an instrument that would make the Phantom of the Opera turn red with envy. Organists practice every day on either this organ or the Auditorium organ. Favorite practice time here in the Temple is early in the morning with only the music light on. As dawn approaches, the light within the shell of the Temple makes the atmosphere that much more magic.