The Classified Organ
Tourism and discovery
Mr. Eschrich: 1932 – 1939
Joseph Schultz: 1939 - 1991
Fabien Schultz: 1991 – 2012
Vincent Affholder: 2012
(deputy holder): 2012
The organ in video
Georges Schwenkedel's instrument is Burnhaupt-le-Haut's third instrument. Indeed before the current instrument (and in the building of then) succeeded the instrument of Grégoire II Rabiny (1805) as well as that of CL. I. Callinet in 1858.
Following the destruction of the church on July 16, 1915, the architect Paul Gélis was entrusted with the project of the new religious building, which was completed in 1929. The organ installed in 1932 is an instrument considered by many to be one of the finest successes of the organ builder. If it is appropriate to approach the organcase signed Paul Gélis, the instrumental part presents a certain evolution of the romantic aesthetic in the spirit of the reform Alsatian.
Opus 43 from Schwenkedel, then established in Strasbourg-Koenigshoffen, is a pneumatic instrument composed of 2 keyboards (56 notes, expressive narrative), 1 pedalboard, 25 stops, couplers (II/I, I/I 4' , 16'II/I, II/I 4') and couplers (II/P, I/P), a free combiner, 4 fixed combinations (p, mf, f, Tutti) and a pedal crescendo. The console is detached and faces the instrument for the greatest pleasure of the organist.
The buffet, as we indicated, was designed by Paul Gélis and made by R. Brutschy de Ribeauvillé. The instrument actually has only a buffet limited to the front and sides: the rest is open and sounds mostly thanks to the vault. The pilgrim is hardly aware of it, as the facade presenting the lyre of King David supported by two monumental angels holding a sculpted flowery band is imposing. The facade pipes (8' watch) almost all speak: only a few on the extremities are artificial and participate in the visual aesthetics.
Since its construction, Georges Schwenkedel's masterpiece has seen several organ builders intervene for repairs (1958) and upgrades (1978, Steinmetz / 2001 & 2014, Dott / 2019, Guerrier).
The facade, as beautiful as it is, suffers from too long pipes exerting a constraint which made the pipes bend at the level of the mouths twice (2001 and 2019). Faced with the urgency and the threat of seeing a dozen of them sold, the Jean-Christian Guerrier & Associés organ factory (under the supervision of Mr. Christian Lutz, organ technician with the Historic Monuments and Mr. Panel, Curator des Monuments Historiques) proceeded with the repair of the affected pipes and the remarkable tuning of the entire facade.
In a second step, the repair of the horns (“stuck notes” linked to defective skins) to the expressive narrative as well as a general agreement were achieved.
We should salute here the very high quality of the work carried out by the Guerrier et associés manufacture, which is now in charge of monitoring and maintaining the instrument following Richard Dott, who retired in October 2018.
Thus the instrument is to this day in perfect condition: the result of an exemplary follow-up of the titular organists who have succeeded one another, the support of the municipality and the know-how of the organ builders.
Great organ, 56 notes
Cornet 3-5 rows
Expressive narrative, 68 notes
8' Soft Bumblebee
Wind Harp 8'
Celestial voice 8'
Pastoral flute 4'A
Plein-game 4 rows
Harmonic trumpet 8'
Pedal, 30 notes
Fixed combination 'P.'
Fixed Combination 'F.'
Composition of the instrument
Text: Vincent Affholder, titular organist
Photo credits: Niala Prod, Vincent Affholder
Video credit: Niala Prod.