Building a new Pipe Organ in Jørlunde Church

I’ve just returned home from a visit to the construction site of a new pipe organ being build in Jørlunde Kirke (Jørlunde Church) near Copenhagen (Denmark).

I’ve been visiting several times a week recently, and will continue to do so until the organ is inaugurated on October 25th. The reason for this is my involvement in the project as organ consultant (along with the organist Gunnar Svensson) since 2004, and creator of the disposition and tonal design. This organ is my “baby” and to see it come to life after 5 years of work is simply an amazing experience.

Detail of pipes from the new organ
Detail of pipes from the new organ

It is being build by the outstanding organ builders “Frobenius” and the intonation – “shaping” of the sound of the pipes – is done by their chief intonator Ole Høyer. He works from my guidelines for the voices (UPDATE, October 2009: Read the detailed description of the voices in Danish (English translation in the works)), and I’m involved in the intonation work myself in that once or twice every week I carefully go through the newly finished voices (intonating all 1304 pipes takes about 2-3 months of work) and discuss them with Ole, sometimes having changes made. I think we have a great cooperation with mutual understanding and respect. And we share the common goal of making this an absolutely outstanding musical instrument, a world class pipe organ in a relatively small but beautiful church.

Jørlunde Church

For the technical minded, the disposition is:

Hovedværk (Great Organ), Manual I

Gedakt 16′
Principal 8′
Traversfløjte 8′
Tectus 8′
Oktav 4′
Fløjte 4′
Oktav 2′
Mixtur IV (1 1/3′ + 1′ + 2/3′ + 1/2′)
Trompet 8′

Svelleværk (Swell Organ), Manual II

Rørfløjte 8′
Fugara 8′
Vox Angelica 8′ (from c)
Gemshorn 4′
Schweizerfløjte 2′
Nasat 1 1/3′
Aetheria-Cornet IV (4′ + 2 2/3′ + 2′ + 1 3/5′)
Obo 8′

Pedalværk (Pedal Organ)

Subbas 16′
Principalbas 8′
Bordun 8′
Oktav 4′
Fløjte 4′
Basun 16′ (full length – 5 meter long pipes!)
Trompet 8′

Mechanical (“tracker”) key action, mechanical action couplers, electric registration

So far about half of the pipes have been installed and 5 voices fully intonated. Four voices in the organ (Tectus 8′, Fugara 8′, Oktav 4′, and Fløjte 4′) are created as tonal “copies” of voices from a Demant organ from 1876 with an extraordinarily beautiful sound, and the rest of the organ is being build and intonated to match those stops. The result will be a organ with a delicacy and richness of tone rarely heard.

I will post more information, and pictures, on the progress of the organ in the coming weeks and months.

Gedakt 16' pipes
Gedakt 16' pipes
Detail of the Console. Ivory keys and case made from massive mahagony.
Detail of the Console. Ivory keys and case made from massive mahagony.

More pictures here