Residence of Christopher Wrench

Simpsons Road, Bardon

PRACTICE ORGAN: Knud Smenge, Melbourne, 1988, for residence of Norman Kaye, South Yarra, Vic
Installed in residence of Christopher Wrench, Petrie Terrace, 2000 W.J. Simon Pierce, Brisbane
Addition 2002 W.J. Simon Pierce, Brisbane
Installed in present location 2013 Christopher Wrench
2 manuals, 5 speaking stops, mechanical action

CONTINUO ORGAN: Henk Klop, Gardegen, Netherlands, 2013
1 manual, 5 speaking stops, mechanical action

The 1988 Knud Smenge organ
[Photograph by Christopher Wrench (June 2012)]

Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2012, 2014 (last updated March 2015)

Practice Organ.

This organ was built in 1988 by Knud Smenge of Melbourne for the residence of Mr Norman Kaye in South Yarra, Melbourne. It was one of two practice organs built at the same time by Smenge, the other being for Australian Catholic University in Melbourne (originally at Mercy Campus, Ascot Vale).1 These were two of a series of similar practice organs with varying specifications built by Smenge, the others being for the Melbourne residences of Ken Peard, Bruce Steele and Douglas Lawrence (1985), Harold Fabrikant (1991), Robin Batterham (1992) and the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne (1993).2


Case and pipework of the Knud Smenge organ
[Photographs by Christopher Wrench (June 2012)]

The casework is of Blackwood, the music desk and stop knobs of Walnut, while the pedals and bench are of Oak. On the keyboards, the naturals are of Bone and the sharps of Rosewood. All of the pipework apart from the bottom octave of pedal pipes is contained within the case, which is fitted with folding doors on the front.

The organ was sold to Christopher Wrench and installed in his residence at Crown Street, Petrie Terrace, by W.J. Simon Pierce in April 2000. The Subbas16ft stop on the Pedal, borrowed from the Gedackt 8ft, was not completed when the organ was built, although it had been 'prepared for' in all respects. The twelve lowest pipes, located at the rear of the organ outside the case, were added in 2002 by W.J. Simon Pierce, who re-voiced the instrument at the same time.3 A new blower was supplied in 2008.4 The organ was installed in its present location in September 2013.5










Mechanical action
Compass: 58/30
Pedalboard: Straight and concave.6

Console details of the Knud Smenge organ
[Photographs by Christopher Wrench (June 2012)]

Continuo Organ.

The continuo organ was built in 2013 by Henk Klop of Gardegen, Netherlands, and was installed in its current location in October that year. It made its debut at QPAC Concert Hall on 7 December 2013, in a performance of Handel's Messiah with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Canticum Chamber Choir, conducted by Ottavio Dantone.

4 0

[Rohrflute] 0

Gedact to c#0, Chimney from d0, open from f#1
C-D# from (Rf)

C-B (stopped), 2' from c2

Compass: 54 notes, C-F
Stops (divided b0/c1)
Transpositions: A392, A415 (C#=C), A440, A466

All wooden pipes

Casework: Cherry (113x84x64cm)
Keyboard: naturals/ebony, sharps/plum
Weight: 120 kg
Inbuilt blower.7

This is one of Klop's standard continuo-organ designs. The pipework is made entirely of wood, following historical examples such as the Compenius organ of 1610 in Copenhagen. The keyboard easily transposes between four pitches, and retracts into the case for safety when the organ is being transported. All of the stops are divided, drawing separately for treble and bass.

There are other comparable instruments by this builder at Scots Church, Melbourne, the Early Music Studio, Parkville, the Melbourne Recital Centre, South Melbourne, and at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, MLC Burwood, Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney, and organs privately owned by Carey Beebe in Sydney and Michael Fulcher in Melbourne.

The 2013 Henk Klop organ in the residence of Christopher Wrench
[Photographs supplied by Christopher Wrench, March 2014]


1 OHTA News, vol. 12, no. 2 (April 1988), p. 15.

2 John Maidment, Gazetteer of Victorian Pipe Organs - OHTA Website; OHTA News, vol. 18, no. 2 (April 1994), p. 6.

3 OHTA News, vol. 26, no. 4 (October 2002), p. 9; personal communication to G. Cox from W.J. Simon Pierce, March 2003.

4 Personal communication to G. Cox from Christopher Wrench, June 2012.

5 Personal communication to G. Cox from Christopher Wrench, August 2013.

6 Specification and details supplied by Christopher Wrench, 2001.

7 Details provided by Christopher Wrench, March 2014.