Since 1991 the pride of Khmelnitsky Regional Philharmonic has been a large concert organ, designed by the masters of "Rieger-Kloss" firm (Krnov, Czech Republic). The first concert at the established organ was held on 14th of March, 1991, and the first performer was Volodymyr Koshuba. This organ is the last one established in the Soviet Union and is the last organ of "Rieger-Kloss" firm, which is installed in Ukraine.
In fact, it was intended for the concert hall of Volgograd, one of the cities in Russia, but at the time of finishing the organ's manufacture by the Czech firm “Rieger Kloss”, the hall was not ready for it.
History is quite interesting: once Ivan Bukhal (chairman of the executive committee of Khmelnitsky City Council from 1980 to 1990) has heard organ music in the Dome Cathedral in Riga for the first time. It impressed him so much that the idea of establishing an organ in Khmelnitsky appeared in his mind. Once he expressed his request for the organ to Yegor Ligachov (in the late 1980s the secretary on ideology of the Communist Party of Workers and Villagers, in fact, a second person in the USSR). The idea was supported, but it turned out that, like as everything else in the USSR, there were standards: one organ for Ukraine in the five-year plan, and for the next 4 five-year plans, cities were already fore-cast.
But when it turned out that although 10 years ago in Volgograd they ordered the organ, but the hall for it has not been prepared. The well-known Czech firm Rieger Kloss produced the organ, but did not install it because it was no place for it there. Then Ivan Bukhal took advantage of the situation.
Despite the scandal that broke out between the leadership of Volgograd and Khmelnitsky, negotiations with the Czechs took place. Of course, they were interested in establishing the organ, because they received only 50% payment cost (according to rumors, the cost of the instrument at that time was about 1 million dollars). And no one promised them the rest of payment. That is why the initiative to establish the organ in Khmelnitsky Regional Philharmonic, which at that time was in the hall of former drama theater and had a fairly large and cozy auditorium, was supported by the “Rieger Kloss” (it should be noted that the firm also considered the halls of the church that is on Weiser's street and a house of culture).
However, after an acoustic survey of large hall, it turned out that it had insufficient level of reverberation, which did not satisfy the manufacturers, and therefore the specialists proposed to establish an organ in the hall on the second floor of the Philharmonic, which was distinguished by the best acoustic properties. Builders have developed a plan for rebuilding foyer, which required to disassemble the balcony part and to place the organ between the columns. A few projects were proposed by the project manufacturer and one with an asymmetrical placement of pipes on the avenue was selected. It demanded the slightest rebuilding and allowed to keep comfortable passages in the lobby. When constructing the instrument, masters tried to bring its appearance as close to the architectural style of the church, as it was possible, so that it united a unique architecture with the unique instrument.
The organ has 3 manuals, 36 registers - 9 in each manual and pedals, plumes with mechanical control of tone valves, 3rd manual plumes with an additional electrical control for electrical copulations. The design of the organ, the placement of pipes of various sizes (from 13 millimeters to 6 meters), made of metal and valuable wood (black and red), blacksmiths, machines, structures make the tool very convenient for service and adjustment. The organ is located in a specially fenced room, the entrance to which leads from a small office room for the organist. The main number of pipes is located on the second tier of this room, actually at the level of the balcony, which improves the propagation of sound waves. The control panel is on a low stage, which is sufficient for the performances of a small chamber orchestra and soloists.
Acoustic properties of the organ hall make the instrument sound warm and pleasant, most suitable for chamber music. 5 types of potions, 4 paging registers, wide possibilities of copulations, the availability of permanent and free combinations, and other performance possibilities, with a relatively small number of registers, allow even a hardcore organist to experience no executive discomfort. The most enjoyable sound is the Gedackt in II manual. The time of attenuation of sound waves is within 1.6-2.8 seconds, which is quite sufficient.
The soloist-organist of philharmonic is Honored Artist of Ukraine Natalia Moldovan.
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