News - NOSPR
Pipe organ in NOSPR!
In NOSPR, work begins on building one of the biggest concert instruments in Europe
At the NOSPR hall in Katowice, work has begun on building a monumental pipe organ. Made up of more than a million parts, the instrument will have 105 stops and two consoles: a stationary console with four keyboards and a five-keyboard mobile console. The organ’s installation will be completed in September this year, but the inaugural concert will not take place until January 2023.
Since the NOSPR’s new hall was opened in 2014, guests have been admiring the towering rows of gleaming pipes arrayed in wavy patterns above the concert platform. Yet although the construction looked impressive, it was merely a model of the organ that was planned to be built.
As Ewa Bogusz-Moore, director of the NOSPR, says: ‘Until the invention of the telephone exchange, towards the end of the nineteenth century, the organ was regarded as the most complex mechanism constructed by man. So it is hardly surprising that its production has taken several years. Now at last we are commencing the installation of this magnificent instrument, which will crown our concert hall’s global potential’.
As soon as the season’s last concert ended, a construction team arrived to take down the model, making space for the long-awaited instrument.
The external dimensions of the organ are truly imposing. It measures 13 metres high, 9 metres wide and 6 metres deep, giving a volume comparable to a two-storey house with a surface area of more than 150m2. The pipes will replace the imitation pipes and occupy a specially prepared space which has been covered by a model organ prospect. Also located there will be the control mechanisms and the complicated air system.
The NOSPR organ is built in the French symphonic style, referring to the finest European organ-building traditions. It will feature many solutions inspired by the legendary instruments from the cathedrals in Rouen and Paris (Notre Dame), as well as advancements introduced by Romantic German organ-building. There will also be modern electromagnetic, electronic and fibreoptic systems bringing this venerable instrument into the world of modern technology.
The instrument is made up of more than a million parts, which were produced by the Slovenian firm of Škrabl in agreement with the NOSPR hall’s architect, Tomasz Konior, and the organist and organ-builder Prof. Julian Gembalski, a former vice-chancellor of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, who devised the concept behind the NOSPR organ and is the expert consultant for the project.
In the words of Anton Škrabl, founder of a company that has produced more than 400 instruments around the world, ‘The NOSPR organ is an exceptional instrument. Such designs occur once every ten or twenty years’. One such instrument was installed in Katowice several years ago at the Music Academy.
The bulk of the instrument, including the most spectacular element, the prospect, containing the pipes that form the architectural setting of the instrument, will be completed in September this year. So the audience at the new season’s inaugural concert in October 2021 will be able to admire the organ in its full splendour. Yet the completion of all the construction elements and the tuning of the instrument are planned for the summer of 2022. That work requires full access to the concert hall, so it can only be done when the orchestra is on its seasonal break.
The instrument should be fully functional in 2022, but the first concert featuring the organ is planned for January 2023.