Last Saturday I went to the discussion on the future of the unique 1789 organ in Tytuvenai (a small town about 2.5 hours drive west from Vilnius). Organ experts, organ builders and organists spent time together investigating possibilities to repair this two-manual instrument which has no pedals.
Today I would like to share a video which I made during the concert but I hope you will forgive me for giving a short account of the event itself (please skip to the bottom of this post to watch the video, if you are in a hurry).
The event was initiated by the organ restorer Rimantas Gučas and the participants were organists and organ expert Göran Grahn (from Sweden), Lithuanian organists Bernardas Vasiliauskas and Gediminas Kviklys, organ builders from Marijampolė Algis Stepanauskas and Gintautas Pylipaitis as well as several students from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater and the priest of this parish Rimantas Žaromskis and a few other observers.
Thanks for the refreshments and a wonderful dinner which was organized by the parish of Tytuvenai to all the participants.
This event was geared towards raising the awareness of the importance of this organ to Lithuania in general and to the local community in particular. A nice concert followed the presentation of the several speakers which was well-attended by the parishioners and quests of the community.
There are a few difficulties in restoring this organ:
1. This church doesn't have a regular organist who could initiate and lead the project.
2. There are other priorities right now for the church, such as to renovate the roof which was damaged by the fire a couple of years ago. This fire destroyed the museum of the monastery along with its precious artifacts. Luckily the organ only had to suffer from a couple of buckets of water.
As you can see in the above picture, Kind David playing the harp covers the carillon of the second manual (a common feature in this region).
Although the general shape of this organ is not very bad, there are at least a few things which need to be done:
1. To restore all four bellows (currently only one is barely functioning). This is the most urgent task, I think.
2. To regulate the uneven key action (quite difficult to play)
3. To investigate and restore the original color of the facade (with a gilding, if possible)
4. To check the pipework, such as the Trompette which is not working properly
5. To discover and restore the original tuning and temperament
6. To reconstruct the parts of the pipework which are not original
7. To restore the original keyboards
I hope you will enjoy the video excerpt of the concert: Jesu, meine Freude by J.L.Krebs and let me know if you want to hear more pieces from this concert.
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Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.