Orgelbau Kuhn

Orgelbau Th. Kuhn AG, 1993


Organ built by:
Joseph und Viktor Ferdinand Bossard, 1721

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

Inauguration: 12.09.1993

Expert: Werner Endner + Kommission
Architect: Moritz Raeber / K. B. Gasser
Voicing: H.-J. Schacht

Die ältesten Orgeln der Zentralschweiz
Historische Orgeln der Schweiz Vol. 3
Johann Pachelbel - Complete Organ Works I (5 CDs)

Die Orgeln der Klosterkirche St. Urban, Das Meisterwerk und das Werkstattbuch des Orgelbauers Joseph Bossart (1665-1748)
Klosterkirche St. Urban, 1987-1992 Rückblick und Ausblick

Links, downloads:
«Kuhn Wedge-bellows control» (explanatory note)

restoration 1944
reconstruction of the Bossard organ at Bellelay

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

portrait number 800970

St. Urban III/P/40
Switzerland, Lucerne
Ehemalige Klosterkirche

The former monastery church of the Order of Cistercians of St. Urban (Canton of Lucerne) underwent a thorough restoration between 1987 and 1992, carried out by the cantonal planning office. At the same time the organ was also restored according to the current principles for the restoration of ancient monuments.

The organ was originally built between 1716 and 1721 by the father and son team of Joseph Bossard (1665-1748) and Viktor Ferdinand Bossard (1699-1772). Together they created a masterpiece of the highest order which, during the following five generations of organ builders from the same family, was never surpassed.

Besides technical quality as an essential prerequisite, three other features contribute to the remarkable standing of this organ:

1. Whilst little attention was paid to the architectural style of the surroundings in which an organ was built during the 17th century, in the late Baroque period of the 18th century organs were seen as a complete piece of artwork in themselves and were, as such, integrated into the interior architecture of the building as far as possible. St. Urban is an early example of this. The bold vaults above the two side windows and their interplay with the pipework of the Pedal Organ is a masterpiece in organ building and architecture. In this sense, the organ of St. Urban is visionary.

2. In contrast to the progressive outer design, the retention not only of the short octave in the bass, but also of split keys for D-sharp/E-flat in the upper three octaves of the manuals is very conservative and reflective of past practices. These antiquated elements were later eliminated. However, some time afterwards they were reconstructed as some of their structural elements still existed in the windchests, pipework and action (rollerboard). A pure mean-tone temperament with eight pure thirds was the logical result of this.

3. The representation of the Abbot's coat of arms of Malachias Glutz in front of the Oberwerk is a unique feature. The triple cross symbol is «armed» with pipes, some of which stand slanting, but nevertheless still sound.

In terms of its specification, the organ is not solely composed of Baroque features, but also has some early Romantic elements. Through this, not only the usual stop types of the time are represented, but also string stops, beating stops and double-lipped stops.

Translation 2008: SJR
 © Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd   Update 29.01.2018    info©