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Glockenspiel in the city park: Bad Godesberg association wants to renovate the Carillon

Glockenspiel in the city park : Bad Godesberg association wants to renovate the Carillon

The association Bürger.Bad.Godesberg wants to renovate the carillon and purchase two new bells. But there is still a lack of money.

Delicate and yet clearly audible it sounds through the Bad Godesberg city park - "Penny Lane" in an arrangement for carillon is on the desk of Georg Wagner. He is a member of the Bürger.Bad.Godesberg and one of Godesberg's carillonists. Together with his wife Ariane Toffel and Rolf Linden, he is intensively taking care of the carillon in the city park - and especially the planned renovation work for which the association is still collecting donations.

"Dieter Fuchs from the Department of City Greenery has assured us that the renovation of the Carillon will be considered in the next double budget", Wagner says about the current state of affairs. Together with the former organ builder Rolf Linden, they will ensure that the Carillon will be heard regularly in concerts. Due to Corona, these had to be cancelled in the last few months and cannot take place at the moment - even open air concerts are still too dangerous for a crowd of people.

However, the couple Wagner and Toffel as well as Linden have also used this time and have continued to take care of the renovation as far as they could. But the big works are still to come and for these they are currently collecting. "The carillon has to be derusted from the ground up - over 40 years, one has practically always painted over the rust", Wagner informs about the necessary measures. "The players' cabin is in particularly bad condition, as its pyramid shape makes it particularly susceptible to rain and therefore rust everywhere - even though it is a special feature of the Godesberg carillon.

Originally, this carillon stood in the Rheinauen in Bonn during the 1979 State Garden Show and was a gift from the Dutch, from whose homeland the tradition of playing the carillon comes. After the Federal Horticultural Show, the then Mayor of Bad Godesberg, Norbert Hauser, campaigned for the carillon to find a permanent place in the Godesberg City Park. Although the Godesberg piece with its 23 bells belongs to the group of rather small carillons in terms of its circumference, it has a unique selling point due to the ground-level players' cabin: "As a rule, the console is high up in the church towers, so that the audience doesn’t notice it - not even whether there is one or not and to what extent", says Toffel.

In addition to renovating the existing bells, the association would like to add two more bass bells to the instrument, which would make it possible to expand the repertoire and of course extend the sound to a full two octaves. Donors are still being sought for this as well.

On the first weekend of July the Godesberg carillonists had a very special guest to welcome: Gideon Bodden from the Netherlands is, among other things, city carillonist in Amsterdam and also a specialist in technical matters. Now he came to Godesberg to support the local players with their rehabilitation plans and to give them feedback.

"I'm playing this instrument for the first time and I find it a very pleasant and special experience through the audience around it," Bodden said in an interview with the General-Anzeiger. "In itself, the Carillon works, but it was built at a time when people tended to ignore the purely technical and musical aspects. That has changed over the years and now it is time to adapt the bells to the needs of the market." With the help of Bodden, further ideas for the restoration of the Godesberg Carillon have been forged, so that it can sound in even more beautiful splendour as soon as possible.

(Original text: Verena Düren / Translation: Mareike Graepel)