Organs and Organ Builders in Slovakia
1651 – 2006
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The firm Rieger-Kloss was founded by a fusion of two nationalised organ building companies – the former company Gebrüder Rieger and a smaller firm of local significance, Josef Kloss, working in Krnov.

The firm Gebrüder Rieger closed down formally in 1945 when its owner Josef von Glatter-Götz with his family and his German employees had to leave Czechoslovak territory. The company was taken over by the state, Jan Tuèek and Rudolf Nevoral were appointed to be its temporary managers. In 1947 “The Czechoslovak Timber Factory, National Company, Prague” was appointed to manage the firm. In 1948 the Minister for Industry issued a regulation by which the national company “Factories for Pianos and Organs” was founded; the two nationalised organ building firms’ holdings made up its basis. After a year the factory split into two companies: “Factories for Pianos, National Company” and “Factories for Organs, National Company”. On 10 March 1958 the latter company merged with the newly founded company “Czechoslovak Musical Instruments” and so became one of its factories under the name “Organs”.

After many organisational/management upheavals, the situation in the company settled down as late as the 1960s. The firm, however, was suffering from an acute lack of qualified staff because many of them left for Austria with the former owner of Gebrüder Rieger, Josef von Glatter-Götz. more »»

Organ builder’s workshop

In the first years the company had to deal with problems concerning its existence, to stabilise its economic situation in order to maintain the production programme. Up to the mid 1950s it was a period marked by a lack of qualified staff and quality materials for organ production. The firm continued with the production programme of the Gebrüder Rieger firm from the end of the 1930s in respect of the construction, material, work and economic possibilities. Organs with cone chests, pneumatic actions and romantic voicing were being produced. Because of the complex economic circumstances and a lack of experience, it was not possible to reorientate the production for a type of organ with mechanical actions and slider soundboards which had been developingabroad for decades. The company Rieger-Kloss’s predecessor, the firm Gebrüder Rieger, had begun to develop this type of instrument around 1940, yet during the Second World War development ceased. The design staff left for Austria in 1945 with Josef von Glatter-Götz.

Up to 1958 the factory produced instruments with prevailingly cone chests and pneumatic actions. Some, mainly bigger, organswere equipped with electro-pneumatic action. The other type of instruments were unit organs with electric or pneumatic action but they were substantially fewer. The cooperation with Professors Ernest Riegler-Skalický and Jiøí Reinberger is reflected mainly in the specifications of many organs whose conception is already based on the “werk” principle. more »»

Text: Marek Cepko

Organs               Photogallery              

Promotional material on the occasion of the concert-organ construction.