Friday, October 16, 2009

Wagner organ, 1739, Trondheim, Norway - Werckmeister II (IV)

The Baroque Organ in Nidaros cathedral, built by Joachim Wagner 1739-41
Changed by Claus Jensen 1860-90 Restored by Jürgen Ahrend 1994

Nidaros cathedral

The Sagas tell us how King Olav Tryggvason of Viking fame founded the city by the mouth of the River Nidelva in 997. Trondheim holds a special place in Norwegian history and culture. It was the first capital of Norway, and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing in the Nidaros cathedral.

Situated by the Trondheim fjord, it is surrounded by lovely forested hills, with the Nidelv river winding through the town. It has been and still is a popular pilgrimage site and ecclesiastical centre, a regional capital and centre for commerce and administration. It features a professional theatre and symphony orchestra and a rich church music tradition.

Trondheim’s organ history dates back to the Middle Ages. A document from 1319 gives credit to the organ culture existing already by that time. In the cathedral, the baroque organ from 1741 has received international reputation as a “Bach” organ, and the large romantic Steinmeyer organ will undoubtedly regain international fame after its restoration.

The Wagner organ

The Cathedral's famous baroque organ was built by renowned organ builder Joachim Wagner and was completed in 1741. Wagner belonged to the community of organ builders around Johann Sebastian Bach, and his instruments lend themselves well for interpretations of Bach's music. The history of the baroque organ in the Cathedral is a history of modification, until it was finally stowed away when the new organ was set up in 1930. However, a surprising amount of the original material was still intact when the facade and the remains of the baroque organ were shipped to the great organ builder Jürgen Ahrend's workshop in Germany.

In 1994 the organ was completely restored and was again placed in the north transept of Nidaros Cathedral in all its former glory. Today there are only four other large Wagner organs, all in the Berlin area, in addition to ours. The organ in Nidaros Cathedral has 30 registers distributed on two manuals and pedals.

(This youtube is no longer available. )

Byne Cathrine Bryndorf at the Wagner organ, 1739, Trondheim, Norway - Temp. Werckmeister II (IV) Leipzig chorales, BWV 651, by JS Bach.

Hauptwerk – 1 manual:

Bordun 16
Principal 8
Rohrflöte 8
Octav 4
Spitzflöte 4
Quinta 3
Octav 2
Waldflöte 2
Cornet 3 fach
Scharff 5 fach
Mixtur 3 fach
Trompet 8

Oberwerk – 2 manual

Gedact 8
Quintadena 8
Principal 4
Rohrflöte 4
Nasat 3
Octav 2
Tertia 1 3/5
Quinta 1 1/2
Mixtur 4 fach
Vox humana 8
Mixtur 3 fach
Trompet 8


Subbas 16
Principal 8
Octav 4
Quinta 3 eller 6
Mixtur 5 fach
Posaune 16
Trompete 8
Cleron 4

3 Sperrventile, Tremulant, Schwebung, Koppel zum manual Clavier, Zimbelstern / Sonne, Calkantglocke

Wind Pressure: 85 mm WS
Ting System: Werckmeister II (modified by Ahrend)
Pitch: a=453 Hz at 17,5 Celcius

Trondheim, Norway

The Steinmeyer organ
The large main organ in Nidaros Cathedral was built by the German company Steinmeyer. With its 127 registers the organ was one of the largest in North Europe until 1960, when it was moved and substantially modified. Even though the rebuilding ruined much of the original design and the acoustic balance, the sound of the instrument still affords the listener a sense of the original sound from the organ in the Cathedral. The organ is currently in a poor condition, but is still well worth preserving. A committee convened to assess the Steinmeyer organ in 1992 unanimously proposed that the organ should be restored to its original condition. Very few of these large German organs from this period still exist. Since 1999, a committee representing the concerned parties has been putting together specific plans for repairing and restoring the organ.

Up to 1993 the baroque organ facade was placed in front of the Steinmeyer organ as an ornament.

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