The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2006

Restoration

Organ built by
Josef Mauracher, 1897
Windchests
"Hängeventilladen"
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
15.10.2006
Expert
Siegfried Adlberger
Voicing
Raymond Petzold


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801350

Hofkirchen a.d. Trattnach

I/P/10

Austria, Upper Austria
Kath. Pfarrkirche zum hl. Johannes dem Täufer

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2006

Restoration

Organ built by
Josef Mauracher, 1897
Windchests
"Hängeventilladen"
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
15.10.2006
Expert
Siegfried Adlberger
Voicing
Raymond Petzold

The Mauracher organ in the Pfarrkirche Hofkirchen

Only a couple of years ago the restauration of this organ was barely imaginable: the decision to have a new organ built had, to all intents and purposes, been made. The poor condition of the organ, the technical design with the so-called «Hängeventillade» (windchests with stop channels and «hanging» valves) and also its romantic tone colours rendered a repair of the instrument impractical or even undesirable.

An organ, including the instrument in Hofkirchen, generally lasts for generations. Considering this, it is understandable that its value changes over this long period of time. An object such as this is made in the style of its time but is then misunderstood and rejected in the generations which follow. In later generations it is then rediscovered as an authentic tonal monument. Today one must recognise that only very few organs have survived the time of rejection. If the money was available they were replaced with new instruments, or at least modified if funds were short. A greatly altered organ cannot, of course, be viewed as an authentic monument. It is therefore a stroke of fortune when we find an organ which has been so little changed as that in Hofkirchen. Only the front pipes made of tin had been removed during the First World War and had later been replaced by zinc pipes. Later on very little money had been invested in the organ resulting in a deterioration of its condition. Nevertheless, the beauty of individual voices could still be heard, or at least imagined.

On recognising that Hofkirchen was in possession of an organ of particular worth, it was decided upon to restore the instrument. In retrospect we can now say that the work required was considerable, but had certainly paid off. Above all, the technical overhaul of the instrument was substantial in order to guarantee the parish long-term reliability. Of course, retaining the historical substance of the organ was a primary aim. From this point of view every organ restoration has the same goals, if indeed with varying complexities. As restorers it is not our job to value an instrument as to its worth, quality or importance. All our work should be undertaken earnestly and with respect for the organ we are restoring, whether the instrument concerned is a world-famous organ like that of Weingarten or Klosterneuburg or the small Mauracher organ in Hofkirchen. We believe that this attitude has been a key factor in the success of our restoration work over the last decades and also answers the question often put to us: why did Kuhn Organ Builders from Switzerland receive the commission for the work on this instrument?



www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801350