The organ of Tartu Saint Paul´s church

In 2009 a completely new organ was ordered from German organ builders Paschen Kiel Orgelbau GmbH with 56 stops divided on three manuals and pedal. Since the church was built in Art Noveau style, the invitation to tender envisioned an organ with a basically classical sound, but with a romantic touch. The new organ is firmly based on these principles, taking inspiration from classical organ building as well as romantic traditions in Germany, Scandinavia and Estonia of the 19th and 20th century. In accordance with the adopted style the position of the keyboards follows the romantic-era principle of terraced dynamics with the main organ on 1st, the swell on 2nd and the positive (in swell box) on 3rd keyboard. Flue stops mainly follow the German and Baltic tradition while most reeds are inspired by Scandinavian romantic style and follow principles developed by leading Swedish organ builder Per Larsson Åkerman (1826 – 1876). Main emphasis was given to the unity of the complete organ to make sure that all tonal parts would fit together to create a musically meaningful and relevant organ in the acoustical environment of St. Paul’s dome church.
Every division has foundation diapasons and mixtures. The diapason family of the first manual is complete from Principal 16’ to Mixtur and Scharff. Even the second manual has a complete diapason family from Principal 8’ and Octave 4’ to Mixtur IV (which includes a 2’ from C to c4). Third manual is the piano division. Here the diapason 8’ is called Geigenprincipal and its character is more ‘stringy’. String stops Salicet 4’ and Harmonia aetheria II-III (includes a 2’ from C) correspond with Geigenprincipal to create a ‘stringy’ pleno on III.
Flutes include two open wooden flutes (Hohlflöte on I and Zartflöte on III) in the German and Baltic romantic tradition. On manual II can be found harmonic flutes 8’, 4’ and 2’, which give this division a very specific sound character. Harmonic flutes are not uncommon in German romantic organs and have been very popular in the Swedish romantic tradition due to P.L. Åkerman’s close association with the French romantic organ building style. Stopped flutes on 16’ and 8’ basis can be found on every division and the pedal division has even been provided with a stopped 32’-flute.
Every manual division has 8’string stops. As is the case with diapasons and flutes, even the string stops follow the terraced dynamic principle with a strong Gambe on I, a milder Salicional on II and a soft Viola d’amore on III. Third manual even has a 4’-string, the Salicet, which has been voiced to correspond with both, Viola d’amore 8’ and Geigenprincipal 8’. II and III manual have undulating string stops. On II we find the fast undulating Voix celeste 8’ with a sharp effect while on III the Unda Maris is much softer.
Also reeds follow the terraced dynamics principle with big trumpets 16’ and 8’ on I manual, while on II manual we have a Fagott 16’ and a softer Trompete harmonique 8’. Due to its swell box, the second manual even has a high-pitched 4’ Clarine behind the swell shutters. III manual (piano manual) has no trumpets at all, just an Oboe 8’ and Vox humana 8’. The pedal has many reeds, from Contra-Posaune 32’ to Trompete 4’. In order to have a more versatile pedal division, there is a strong Posaune 16’ and a soft Fagott 16’.

The façade was conceived and designed by organ builder Roland Monczynski in cooperation with the architects of the renovation of St. Paul’s Church Merja Nieminen and Kari Järvinen. The basic layout of the divisions is the 1st manual in the middle, the swell to the left, the positive to the right and the pedal behind. The organ has one ‘floating stop’, the free reed Clarinette 8’ on 2nd and/or 3rd. This stop is provided with a wind-pressure-swell – a device with a roller at the console, with which the wind pressure on the Clarinette bellow can be increased or decreased. Only with free reeds the tuning is stable while the wind pressure changes.

The tonal action is mechanical and the stop action electrical. The organ has a setter system, stop crescendo (crescendo-walz), electrical couplers and midi functions. The crescendo roller (walz) is very important for German romantic music, which has been composed at organs with such devices, while it is completely uncommon in French romantic music. Zinbelstern and Nachtigall are useful effects the organists may use.
Last but not least, this instrument has midi functions, so organists may record their own playing and the organ will reproduce the interpretations. (Text Helmuth Gripentrog)

New organ of St. Paul’s Church of Tartu was voiced by renowned Finnish voicers Helmuth Gripentrog and Kalevi Mäkinen, who have specialized in romantic organ style.

This “king of instruments” was taken into use on the day of consecrating the church, on the 12th of September 2015.

Organ specification

I.             Manual HW C–c’’’’ 

1.           Principal           16’      
2.           Bordun           16’      
3.           Octave           8’        
4.           Hohlflöte           8’          
5.           Gambe           8’        
6.           Gedackt           8’        
7.           Octava           4’        
8.           Flauto           4’          
9.           Quinte           2 2/3’  
10.         Octave           2’          
11.         Mixtur             IV-V    
12.         Scharff           III-IV  
13.         Cornett           V  
14.         Trompete           16’      
15.         Trompete           8’    


II.           Manual Schwellwerk C-c’’’’ (im Schweller) 

16.           Lieblich Gedackt 16’      
17.           Principal          8’        
18.           Bordun           8’        
19.           Harmonieflöte   8’        
20.           Salicional           8’        
21.           Voix Celeste       8’        
22.           Octave           4’        
23.           Traversflöte         4’        
24.           Flageolet           2’        
25.           Mixtur           IV        
26.           Fagott           16’      
27.           Trompete           8’        
28.           Vox Humana       8’        
29.          Clarine           4’        


III.           Manual Positiv C– c’’’’(im Schweller) 

30.           Quintade         16’      
31.           Geigenprincipal     8’          
32.           Viola d’amore 8‘
33.           Zartflöte           8’                                    
34.           Unda Maris           8’        
35.           Rohrflöte           8’        
36.           Salicet           4’        
37.           Flauto dolce         4’        
38.           Nasard           2 2/3’  
39.           Waldflöte           2’        
40.           Terz           1 3/5’    
41.           Piccolo           1’  
42.           Harmonia aetheria II-III    
43.           Oboe           8’      
44.           Clarinette           8’        


Pedal C-g’ 

45.           Untersatz           32’      
46.           Contrabass           16’      
47.           Subbass           16’      
48.           Violon           16’      
49.           Octavbass           8’        
50.           Bordun           8’        
51.           Choralbass           4’+2
52.           Fagott           16’      
53.           Contra-Posaune   32’    
54.           Posaune           16’      
55.           Trompete           8’      
56.           Trompete           4’      

I/Ped ; II/Ped ; III/Ped ; II/I ; III/I ; III/II ; II sub ; III sub ; II/I sub ; III/I sub 

Zimbelstern, Nachtigall