The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2007

Restoration

Organ built by
Carl Theodor Kuhn, 1925
Windchests
membrane chests
Key action
pneumatic
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
02.09.2007
Expert
Rudolf Bruhin
Voicing
Rudolf Aebischer, Pierre Barré


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801390

Solothurn

III/P/47

Switzerland, Solothurn
Ref. Stadtkirche

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf, Ref. Kirchgemeinde Solothurn

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2007

Restoration

Organ built by
Carl Theodor Kuhn, 1925
Windchests
membrane chests
Key action
pneumatic
Stop action
pneumatic
Inauguration
02.09.2007
Expert
Rudolf Bruhin
Voicing
Rudolf Aebischer, Pierre Barré

Turning away from the spirit of the time

The pneumatic organ in the Solothurn Stadtkirche, built by Kuhn Organ Builders in 1925, has many interesting stories to tell. First of all it's a wonder that it even still exists. Many of its sister instruments in Europe fell victim to the Second World War. This was, however, only a few in proportion to the number which organ builders and organists destroyed themselves in the years following the war. This occurred mainly in urban regions where the finances were available to build new Baroque organs.

The Solothurn organ escaped this fate most of all due to its high quality. Acting as advisors at this time were the most renowned experts of the time: Albert Schweizer [!] and Ernst Schiess.

But even this instrument did not escape radical changes being made to it. The stops Aeoline 8 ' and Voix céleste 8 ' were removed to make way for a Quinte 2 2/3 ' and a Terz 1 3/5 '. Instead of the Salicetbass 16 ' in the Pedal organ, a Nachthorn 2 ' was introduced. The swell box of Manual II, all sub-octave and super-octave couplers and the shared free combinations were also removed. The aim, a Baroque-style organ sound was, however, not achieved through these changes. This was due to the tonal characteristics of the membrane chests and those of the pneumatic system, features which make such a venture impossible.

Even today this Kuhn organ impresses with its quality. Therefore it was decided to return it to its original state: a challenging task. The archive documents and evidence on the instrument itself offered us a clear basis for the reconstruction of the original. Now the sound of the organ, as well as its unchanged appearance, create a unity with the church interior.