Historical organs in Lutheran Churches in Hungary by Gyula Kormos

by Gyula Kormos | Het ORGEL | Year 101 | (2005) | Issue 5

Gyula Kormos Historical organs in Lutheran Churches in Hungary
Het ORGEL 100 (2005), nr. 5, 4-13 [summary]

The Hungarian Lutherans got permission to build their own churches at the end of the 18th century. In the early years, they purchased small second-hand organs from Catholic Churches, but later on they were able to order new and larger organs. In the 20th century, the rough history of Hungary led to the situation that maintenance of churches and organs was financially impossible. The inventory that was started a few years ago shows the poor condition of many instruments.
Typical of most Lutheran organs in Hungary is a free-standing console, facing towards the church. Most churches have a balcony in a U-shape, on which the organ is located against the west wall. Some organs have been repaired very well by amateurs, whereas professional organ builders have spoiled several very important organs.
The organs at Alsónána (1870, built by Komor Ferdinánd Komornyik, 12 stops on 1 manual and pedal), Bonnya (1850, anonymous, 6 stops), Ecseny (1897, Josef Biebert, 10 stops on two manuals and pedal) and Kismányok (1808, Joseph Roth/Joseph Marschall, 13 stops on two manuals, pull-down pedals) provide a representative overview of the situation: they are in (respectively) a relatively well-preserved state (many problems but playable), very bad (a ruin) – in fact unplayable, and in very good condition.