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Mander Organs
Jim Treloar

New organ in Hamburg

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The new concert hall in Hamburg, the Elbphilharmonie opens this week, and it contains a Klais instrument. Google "Elbphilharmonie organ" for full details. Iveta Apkalna is the titulair I see.

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Specification here. Lots of 8' tone, including three principals on the Hauptwerk.

 

The console looks a bit IKEA, doesn't it?

I find that a very interesting specification. The Solowerk and the Fernwerk appear to tend heavily toward an English Solo organ, as does much of the Chorwerk (with the addition of a collection of mutations of course).

 

Is this a trend toward an increasing interest in English Solo organ sounds in Germany? Obviously, Tubas seem to have become increasingly popular in a number of places, and I seem to remember a new organ in Duisburg (I think) of completely English type.

 

If so, I think that's a welcome development.

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Is this a trend toward an increasing interest in English Solo organ sounds in Germany?

 

I think it would be quite impossible to say without hearing the instrument. Two 8' flutes on both HW and SW don't seem particularly English to me. Maybe it's more a case of their eclecticism now recognising that the English Romantic sound is one worth taking into account - but that's just a wild guess on my part and probably wrong.

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That's certainly an interesting case - hard to make out the pipes but they are there, covered in some sort of laminate material with the intention being that the audience should be able to touch and feel them - at least the facade diapasons.

 

Tuning the fernwerk isn't a job for the feinthearted, it seems to be located inside the giant baffle suspended from the ceiling!

 

sitzplatzvorschau_2_klein.png__1600x900_

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There is certainly a growing interest in Germany in English organs and English choral music.

I know of two or three German firms that buy up unwanted English organs and re-home them.

In August 2015 we sang Choral Evensong accompanied by this rather unusual instrument (Roberts & Co, Leeds, 1909):

http://www.orgelbau-fasen.de/+kyllburg/start.htm.

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On the Hamburg specification, does "durchschl." mean free reed?

Yes, durchschlagend. 'Through-beating' literally.

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The opening recital by Iveta Apkalna can be listened to here (link expires in four days or so). Between pieces, there are interviews (in German) with Apkalna and Philipp Klais.

 

Another Philipp Klais portrait, quite extensive and in German, can be found here, with three decades or so of Klais recordings’ worth included. He comes across as a nice enough chap, though if you compare contents and key phrases between interviews, you notice that he has his talking points well prepared and apparently repeated over and over again. No wonder considering the media coverage of the new hall, which covered the organ quite remarkably. This is free publicity other builders can only dream of, even in the international field.

 

Quite a lot of dynamic compression in the recital recording, I’m afraid, so that e. g. the final chord of Bach’s T, A & F appears to be actually the softest part of the piece!

 

But quite informative otherwise, I think. The organ sounds quite good to me, well balanced choruses and silky foundations, and the basses definitely seem to be one of its many strengths. I am quite keen on hearing it on site, but don’t know when I can make it, given the desperate ticket situation.

 

All best wishes

Friedrich

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