The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2018

Transformation

Organ built by
Carl Theodor Kuhn, 1905
Windchests
pouch chest
Key action
pneumatic
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
02.09.2018
Expert
Georges Athanasiadès
Voicing
Thierry Pécaut

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www.orgelbau.ch/ope=114660

Montreux

III/P/44

Switzerland, Vaud
Eglise catholique du Sacré-Coeur

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf/Schweiz

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2018

Transformation

Organ built by
Carl Theodor Kuhn, 1905
Windchests
pouch chest
Key action
pneumatic
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
02.09.2018
Expert
Georges Athanasiadès
Voicing
Thierry Pécaut

Organ Restoration: Conversion of Action

The restoration of the organ built in 1905 by Carl Theodor Kuhn of Männedorf is - viewed as a concept - an extraordinary project. With regard to both sound and optics we were confronted with an outstanding situation, because the case, the pipework and the windchests were all original and in good condition. These parts of the organ were carefully restored. In contrast, the action presented a considerably more challenging type of problem.

The organ was controlled purely pneumatically, even the echo organ had a pneumatic action (about 30m!). In 1905 this action was new, modern and fascinating. Nowadays - 113 years later - we must recognize that the pneumatic action may well be technically fascinating, but it has a crucial defect that cannot be rectified: As a result of the considerable and in part very varied distances between the console and the individual divisions, there occur delays in the speech of the pipes that make subtly diversified playing of the organ difficult or even impossible.

Restoration of the pneumatics between console and windchest would in principle have been possible. Because of the delay mentioned above, there was never any question of this variant for such a large organ. After extensive discussions with the clients we decided to solve the question of action as follows: We connected the console via a traditional mechanical action with a mechanical/pneumatic changeover relay located immediately next to the corresponding windchest. From this relay the control continues pneumatically through relatively short lead pipes to the original pneumatic windchests. This combination of mechanical action and shorter pneumatics guarantees authentic speech of the pipes, and, at the same time, precise playability. We fitted the echo organ with an electric action.

The combination of mechanical pneumatic for the key action and electrical pneumatic for the stop action allows a significant Kuhn organ built in 1905, for the most part maintained in its original condition, to retain its beautiful, original sound for coming generations, too.

Translation: RS 2018


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www.orgelbau.ch/ope=114660