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The Report of the restoration and renovation of the Tsuji Organ at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Meguro, Tokyo

Författare och institution:
Munetaka Yokota (Göteborg Organ Art Center & Högskolan för scen och musik)
Publicerad i:
Organ-Kenkyu. Annual Report of the Japan Organ Society, 40 s. 3-26
Artikel, övrig vetenskaplig
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The Tsuji organ for St. Paul’s was inaugurated in 1976 after several years of contract negotiations, design work and construction. The 1970s saw an important shift in the world of organ building away from the post-War European Neo-Baroque style and towards a more historically informed study of individual historical Baroque organs. Tsuji’s organ for St. Paul’s is an important example of this shift in Japan. This organ’s specification and the scaling of its pipework relies on many concepts and actual dimensions found in the 1731-34 Erasmus Bielfeldt organ in Osterholz-Scharmbeck, near Bremen in Germany. This project began as a renovation of the 1976 organ, but took on more of the character of a full-scale restoration due to the extensive damages that were discovered. In addition, because this organ belongs to a special transitional period towards more historically informed building, the undersigned made the decision to alter the wind system by exchanging the single non-historical horizontal reservoir for three wedge bellows and a manual operating mechanism as well as rebuilding the conductors in a more eighteenth-century manner relevant for the Bielfeldt organ. Mr. Tsuji’s challenge on this project was to adapt this more “authentic” organ design and its related building methods and materials to modern Japan, a challenge that included no little amount of risk. Tsuji’s concept included the use of old-style metal alloys for the pipes, the use of metal conductors for the off-chest pipes instead of modern flexible paper conductors, the single bellows system without any local pressure adjusting devices, the use of soft metal covers on the reed shallots, old-style wind chest construction, solid wood for all wooden parts, a mechanical action with suspended keys and no noise-reducing felt, and the use of an unequal temperament. While moving closer to copying specific elements of eighteenth-century organs introduced a great advancement in both the soundscape and feeling of the playing mechanisms as well as the wind behavior for more advanced historically informed performance, the stability and longevity of some technical aspects of this organ have suffered to a great extent. And this is not necessarily due to the strict following of original Baroque building methods but rather to the pioneering nature of taking on such a new direction in organbuilding and adapting it to a completely different climate. The proportion between tin and lead for the pipe metal became closer to the eighteenth-century practice than the typical modern materials used in other organs of the time, but without following the complete historical process of all related aspects of eighteenth-century pipe-making, this new metal alloy caused several technical problems, namely long-term damage to the pipe foot, toe, mouth area and a subsequent damage to the sounding result. The conductors for the off-chest pipes and shallot cover plates made out of modern pure lead, together with an oak wood case, chest and reed boots caused extensive corrosion damage to the lead that has heavily compromised the function of the organ. The natural oak wind chest without any slider seals caused loose sliders with uncontrolled leakage of air to the pipe that resulted in instability of tuning. The above-mentioned problems are the result of a partial adaptation of historical building practices that didin’t follow old methods or materials exactly or completely, and one must realize that this was more or less the common situation at the dawn of the “post-neo-Baroque” style organ worldwide in the 70s and still is true in some cases today. Some problems have been exacerbated by servicing of this organ over time by people who weren’t completely versed in tuning and maintaining this kind of historically informed organ. Much damage on the small pipes’ top, mouth, toe, and consequently their sound was found as well. The methods used for repairing all of the above damages are the same methods that are used in today’s cutting-edge historical restoration projects. And the addition of the leather slider seals for all wind chests and the three new wedge bellows with their manual operating system are reconstructed as closely as possible from eighteenth-century north German practice, and are considered as part of the renovation. There is the original Erasmus Bielfeldt prototype that inspired Mr. Tsuji. And there is the 1976 St. Paul’s organ that stands as Mr. Tsuji’s interpretation of the prototype. In addition the undersigned had the pleasure of being able to observe Mr. Tsuji’s work nearly 30 years after this organ was built working nearly in the same style. All the decisions for the repair and restoration for the parts that were damaged and out of adjustment were taken after careful consideration of all three of the perspectives.
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Organ restoration, Hiroshi Tsuji, St. Paul's Episcopal church, Tokyo Japan,
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2014-11-20 16:48
Posten ändrad:
2015-01-04 11:18

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