Building an organ for the largest Symphony Hall in Spain means taking on a great deal of responsibility, the instrument must fulfil a number of roles:
It must be a teaching instrument, play host to composition and performance competitions, recordings, and especially serve a concert hall both as a solo instrument and in accompanying roles with both orchestras and choirs.
It must be able to perform a wide range of musical literature and open avenues to new works, but at the same time, it must have with its own character, and be voiced so that it can overcome the large dimensions of the Hall in an acoustical situation that is likely to be more favourable to other types of instruments.
The instrument is based upon international knowledge and progress, reproducing the basic Central European Tradition while, at the same time, being apt for playing music from the rich Iberian Organ Tradition, even creating a synthesis of the two and, like any artistic creation, it must feel fully at home with creative voices of the time and place in which we all live.
The instruments façade is a tangible expression of this synthesis. Designed by the architect Simon Platt, it hopefully accomplishes its goal of being a decorative element which blends in perfectly with the Hall. Many elements inspired by historical Iberian organs live harmoniously in this synthesis:
The traditional en chamade trumpets which are such
distinguishing feature of the Iberian organ.
The organ façade represents the 5 divisions within the organ (Werkprinzip). Each division has its assigned function; so, its sound differs from the rest of the divisions in the instrument. In fact, we could talk about five different organs.
Technical details also reflect the Iberian Organ building Tradition:
After various acoustical experiments in an empty hall and with a full to capacity audience, we were able to effectively measure its capabilities; each of the almost 5,000 pipes was then individually adjusted to fit the conditions of the room.
We start from the assumption that the organ is constantly evolving. One example of this statement are the numerous innovations used in this instrument. Some of them are based on our own research - the wind supply system, the tracker couplings or the quadruple pallets on the Expresivo manual, etc.
Others are found in the works of earlier organ builders such as a system for adjusting the rollerboard pin using self-adjusting springs. We got the idea for this from an invention by Jordi Bosch which he used in the Palacio Real.