The Harmonium

The Orgelpark owns a Mustel (pressure system) harmonium with two claviers. It not only features the most complete Art Harmonium disposition, but also advanced tools related to the dynamics to be able to control its volume very smoothly. It also contains a prolongement, which can be used to lock keys, and a ‘Percussion’, making the keys hit small metal bars, causing the harmonium to sound like a percussion instrument.

The upper clavier is a celesta: a percussion instrument. The celesta was invented by Mustel and was later on adopted into the orchestra as a separate instrument.

 

Victor Mustel

Victor Mustel (1815-1890) founded his company in Paris in 1853. He enriched and improved the harmonium by Alexandre Debain, which had been patented in 1843. Together with his sons Charles and Auguste he invented the celesta in 1886. This instrument gained widespread fame when none other than Peter Tchaikovsky used it in his Nutcracker Suite. The celesta was combined with the harmonium into one instrument: the new instrument got the name orgue-célesta. It was a very exclusive and expensive instrument. To paint a picture: around 1900 the largest Erard grand piano cost approximately 6.000 French Francs – an ‘Orgue-Célesta Mustel’ cost more than 9.000.

 

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Visit all Orgelpark concerts for only 70 euros a year. By becoming an Orgelpark friend, you help us in our aim to give the organ a new place in contemporary music and allow young talent to perform in a unique ambiance.

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