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  1. Dear members, let me bring to your attention a large new organ in Germany. It was built by the firm of Eule in Bautzen. The inauguration was held on the first sunday in advent. The Basilica is one of the largest buidings in Europe that still goes back to Roman times, as well as one of the largest protestant churches in Germany. Rebuilt after WW II, it was re-designed as a vast, somewhat sober space for contemplation and service that nevertheless conveyed an intense atmosphere by the combination of bare brick walls, open rafters und clear lighting. One of the window clearings serves as a chamber for the first post-war organ, a small but beautifully effective instrument by Schuke of Berlin. Clearly, there was much left to be desired, especially considering the grand, clear acoustics of the building. In 2006, plans for building an instrument for a more international and romantic repertoire took shape. Now, the new organ will be played alongside the Schuke, and hopefully ears continue to remain open for the musical qualities of both. The Eule firm, apart from being one of the leading organbuilding firms in Germany today, may have qualified for this organ with the Mercator-Orgel, the first organ in Germany that successfully brought the virtues of the English concert-hall instrument into a new German concert venue. However, as it is with concert-hall instruments, their impact very much depends on the management of the venue. This is not the case with a large church organ that will be heard in service. A fairly detailed stoplist of the new instrument can be found here. There are three enclosed divisions, a Positive somewhat German-romantic in character, a Récit mostly on French lines, and a Solo following English models. Here you will find the December music programme in PDF, containing some pictures of the casework (which has caused lively discussion) and glimpse of the attached and detached consoles. The sound, as could be heard in the opening service over the WWW (alas, no longer online), seems to be very convincing, colourful and grand, if not overwhelmingly loud. This impression was confirmed by a report (in German) of a concert given by Bernhard Haas, Daniel Roth and Thomas Trotter this last sunday. I think this newly-built organ is remarkable not only as an instrument that seems to justify a visit, but also as possibly one of the last major, newly-built organs for a protestant church in Europe, at least for the next few decades. Furthermore, in this concern as well as musically, it follows a road that was paced by, among other instruments, the large organ in Magdeburg cathedral, built by Schuke of Werder. Having had more than a word in the design of the organ, Barry Jordan is organist there, keeping up an ambitious music programme under often challenging circumstances. (Oh those Tubas. They keep coming.) Best wishes Friedrich
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