The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2003

New organ

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical + electrical
Inauguration
18.-21.09.2003
Expert
Martin Haselböck
Case design
Claude Lardon
Voicing
Raymond Petzold


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=113990

Wien

II/P/25

Austria, Vienna
Hofburgkapelle, 3. Empore Hofburg

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2003

New organ

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical + electrical
Inauguration
18.-21.09.2003
Expert
Martin Haselböck
Case design
Claude Lardon
Voicing
Raymond Petzold

«Noblesse oblige»

Building an organ in the world famous Hofburgkapelle in the heart of Vienna - the home of the Vienna Boys' Choir and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, close to the most renowned of opera houses, and in the centre of Europe's musical history itself - is something more than a unique challenge. Connected with this institution, reformed by Maximilian I at the end of the 15th Century, are such illustrious names as Salieri, Bruckner, Haydn and Schubert. The interior decoration, dating from the time of Empress Maria Theresia, conveys the unique atmosphere of a house of distinction in which a commitment to the arts has been a long upheld tradition.

Building a new instrument to suit this dignified ambience presented itself as a challenging task. The limited space inside the Hofburgkapelle allowed only one option for the placing of the organ: on the uppermost of three galleries, out of view from the nave of the church. These restrictions meant that we had to compensate somewhat in the design of façade and in overcoming the poor transmission of sound from this acoustically problematic position.

In order to avoid the low wide arch imposing too much on the eye we fitted the modern, simply styled casing of the organ snugly between gallery and arch. The slightly outwardly angled side walls create an additional harmonic balance with the arch.

The widely varying functions of the organ from liturgical to concert use, as a solo and as an accompanying instrument, received consideration in the careful planning of the instrument's specifications. The Swell Organ can just as easily take on the role of a Baroque Positive as that of a colourful Romantic Echo Organ.

This instrument proves that an organ doesn't necessarily require the glamour of centre stage, but can still be entirely acoustically convincing from a concealed position!