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Organists in the UK are enjoying new practice organs by Skrabl

Organists in the UK are enjoying new practice organs by Skrabl Click image to enlarge

Three organists in the UK are enjoying new practice organs made to individual specification by Skrabl in Slovenia.

Julian Gunn, Professor of Interventional Cardiology at the University of Sheffield, Desmond Hunter, Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Ulster and John Ross, ARCO, from Eastbourne, placed their orders last autumn.

Delivery of all three instruments took place before Christmas.

Those owned by Prof Gunn and Mr Ross have two manuals and pedals:

Manual I Gedackt 8, Open Flute 4.

Manual II Rohr Flute 8, Spitz Principal 4.

Ped I/P.

Prof Hunter's instrument has two manuals and pedals.

Prof Gunn says: "When I started the hunt, I looked for a second hand practice organ. I tried a Peter Collins in someone's home in Yorkshire and it was so useful to do so. It taught me a lot. 

"First, anything above 2 ft in the average room screams. Second, it is vital to have two contrasting flutes on two manuals, because most practice will need exactly that and that will deal with 95% of music. The pedals just need to be there. You don't need 16 ft. And reeds are too raucous. 

"Very important is that it should look pleasing. It should be a lovely piece of workmanship. I insisted on the gold leaf wings. It is a copy of a Schnitger. You will live with it for years and it is a piece of furniture. And I contacted several UK companies. They were all either unhelpful or too expensive. 

"So mine is a Skrabl. Excellent service. Superb craftsmanship. And it looks brilliant. So much more interesting than UK 1980s boxy designs. I played Richard Wood's one in his home. He is very welcoming and very helpful.

"Their voicer can tweak the basic design. It's brilliant. I can't praise too highly. And any glitches get sorted at their next visit."