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  • Rare organs in Hesse (Germany)

    When you look at my avatar pic, you'll see my "main" organ - it's a one-manual, 27-note-pedalboard beauty with 5 (!) stops. And here is another picture: https://www.organforum.com/forums/sh...l=1#post384626

    The organ was built in 1858 by Heinrich Keller, who was an organ builder in Darmstadt, a town south of Frankfurt in Hesse, Germany.
    Unfortunately, not much is known about this Mr Keller and as far as we know today, only 3 organs still exist.
    Our organ is the oldest and smallest of the 3.
    The other two are in the south of Hesse. One of them also has one manual and a 27 note pedalboard, but twice as many stops. The other has 2 manuals and 22 stops. I guess it also has a 27 note pedalboard, but I'm not too sure about this.

    The history of our organ is that it was part of the jail in Darmstadt. In my village, there used to be a monastery which was turned into a jail in 1811. The village has a catholic tradition, but more and more protestant civil servants came to work in the jail and live in the village, so there was the decision to build a small protestant church. Due to lack of funds, it wasn't possible to get a new organ. It was decided to bring an organ from Darmstadt, and this is why we now have this instrument.

    One might think that the possibilities of this instrument are limited, but I think a lot depends on the organist and I love it dearly.
    Last weekend, my Dutch friend Hans and I played a recital for the organ's 160th anniversary. If you're interested, I can post the list of pieces we played.

    Trying to find out more about organs is exciting and I am very lucky that the local organ builder Förster & Nicolaus has a large archive. They were founded in 1842 and still build new organs, but their main business is taking care of existing instruments.

  • #2
    I'd love to hear a recording of it. What is the stop list?

    Comment


    • #3
      Unfortunately I don't own any proper recording equipment, so I can't give you an example of the sound right now.

      We have
      Salicional 8'
      Gedackt 8'
      Principal 4'
      Flöte 4'
      Subbass 16' (pedals only)

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for these posts, Andijah. Can you couple the manual to the pedal?
        Bill

        My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, it's permanently coupled.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to see a list of what you played.
            Sam
            Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
            Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

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            • #7
              I would also like to see a list of what you played. Also, some ideas on your registrations. I grew up playing a 5 rank unit organ and I know It takes a good deal of creativity on an organ that small.

              Comment


              • #8
                Here are some combinations:
                the congregation is used to singing to Principal + Gedackt (+Subbass, depending on the hymn). If asked nicely, they will also sing to Gedackt + Salicional, but old habits are hard to break. They tend to think that only if they hear the Principal, it's their turn to start singing.

                Both Gedackt and Salicional sound wonderful on their own.

                Gedackt + Flute
                Salicional + Flute
                Gedackt + Salicional
                Principal + Gedackt
                Principal + Salicional
                Gedackt + Salicional + Flute
                Principal + Gedackt + Flute
                Principal + Salicional + Flute
                Principal + Gedackt + Salicional

                And the Subbass can be added to all the above.

                At the recital, we also had
                Principal + Flute
                Flute solo
                Flute + Subbass

                Principal solo is also possible.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the recital, the idea was to show what such a small organ can do, and also to have some links to the organ's history. That's why we chose regional composers (Rinck, Heller) and composers born in 1858 (Smyth, Bonis, Puccini). And Bach, because: Bach. O:-) Hans had lots of fun playing Reger.
                  Here's the full list:
                  Christoph Wolfgang Druckenmüller (1687-1741): Concerto in G. Allegro - Adagio - Allegro
                  Christian Heinrich Rinck (1770-1846): Choral and Variations on "Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten"
                  Edward John Hopkins (1818-1907): Communion
                  Mel Bonis (1858-1937): Preludio
                  Ethel Smyth (1858-1944): Canon on "O Gott du frommer Gott"
                  Barbara Heller (born 1936): Notte di Maggio - Mainacht
                  Carlotta Ferrari (born 1975): Danze all'antica per strumento a tastiera. Saltarello - Contraddanza - Estampie - Furlana - Bassadanza - Tarantella
                  Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924): Sonata in Sol maggiore
                  Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Prelude and fugue c minor BWV 847
                  Bach: Prelude and fugue b flat minor MWV 867
                  Max Reger (1873-1916): op. 59 no. 9 Benedictus
                  Franz Schmidt (1874-1939): chorale prelude "O wie selig seid ihr doch ihr Frommen"
                  Bach: Prelude and fugue in d minor BWV 539

                  Our bonus piece was the "Nachtgebet" (late evening prayer) by Rheinberger op. 157, Hans at the organ and I was singing solo.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by andijah View Post
                    For the recital, the idea was to show what such a small organ can do, and also to have some links to the organ's history. That's why we chose regional composers (Rinck, Heller) and composers born in 1858 (Smyth, Bonis, Puccini). And Bach, because: Bach. O:-) Hans had lots of fun playing Reger.
                    Here's the full list:
                    Christoph Wolfgang Druckenmüller (1687-1741): Concerto in G. Allegro - Adagio - Allegro
                    Christian Heinrich Rinck (1770-1846): Choral and Variations on "Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten"
                    Edward John Hopkins (1818-1907): Communion
                    Mel Bonis (1858-1937): Preludio
                    Ethel Smyth (1858-1944): Canon on "O Gott du frommer Gott"
                    Barbara Heller (born 1936): Notte di Maggio - Mainacht
                    Carlotta Ferrari (born 1975): Danze all'antica per strumento a tastiera. Saltarello - Contraddanza - Estampie - Furlana - Bassadanza - Tarantella
                    Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924): Sonata in Sol maggiore
                    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Prelude and fugue c minor BWV 847
                    Bach: Prelude and fugue b flat minor MWV 867
                    Max Reger (1873-1916): op. 59 no. 9 Benedictus
                    Franz Schmidt (1874-1939): chorale prelude "O wie selig seid ihr doch ihr Frommen"
                    Bach: Prelude and fugue in d minor BWV 539

                    Our bonus piece was the "Nachtgebet" (late evening prayer) by Rheinberger op. 157, Hans at the organ and I was singing solo.
                    Now that must have been fun! I love it that you played less known composers, it is great to see some like Druckenmüller played in concert (played that one myself). You just had me scared when you mentioned "...regional composers (Rinck, Heller)..." because that made me think Stephen Heller. Still cringe when I hear that name.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Havoc View Post
                      You just had me scared when you mentioned "...regional composers (Rinck, Heller)..."
                      Sorry 'bout that. Barbara Heller is a composer who lived in Darmstadt for many years. Her main instrument is the piano and so far she only wrote 3 pieces for organ.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's a picture of Hans and me performing Rheinberger.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tbeck View Post
                          I'd love to hear a recording of it.
                          Years later... this morning I recorded op. 149 by Mel Bonis. You can hear our beautiful Salicional.
                          https://twitter.com/andijah/status/1240199395813076992

                          It was recorded with my smartphone, no additional equipment, no additional changes - what you hear is what I played.

                          Comment


                          • tbeck
                            tbeck commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Lovely. Thank you.

                        • #14
                          Thank you for posting this, Andijah. The Salicional has a very nice sound. It would be interesting to hear it further away in the room to get a sense of the acoustic.
                          Bill

                          My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

                          Comment


                          • andijah
                            andijah commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I know, but at the moment there's a lack suitable equipment (and assistants). Maybe some time in future...

                          • voet
                            voet commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I was struck by how good the recording was from a smartphone.

                        • #15
                          Gedackt solo:

                          https://twitter.com/andijah/status/1241272373908844544

                          Comment


                          • voet
                            voet commented
                            Editing a comment
                            What a nice bright sound. Delightful. I really enjoyed it.
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