The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2003

Restoration

Organ built by
Konrad Hopferwieser, 1900
Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
28.09.2003
Expert
Karl Dornegger, Gottfried Allmer
Voicing
Raymond Petzold


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801250

Graz

II/P/17

Austria, Styria
Kath. Kirche St. Vinzenz Eggenberg

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2003

Restoration

Organ built by
Konrad Hopferwieser, 1900
Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
28.09.2003
Expert
Karl Dornegger, Gottfried Allmer
Voicing
Raymond Petzold

A jewel regains its former sparkle

The Pfarrkirche St. Vinzenz in Graz is a testimony of the rapid expansion of this industrial town in the 19th Century. In the growing workers' suburbs at this time new churches and, consequently, new organs were required. These instruments were almost exclusively built for use in church services, often with only one manual and relatively few stops. However, such economising did not prevent the Graz organ builder Konrad Hopferwieser from building instruments of high quality. In so doing he combined traditional craftsmanship with the advantages of industrial fabrication.

Styria is indebted to its regional master craftsman for a series of organs, one of which was the «suburb organ» of St. Vinzenz in Graz, built in 1900. This two-manual instrument, Romantic in its tonal character, lost its façade pipes in 1917 due to the war effort. These were replaced by zinc pipes. In 1975 the sound of the organ was altered following the «neo-Baroque» trend, with original Hopferwieser ranks being removed as part of the modifications. Thanks to the high quality of the craftsmanship and the construction materials, this instrument was in service for over a century, although signs of wear became evident during the last few years.

The careful technical overhaul of all components of the organ and the return to its original Romantic tonal character were the main aims of the restoration work. The façade pipes, as well as the wooden pipes of the Violonbass 16 ', required reconstruction. Original Hopferwieser pipes from the 1894 Heiligenkreuz organ in Waasen, Styria served as a model. All the other pipes removed in 1975 were replaced by pipes from the demolished Hopferwieser organ of St. Peter, Graz (1897), which was something of a windfall. From this supply of pipes the stop list was extended by two ranks (2 2/3 ' and 2 ' in manual II).

As a result the town of Graz is now in possession of a small instrument in Romantic style. That the people of Graz were able achieve recognition in view of their rich cultural heritage and cultural establishments is acknowledged through their accolade as «European City of Culture 2003». This gives us even more satisfaction that we were able to be a part of this project.



www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801250