Friday, 3 February 2012

The Grand Pipe Organs of the Grand Duchy III

On December 02, 2008 , Luxembourg Post issued the third collection of special postage stamps traces in sound and vision the History of some of the most beautiful pipe organs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and is part of a special series which began in 2006.

The Junglinster instrument has a magnificent casework dating from 1783.  In 1887, the manufacturer of the actual version, Charles Wetzel of Strasbourg, installed the organ at Junglinster. It was only in 1939 that it received a pedal with a stop of 16’, now making 14 stops available for the organist. This last upgrade was conducted by George Haupt of Lintgen.

The first organ that we have been able to discover in the Mondorf-les-Bains church dates from 1878. It was built by Dalstein-Haerpfer of Boulay (F). Numerous restorations and remodelings followed, including several to the casework, diminishing somehow the characteristics of this instrument.
In 1983 Gebrüder Oberlinger of Windesheim started the construction of a new organ which used the casework in its last version. Also kept were certain old stops of Dalstein-Haerpfer. The present stoplist is moulded around a rather neo-baroque model, nevertheless updated for more recent period details, such as a swell division and two stops inspired by the French repertoire.
The casework of the Vianden organ, designed in the style of instruments found in Picardy in the same era, dates from 1793. Initially it was an organ with a single keyboard. In the 19th century, a pedal section was added.
In 1953 the organ builder Georges Haupt (Lintgen) began the last expansion,adding several contemporary style stops.
Because of the meticulous reconstruction according to the old style, that Georg Westenfelder could provide the church with an instrument whose sound resources are finally once again in perfect harmony with the superb casework and the exquisite acoustics.

The Great pipe organ of the Cathedral represent a quintessential model in the tradition of organ makers in the 17th and 18th centuries, a sort of anthology of colours and tendencies which organ makers were able to spread across all of Europe.
Georg Westenfelder knew how to intelligently make all the seemingly incompatible basic components coexist under a higher logic in an important organ.
Optically, the organ is a rare beauty and the craftsmanship of the small Positive-casework integrated in the stone balustrade is a master work of art in cabinetry. The richness, and recently-corrected temperament for a more flexible definition, make this organ a favorite with musicians cherishing German, Dutch, and Spanish repertoires as well as others from the eras mentioned.

1 comment:

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