Orgelbau Kuhn

Orgelbau Th. Kuhn AG, 1996

New organ

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

Inauguration: 22.12.1996

Expert: Helmut Peters
Architect: Werner Rösner
Case design: Georg Weismann
Voicing: Rudolf Aebischer

Dom zu Minden - Glocken und Orgeln
Laudate omnes gentes
Léon Boëllmann - Les organistes de Paris à la belle époque (vol. 1)
Olivier Messiaen - L'Ascension - Messe de la Pentecôte
Olivier Messiaen - Méditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité
Olivier Messiaen, Livre du Saint Sacrement - Livre d'Orgue (2 CDs)
Pierre Pincemaille - Improvisationen
Volker Ellenberger - Th. Kuhn-Orgel im Dom zu Minden

Die Domorgel zu Minden
Dom und Domschatz in Minden

Links, downloads:
Mindener Dommusik (in German)
«Kuhn lever» (explanatory note)

choir organ

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

portrait number 113680

Minden III/P/62
Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia
Dom, Hauptorgel

stop list (download)

Architectural design

A special feature of Minden Cathedral is the so-called «Emperor's Box» in the west wing, which opens up in three arcades into the central nave. The community and also the Authority for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments requested that the new organ should not completely cover the Emperor's Box, but that it should still remain in view, at least in its outlines. On the other hand, the inner area of the box was available in which to place the organ.

The large Schwellwerk, the biggest pedal ranks and the three horizontal reeds were built into the box, almost invisible in the darkness. Only the Hauptwerk, the Oberwerk (Positiv) and the smaller pedal ranks (but also including the Principalbass 16 ') were positioned in front of the arcades of the Emporer's Box. This arrangement enabled the front section of the organ to be kept reasonably narrow so that free-standing supports for the small organ gallery were not necessary. Two existing flat pilasters by the entrance were integrated as supports. In setting down the front section of the organ by around three metres, the three arcades were not obstructed.

Tonal design

A three-manual instrument able to fill the room with sound, and which could also do justice to both Baroque and Romantic-symphonic music was desired. However, the French Romantic was not to be over-emphasised to the detriment of the German Romantic style. In order to achieve this, for the first time we mixed reed stops in both the French and German style of construction in the same organ, and with success. The large Schwellwerk shows, by its very nature, more of a French influence. On this manual the three horizontal reed stops are also playable.

Technical design

Due to the architectural considerations the systems connected with the mechanical action are very complicated. In particular, a difference in height of 3.3 m for Manual III (Schwellwerk) needed to be overcome. Thanks to a sophisticated technical system, all four direct actions are fully mechanical and with good playability in the key weight. For the manual couplers, however, a playing aid was necessary. For this we used a type of Barker machine, further developed by us, which is recognised as working very precisely and results in perfect synchronisation between the key and valve movements. In his report from 27th October 1997, Jean Guillou wrote:

«La mécanique se joue avec une aisance et une precision exceptionnelle pour un si grand orgue et sans le retard habituellement si dèsagréable d'une assistance pneumatique.» («The mechanical systems operate with exceptional precision for such a large organ and without the undesirable delay which is usually associated with pneumatic aids.»)

Translation 2008: SJR
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