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Duo-Art  

Article

José López-Calo

[Chavarri, Chavarría, Echavarría]

Spanish family of organ makers, active during the 17th and 18th centuries. Originally, they seem to have been from the Basque provinces, and were probably born in different towns. The more important members of the family are here discussed in an approximately chronological order.

Pedro de Echevarría (i) was working on the organs of the Cathedral of León in 1644.

A Fray José de Eizaga y Echevarría (i), a Franciscan friar from Eibar (Guipúzcoa), built the organs of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and of Eibar (Guipúzcoa) before 1659 and those of San Francisco of Vitoria in 1665.

José de Echevarría (ii) was a nephew of the preceding, and built the organs at Tolosa (Guipúzcoa) in 1686. He and his uncle worked together on the organs of Mondragón (Guipúzcoa) in 1677.

Fray José de Echevarría, ‘dwelling in Bilbao’, made an organ in the cathedral at Palencia before 1682. He and an Antonio de Echevarría started the other main organ of that cathedral in ...

Article

Alfred Reichling

German family of organ builders. They were active mainly in Bavaria, Salzberg, Upper Austria and the Tyrol. Christoph Egedacher (d c1661) lived in Straubing and was highly reputed as an organ builder. He built organs for Freising Cathedral (1624); St Ignatius, Landshut (1641–2); Velden, near Landshut (1642); St Johannes, Erding (1643); the Benedictine abbey, Lambach (1653–7); and the pilgrimage church of the Schmerzhafte Muttergottes, Deggendorf (1660). As the specifications of the Freising and Erding organs show, Christoph Egedacher carried on the south German tradition of the 17th century with a predominance of Diapason choruses both in the manuals and in the Pedal. His son Christoph the younger (b Straubing, 19 May 1641; d Salzburg, 6 April 1706) obtained the freedom of the city of Munich in 1663. In 1669 he moved to Salzburg, where he became court organ builder in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Paderno, Italy, 1740; d Milan, Italy, July 13, 1809). Italian politician and piano maker. Already known as a superior craftsman, he moved from Brianza to Milan, where he was elected in 1786 to the Società Patriotica, an elite group of intellectuals, scientists, and engineers; in 1794 he was tasked with restoring the society’s collection of mechanical devices. In 1785 he had built a grand piano equipped with a music desk with automatic page-turner; earlier, Duke Gian Galeazzo Serbelloni had commissioned from him an enharmonic cembalo. In 1795 he was noted as a maker of violicembali (bowed keyboard instruments), and he is supposed to have designed a mechanism that would notate keyboard music as it was being played. His eight known extant pianos, all squares dating from 1786 to 1801, are signed ‘Fratelli Elli’, pointing to his partnership with his brother Pietro Francesco, an organ builder. Nearly all the extant pianos have a ...

Article

David C. Wickens

English family of organ builders. Several complications and confusions concerning the family relationships and professional origins are reviewed by Edmonds. It is certain, however, that George England (d 1773) was at Wood’s-close, Clerkenwell, London, in 1763, the address previously of Richard Bridge. According to Hopkins and Ribault, England married Bridge’s daughter. It is, therefore, confidently asserted that he succeeded to Bridge’s business on the latter’s death in 1758. The style of England’s organ building is similar to that of Bridge, continuing the tradition of Harris and Byfield. Important work by George England includes St George’s Gravesend (1764), where the case, much pipework and other material survives (partially dismantled and unplayable), and St Stephen Wallbrook, London (1765), where the case survives. There are good grounds for questioning the oft-quoted critique of George England’s tonal methods given by Hopkins that suggest a significant difference from his antecedents: the ‘Principal one pipe smaller than his Open Diapason, his Fifteenth two pipes narrower, and every rank of his Mixtures to a varied scale’ and the description of his four rank Compound stop with a Twenty-sixth giving ‘a sound as of bells’ are more appropriate to organs built at the end of the 18th century by George’s nephew, George Pike England....

Article

Rudolf Walter

German family of organ builders and instrument makers. They were active in Breslau (now Wrocław). The most famous member of the family was Michael Engler (b Breslau, 6 Sept 1688; d Breslau, 15 Jan 1760). His son Gottlieb (1734–93) also built some good instruments, and the most important work of his grandson Johann Gottlieb (1775–1829) was the design for the Breslau Cathedral organ (1801).

About 40 organs are known to have been built by Michael Engler, including fine three-manual organs for St Nicholas, Brieg (now Brzeg; 1730), the Cistercian church, Grüssau (now Krzeszów; 1736), St Moritz, Olmütz (now Olomouc; 1745), and St Elisabeth, Breslau (1760–61; completed by his son and son-in-law). Engler built large Prinzipal choruses up to 1⅓′ or 1′, and he incorporated a Tierce rank, but no Zimbel, in the manual Mixtures. In the Pedal department Mixture he included the less common Cornet instead of a Tierce rank, and to the usual 16′, 8′ and 4′ stops in the Pedal he added a wooden 16′ Quintatön (and a 16′ wooden Offenbass in larger instruments). The manuals always contained several 8′ stops, including Prinzipal, Gedackt, Quintatön, Gemshorn, and several flute and string stops; he also added tremulant stops from ...

Article

Edwin M. Good

Family of piano designers and builders. (i) Darrell Fandrich (b Philadelphia, PA, 31 Jan 1942). Piano designer and maker. After many years of experience as a pianist, piano technician, and concert tuner, he began design work, inventing a new type of action for upright pianos that was first patented in 1990. He founded Fandrich Design, Inc., to hold the license rights and promote the design of the new action mechanism; Heather Chambers (b 1948; later Heather Fandrich) joined this corporation in 1991. When other companies failed to adopt the Fandrich Vertical Action, Darrell opted to use it in pianos built by his brother Delwin Fandrich, who began piano production in 1992 and continued to 1994.

After this production ceased in 1994, Darrell and Heather founded Fandrich & Sons in Stanwood, Washington. Contacts in Germany, the Czech Republic, and China led to the purchase of new pianos, which Darrell has rebuilt in order to properly install his action in them. The pianos are then resold as Fandrich & Sons instruments. The Louis Renner Company in Germany manufactures the Fandrich action, which is also used in models of several European makers. The action, designed to feel as solid and responsive as a fine grand action, features carefully weighted keys, hammer return, and repetition springs. In addition to producing 50″ and 52″ uprights with the Fandrich Vertical Action, the company also builds 5′5″, 6′1″, and 7′1″ grand pianos....

Article

Farfisa  

Hugh Davies

revised by Brandon Smith

Italian company of instrument makers. It was founded about 1870 in Ancona to manufacture free-reed instruments, including piano accordions and reed organs. The modern Farfisa company (from FAbbriche Riunite di FISArmoniche, ‘United Accordion Factories’) of Castelfidardo/Camerano was founded in 1946 by Silvio Scandalli, Settimio Soprani (brother of Paolo Soprani), and the Frontalini Accordion Co. of Chicago. Farfisa revolutionized the mass production of accordions by replacing assembly lines with specialized departments producing components that were then assembled into completed instruments. In 1951 Farfisa developed the ‘Super 6’ accordion, considered by many to be the best in the world. Later, Farfisa began producing electronic keyboard instruments ranging in style from piano accordions to synthesizers. From about 1960 its range of electronic piano accordions included the 41-note Cordovox and Transicord (from ‘transistor’ and ‘accordion’), and in 1970 it manufactured an early electronic percussion unit; one Transicord model included an electronic rhythm section.

The company’s success led to a take-over in ...

Article

Feurich  

Laurence Libin

German firm of piano builders. Julius Gustav Feurich (1821–1900), a son and grandson of piano technicians, founded Pianofortefabrik Feurich in Leipzig in 1851, following his training with Pleyel in Paris. Initially the company produced upright models, adding grands in 1855; it was later designated an imperial and royal court supplier. A second factory opened in Leutzsch in 1910 to serve a widespread market, including South America, Australia, and Japan by the 1920s. The firm operated a concert hall in Leipzig and introduced several innovative designs for upright pianos, winning a prize at an exposition in Geneva in 1927. The Leipzig factory was destroyed and the Leutzsch factory was converted to living quarters during World War II, but production resumed thereafter, incorporating the brands Euterpe and W. Hoffmann from Berlin. After the company’s assets were expropriated by the East German government in 1958, the fourth-generation proprietor, Julius Hermann Feurich (...

Article

W.D. Jordan

Australian firm of organ builders. It was founded by George Fincham (b London, 25 Aug 1828; d Melbourne, 21 Dec 1910), the pioneer of Australian organ building. The family originated in the English village of Fincham, Norfolk. George’s father Jonathan George Fincham (1796–1863) and grandfather John (b 1754) were both organ builders. In 1901 George’s son Leslie Valentine Hunter (1879–1955) became a partner in the firm, which continued under the direction of Leslie’s son George Bowring (b 1917) and grandson David George (b 31 Jan 1944).

George Fincham was apprenticed to Henry Bevington in London (1843–9) and then worked as foreman for James Bishop & Son, London, and Forster & Andrews of Hull. He emigrated to Australia in 1852, intending to establish an organ-building enterprise; he set up his first factory in Richmond, Melbourne, in 1862...

Article

Nicholas Thistlethwaite

English firm of organ builders. The partnership began in 1806 when Benjamin Flight (b London, c1767; d London, 1847), was joined by Joseph Robson (d ?1842). Flight's father, Benjamin (fl 1772–1805) was credited with introducing the barrel organ to churches, and Flight and Robson maintained a reputation for ingenuity in the construction of mechanical organs demonstrated in the ‘machine organ’ for the Earl of Kirkwall (1811) and the more famous Apollonicon (first exhibited in 1817). They also devised a system of handles and cranks for blowing the bellows (Trinity College, Cambridge, 1819) and disputed their apprentice J.C. Bishop's claim (see Bishop) to have invented the Composition pedal.

The firm was declared bankrupt in 1832. Robson re-established himself in the old premises in St Martin's Lane, London; he was succeeded (c1842) by his son, Thomas Joseph F. Robson (...

Article

M.C. Carr

revised by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

French family of reed organ makers. Jean-Baptiste-Napoléon Fourneaux (b Leard, Ardennes, May 21, 1808; d Aubanton, Aisne, July 19, 1846) began his career as a clockmaker. In 1830 he settled in Paris and in 1836 bought the business of Chameroy, a maker of accordions and mechanical organs since 1829. Fourneaux became a significant maker of accordions at the exhibition of 1844 he received a silver medal for his orgues expressifs. He built another model of reed organ which he called the ‘Orchestrion’, and invented the percussion action in reed organs.

His sons Jean-Nestor-Napoléon Fourneaux and Jean-Louis-Napoléon Fourneaux (b Paris, 1830) expanded the business which was located in the 10e arrondissement of Paris: in 1860 they were employing 46 workers. Jean-Louis-Napoléon made further improvements to the orgues expressif, and was responsible for a number of inventions, including the ‘melodina’ (1855), the ‘pianista pneumatique’ (1863...

Article

Article

Kurt Lueders

German firm of organ builders . Alois Späth (b Ennetach, nr Mengen, 16 June 1825; d Ennetach, 7 Aug 1876) was apprenticed to, then succeeded Vitus Klingler in Ennetach, building six organs of up to 18 stops each in his region. His son Franz Xaver (1859–1940) set up an independent shop in 1882 following ten years of working as a journeyman with five regional builders. Together with his brother Albert he founded Gebrüder Späth in 1891, a prosperous firm which built some ten organs per year until the mid-1920s, after which Franz’s sons Karl (1899–1971) and August (1908–1979) carried on its work. In 1964 August separated from the firm and reorganized its Freiburg branch under the name of Freiburger Orgelbau; his son Hartwig (b Ennetach, 8 Feb 1942) was trained in the shop and received his Master Organ Builder certificate in ...

Article

Freund  

Alfred Reichling

[Freundt]

German family of organ builders. The oldest surviving instrument ascribed to an organ builder named Freund is the organ at Ardagger, Lower Austria, with an inscription (dated 1770) which states that the organ was built in 1620 by a ‘Passauischen orgelmacher Frynd’. A ‘Johann Georg Freund’, often mentioned in organ-building literature, was formerly thought to be the foremost member of the family, but there is no archival evidence to support this. The first traceable member of the family is Johann Freund (d Passau, 3 Dec 1678). He is possibly identical with ‘Johannes Frondt’ who worked in 1629 in Innsbruck with Leopold Rottenburger of Salzburg; he also worked together with Andreas Butz in Schlägl (1635; see Butz ). Johann Freund built one of the most important organs of the 17th century for Klosterneuburg Abbey, near Vienna (1636–42; restored 1983–90 by the firm of Theodor Kuhn). The overall impression of the ...

Article

Hans Klotz

revised by Felix Friedrich

[Friederici; Fridrichs]

German family of clavichord, piano, organ and harpsichord makers. Christian Ernst Friderici (b Meerane, 7 March 1709; d Gera, 4 May 1780) learned organ building from his father, Johannes Friderici (1653–1731), and later worked as a journeyman for T.H.G. Trost in Altenburg and probably also for Gottfried Silbermann in Freiberg. He set up his ‘Orgel- und Clavierbauanstalt’ (organ and keyboard instrument workshop) in Gera in 1737. In 1745 he invented a Pyramidenflügel (pyramid piano), one of the earliest types of upright piano, whose bass strings rise obliquely to the right so that the ‘peak’ of the case appears in the middle. Several examples survive, one of which may have been owned by Goethe. Other inventions include an early square piano (1758), a lute-harpsichord, a Clavecinbebung (a harpsichord with a vibrato mechanism; 1761) which (according to Gerber) Friderici described in his Avertissement von einer Invention, eine Bebung auf dem Clavecin anzubringen...

Article

Guy Oldham

revised by Ole Olesen

Danish firm of organ builders. It was founded in 1909 at Copenhagen by Theodor Frobenius (1885–1972) and in 1925 moved to Lyngby near Copenhagen. In 1944, when his sons Walther and Erik joined the firm, it began building organs with mechanical key-action and slider-chests and mainly mechanical stop-action. It specializes in carefully designed modern casework with the characteristic feature that the pipework of each manual is arranged to present three to six repeating arrangements of front pipes. The characteristic neo-classical organ type, developed by the firm in the period from about 1925 to 1955, has inspired organ builders in other countries, especially in England and the USA. Important new organs built in Denmark include those at Thisted Kirke (1972), Ribe Domkirke (1973, enlarged 1994), St Mortens Kirke, Naestved (1975), Vangede Kirke (1979), and Opstandelseskirken, Albertslund (1992). Instruments built abroad include those at Queen's College, Oxford (...

Article

Uwe Pape

German firm of organ builders . Alfred Führer (b Wilhelmshaven, 8 Nov 1905; d Wilhelmshaven, 27 May 1974) was first apprenticed as a cabinet maker (1920–24) and then trained as an organ builder with P. Furtwängler & Hammer, Hanover, between 1924 and 1927. He worked as a journeyman with companies in Switzerland and the USA (1929–30) and again with Furtwängler & Hammer (1931–3). In 1933 he set up an organ workshop in Wilhelmshaven, restoring, rebuilding and repairing organs, mainly in the district of Oldenburg-Wilhelmshaven, the former duchy of Oldenburg. After the war the business gained great prestige in northern Germany, particularly in the northern part of Lower Saxony and Bremen. During his lifetime Führer built 760 instruments. In 1974 his nephew Fritz Schild (b Bohlenbergerfeld, 18 Aug 1933) became managing director. He had served his apprenticeship with Führer and then worked in the Netherlands, France and the USA from ...

Article

Article

Gartner  

Hans Klotz

revised by Jiří Sehnal

Bohemian family of organ builders. Johann Anton (b Tachov, 5 July 1707; d 11 July 1771) was an important local organ builder of his day. His work included the organ in the Premonstratensian Monastery at Teplá (1755–60; three manuals and 34 stops), which still survives, and the organ for St Vitus’s Cathedral, Prague (1762–5; three manuals, 40 stops), of which the case survives. His great-grandson Josef the younger (b Tachov, 30 Aug 1796; d Prague, 30 May 1863) became well known for his restoration of large Baroque organs: surviving examples include St Mary (1825) and St Nicholas Kleinseite (1835), Prague. Several of his own organs also survive. As organ builders the Gartner family belong, broadly speaking, to the school of Abraham Stark. In 1825 Josef the younger made a special study of Silbermann organs in Saxony: his essay, Kurze Belehrung über die innere Einrichtung der Orgeln...