Mayer-Orgel in Junglinster, LuxemburgOrgan of the church St. Martin
in Junglinster, Luxemburg

Stop list

Opus 415
Built in 2010

Mechanical couplers:
Electrical couplers:
4’II-I, 16’II-I, 4’II-II, 16’II-II, 4’II-P, II-I
Mechanical key action
Crescendo double programmable
Mechanical and electrical stop action
Combination system with 2 x 10.000 combinations
personalized USB stick for storage and shared access
Restauration and new construction of the Charles Wetzel organ

A Queen in New Splendor

It is not always ‘out with the old and in with the new’, for quality has persistence. This was especially true for the ideas about the concept for restoring and partly rebuilding the organ of Junglinster. The instrument can look back on a remarkable 400 years full of variations. Most of the glorious historic organ casing dates back to the early 17th century. Unfortunately, the builder is unknown. Then in the early 18th century it was expanded, most likely by Jean Nollet. At the end of the 19the century, in 1887 to be precise, Charles Wetzel built an entirely new mechanical organ using the historic casing. Only 50 years later Georg Haupt renewed the technical organ interior. He used Wetzel’s pipe section and expanded the section with new stops. In the process, he changed the technical system of the organ and installed the pneumatic cone chests typical for the period. As we determined in tests, Haupt modified the intonation of Wetzel’s pipe section only negligibly when changing the slider chest to the cone chest, so we could dare change the pipe section back from the cone chest to the slider chest without having to fear any detriment to the sound, but rather getting closer again to the sound image of the historic Wetzel organ.

In short, we found the following substance: a beautiful organ casing with its origins in the late Renaissance period. A pipe section mainly dating back to Wetzel’s era (1887) and enhanced with Georg Haupt‘s (1939) additions. Then the pneumatic keyboard section and Haupt’s cone wind chests. All together a grown ensemble of historic value as a whole just as well as in its individual units. We agreed with the organ expert advisors that the sound as well as architectural aspects of this grown substance were to be preserved. Only the organ technology, very unsatisfactory and not of long-term value at this point was to be raised to a level where longevity and solidity would be guaranteed and would satisfy the highest musical demands.

The disposition with its romantic characteristics or the stop sections of the organ were left unchanged and only enhanced with several matching new stops (see organ profile) to expand the sound variety and so amplify the musical enployment options of the instrument. Moreover, the organ gained more gravity without changing its sound inheritance. The pneumatic keyboard section and the wind chest of the organ were done away with.

Even an extensive renovation of these parts could not have completely eliminated the technical shortcomings of the instrument. For this reason, the technical organ concept was renewed in its entirety, i.e. the complete interior, with the only exception of the reservoir bellows, a parallel twin fold bellows was built new. A main part of this new construction are the new wind chests. Those are mechanical slider chests which allow the organist a very sensitive play.
Through the mechanical connections between the keys and the sound valves in the wind chest, the so-called tracker action, by choosing the key touch pressure the organist can influence the sound creation and the resounding of the pipes. The trackers consist of a very light cedar wood with a diameter of 6 x 1 mm. Following old traditions, the stops are manually operated. With this, we have restored the organ to the original basic technical concept of Charles Wetzel, if now significantly larger in the number of stops.  The superior quality is shown by both the construction of mechanical pneumatic actions for key and stop actuation and especially also by the presence of an additional electrical stop control with setting system as a playing aid. This stop control enables the organist to program a stop sequence, i.e. they can save the sequence of individual stops or sound coloring they want to use for the design of a concert or worship service and then select the individual stop settings as needed at the push of a button.

The arrangement of the organ sections - main, swell and pedal sections was principally maintained the way Haupt had it arranged. Keyboard section I (main section) is placed in the historic organ casing. Behind it is keyboard section II (swell section) on the same level, separated by a voice corridor. The swell section is in its own casing with walls 40 - 50 mm thick, it may be opened or closed with rolling shutters. The organist moves these shutters with their foot right from the keyboard table, and can so modify the volume of this section. The swell chest features shutter surfaces in the front and also on both sides. This way, the efficiency of the swell effect is significantly bigger than it was with the Haupt version. The pedal section is in the lower casing, between key sections I and II if you will. Large sound openings in the rear organ wall allow for deep sound frequencies to resound well into the church interior.

We restored the historic oak-wood organ casing, considering all aspects of the preservation of cultural heritage. We added he missing bottom casing in the exact style of the original casing. The surfaces were reframed by restorers Martin Mrziglod and Margit Mrziglod-Leiß with the expert advice of Prof. Alex Langini. We built the new section of the casing which houses mainly the swell and pedal sections from solid oak wood, as well.

The design of the keyboard table is oriented closely toward the keyboard table shapes of Charles Wetzel. Since we, unfortunately, did not have any guidelines as to the Wetzel keyboard table of Junglinster, we used the keyboard table of the Wetzel organ of Pfaffenthal as a reference. The casing is made of solid oak wood. The stop pulls were turned from pear-tree wood and polished in black. The stop names are written on little round porcelain plates inserted into the front of the stop pulls. We used rosewood for the clavier jaws as well as the cover board over the keyboard claviers.

All our efforts in the construction of the organ go towards the intrinsic value and longevity in connection with the beauty of the architecture and sound