The fascination of organ building

 

 

Orgelbau Th. Kuhn AG, 1984

Restoration

Organ built by
E.F. Walcker, 1888
Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
08.04.1984
Expert
Rudolf Meyer / Jakob Kobelt
Voicing
Rudolf Aebischer

Stop list


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=800670

Winterthur

III/P/56

Switzerland, Zurich
Stadtkirche

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Orgelbau Th. Kuhn AG, 1984

Restoration

Organ built by
E.F. Walcker, 1888
Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
08.04.1984
Expert
Rudolf Meyer / Jakob Kobelt
Voicing
Rudolf Aebischer

The Great Organ of the «Stadtkirche» in Winterthur has a colourful history. Between 1766 and 1768 Karl Joseph Riepp built a three-manual instrument with 42 stops for the Cistercian monastery of Salem, by Lake Constance, the so-called «Liebfrauen-Orgel». After the closure of the monastery at the beginning of the 19th century, the organ was put up for sale and was bought, and paid for personally, by the councillor Johann Jakob Ziegler for the Stadtkirche in Winterthur. It was the very first church organ to be installed in the Canton of Zurich after the Reformation. In 1809 the organ builder Gottfried Maucher from Konstanz took care of the removal to the Stadtkirche and re-erection of the instrument on the rood-loft.

In 1836 it was decided to have the rood-loft removed. The organ was moved to the west gallery and the Rückpositiv was no longer used. Instead this division of the organ was incorporated into the main case. The old master Aloys Mooser from Fribourg was entrusted with this work (for the further history of the case of the Rückpositiv see the organ portrait for Charmey). In 1839 Mooser died before the work was complete, and his sons were not able to finish the project. In the end the task fell to Friedrich Haas who completed it and also made some renewals in 1841/43.

In 1887/88 a further modification of the organ took place. Eberhard Friedrich Walcker designed a new system with mechanical cone-chests, but incorporating the old Riepp case and a number of ranks from Riepp, Mooser and Haas, which he altered according to his own tastes. After further changes in 1924 and 1934, which included the electrification of the action, attention was again focused on the organ during a complete restoration of the church between 1982 and 1984. A restoration and return to the state of Walcker's instrument (with some additions) was decided upon, as this seemed to be the most appropriate line to take in the light of the material and documentation available. For the reconstruction of the necessary Barker machine we used the preserved example in the Votivkirche in Vienna (Walcker 1878) as a model and, as a further registration aid besides the fixed combinations, a «Prolongement» in the style of Cavaillé-Coll was built in.


Translation 2008: SJR