Colloquium: ‘The organ between yesterday and tomorrow’ by Stefan Gruschka and Hans Fidom

by Stefan Gruschka and Hans Fidom | Het ORGEL | Year 100 | (2004) | Issue 2

Stefan Gruschka and Hans Fidom Colloquium: ‘The organ between yesterday and tomorrow’
Het ORGEL 100 (2004), nr. 2, 32-38 [summary]

From 23 to 25 September 2003 the colloquium ‘Die Orgel zwischen gestern und morgen’ took place in Siegen (Germany), led by Hermann J. Busch, president of the Walcker Foundation, which had organised it. Busch considered it very difficult to predict the influence of the present situation on the future, since much of what has been said about the future of organ culture during the many organ congresses in the 20th century has turned out to be only marginally significant. Other lectures, delivered by Paul Peeters (Sweden), Joost Langeveld (The Netherlands) and Martin Kares (Germany) and others, focused on today’s organ culture in general; on educational possibilities to improve the popularity of the organ; on the processes that have resulted in today’s situation in organ building; and on perspectives on 21st-century organ music. In these lectures, it became clear that new initiatives are taken in many places these days, which may result in new enthusiasm for organs and organ music.
Special attention was given to the organ project of Peter Bares in ‘Kunst Station Sankt Peter’ in Cologne: the organ is based on a neo-baroque concept, to which several rare mutations are added, as well as percussion instruments and a ‘Koppelwerk’, the stops of which can be played on any manual. Furthermore, it has auxiliaries such as a ‘Winddrossel’ (the organist can control the amount of wind the organ receives) and an ‘Organumkoppel’ (which enables the organist to attach clusters to a specific key). As the quality of the voicing of the neo-baroque stops is mediocre, Bares’s promising ideas fail to convince in practice.