Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:59

Geneva, Victoria Hall (71/IV/P, 1993)

François Delor: César Franck - Pièce Héroïque:

Thanks to the generous support of the British Consul D.F.P. Barton, a prestigious concert hall was erected in Genève in 1894: Victoria Hall. From the beginning this sumptous building possessed an organ of considerable size, which was ingaugurated by the famous organist and composer, Charles-Marie Widor. This first instrument, built by Th. Kuhn (Zürich) was transformed in 1930 by the Tschanun company. In 1949, a new instrument of 82 stops was installed. It was a good example of the 'neo-classical' style in organ building, with a separate console on the stage, and electric action. Rudolf Ziegler and the Manufacture de Grandes Orgues de Genève were resposible for its building. Later enlarged, with 'en chamade' stops, this organ played an important part in the musical life until September 16th 1984. That night a fire devastated the interior of the hall. The entire organ simply melted and collapsed. It was soon decided to restore the interior of the hall as far as possible in the original style, which was flamboyant and heavily decorated. This huge undertaking was carried out with infinite care, including the restitution of the exceptional and well know accoustic qualities of the hall. In order to complete this resoration, it was crusial to build an new organ.

A commision of experts, namely Pierre Segond, François Delor, Louis Robilliard, Jean-François Vaucher, Lionel Rogg and organ builder George Lhôte, was constituted. It soon became evident that only an organ of the 'symphonic' type could successfully be integrated, either vissually or musically, in this festive framework. For this reason, the experts agreed upon an organ built in the so called 'Cavaillé-Coll' tradition. This tradition has still many supporters and the favor of geat composers like O. Messiaen.

grandorgue en positif
Overview at the Grand-Orgue (left) and the Positif (right).


Van den Heuvel has at this time finished the organs of Nieuwe Kerk at Katwijk aan Zee and Saint-Eustache, Paris, which are made in this tradition. Specialy the organ in Paris shows the know how of the company. It is this organ that made several changes to the original design. For example: the console was first designed in the style of Katwijk with mechanical stop- and key action, but was changed in a console separated from the instrument facing the hall with mechanical key action and electronic stop action.

The organ has four manual divisions of 61 notes and a Pedal of 32 notes. The Grand-Orgue, the Positif and the Récit Expressif have 18 stops, the Bombarde 3 stops and the Pédale 14 stops, altogether 71 stops or 102 ranks.

Picture gallery with 30 unique pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key action is mechanical. This key action is assisted by Barker levers for the Pédale, Grand-Orgue, Positif and Récit Expressif. For the Grand-Orgue and the Positif they are ad libitum. The stop action is electronic and features a combination system.

 

geneve montagehal april 1992 1297x960
The organ fully playable in the assembly hall.

The internal layout of the instrument is devided on three levels. Fist on the gallery level the console and the Barker levers and in the back of the organ the Contre-bombarde 32'. At the next level the wind chests of the Grand-Orgue at central position. Behind them the Positif wind chests. On the left and right side the wind chests of the Pédale. On the third level the Récit Expressif. On both sides (C left, C# right) of the swell box the chamade reeds.
The wind chests of the Grand-Orgue and Positif are both made in three parts: two for the bass (C and C#) and one for the upper part from middle c. The Récit is placed on two wind chest one for the Jeux de Fond and one for the Jeux de Combinaison.

In order to be faithfull to the French symphonic organ tradition the organ builder has given higher pressures to the trebles (37 notes) and lower pressures to the bass (24 notes) of the manual divisions (except the Bombarde division). The pressures are as follows:

  • Grand Orgue bass: 100 mm
    Grand Orgue treble: 115 mm
  • Positif bass: 95 mm
    Positif treble: 105 mm
  • Récit Expressif bass: 120 mm
    Récit Expressif treble: 135 mm
  • Bombarde: 150 mm
  • Pédale:
    Foundation stops: 102 mm
    Reeds: 125 mm

The organ was inaugurated on February 14th 1993.

Additional Info

  • Location: Geneva, Switserland
  • Inauguration: Sunday, 14 February 1993
  • Activity: Nieuwbouw
  • Stoplist:
    Pédale, C-g1

    Jeux de Fond
    Soubasse 32'
    Flûte 16'
    Violon 16'
    Soubasse 16'
    Grande Quinte 10 2/3'
    Flûte 8'
    Violoncelle 8'
    Bourdon 8'
    Flûte 4'

    Jeux de Combinaison
    Contre-Bombarde 32' (mahonie)
    Bombarde 16'
    Basson 16'
    Trompette 8'
    Clairon 4'





    Grand-Orgue (I), C-c4

    Jeux de Fond
    Montre 16'
    Bourdon 16'
    Montre 8'
    Salicional 8'
    Flûte Harmonique 8'
    Bourdon 8'
    Prestant 4'
    Flûte 4'
    Octave 4'

    Jeux de Combinaison
    Doublette 2'
    Grande Fourniture 3-6r.
    Fourniture 5r.
    Cymbale 4r.
    Grand Cornet 5r.
    Grande Sesquialtera 2r.
    Bombarde 16'
    Trompette 8'
    Clairon 4'

    Positif (II), C-c4

    Jeux de Fond
    Bourdon 16'
    Montre 8'
    Flûte Harmonique 8'
    Salicional 8'
    Unda-Maris 8'
    Bourdon 8'
    Prestant 4'
    Flûte Douce 4'

    Jeux de Combinaison
    Nasard 2 2/3'
    Doublette 2'
    Tierce 1 3/5'
    Larigot 1 1/3'
    Piccolo 1'
    Plein-Jeu 5r.
    Basson 16' (hooded)
    Trompette 8'
    Cromorne 8'
    Clairon 4'

    Récit Expressif (III), C-c4

    Jeux de Fond
    Quintaton 16'
    Diapason 8'
    Flûte Traversière 8'
    Gambe 8'
    Voix Céleste 8'
    Cor de Nuit 8'
    Fugara 4'
    Flûte Octaviante 4'
    Basson-Hautbois 8'
    Clarinette 8'
    Voix Humaine 8'

    Jeux de Combinaison
    Octavin 2'
    Plein-Jeu Harmonique 3-6r.
    Carillon 1-3r.
    Cornet 5r.
    Bombarde 16'
    Trompette Harmonique 8'
    Clairon Harmonique 4'
    Bombarde (IV), C-c4
    (en chamade)

    Tuba Magna 16'
    Tuba Mirabilis 8'
    Cor Harmonique 4'

















    Copulas et Appels

    Tirasse Positif
    Tirasse Grand-Orgue
    Tirasse Récit
    Tirasse Bombarde
    Copula Positif/Grand-Orgue
    Copula Récit/Grand-Orgue
    Copula Bombarde/Grand-Orgue
    Copula Positif/Récit
    G-O 16'
    Récit 16'
    Appel Machine Grand-Orgue
    Appel Machine Positif
    Appel Jeux de Combinaison Pédale
    Appel Jeux de Combinaison Grand-Orgue
    Appel Jeux de Combinaison Positif
    Appel Jeux de Combinaison Récit
    Crescendo
    Expression Récit
    Trémolo Positif
    Trémolo Récit


    Compount stops

    Grande Fourniture 3-6r.
    C c0 f#0 c1 f#1 c2
    2 2/3 4 5 1/3 8 16 16
    2 2 2/3 4 5 1/3 8 10 2/3
    1 1/3 2 2 2/3 4 5 1/3 8
          2 2/3 4 5 1/3
            2 2/3 4
              2 2/3
     
    Fourniture 5r.
    C f#0 f#1 c3
    2 4 8 8
    1 1/3 2 2/3 4 5 1/3
    1 2 2 2/3 4
    2/3 1 1/3 2 2 2/3
    1/2 1 1 1/3 2
     
    Cymbale 4r.
    C c0 f#0 c1 f#1 c2
    2/3 1 1 1/3 2 2 2/3 4
    1/2 2/3 1 1 1/3 2 2 2/3
    1/3 1/2 2/3 1 1 1/3 2
    1/4 1/3 1/2 2/3 1 1 1/3
     
    Grand Cornet 5r.
    c1
    8
    4
    2 2/3
    2
    1 3/5
     
    Grande Sesquialtera 2r.
    C
    5 1/3
    3 1/5
     
    Plein-Jeu 5r.
    C c0 c1 c2
    1 1 1/3 2 4
    2/3 1 1 1/3 2 2/3
    1/2 2/3 1 2
    1/3 1/2 1 2
    1/4 1/3 2/3 1 1/3
     
    Plein-Jeu Harmonique 3-6r.
    C c0 c1 c2
    2 2/3 4 5 1/3 8
    2 2 2/3 4 5 1/3
    1 1/3 2 2 2/3 4
      1 1/3 2 2 2/3
        1 1/3 2
          1 1/3
     
    Cornet 5r.
    f0
    8
    4
    2 2/3
    2
    1 3/5
     
    Carillon 1-3r.
    C c0 c#3
    1 2 2/3 2 2/3
      1 3/5 2
      1 1 3/5

    20 general combinations and 3 divisionals per division, together with 20 memories.

    Mechanical key action with Barkers for Pédale, Grand-Orgue, Positif and Récit Expressif. Electrical stop action.


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