The restoration process – preliminary examination
Pipe organs which have been preserved through centuries, are rarely found entirely in their original state. Usually they will have undergone several repairs and alterations, and in some cases only the organ façade and parts of the pipework have been preserved. When restoring a rebuilt organ, which in time constitutes an independent picture of other periods, and thus is considered historically valuable, the organ will not be restored to its original state, as irreplaceable material would then be lost.
When restoring organs partly in their original state, the originally used construction method is copied along with the original choice of material, if organ parts need to be restored or replaced. At the same time, repairing pipe material and performing tonal adjustment is done with consideration of the existing tonal aesthetics.
With an initial analysis of the present state of the organ and preserved organ parts, it is attempted to map the original appearance of the organ, including disposition, compass and pitch. All accessible archive material about the original organ and its history is studied, and here important information can often be found in the church archives. In cases where the work of restoring concerns a historical Marcussen-organ, our firm archive will also be a valuable source of knowledge. Comparable organs may be examined, as they will witness about original construction methods and tonal style.
Restoring and reconstruction of pipes
When renovating the pipework, the following tasks will often be included: Straightening of metal pipes, repair of defect soldering, repair of wooden pipes attacked by wood-worms etc., and if necessary; reestablishing of original pipe lengths, tuning devices, etc.. In case it is necessary to reconstruct single pipes or complete pipe ranks, it will be carried out looking to historical examples. Equipment for manufacturing hammered metal sheets and tapered thickness is at disposal in our workshop. The tonal finishing of the historical pipe material includes adjustment of voicing and tuning, in order to preserve or recreate the timbre and pitch of the organ.
Repair of keyboards and wind chests
The craftsman tasks vary accordingly to the condition of the organ, but typically the following elements will be included:
– Repair of keyboards, key and stop action, using historical correct constructions and materials. Possibly reconstruction of the entire console on the basis of knowledge of the original compass, measures, coupling mechanism, shape of stop knops etc..
– Repair of the wind chests of different construction types as slider, cone or spring chest, especially with regards to wind tightness. Likewise using historically correct methods and materials, and also taking into account a reliable and stable mechanical function. Pipe boards or other may have to be changed in order to reestablish the original specification.
– Repair of wind supply system, with possible reconstruction of bellows and arrangement for calcant. Repair of casework and ornaments, and possibly reestablishment of later changes or additions.