Johannus installs majestic organ in Novosibirsk
Dirk Koudijs and Marco van de Weerd set out for Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, at the heart of Russia. There they will be installing a beautiful Monarke Präludium in the city's concert hall. Read on for Marco van de Weerd's story on the installation.
Siberia, cold and grey
That is what we are really expecting to find when we (Dirk Koudijs and Marco van de Weerd) set out for Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, at the heart of Russia.
Nothing could be further from the truth as we arrive there to install a beautiful Monarke Präludium. The people are warm and friendly, the weather could have passed for Dutch. And the city is relatively new and large. With over 1.4 million inhabitants Novosibirsk is Russia’s third largest city.
The organ will be placed in the city’s concert hall. Because you won’t find many organs in the churches. The Russian Orthodox Church has a wonderful tradition of song, but unaccompanied by musical instruments. That is why the Monarke-organ is a true novelty in the city. There was one organ at the school of music, but that was all.
We anxiously enter the hall to see whether everything has arrived. From Ede to Dresden (DL), and then onto a truck, to Siberia in 20 days. Hoping all goes well. Fortunately everything appears to have arrived in order and we can start work the next day.
The following morning a large team is ready to unpack everything and we want to start fastening the mounting brackets to the wall. Fortunately we have an interpreter, because most Russians here do not speak English or German. Unfortunately, things immediately went wrong. The drill we had asked for repeatedly before we left isn’t there. The waiting begins.
A couple of hours later someone arrives with the drill after all. We are ready to continue. From this point on everything proceeds rather smoothly. The next day we can connect all of the speakers to the organ. When Dirk Koudijs plays the first chords, everyone stops what they are doing. This is beautiful….
Faces appeared in the door opening.
What is that sound?
An organ? Beautiful!
But there is much more in store. In front of the speakers there will be beautiful pipes that perfectly fit this beautiful concert hall. But the pipes are not so beautiful when we unpack them. It seems the Russian roads have not done the pipes any good. We need to polish them to remove all the scratches. We try to explain to them, using our hands and feet, that we need a type of silver polish. We finally obtain it. And after lengthy polishing the pipes are back to their beautiful selves.
The organ is then finished and we can start tuning. For a moment we are confused. What is that rumbling? Is the organ broken? Fortunately not. Underneath the concert hall runs the underground metro. When it is quiet in the hall, you can hear it pass. You can even feel the vibration. We can proceed. From time to time people curiously peep around the corner. The organ is playing! You can just see them beam with happiness.
The news has even reached Radio 4 in The Netherlands and we are interviewed live during broadcast. It is also hot news in Russia. Almost twenty reporters and three camera crew come to attend a press conference. We are not used to this. But it certainly is fun. Gleaming with pride, we explain how the organ came to be there. Then Dirk Koudijs finally plays a few short pieces to let them hear the organ. The people are happy and so are we….
Marco van de Weerd
Commercial Director Johannus Organs