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  • The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ




    The new Auckland Town Hall Organ was handed over to Auckland City Council by the organ builders (Johannes Klais Orgelbau) last week, when a private recital was put on for Mayor John Banks and City Councillors. The organ has been built utilising the front case from the original 1911 Hill, Norman & Beard instrument. The pedal division Open Diapason case pipes, which have been mere decoration since the original organ was rebuilt (butchered) in 1969/70, have been restored and brought back into use as part of the new instrument. Likewise, the extended 32-foot rank of wooden Open Diapason pipes (also on the pedal division) at the rear of the organ chamber that have been mere hidden decoration since the 1969/70 rebuild have also been restored and brought back into use. In between those two ranks are almost 5,000 brand new pipes made by Klais, but in an early 20th century English tonal style; however Klais restored and reused the original 1911 Hill, Norman & Beard windchests (and enlarged them to accomodate the considerably greater number of ranks of pipes compared with the original 1911 instrument). The detached console from the 1969/70 rebuild was discarded and a new console built into the front of the organ case, as with the original 1911 instrument. The ivory-keyed manuals and stop-knobs from the original instrument had been in storage since the 1969/70 rebuild, but were restored and incorporated into the new console. The organ is being officially inaugurated in March next year, but until then is being intensively played every day by various organists from around Auckland in order to work it hard and find any glitches that are likely to occur. The organ builders are remaining in Auckland until the official inauguration to iron out any bugs, as well as to tweak the pipe voicing and carry out any other minor adjustments to the instrument that are deemed necessary. The organ has a public viewing gallery built inside the instrument so the public can take a look inside, including while it is being played. According to early reports, the new organ has the same grand tonal sound of the Wellington Town Hall Organ (Norman & Beard, 1906), but on a much larger scale.




    In a world first, the new organ contains two stops on the Solo Organ division with ranks of pipes that imitate traditional Maori instruments. The Koauau stop imitates a traditional Maori flute and utilises pipes made of glass. The Pukaea imitates a traditional Maori horn. The idea of incoporating Maori stops into the new instrument was initiated by the German organbuilders, who asked to speak to local Maori when they were designing the organ and raised the idea of using traditional Maori sounds. Following consultation with Kaumatua from around Auckland, it was decided to install ranks of pipes based on traditional Koauau and Pukaea instruments and this has been successfully done.












    Auckland Town Hall Organ Stop List
    Johannes Klais Orgelbau (2009)





    PEDAL ORGAN (16 stops plus 2 duplications)




    1. Gravissima (derived) — 64’
    2. Double Open Wood — 32’
    3. Double Open Metal — 32’
    4. Open Wood (ext. 2) — 16’
    5. Open Metal (ext. 3) — 16’
    6. Open Diapason (from Great) — 16’
    7. Bourdon — 16’
    8. Salicional (from Choir) — 16’
    9. Octave Wood (ext. 2) — 8’
    10. Principal — 8’
    11. Stopped Flute — 8’
    12. Super Octave — 4’
    13. Mixture — 17.19.22.26.29 — V
    14. Contra Posaune — 32’
    15. Ophicleide — 16’
    16. Posaune (ext. 14) — 16’
    17. Trumpet — 8’
    18. Clarion — 4’





    CHOIR ORGAN (15 stops)
    enclosed in a swell box




    19. Contra Salicional — 16’
    20. Open Diapason — 8’
    21. Rohr Flute — 8’
    22. Unda Maris — 8’
    23. Echo Dulciana — 8’
    24. Viol d’Orchestre — 8’
    25. Voix Celeste — 8’
    26. Gemshorn — 4’
    27. Flauto Traverso — 4’
    28. Fifteenth — 2’
    29. Piccolo — 2’
    30. Mixture — 19.22.26 — III
    31. Cor Anglais — 16’
    32. Hautbois — 8’
    33. Corno di Bassetto — 8’




    Tremulant
    Sub-octave
    Octave
    Unison Off





    GREAT ORGAN (17 stops)




    34. Double Open Diapason — 16’
    35. Bourdon — 16’
    36. Large Open Diapason — 8’
    37. Open Diapason — 8’
    38. Geigen Diapason — 8’
    39. Hohl Flute — 8’
    40. Stopped Diapason — 8’
    41. Octave — 4’
    42. Wald Flute — 4’
    43. Octave Quint — 2-2/3’
    44. Superoctave — 2’
    45. Open Flute — 2’
    46. Seventeenth — 1-3/5’
    47. Full Mixture — 15.19.22 — III
    48. Sharp Mixture — 19.22.26.29 — IV
    49. Trombone — 16’
    50. Tromba — 8’
    51. Octave Tromba — 4’





    SWELL ORGAN (19 stops)




    52. Bourdon — 16’
    53. Open Diapason — 8’
    54. Violin Diapason — 8’
    55. Salicional — 8’
    56. Vox Angelica — 8’
    57. Lieblich Gedeckt — 8’
    58. Principal — 4’
    59. Lieblich Flute — 4’
    60. Nazard — 2-2/3’
    61. Fifteenth — 2’
    62. Octavin — 2’
    63. Tierce — 1-3/5’
    64. Larigot — 1-1/3’
    65. Mixture — 17.19.22 - III
    66. Furniture — 22.26.29 - III-IV
    67. Double Trumpet — 16’
    68. Cornopean — 8’
    69. Oboe — 8’
    70. Clarion — 4’




    Tremulant
    Sub-octave
    Octave
    Unison Off





    SOLO ORGAN (10 stops)
    enclosed in a swell box




    71. Flûte Harmonique — 8’
    72. Koauau — 8’
    73. Viola da Gamba — 8’
    74. Viola Celeste — 8’
    75. Concert Flute — 4’
    76. Viola — 4’
    77. Pukaea — 8’
    78. Orchestral Clarinet — 8’
    79. Orchestral Oboe — 8’
    80. Vox Humana — 8’




    Tremulant
    Sub-octave
    Octave
    Unison Off





    BOMBARD ORGAN (4 stops)
    unenclosed, playable from Solo keyboard




    81. Orchestral Trumpet — 8’
    82. Contra Tuba — 16’
    83. Tuba Mirabilis — 8’
    84. Tuba Clarion — 4’





    COUPLERS




    Choir to Pedal
    Great to Pedal
    Swell to Pedal
    Solo to Pedal
    Great to Choir
    Swell to Choir
    Solo to Choir
    Choir to Great
    Swell to Great
    Solo to Great
    Solo to Swell
    Great Reeds on Pedal
    Great Reeds on Choir
    Bombard on Pedal
    Bombard on Choir
    Great and Pedal Pistons Coupled
    Pedal on Swell Pistons


  • #2
    Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ



    It sounds wonderful! (Of course, I am not surprised--Orgelbau Johannes Klais built our new instrument installed in 2006. If you see him, tell Philipp hello for me.) Klais will be back to our church in January to install the Antiphonal/Solo Division in our balcony, plus a few stops in the main organ up front. We are eagerly awaiting completion of the instrument (the gallery installation had been delayed due to financial limitations).




    David

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

      I wonder what the unique solo stops sound like. They sound very interesting. The glass rank sounds like a cool idea, especially in a facade with more pipes behind it. [:)] Is the swell expressed? I can't tell from the stoplist.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ



        [quote user="Johan64'"]Is the swell expressed? I can't tell from the stoplist.
        [/quote]




        The Swell division is enclosed in a swell box, as are the Choir and Solo divisions.




        I probably won't get to hear the new organ until September 2010 when Carlo Curley is coming to NZ and is opening his tour with a recital on the new Auckland Town Hall Organ. I'm seriously considering heading up to Auckland for that concert.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

          I'm going to try to get to one of the concerts early next year - Possibly the Auckland Philharmonic one, if it's not sold out. If I do get to it, I shall let you know how it goes!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

            [quote user="Johan64'"]I wonder what the unique solo stops sound like. They sound very interesting. The glass rank sounds like a cool idea, especially in a facade with more pipes behind it. [:)] Is the swell expressed? I can't tell from the stoplist.


            [/quote]





            They're not actually that remarkable, which is good, since that probably makes them more useful for most things.





            The Koauau (flute) is slightly sharp and celestes with the Flute Harmonique 8'. I recall it having a quite hollow and slightly unsteady or slow speech. The bottom C, in particular, takes a relatively long time to achieve the correct pitch. You wouldn't want this on every stop but it sounds charming enough. It isn't in the facade; it is in the solo expression box.





            The Pukaea (trumpet) changes in character, depending on the register. Given the variety of reeds and the short time that I played it, I actually can't remember a lot about it! I think it sounded rather brash around Tenor C, but smoother and more refined in the treble. It's not a quiet stop, but not really loud either.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

              Ooh, luck you, getting to play it!What's your opinion on the work that's been done?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

                [quote user="Kiwithrottlejockey"]


                The pedal division Open Diapason case pipes, which have been mere decoration since the original organ was rebuilt (butchered) in 1969/70, have been restored and brought back into use as part of the new instrument. Likewise, the extended 32-foot rank of wooden Open Diapason pipes (also on the pedal division) at the rear of the organ chamber that have been mere hidden decoration since the 1969/70 rebuild have also been restored and brought back into use.[/quote]



                I am not entirely sure that this is correct. The Pedal Open Diapason Metal which is in the facade, would have been an extension of the 32ft Double Open Diapason Metal, also in the facade, and this stop was used in the Croft rebuild. Also I am fairly sure that there were actions to all pipes in the facade, although I am not sure that all of the centre section did.



                Again the 32ft Open Wood was definately used in the Croft rebuild, as was the 16ft extension of this stop. The actions were definately there and working at the time of dismantling.



                However I am definately looking forward to the first recital on this organ by Thomas Trotter in March. From what I have heard from others who have seen and played the organ, it will definately be worth going to see.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ



                  Some interesting news articles....




                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=10631441




                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/loca...ries-its-pipes




                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainm...0633436&pnum=0




                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainm...ectid=10633648




                  http://www.organz.org.nz/component/c...own-hall-organ




                  http://www.aucklandorgan.org.nz/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

                    Going to the AucklandPhilharmonic/Thomas Trotter concert tomorrow night! Really looking forward to it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ



                      So am I.




                      I'm flying up to Auckland late tomorrow morning. I'm booked into a hotel in Queen Street directly across the road from the Town Hall.




                      I'll also be at the Thomas Trotter recital on Sunday afternoon before flying back home.




                      I was at Christchurch last weekend visiting some friends and discovered Thomas Trotter was playing at the Christchurch Town Hall, so I went along to the recital and I can say thatThomas Trotter is definitely worth hearing. He played several pieces at Christchurch that he is also playing at Auckland, so it will be interesting to compare his interpretations on the Reiger Orgelbau organ of Christchurch Town Hall with the English-styled Klais Orgelbau organ of Auckland Town Hall.




                      One of the pieces Thomas played at Christchurch (which he is also repeating at Auckland) was George Thalben-Ball's “Variations on a theme of Paganini for Pedals”. I hope they've got a videocamera aimed at the pedalboard with it being projected onto a big screen at Auckland like they had at Christchurch. Most of the audience in Christchurch obviouslyweren't familiar with that particular piece and they were blown away by the virtuoso pedalwork.




                      Trotter ended the concert with a couple of Edwin Lemare transcriptions of Wagner —“Evening Star” (from Tannhäuser); and “Ride of the Valkyries” (from Die Walküre). I see he is finishing his Auckland program with the same two transcriptions. I've heard a few mediocre performances ofLemare's transcription of “Ride of the Valkyries”, but there was definitely nothing at all wrong with the way Trotter played it. It was a thunderous performance! I can't wait to hear it performed by ThomasTrotteron the new Auckland Town Hall Organ. Aucklanders are certainly in for a real treat on Sunday afternoon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ

                        if you'd like to hear the new Auckland Town Hall Organ, the Sunday afternoon Thomas Trotter recital is being broadcast live by Radio NZ Concert, which alsosimultaneously broadcasts via the internet.

                        Radio NZ's website: http://www.radionz.co.nz


                        TheSunday afternoon (March 28th) recital isat 2:30pm (NZ Daylight SavingTime).

                        See: http://www.radionz.co.nz/concert/schedules/20100328


                        The broadcast of Trotter'srecital can be accessed via the internet from the following webpage on Radio NZ's website....

                        http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio

                        ....See the Live Audio Streams menu at the right of the audiopage and click on the Concert link to listen to Radio NZ Concert via the internet.

                        You will need to take account of the time difference between NZ and where you live inthe USA (or elsewhere). Remember that we are about 21 hours ahead of California, and you also need to take account of the fact we have Daylight Saving at the moment too. The time in New Zealand is currently 9:30pm on Friday, March 26 (as I post this message), so that should give you some idea of the time differencewhen it comesto connecting onlineto Radio NZ to listen to the Sunday afternoon recital.

                        I'd suggest you either feed it into a good sound system, or else use some good headphones. The sound of the new organ is huge in every way — massive soundstage, huge dynamic range, and huge compass.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ



                          I think I could quite safely describe that organ as Magnificent!



                          Beautiful, well voiced, and it definitely "Drives the room". It does not blast the listener, rather it bathes him(/her) in sound. From the most delicate of soft stops to the 32' Contra-Posaune, and the Tuba Mirabilis, it is truly a fantastic instrument. I may get the chance to play it at some point this year, and if I do, I'll try to get pictures and video!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ



                            I am so glad that it turned out well! (Of course, I expected no less, having had experience with Johannes Klais Orgelbau myself.)




                            David

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The new Auckland Town Hall Organ in NZ




                              I can concur it is a magnificent instrument.



                              I was at the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra concert last night and I've just come from the Thomas Trotter recital this afternoon and am currently at Auckland Airport waiting for my fight home to Masterton.



                              It was definitely worth coming to Auckland for the two events featuring the new organ this weekend.



                              Although the new organ was built by Klais, tonally it is in the same style as the grand English concert hall pipe organs from a hundred years and more ago. Klais did a magnificent job recreating that tonal style in the new instrument.

                              Comment

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