North German Bureau-organ

One of the first restoration-projects, which was entrusted to me as young journeyman in England was a North German Bureau-organ, which had come into Christopher Hogwoods posession by auction. The instrument probably became part of Hogwoods wonderful keyboard collection because it had passed through famous hands. Shortly before World War II it moved from Hamburg to New York, was loaned out to Yale and repaired and used by Paul Hindemith and his students. This incident can be documented by a charming letter, Hindemith wrote to the organs owner. Furthermore there is an enthusiastic expertise about the instrument by Helmut Walcha, written before the war.

The organ is plain and unobstrusive. Because of its later and dilletante case it appears patched up. But during the process of restoration I realized, that in fact it is a self-contained and precisely designed object, made possibly mid 18th century.

It was rather an intuitive decision to copy this instrument many years later, but when I played the finished copy during a couple of years over and over again, it was confirmed afterwards. The transparency, warmth and pleasant body of the two Gedackts in 8 and 4foot range offer a colourful and shapeable and at the same time surprisingly comprehensive sound quality for a practice-organ.

Meanwhile the organ found a new home in Dresden and is used for Hausmusik nearly every day. It served as a germ cell for my house-organs.