The Art of Tradition

We consider a « traditional organ » as being an instrument with the following features:

  • Clear design in divisions according to common patterns
  • Enclosed case made from solid wood
  • Mechanical action
  • Traditional construction principles, kept as simple as possible
  • Tonal style in keeping with the main focal points of the organ repertoire
  • Natural materials
  • Production by craftsmen
  • Own pipe production

Organs built according to these principles are reliable, have a long life and require little maintenance. With their timeless design they are most likely to outlive changes in trend.
From a musical point of view they amply meet the needs of the vast majority of parishes. Individual organs with these features can be built more rigidly based on historical models and can aid historical performance practice as style copies.

The Limits of the Traditional Organ

  • The fully mechanical key action imposes certain limitations on the size of an organ and the degree to which it tends towards the Romantic.
  • On large organs a fully mechanical stop action impedes the performance of complicated compositions. Modern aesthetics often come into conflict with traditional case construction.
  • Modern aesthetics often come into conflict with traditional case construction.
  • The relatively fixed tonal picture of the traditional organ offers the musical avant-garde too few possibilities.
  • Craftsmanship and a high degree of in-house production coupled with the highest demands on quality and individuality have a certain price.

Although we continue to stand true to traditional principles, we take the arguments against these principles seriously. Individual Metzler organs can therefore be found which incorporate certain technologies and tonal ideas which had, in previous decades, been avoided (double registration, symphonic voicing, modern case design).

This stylistic broadening of our horizons has certainly proved to be a fruitful experience: certain achievements have, on the one hand, had a positive influence on our traditional organs and, on the other hand, enable us to take up new challenges.