From Ahrensburg to Honolulu: Organ rescuer Hans-Ulrich Erbslöh | NDR.de – news

Status: 23.05.2021 10:23 a.m.

Japan, Australia, Hawaii. Hans-Ulrich Erbslöh’s passion for organ building has brought him around the world. He builds and refurbishes organs.

At 75 years old, he could have retired long ago. But if a particularly exciting organ is waiting for him, then he simply cannot refuse a new order. For six weeks he has been renovating the organ in St. John’s Church in Ahrensburg (Stormarn district). He checks each of the 1,600 organ pipes individually, cleans them and repairs damage to the organ reeds that make the sound. “It’s really very difficult to convey how you make such a bend on a tongue. And what you have to pay attention to, how it has to react. Nothing helps but experience,” explains the organ expert.

The organs are unique, the work is similar

He has gained experience all over the world – Japan, Australia, Hawaii – there are organs everywhere that he has built or renovated. Each one is unique in itself, but many work steps are the same everywhere.

In Ahrensburg he has to straighten some of the organ pipes because they are bent by tuning. To do this, he reinforces them with metal. On the Hawaiian island of Oahu it was even worse: “You still learn what’s possible about botch. It’s really sometimes adventurous: In Honolulu someone had done the tuning so badly that all the pipes were broken, we all have them and then have to solder such support seams to 700 pipes, “remembers the 75-year-old.

Erbslöh himself rarely plays the organ

He and his team have to retune the repaired organ pipes. Then the church organist can play a rehearsal. Erbslöh hardly plays the organ himself – but the instrument has accompanied him for more than 50 years. “The organs I’m working on don’t work right now. And when they work, I go back to the next one. So I get very little practice,” he says. He doesn’t have a house organ, he doesn’t have enough space for that, otherwise he would build one.

When the organ in Ahrensburg is finished, the organ savior will go to the USA. The next “queen of instruments” is waiting there.

additional Information

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This topic in the program:

Schleswig-Holstein Magazine | 05/22/2021 | 19:30 o’clock

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