Kiedrich Virtual Organ Model
Kiedrich - the "oldest organ" of Germany
The instrument in the St. Valentinus and Dionysius church in Kiedrich has the reputation of being the oldest playable organ in Germany. Although that may not be exactly correct, the organ is certainly one of the oldest in Germany, and it contains elements stemming from around 1500.
The organ was rebuilt by Johann Kirchner in 1652 and later altered several times. In the contract to repair the organ in 1710, the Positif of 6 stops is mentioned for the first time, although it was presumably added already by Kirchner. The independent pedal was added probably in 1722. The restoration done in the 19th century is remarkable, because it is so unlike those performed on many other historical organs at that time. When the Baron John Sutton discovered this instrument on one of his journeys through Europe, he was captivated by its Gothic origin and he supplied the money to "restore" the instrument to its 1500 state (at least according to the romantic perceptions and the historism of the mid 19th century). The instrumental part was restored by by Louis Benoit Hooghuys, and the case (including the painted side wings) was restored by August Martin de Fürth.
The last restoration by Kuhn (1985-1987) preserved the state achieved by the previous restoration of John Sutton, emphasizing the Gothic Hauptwerk of the organ as a single manual organ.
The positiv is hidden behind the main organ case in the church tower, thus sounding as an echo-organ, and the modern pedal is also concealed in the church tower behind the organ case.
The Gothic and the neo-Gothic elements blend together exceptionally well in this particular church. The visitor is truly astonished by the church's ambiance when entering the building. The absence of the ecclesiastical baroque, which is so common elsewhere, make this church and its organ absolutely extraordinary.
Special thanks to Timo Ziesche for his kind assistance during the recording sessions.
Further reading: Die Orgel von Kiedrich: Geschichte und Restaurierung der gothischen Orgel der Pfarrkirche St. Valentin und Dionysius zu Kiedrich im Rheingau, by Friedrich Jakob, Männedorf, 1989, 128 pages.
Some further details on-line: http://www.musiqueorguequebec.ca/orgues/allemagne/kiedrichsv.html
The samples are offered in 48kHz/24bit resolution. The multiple releases have three levels: short, mid and long. Hauptwerk v4.2 and higher supported. The sample set is offered in plain wave format (unencrypted). Hauptwerk Advanced version is necessary to run the full surround.
The reverb time is ca. 3 seconds.
The original organ tuning is quarter comma meantone.
The original compass of the keyboards is 45 keys (C - c3), short bottom octaves. The original compass of the pedal division is 17 keys (C - e0, low C# missing).
The compass is extended in a dedicated ODF: manuals 49 keys (full 4 octaves), pedal 25 keys (full two octaves).
All ranks were recorded with and without tremulants for the most convincing tremulant behavior. However, loading tremmed ranks consumes large amount of RAM. It is possible to select to use the artificial tremulant instead to save RAM (the switch is located on the mixer tab).
RAM consumption: 6-channel surround
- 16-bit, other settings default: 10.5 GB
- 20-bit, other settings default: 16.9 GB (recommended)
- 24-bit, other settings default: 19.1 GB
Screen resolution 1280x1024 px or more.
Polyphony of 3000 voices recommended for the full suround.
The sample set is offered in the Surround variant (6 channels). In addition to the usual 4-channel surround, there are two more alternative front channels. In total, there are 4 front audio channels and 2 rear channels. The two pairs of the front ranks feature two different recording positions: direct (near to the pipes) and diffuse (distant from the instrument). These two pairs of the front ranks can either be mixed together freely to achieve any listening position between the two extremes, or used separately - depending on the prefererences of the user. A dedicated "mixing desk" is available in Hauptwerk to mix the sound to the desired level.
- Normal: I/II.
- Tremulant for the whole instrument.
The Screenshots explained
this is the general console view. It serves to define the keyboard MIDI inputs for all the divisions. It also serves to operate the stops on/off. MIDI is assigned by right-clicking any of the switches.
The virtual listening position is adjusted here. Dragging the sliders downwards means to come closer to pipes (more direct sound), dragging them up means going away from the organ into the church nave.
The mixer settings can be stored, retrieved, reset. 3 different mixer settings can be stored/recalled any time.
The switch in the right makes the selection for the tremulant between the sampled tremulant and artificial (Hauptwerk model) tremulant. Useful for RAM saving.
Left+Right Jambs view:
for dual touch screens, split jambs were created. They allow for portrait or landscape orientation, according to the orientation of the touch screens.
Left + Right Jambs Vertical view:
the dual stop jambs offer vertical (portrait) orientation as an alternative. "Signal" button is the blower switch - must be always on. "Koppel" button at the right was added in the virtual variant of the organ, the original coupler is a shove coupler
simplified version of a single jamb to allow for more readable version of the stop names on small LCD touch screens.