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Restoring the Spendour

Restoring the Spendour

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  • Sun 4 Sep ’11, 2:30pm – 3:45pm


Cinema 5, 100 The Strand, Whakatane


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $11.00
  • Child: $9.00


ORGANZ website

Witness the grandeur, complexity, craftsmanship and politics of building New Zealand’s largest musical instrument–the Auckland Town Hall organ.

The 62-minute ‘Restoring the Splendour – The Klais Organ in the Auckland Town Hall’ documentary tells the story of the greatest project of its kind ever undertaken in New Zealand, and starts with the original grand Edwardian romantic organ of 1911. This is followed by an exploration of the problems caused when the dictates of 1960s fashion for baroque-style organs resulted in a major rebuild in 1970, producing an organ that failed to meet the needs of its public role, one overwhelmed by choirs and orchestras, which had lost the power and thrill of the original instrument.

Most of the film recounts how the new organ was conceived and then built by the German organbuilders Klais of Bonn, Germany. There is intriguing footage from inside Klais’ factory in Bonn, where computer-generated diagrams, seasoned wood and molten metal are transformed into the pipes and other components. The film also explores the massive challenge of removing most of the old organ to Germany and then bringing the new 40-tonne one to Auckland and putting it together on site in the Auckland Town Hall. The film presents a wonderful opportunity to explore inside the innards of an instrument that may look superficially simple. The film ends with excerpts from the inaugural concert.

‘Restoring the Splendour’ will appeal not only to pipe organ buffs, but also to anyone who is interested in the technological challenges of a complex project and admires fine traditional craftsmanship.

As there will only be one showing and seating is limited booking is advised. Proceeds from the showing will go to the Auckland Town Hall Organ Trust’s very active educational programmes, which complement the Trust’s on-going series of free Sunday afternoon concerts, which have been so successful since the new organ was opened in March 2010.

The film is being presented by ORGANZ – The New Zealand Association of Organists to mark National Organ Month.

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