Fraser Gartshore

Organist | Pianist | Conductor | YouTuber

Posted by: Fraser

Fraser Gartshore is a Scottish/German organist, conductor and YouTuber. But you already knew that.
Marienstatt Abbey

The 4/73 Rieger Organ in Marienstatt Abbey

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The Abbey organ was inaugurated in  in 1970 and is known for its special beauty of sound well beyond the borders of Germany.

The organ was built by the Austrian organ builder Rieger and currently has 73 stops, IV manuals and pedal and over 5,000 pipes. As is often the case in Spain and in many southern German monasteries, the organ was installed above the choir stalls and accompanies the daily choral prayer of the monastic community as well as congregational singing.

Marienstatt is proud to have the only authentic Spanish battery outside the Iberian Peninsula – horizontal trumpets from 1732, which give the organ a baroque lustre. Thanks to its acoustics and location above the “Coro”, it sounds as it can be heard in Spain. This trumpeteria is a true baroque original, not a copy or imitation.

Another special feature is that you can walk around the Marienstatt organ. The organ has a simple and classically symmetrical free-standing construction. Like the old choir stalls, the case is made of solid oak. A steel skeleton supports the wind chests and the mechanical action.

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the voicers, the Marienstatter organ has been artistically and sonically perfected over the years.

There have already been many additions to the organ over the years, including:

Celesta harp (2006)

The celesta harp is historical and was built around 1920 by the famous American organ building company Skinner and completely restored in Germany in 2006. The register contains 61 notes. The special action is controlled electro-pneumatically by its own high-pressure blower and is also equipped with a reverb damper. The celesta harp hangs in a swell box directly beside the organ behind the choir stalls on the west side which also contains the Auxiliary Division (see below).

Sinua Castellan (2012)

This controls a variety of player aids: stepper combination in almost unlimited numbers, freely definable couplers (i.e. melody / bass / any interval), personalised and touch-free switching on of the organ etc. like a keyless car ignition system

Glockenspiel (2012)

The glockenspiel, placed behind the organ between the Hauptwerk and the new bass stops, consists of 37 bronze tubular bells in the middle register and 12 cast resonators in the bass register.

The resonators found in the historical “Helden Organ” by Walcker/Ludwigsburg in Kufstein/Tyrol from 1930 were the inspiration for this.

It is the first glockenspiel of this kind that has since been installed in any church organ.

Flute and Gamba (2012)

The Hauptwerk (II. Manual) was enriched by the addition of two basic voice colours:

an overblown flute 8′ (with 4′ extension) and a gamba 8′ (with 4′ extension), which are also also playable from the I. and IV. manuals to create more tonal possibilities.

Clarinet 8′, Choralbordun 8′ / Bordunschwebung (2015)

The free-reed clarinet has its own wind supply. Its tonal model is that of the American organ building company Skinner and stands together with the celesta harp (2006), the Choralbordun 8` (2015) and the Bordunschwebung 8` (2015) in a swellable case on the west side of the organ. The latter bordun registers are primarily intended for choral accompaniment during the monks’ choral prayer. These works were created by our Marienstatter voicers Bernd Reinartz and Andreas Saage (now Orgelbau Klais/Bonn).

Dulciana 8′ (2016)

The Dulciana 8′ is a quiet historical stop that was made by English organ builder Peter Conacher at the end of the 19th century and is used primarily for choral accompaniment (restored and installed by organ builder Elmar Krawinkel).

YouTube Playlist featuring all recent Marienstatt content:

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