Orgelbau Kuhn

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2012

New organ

Windchests: slider chests
Key action: mechanical
Stop action: mechanical

Inauguration: 27.05.2012

Expert: Rudolf Bruhin
Case design: Gioni Signorell
Voicing: Thierry Pécaut

Orgel-Einweihung Katholische Kirche Thusis, Pfingsten, 27. Mai 2012

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

portrait number 114510

Thusis II/P/17
Switzerland, Grisons
Röm.-kath. Kirche Guthirt

stop list (download)

From a temporary solution to the perfect organ

The Church of the Good Shepherd (or «Guthirtkirche») in Thusis was completed and consecrated in 1966. The architect, Otto Capeder, created an unusual building here that is held to be the perfect example of modern church architecture. The way light is handled and how the liturgical space is treated combine to produce an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

For more than 40 years a one manual organ, that had been intended as a temporary solution, served as the accompanying instrument. In 2005, under the leadership of an organ committee, the first actual projects were drawn up for the construction of a new organ. The task of designing an organ situated on the gallery proved difficult, above all because of the large areas of window facing south.

The architect, Gioni Signorell of Chur, was instructed by the Organ Committee to prepare a draft, taking the architecture of the church into consideration, but nevertheless clearly displaying a degree of individuality. The call for tenders was based on this draft. Finally, Kuhn Organ Builders were awarded the order to build the new organ. In close cooperation between architect, organ builder and Organ Committee, the draft was further improved and all the details necessary for implementation were settled.

There resulted an asymmetrical construction consisting of three separate cases made of elm. The great organ in the middle of the layout is flanked by the pedal organ and the swell organ. The console is arranged at the side, enabling the organists to be in direct contact with the choir.

The new organ's sound is adapted to modern styles of playing, which demand a broad musical spectrum. Our principals set great store on the ability of the new organ not just to lead the singing of the congregation but also to perform a variety of accompanying tasks. The swell organ is effective and meets this wish perfectly, and its volume can be adjusted very finely.

The new instrument at Thusis has turned out to be an outstanding organ, one that was not conceived as the copy of a particular historical model but as a new, independent creation, which should touch and move those attending church services and concerts.

Translation: RS 2012
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