John Sayer Posted May 3, 2007 Share Posted May 3, 2007 Those who have been following Barry Jordan's account of the new Schuke organ in the Magdeburger Dom may be interested to learn that the same firm has just started installing a new instrument of similar size in the cathedral in Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg, capital of East Prussia. The Kaliningrad region is today a Russian exclave, cut off from the rest of the Federation by surrounding Poland and Lithuania. The Dom, in typical Hanseatic red-brick gothic, was reduced to a ruin following British bombing and Russian bombardment at the end of WWII. After decades of difficult and protracted restoration, much of it funded by (West) German money, the building new serves mainly as a state-owned cultural centre, though incorporating both Lutheran and Orthodox chapels. The Schuke firm have already installed a Choir organ of about 30 stops, with a 4-manual console from which the new instrument on the west gallery will also be playable. The full specification has yet to be announced but is expected to be around 120 stops and 11,000 pipes, making it the largest instrument in Russia. The magnificent early 18c. case is being reconstructed with the aid of pre-war photographs. Perhaps the most interesting fact about the new organ is that much of the cost is reported to be provided personally by President Putin, whose wife, Ludmilla, comes from the Kaliningradskaja Oblast. It is possible that Putin acquired an appreciation for organ music during his years as KGB Chief in Dresden during the GDR era. The new organ should be finished by Christmas. I plan to pay a visit in the autumn and hope to be in a position to report on progress. JS Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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