Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia
Philharmonie im Saalbau

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2004

New organ

slider chests
Key action
mechanical + electrical
Stop action
Case design
Claude Lardon
Rudolf Aebischer

Orchestral richness

The construction of the concert hall organ for the Philharmonie Essen presented a variety of demands which needed to be met: the instrument should reflect the international and stylish character of the hall itself without compromising the established principles of traditional organ building. In addition we wanted to be open to the suggestions of the musicians involved but at the same time remain true to our own ideals. This symphonic instrument with a mechanical action and 4502 pipes unites all these objectives. As an excellent partner to the orchestra this organ is capable of lending gravity and fullness of sound to a wide spectrum of musical styles.

The façade is not bound to a particular division of the organ which gave a certain freedom in its configuration. This was used to full advantage during intensive planning work together with the architects. A very special place was given to the «Tuba»: horizontally and splendidly displayed beneath the gallery. In order to meet the varying requirements of a modern day concert hall organ the instrument is equipped with an additional moveable console.

Through balancing mechanisms and the «Kuhn lever» the organ remains easily playable despite high wind pressures. Two additional octave couplers support the swell organ so that the tonal resources can be used to full advantage. In contrast to 18th century church organs the hierarchy of the manuals is central to the gradation of the sound; scaling and voicing of the pipes is geared towards the desired ensemble effects.

What at first only existed in paper and in the minds of the planners has now become a reality through the untiring and meticulous detailed work of our pipe makers and carpenters. They have prepared the way for artistic highlights and unforgettable performances to come.