Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Klais MD pays us another visit

The organ in our beautiful Town hall grows daily as rank after rank of new, and some of the original 1911 organ, take their place behind the splendid and indeed inspiring fa├žade of pipes. Markus, the voicer from Germany can be seen regularly at the lovely new console checking each rank following their placing inside the instrument and voicing.

Trott and Philipp Klais at the new console. The original 1911 ivory keys and stop knobs have been refurbished and retained.

Philipp Klais, the Managing Director, and fourth generation family member as head of the firm, flew in from Bonn the other day to check progress and with Ian Bell, our English adviser to the project, (also present) they listened to and discussed the merits of the sound. The consensus from all who have heard the instrument at this stage is one of great enthusiasm. Indeed I gave a tour to the wife of a prominent New Zealand Businessman and arts philanthropist, while Markus was at the console putting the assembled ranks through their paces. She was VERY impressed and claimed it as a beautiful and enriching experience.

From Bonn, L to R Markus the voicer of the pipes and Lukas, apprentice with Philipp inspect the new pipes just installed in the Great Organ.

Indeed I find the sound very faithful to the grand English organ sound, rich, full and beautiful as a Town Hall organ should be, in my opinion, and I guess in the minds of 99.9% of the population whose instrument it is.

The instrument is destined to be finished by the established date of 2nd December. There will be several months of ‘play in’ and adjustments ready for the grand public launch on the 21st March 2010. This will be a ‘red letter’ day form Auckland and this instrument will be ‘the jewel in Auckland’s crown’.

The Organ Trustees have appointed John Wells as the Artistic Director for the grand occasion. John is in the process of composing an organ concerto to celebrate the occasion and the Freemasons (the Lodge of the Liberal Arts and the Freemasons Roskill Foundation) are paying for the commission. This will be great day of celebration with choirs, organ and orchestra.

Markus, Philipp and Lukas inside the Swell Organ.

On the 25 and 26th March the renowned organist from Britain, Thomas Trotter will present a symphony with organ and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and on Sunday the 28th he will give a solo recital.