|Producer:||Voxus Virtual Organs|
The organ in St. Martin’s church was built in 1912 by the organbuilder Georg Stahlhuth (1830-1913) and his son Eduard Stahlhuth (1862-1916). As Germans, installed at Aachen, Georg and Eduard Stahlhuth had all the basic knowledge of German romantic organbuilding. As disciples and close friends of Joseph Merklin at Brussels and Lyon, they had a share in the development of French symphonic organbuilding. Their contracts in England and Ireland provided them with good knowledge of English romantic organbuilding. Thus, they were among the rare organbuilders able to incorporate both French and English characteristics into German romantic organbuilding, defending in this way Albert Schweitzer’s ideas in matter of organbuilding, ideas on which the project founded in 1912.
The three-manual organ of 1912 had 45 stops (and 3 transmissions under expression in the pedal) on cone-valve chests with pneumatic note and stop action. Wind was supplied by three English water engines. A further borrowing from English organbuilding was the high-pressure Tuba mirabilis 8‘ in the Positiv-Swell division, voiced on 300 mm. Typical French faetures were the overblowing stops (typical of Stahlhuth’s organs) and the reeds of French-style construction (with tin-plated shallots), of which at least three were supplied by the Paris firm Veuve Jules Sézerie: Vox humana 8', Tuba 8' and Posaune 16' «octave grave de bombarde 16', grosse taille». Basically, however, the organ was attuned to German romantic style, with plentiful foundation 8‘-stops, differentiation in the manuals according to the various scalings (wide, normal, narrow) and their dynamic gradation (f, mf, p). Besides the high-pressure Tuba mirabilis, the organ had two further „Starkton-Register“ (strong and expressive in tonal design): Seraphon Gedackt 8‘ and Seraphon Flöte 8‘, each with two mouths. With theese three loud toned stops, the numerous foundation stops and the two expressive divisions with their sub and superoctave couplers, the organ had an exceptionally broad dynamic spectrum.
In 1962, in accordance with the then predominant neobaroque tonal aesthetic, the organ suffered far reaching modifications in total negligence of its stylistic specificity: reduction of the wind pressure, replacement of the pneumatic action by electric action, removal of the original console, changes to the pipework, transfer of stops onto other windchests, addition of high-pitched mixtures and mutations, as well as a fourth manual of neobaroque conception and removal of characteristic Stahlhuth stops.
After the organ had become nearly unplayable in the middle of the 1990s, a renovation of the organ had become inescapable. From 2001 to 2002, the following items were carried out by organbuilder Thomas Jann, Laberweinting (Germany) and his craftsmen.
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Fugue sur le Carillon des heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons (Popup Player)