The fascination of organ building

 

 

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2013

Restoration

Organ built by
Johann Ignaz Egedacher, 1731
Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
15.09.2013
Expert
Mag. Gerd Pichler, Bundesdenkmalamt Wien
Voicing
Gunter Böhme


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=801570

Zwettl

III/P/31

Austria, Lower Austria
Zisterzienserstift

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2013

Restoration

Organ built by
Johann Ignaz Egedacher, 1731
Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
mechanical
Inauguration
15.09.2013
Expert
Mag. Gerd Pichler, Bundesdenkmalamt Wien
Voicing
Gunter Böhme

Scheduled organ in the Cistercian monastery in Zwettl

The Johann Ignaz Egedacher organ of the Cistercian monastery in Zwettl dates from 1731 and is one of the most important scheduled organs in Austria. During its almost 300 year existence the organ has undergone some serious changes. They concern both the sound (changes to the stops) as well as technical design. From 1941 onwards it even became possible to play the organ from a separate electropneumatic console.

Extensive restoration was carried out in 1983 and 1991 by organ builders Gerhard Hradetzky and Jürgen Ahrend with the object of restoring the original construction. 22 years after this work the organ was exceedingly dirty, a condition exacerbated by the total restoration of the church, despite the organ having been carefully covered up.

Contrary to demands once more to subject the organ to a "thorough restoration", from the start Kuhn Organ Builders was of the opinion that the organ was properly restored in relation to the eighties, and the time limit for renewed attempts was much too short. This assessment is based on the principle that there is no need for an organ to be restored again and again by each generation, this generally also involving a loss in substance of historical material.

Regardless of this principle, however, some work was necessary, because faults and operating interruptions frequently occurred in the windchests and action. Apart from carefully cleaning the instrument, therefore, specific measures were required to improve the tightness of the windchests, and in addition to the prevention of ciphering and runnings, to achieve a steady supply of wind to the pipes (maintenance of pitch). Static stabilisation of the areas of console and action formed part of these measures, as did improving the accessibility of the valves (reconstruction of a new component in 1983).

The subsequent voicing followed the given parameters (length of pipe, cut-up, pitch, tempering). For pipes that were previously insufficiently supplied with wind (leakage from windchests) there of course resulted adjustments to the voicing.

So we deliberately do not talk of a restoration of the Egedacher organ by Kuhn Organ Builders, even though the work was of course performed by the restoration department. In a sense it was supplementary work to the restoration of 1983 and 1991 that improved the operation of the organ and thus contributed to its preservation and its historical substance in the long term.

Translation: RS 2013