In August 2014, Christ Church Cathedral commissioned C. B. Fisk, Inc., to design, build and install a new organ as part of the Centennial Chapel restoration project. Opus 148, a two-manual, 22-stop mechanical-action instrument with warm, gentle voicing, draws inspiration from organs of the sixteenth century Antegnati family of Italian builders and organs of the eighteenth and nineteenth century Serassi family.
On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, acclaimed early music specialist Francesco Cera performed organ works by Italian composers and Italian-inspired works of Johann Sebastian Bach to celebrate the installation of C. B. Fisk Opus 148 in Centennial Chapel. This concert was made possible by generous contributions to the cathedral’s Friends of Music Fund. The dedicatory concert can be viewed on YouTube. See the recital program.
In the days following the dedicatory recital, October 18 – 20, the cathedral hosted a C. B. Fisk Opus 148 Inagural Festival. The festival included an international roster of performers, teachers, and scholars lead a weekend-long series of performances, presentations, and workshops relating to aspects of the Italian organ: repertoire, improvisation, performance practice, continuo playing, liturgy, pedagogy, and organ building.
At the conclusion of the festival, on Sunday, October 21, the new Fisk organ, with its delicate yet expressive power, again took center stage in a recreation of a Roman vespers service from the seventeenth century. Singers and instrumentalists from Collegium Cincinnati collaborated with the new organ in chant, improvisation, and sacred repertoire by Roman composers Giacomo Carissimi, Francesco Foggia, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and Virgilio Mazzocchi.