Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2012
Kath. Pfarrkirche St. Martin
Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2012
An authentically romantic sound
The organ of the parish church of Innervillgraten is an excellent example of how it is not just the prestigious organs that require our restorers to call on the full range of their experience and craftsmanship.
This organ was built in 1903 by Alois Fuetsch, an organ builder from Lienz, and as far as protected monuments are concerned, may be considered to be a work of regional significance. But if we consider the loss of so many pneumatic organs with stop channels, this particular organ acquires a much greater need to be preserved. During the eighties the tendency of the pneumatic mechanism to break down had led to the console being replaced. The console case had been realized in panels veneered with limba wood, visually not very attractive. The great gain was, however, that from then on there was a fully functional, pneumatic mechanism at the console.
Fuetsch himself had quite spoiled the spatial proportions and the accessibility of the pipework by the subsequent addition of two registers (manual 1 Trompete 8 ', pedal Oktavbass 8 '), which subsequently led to damage to the pipework when tuning. There were obvious faults right from the start, including the fact that the bellows mechanism did not work, which led to various temporary constructions. This in turn interfered with access to the underside of the windchests. In the course of time there came «repair works» which defy all description and severely affected the operation of the organ for the worse.
Despite this general situation, which was problematic in various respects, the organ still clearly possessed recognizable qualities of sound, authentically romantic, that were highly valued in the parish. Consequently, it was not difficult to convince the people in Innervillgraten, with their preference for the traditional, that the right course to take would be to restore the organ. At the same time, the vital thing for the parish was quite simply that, whilst having these sound qualities, they would have an organ that would be in good working order for a long time to come.
As a result, our concept for the restoration aimed above all at a meticulous, technical repair and the replacement of worn parts (membranes, bellows leather etc.). The original bellows mechanism, in the interior of the bellows, was returned to full working order, so that we were able to eliminate later alterations. Plastic tubes were replaced by lead tubes, flexible tubes by wooden conduits. Additional base boards, handrails and ladders allow easier access to the pipework. None of these measures is spectacular, but together, and thanks to the soundness of their workmanship, they had quite astounding results.
We had not foreseen a new console case, much less a new console, nor any major work to the organ casing. Such work would not have contributed to attaining the set goal and would have incurred a considerable cost.
However, when the technical repairs were completed, the Ortsvorsteher, or village spokesman, and the craftsmen of Innervillgraten were no longer satisfied with the appearance of the console, despite its good working order. The local carpenter created a console casing of the highest craftsmanship. We were greatly impressed to see how hard the parish worked.
Everyone who was present at the re-dedication of the organ on 15 July 2012 was able to confirm the assessment of this organ as being worthy of protection. Indeed, in addition to this opinion, a concert by the cathedral organist of St. Pölten, Ludwig Lusser, proved to all those present that this organ is capable of far more than «merely» fulfilling its liturgical tasks. Moreover, in Innervillgraten there is an admirable, lively musical tradition, which endows the organ with an excellent environment.
Translation: RS 2013