The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2004

Restoration

Organ built by
Kuhn & Spaich, 1871
Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
30.05.2004
Expert
Rudolf Bruhin, Oskar Birchmeier
Voicing
Raymond Petzold


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801270

Veltheim

II/P/16

Switzerland, Argovia
Ref. Kirche

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2004

Restoration

Organ built by
Kuhn & Spaich, 1871
Windchests
cone chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
30.05.2004
Expert
Rudolf Bruhin, Oskar Birchmeier
Voicing
Raymond Petzold

A special encounter

The task of restoring an organ originally built by one's own firm is, in many ways, an unusual occurrence and requires an in-depth knowledge of the long-standing traditions of the company. Also, the instrument must possess qualities which it has carried with it through changes of style and trend over the years. The organ of the Protestant Church in Veltheim - the oldest existing Kuhn organ - is such an instrument. We eagerly looked forward to this encounter with our own past.

This German-Romantic organ was originally built in 1871 as Opus 18 by Kuhn und Spaich for the Protestant Church of Ennada (Canton of Glarus). In 1924 the organ was sold and rebuilt on the gallery of the church in Veltheim. For this move, various small modifications to the casing were necessary, but essentially the organ remained unchanged. It was not until 1945 that the organ underwent a major change in the form of remodelling the tonal qualities of the pipework on a Baroque ideal. The technical systems of the organ, however, remained almost untouched apart from the removal of the wind chest for the Cornett stop. Luckily many of the original pipes were not removed, but placed differently or modified. This is a key factor as the validity of a restoration is based on the amount of remaining materials available.

The stop-list of this organ is quite unusual for the time in which it was built and includes two reed stops. Many comparable organs of this size and era have no reeds at all. Thanks to this special feature the instrument offers wonderful possibilities, promising a range of delightful tone colours. We were convinced that a reconstruction of the original state of the organ would result in the establishment of a historical monument of great worth.

The main priority for our restoration was a reversal of the changes which had been made in 1945 and once again regain the romantic face of the organ. Apart from this, a careful overhaul of all parts of the technical systems of the organ was, of course, a necessity after 133 years. Now this early creation of our firm's founder, Johann Nepomuk Kuhn, will sound for generations to come. We are particularly proud that we were able to restore his Opus 18 during our 140th anniversary year.



www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801270