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The Elbphilharmonie Organ

Two films explain all about the king of instruments, the pipe organ, in the Elbphilharmonie.

Ich glaube, diese Orgel kann alles.

Organistin Iveta Apkalna

Mozart called it »the king of instruments«: the pipe organ. The Elbphilharmonie organ measures 15 x 15 metres and weighs 25 tons; 45 organ builders spent 25,000 man-hours constructing it. A majestic musical instrument, brought to life in the Organ Workshop Philipp Klais in Bonn, Germany.

Iveta Apkalna

Like any instrument, the organ needs tuning before it can first be played. But where guitarists just turn six tuning pegs, and a trumpeter pushes the slide to and fro for a moment, tuning an organ properly calls for a whole team of experts. The new organ in the Elbphilharmonie has no fewer than 4,765 pipes, and thousands of adjustments and a lot of perseverance is needed until each individual pipe sounds just the way in the Grand Hall that organ builder Philipp Klais intended it to.

It took three months to set the instrument up in the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall. And even once all the pipes were in place and working properly, the organ builders’ labours weren't over: there followed another three months of voicing work, where every individual pipe was checked once more and its sound meticulously adjusted to fit the surroundings.

Philipp C.A. Klais

Elbphilharmonie organist, Iveta Apkalna, believes that all the fine-tuning paid off: »There’s nothing this organ can’t do! It sounds warm and round, with lots of beautiful ground tones that come from all over, and from the depths. This sound embraces the audience!«

More about the Elbphilharmonie’s pipe organ