The fascination of organ building

 

 

Carl Theodor Kuhn, 1895

Transformation

Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical

www.orgelbau.ch/ope=101270

Zürich

II/P/33

Switzerland, Zurich
neue Tonhalle, grosser Saal

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Carl Theodor Kuhn, 1895

Transformation

Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical

The history of the Zurich Tonhalle organ is long and complex and, as well as being a reflection of over a hundred years of Swiss organ building history, it is also that of more than a hundred years of Kuhn Organ Builders' history.

In 1872 Johann Nepomuk Kuhn built, as opus 20, an organ for the so-called «old Tonhalle» in Zurich. The old cornhouse on the «Sechseläuten» meadow at Bellevue was converted into a concert hall in 1867. According to musical thought at the time, an appropriately sized organ should stand behind the orchestra to enable «proper» performances of large-scale choir works, in particular Bach's St. Matthew's Passion and Handel's Messiah to take place. However, with time the concert hall proved unsatisfactory. Therefore, the «new Tonhalle», at its present site, was built in 1895 and was planned and built specifically as a concert hall from the outset by the then very well-known Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer.

The son, Theodor Kuhn, now had the task of moving the organ from the old to the new hall. Of course, this gave occasion to a certain amount of touching-up of the instrument's outer appearance as well as its interior workings (II/P/33).

Friedrich Jakob, 2006

Translation: SJR


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=101270