“Why don’t you take a look backwards from time to time in kirchen?!”

The (cultural-)historical framework around the big jubilee "1000 years of kemmern" the theme evenings. Kemmern"s history, the name of the town, the presentation of the new chronicle – many people from kemmern didn"t want to miss out on all this. Now the stories surrounding the altars and the organ of the parish church were the focus of attention. In contrast to the previous theme evenings, this time the parish church rather than the parish hall was used as the lecture hall. Where better to tell the story of the altars and the four organs that have been built so far than here??
Mayor rudiger gerst (CSU), however, was not able to bury as many visitors this time as usual "we are a rather small group today", he said at the funeral. This may also have been due to the fact that both topics have already been incorporated into the new chronicle of the town. Nevertheless: all those who were not there have missed something.
Gerst first introduced the evening"s speakers. Lothar braun, who was most recently a judge at the higher regional court in bamberg, has long been involved in historical matters, especially for the bamberg historical society – and then gave a talk on the altars. And harald nehr, a native of kemmen, is now a senior teacher at a grammar school in stuttgart, but is intensively involved with organ history(s).
Lothar braun made the start – and went back to 1710, when the parish of kemmern, which had been elevated to a parish of its own, equipped its church with a new high altar. This has many known siblings, which also come from the workshop of the sculptor sebastian degler, for example in the upper parish in bamberg or the high altar in the parish church scheblitz. The two side altars in kemmern, on the other hand, were built later – there is no invoice for them, so it is reasonable to assume that a donor was found.

Every organ is unique

Harald Nehr took over after braun's presentation. "With no other instrument can you play in two voices. Each one is unique – and you hear sounds from other eras as if you were in a time machine" – this is how the speaker explained his fascination for the instrument organ. For a long time, catholic organs were more for decoration and accompanied the actions of the priest (who at that time still stood with his back to the faithful), whereas protestant organs have always been part of the liturgy.
"Organ playing as we know it, i.E. The accompaniment of congregational singing, developed gradually from the 18th century onwards. Century." therefore, the first two organs in kemmern, built in 1719 and 1867, are also rather small. "An organ was nothing extremely important, it just had to be there."
Nehr went into more detail about the history of the second organ built in kemmen in 1867. Because if there had not been an unsuccessful repair attempt after the second world war, it might still be standing today –
the organs of the organ builder weineck are considered to be good and are still in use in the region in many cases. Its successor in kemmern, a simple construction by the organ builder dietmann from lichtenfels, remained in use only from 1958 to 2013. Your problem: lots of electrics, rather low quality. And so kemmern finally got another new organ in 2013. However, it is not technically new at all – it functions like an organ from bygone times, mechanically. "It could well stand here for 300 years", said nehr.
His presentation was accompanied musically with small interludes by uwe altenbach, who recorded sounds typical for the respective time period. And finally, nehr gave an outlook: today, many organs are still being restored, but in a few years things could look different – due to changing musical tastes, fewer churchgoers, more parish communities and fewer financial resources. "My recommendation: today, in churches that you visit, take a look at the back more often …"

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