Restoration

Before and ….

 

…after restoration

 

Restoration of the A. G. Casparini pipe organ at the Holy Ghost Church in Vilnius started in 1995. The work was entrusted to UAB Vilniaus vargonų dirbtuvė (http://www.vargonai.lt/gucas.htm;). First of all, the original wind system – the bellows – has been restored, the original wind pipe system and the blow pedals have been reconstructed. An electric air blower has been attached, and restoration of wind chests has begun. Also, chemical and polychromic analysis have been accomplished.

In 1998, after the Lithuanian Government allocated additional budget, restoration work on the organ frame continued – a comfortable scaffolding has been installed; the organ frame has been treated with antiseptic and reinforced; the paint applied during the Soviet occupation has been removed from the sides and the back of the frame. Furthermore, synthetic enamel has been removed from the old floor of the choir, and most of the carvings have been restored.

In 2000 after installation of a scaffolding, the whole frame of the organ and the wooden parts of the organ choir have been disinfected, and the structure of the organ frame restored. The expenses amounted to 140 thousand litas (40.500 euros).

In 2002 – 2003 the frontal elements of the organ have been restored: the original colours have been exposed after removal of consequent paint layers. The cost of these works constituted 190 thousand litas (55.000 euros). Restoration of baroque carvings cost 60 thousand litas (17.400 euros). At that time Ugale Organ Worshop (Latvia) under leadership of Jānis Kalniņš joined the effort.

In 2002 – 2005 the instrument itself underwent restoration: bellows, windpipes, wind chests, manuals and actions.

At the turn of XX c. the manuals have been modernised after proportions of the contemporary organs – the pedals have been shortened and seated deep, the manual keys, replaced with grand-piano-size keys.

In 2005, manual keyboards were reconstructed after the single remaining authentic instance of A. G. Casparini manual in Bartai (in German – Barten, present – Barciany, Poland), as well as the pedalboard. The expenses of amounted to 150 thousand litas (43.400 euros).

On November 29, 2005 the actions were tested, and the first sounds produced.

In 2006, J. Kalniņš reconstructed the stop Vox humana under the European Commission Program TrueSound (http://www.mpg.de/942929/F003_Focus_034_039.pdf; http://www.mpg.de/934644/F003_Fokus_034_039.pdf). Reconstruction of this rank has been included into the European Commission program TrueSound for studies of brass in historic pipe organs. The project required cooperation between physicists and pipe organ builders. On the grounds of the research findings, B. Straumal melted the alloy of corresponding composition and according to the required method and produced the blanks that were used by J. Kalniņš to produce the reeds and install them into the reconstructed pipes (http://www.issp.ac.ru/libm/papers/187.pdf).

Prof. H. Vogel has evaluated the result this way: The reconstructed Vox Humana sounds as an old rank. The pipes respond precisely and reliably. Formant differences (sound shade differences when changing from one tone to another) are typical to Vox humana aesthetics of baroque era. Sound volume is well suited to the space volume. This is the best reconstructed Vox Humana that I have heard. Reconstruction of reed metal has contributed to this result.

The cost of all works to this day has cost 776.000 litas (225.000 euros).The major part of the funds has been granted by the Government of Lithuania; some funds have been provided by the parish and the Flora Foundation, Rochester, USA; the EC participated as well (through the program TrueSound). Because there are no funds available to finish the restoration project, they wait for their time to be restored. The sculptures have to be restored and the carvings need to be plated in the façade. The main remaining work is the restoration of the pipe work and the intonation and tuning of the entire instrument. An interesting task is to identify the original temperament. The remaining work will cost 888.000 litas (257.000 euros). With hard work, the project could be completed within one and a half – two years.

In 2001, after completion of documentation of Vilnius pipe organ, GOArt started building a copy of this organ in the Cathedral of Rochester, USA. Thus, the concept was escalated that before a skilful reconstruction of the organ a copy thereof should be built. Mats Arvidsson performed the main works of building the copy. The pipe organ has been slightly modified – the manuals extended to d³, the manuals and the pedalboard provided with a coppler, the II manual expanded with an additional reed stop.

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The pipe organ copy was sanctified in 2009 and invoked a lot of interest and even admiration (http://www.draugas.org/11-06-08juodeikiene-rochester.html).

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