Kolozsvár Pipe Organ Samples
- The real pipe organ
- the 1753 Hahn pipe organ of the St. Michael Church in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvar), Transylvania, Romania
- 35 stops, 3 manuals (with 54 keys), the Rückpositve has 49 pipes and pedal (with 30 keys)
- 3 tremulants (tremolos)
- Equal tuning at (a=439.8 Hz)
- The recording
- All stops were sampled chromatically
- Advanced Pipe Organ Measurements (APM)
- The sample set
- 48 kHz / 24-bit format, 2-channel stereo and 4-channel surround samples
- Natural sound image — the samples contain all spatial information as they are heard
- multiple loops and releases per sample
- One-click assignable manuals
- Extended number of couplers
- Optional organ engine sounds and noises, volume sliders (in Professional Edition)
- Adjustable acoustic perspective (in Professional Edition)
- Multiple pages and touchscreen-optimized for 4:3 displays
- retail box with external USB hard disk drive for an ultra-fast installation
Kolozsvar Pipe Organ Samples is published in two different editions: the Personal and Professional Edition. A freely downloadable Trial Edition, equivalent to the Personal Edition with a time restriction is is also available. For a more detailed comparison of the Editions, please click on the Editions icon above.
Licenses for professional use
Kolozsvar (KOL) Pipe Organ Samples is a fully playable, freely configurable, intuitively manageable and MIDI-controllable virtual pipe organ for the Hauptwerk™ virtual pipe organ software, on both PC and Macintosh computers, delivering the authentic sound of the 35-stop Hahn baroque pipe organ of the St. Michael Church, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to your computer.
The first record about an organ comes from 1565, mentioning that ‘the place of the little organ should be plastered’, so this must have already been a fixed instrument. When the Catholics got back their church on March 30, 1716, there was nothing left but bare walls. There is a record about payment for an organ from 1728, but it was probably an old, used instrument, as in 31 July 1752 a new organ was commissioned. Organ builder Johannes Hahn finished the organ very quickly, shipped it to Cluj by February 1753 to start assembling it, and the 12-stop instrument was inaugurated on the 4th of October. The seven sculptures on the organ case were created by János Nachtigall and the paintings by master Katzler, completed in 1758. The organ had a double façade and was put in the front-middle section of the organ loft. While there was a note in the organ case about a ‘cleaning’ in 1775 by the resident organist, the instrument had to wait over a hundred years – until 1869 – for the next batch of professional repairs.
With the growth of the town and the proliferation of church music, more instruments were featured together with the organ and the artistic level of the celebrations was raised significantly. As the old instrument was heavily used – and used up – in liturgy, a new organ was ordered from István Kolonics, a master organ builder already famous for his excellent works throughout Transylvania. With 3 manuals and 33 stops, the new organ would have become the largest instrument Kolonics planned to manufacture. This organ was never built in the end. The Kolonics-organ would have required a lot of space, more than the medieval, high gallery allowed – but plans for building a new choir gallery were abandoned. Thus, the instrument built in 1753 avoided being reconfigured into a romantic-sounding one. Between September 2 and December 22, 1899, Gyula Csintalan and László Simon repaired the organ, extended its short octave without enlarging the wind chest, because Hahn originally built it with multiple compartments. The organ case was enlarged and moved to the back and an auxiliary console was built. From a historic point of view, these repairs were very fortunate, as – with the exception of two stops – nothing was changed in relation with the sounds of the nearly 150-year-old organ.
Again in 1926, plans for a new organ were commissioned, this time from Otto Rieger in Budapest. Five different – two 4-manual, two 3-manual and one 2-manual – plans were submitted, some of which were considered to be ‘a little too big’ by contemporary organ artist Rezső Zsizsmann. Pécs-based organ builder József Angster and Wegenstein from Temesvár (current Timișoara) also offered their services. The plan with 3 manuals and 48 stops was considered best but World War II – and the Socialist regime after – made it impossible to build.
When the professional restoration could be started in 1990, the instrument was already nearly 240 years old. The professional committee decided to restore the instrument in a faithful manner to the period but extended it with modern parts. Hermann Binder – the then only practicing organ builder in Romania – was commissioned with the task. The works were financed partly from selling the original Hahn-organ and greatly by the donation and collection of Magda Ottrubay of Lucern, Switzerland.
The new, 3-manual console, electric engine, flue pipes and other parts were manufactured by the Laukhuff organ factory of Weikersheim and 6 stops of reed pipes by Giesecke (Göttingen). The front pipes of the Brustwerk and a 2-row Cymbel 2 was built by György Jáky of Győr. In 1992 the 15th century church in the Saxon village of Vérd was left without a congregation, so its organ (also built by Hahn in 1768) was saved and transported to St. Michael’s. This organ was also restored by Hermann Binder. It was put on a movable platform and is used now during the liturgy as a choir organ.
The St. Michael’s Church in Cluj-Napoca houses a unique selection of baroque organs of great historic and artistic value. Unlike but a few places, here musical pieces written for two organs can be performed. Another interesting fact is that the short-octave manual of both the small organ and the Rückpositiv of the large organ are preserved beside the new console. The short-octave manual, used extensively in the days of J. S. Bach, is a challenge even for professional organists.
Editions and versions
There are two different editions of this virtual pipe organ.
The Personal Edition contains all 35 stops of the original organ, and feature Intelligent Tracker noise, KeyboardMass™ and Keyboard Assignment functionality as well as state-remembering buttons and sliders for convenient use. The Personal Edition features stereo recordings with a perspective closer to the pipe organ especially optimal for practicing. The Kolozsvar organ features, for the first time ever in virtual pipe organs, features an intelligent touch-sensitive tracker noise, which is an innovative functionality supporting baroque music. Tracker touch noises are not only touch-sensive but for repetitive keystrikes different tracker sounds are played back allowing realistically sounding repetitive notes. With the KeyboardMass functionality, the inertia of the mechanical tracker action is modeled. By providing the additional feature of adjustability the response speed of the pipe speech when a key is released can be changed to your taste. Thus you can make the keyboards feel very heavy by increasing the slider values, or extremely responsive by decreasing.
The flagship edition of Kolozsvar Pipe Organ Samples contains surround samples and the functionality to adjust the acoustic perspective of the organ from within the graphical user interface. This feature is very nice for balancing between practicing and performance from within the same setup. Naturally, all the features of the Personal Edition are also included in the Professional Edition.
A more detailed comparison can be found at the Editions tab on this page.
Did you know? With the features equivalent to the Personal Edition, a time-limited Trial Edition is also available as a free download, just click on the Try icon above.
The sample set
The real pipe organ has been entirely virtualized, including all sounds of all of its pipes, all functions including the original tracker sounds are provided with some additional couplers extending the original instrument for supporting even more convenient performance.
The final sample set has been made available in 48 kHz / 24-bit 2-channel stereo (Personal Edition) and 4-channel surround format (Professional Edition). The Professional Edition can also be used in 2-channel stereo mode and the provided sliders allow you to change the acoustic perspective (mixing) between the channels. This is very practical for balancing the direct sound and reverberation in the samples you will hear. Multiple, lengthy loops were carefully selected for each sound sample. The applied surround recording technique supported authentically capturing the original spatial image of the sound. Some mixture pipes were virtually restored authentically using proprietary high complexity algorithms developed for this purpose.
Acoustics - multiple perspectives and adjustability
Due to the fact that this instrument has multiple facades, multiple recording locations were used to combine the sound of the sampling library. The stereo sound obtained from closer to the organ supports the "semi-dry" recording approach, meaning that it is perfectly applicable for professional installations both dry and reverberant places. The church acoustic perspective is more reverberant and captures the sound as perceived in the nave. By using the provided sliders on the graphical interface of the virtual pipe organ and mixing the two acoustic perspectives you can achieve a balance that fits your actual taste or purpose whether it is professional performance or practicing.
Multiple release samples and multiple loops
Multiple loops and release samples are provided for each sample. Triggered by Hauptwerk to play back randomly, this elaborate looping results in sustained notes of unmatched realism. The loops were calculated in a well-planned way, yielding both shorter and longer loops for each sample. Multiple release samples provide realistic, note-off-triggered pre-recorded reverberation for different lengths of notes. For example, a short note, with sound not fully developed will produce a different reverberation than a long sustained note. This quality is preserved in the sample library by providing multiple release sample layers.
Advanced Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The graphical interface of this organ was carefully modeled by employing hundreds of photographs and measurement in full 3D and the interface was implemented in a non-orthographical, perspective console view that is fully photo-realistic and operational at the same time. The keys move while you play, and every button responds appropriately to your actions. Both multiple- and single-screen operation is possible: the large number of stops can be operated conveniently from a wide choice of interface pages displayable on multiple touchscreens. Alternatively, convenient single screen operation is also provided.
The sample set comes in a Hauptwerk-specific encrypted format, compatible with Hauptwerk 3.31, 4.0 and later. Modification or disassembling the organ contents through the CODM interface of Hauptwerk is not supported since the variety of functions, the large number temperament data and the availability of the special built-in perspective adjustment already offers most of the functions or more than what the CODM interface may offer. The complexity of the Organ Definition File shipping with this organ is fairly high and building custom variants requires a certain amount of special expertise. If you are planning a custom or commercial application that requires a different setup what Kolozsvar Pipe Organ Samples offers now, please contact us for making a customized version for you.
Availability and shipping
Kolozsvar Pipe Organ Samples is available in download or retail box (physical) delivery. Retail box editions ship on more conveniently usable external Hard Disk Drive with a USB connector allowing for smooth and convenient installation as well as backups.