The keyboard of the Kulturpalast organ is mobile, which allows the organist to join the orchestra on stage. Or even to be surrounded by school children on a class visit. Gehring enjoys explaining and demonstrating the fascinating technology behind this instrument to youngsters: “Music is important, as children are the audience of tomorrow.”
At concerts, it will either be Gehring playing or the organist in residence at the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. This is currently Olivier Latry, who is also the official organist at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. At the end of the inaugural concert, Latry was as voluble in his praise for the Kulturpalast instrument as the audience and the media.
Right up until the night before the grand opening, the tuners were working evening shifts to adjust the sound of the organ to last-minute structural changes in the auditorium, while the orchestra rehearsed during the daytime.
The aim was to match the sound to the mentality of the people in Dresden and Saxony: “Clear, soft and warm,” according to Dirk Eule.
Hermann Eule Orgelbau in the Lausitz region to the north of Dresden has been building organs for almost one and a half centuries. The fact that the committee chose a Saxon instrument builder was a lucky coincidence rather than intentional. Eule beat off international competition by virtue of their proposal and their experience of concert halls in Germany and abroad.
Dirk Eule detects signs of a comeback for the concert organ, and he is especially delighted for Dresden: “The Kulturpalast is paving the way for others.”