The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2007

New organ

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
16.06.2007
Expert
Andreas Maisch
Case design
Claude Lardon
Voicing
Raymond Petzold


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=114160

Rheinau

II/P/17

Switzerland, Zurich
Paritätische Bergkirche

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2007

New organ

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
16.06.2007
Expert
Andreas Maisch
Case design
Claude Lardon
Voicing
Raymond Petzold

Truly oecumenical

Summer 2004 - During a heavy storm lightning strikes Rheinau's «Bergkirche» (built 1579). The church goes up in flames, the roof collapses, the bells melt and crash down onto the arches of the chancel. Once a splendid jewel with a 400 year tradition of oecumenical worship, used equally by Catholics and Protestants, the church is a picture of devastation. The organ did not fair any better: soot and water used to quench the fire caused serious damage and rendered the instrument unplayable. Plans to rebuild the church, a listed building, were taken up immediately and it was decided to replace the old organ with a new instrument. Funds were quickly raised through numerous large and small donations.

An intense collaboration was noticeable during the course of the project. The church committees of both Faiths, Construction Office, Authority for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments, organist and organ builders - they did not initially share exactly the same visions, but all wanted only the best: an instrument tailor-made for this church. The «Art of arts» is, in such cases, the merging of the varying requirements, the historical architecture and the craftsmanship of organ building into balance with one another.

Spring 2007 - The instrument has been completed! In terms of its tonal characteristics, as well as its architectural design, the organ stands in contrast to its «big sister» of the nearby monastery church. With 17 stops, the organ is, however, anything but small. In the Hauptwerk are three 8 ' flue stops which are well balanced with the dynamic range of the Schwellwerk in terms of intensity and colour. The foundation stops of the Schwellwerk itself, on the other hand, are Romantic in style. A further Romantic attribute is the sub-octave coupler II-I. This enriches the sound, lending it an orchestral gravity which is not to be found in Baroque instruments with the same number of stops.

Space was limited, so it was necessary to design the Pedal Organ in such a way as to allow for this. For this reason, three out of the four pedal stops are derived stops taken from the Hauptwerk. This solution not only saves space, but also allows the pedal stops to be used independently. The requirements for a bass register capable of supporting the organ's sound as a whole are well-planned scaling and appropriate voicing.



www.orgelbau.ch/ope=114160