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IVP/68 Kleuker/Steinmeyer for sale

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The replacement of the Zürich Tonhalle organ has been controversial, with some 2000 signatures on a petition to save it, but Jean Guillou's design was thought by some to be unsatisfactory when working with an orchestra. The new 70 stop instrument by Kühn is at the planning stage and should be completed in the late summer of 2020 when the refurbished Tonhalle re-opens.  It is to be hoped that a good home will be found for the Kleuker-Steinmeyer.

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Guillou made some recordings of this organ when it was new - issued on CD by an American company. They showed the expected Guillou  playing skills and some quite spectacular sounds and interpretations of true organ repertoire and transcriptions. I wondered then as to the suitability of the organ’s general compatability with orchestral sounds in the standard orchestral repertoire. The situation now seems very much to be a state of ‘what comes around goes around’ but all the same it wold be good if the organ could find a new home.

A

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In fact, additional to the Guillou recordings (Mussorgsky & Stravinsky, Bach), there are a number of recordings by Ulrich Meldau with orchestral repertoire (Dupré & Demessieux, Bossi, Bartmuß). Gunther Rost recorded one of his Petr Eben CDs there (Job), and there are recordings of light music by Ursula Hauser and of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s organ music by Livia Mazzanti; David Zinman conducted Strauss’s Festival Prelude there. Apart from the Guillou recordings, however, I consider Keith John’s GEO portrait for priory the most spectacular (Mussorgsky & Alain, Trois danses).

Thus, the organ has been well documented in recordings, in which I used to like its bite and expressive power, as well as the unmistakable oomph of its basses. I think it’s regrettable that it has to go, but in part understand the reasons – that organ has always been a soloist with some idiosyncrasies, and probably not the most comfortable of accompanimental instruments.

Best wishes
Friedrich

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