The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2009

Restoration

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Expert
Jean-Jacques Gramm
Voicing
Niklaus Stengele

Stop list


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801450

Roche

I/6

Switzerland, Vaud
Musée Suisse de l'Orgue, Positiv von Mättenbach

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2009

Restoration

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Expert
Jean-Jacques Gramm
Voicing
Niklaus Stengele

Organ at Mättenbach (Museum Roche)

Unfortunately it is not known who built the organ, and the history of the organ remains almost a complete mystery. We know that the organ stood in the old schoolhouse in Mättenbach (BE) and from there went into the private ownership of a family in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Finally, together with other furniture belonging to the family, it ended up in the antiques trade. Rumour has it that when being transported, the organ was tipped over in the truck to make room. Apparently when it was unloaded the pipes then landed on the road surface and were picked up none too gently.

In the end, in 1952 the organ museum in Roche bought the organ as a ruin for 70 francs, and rendered it, to a limited extent, playable. Of course, this work took no account of questions of protecting a historic instrument. The wooden pipes were coated with synthetic resin, and paper was glued over all wooden parts that were not airtight. In places the colours of the case had been stripped off, the damage to the case subjected to only temporary repair.

Another fifty years passed before the museum decided to have the organ restored.

Dismantling the instrument revealed further damage as well as major defects in the windchest. Much patience, painstaking work and of course time were required to restore all the organ components to enable their preservation and operation in the longer term. The restorers' personal attitude is usually more evident in the restoration of such instruments than in the case of large, prestigious assignments: it is easy and natural to accept highly skilled, tonal qualities. However, a small organ with fewer good qualities and a none too happy history, in doubtful condition, has to be just as lovingly restored. It requires an approach by craftsmen that we regard as the basis of our restoration department's success.

Translation: RS 2010


Stop list


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801450