The fascination of organ building

 

 

Orgelbau Th. Kuhn AG, 1968

New organ

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
electrical
Inauguration
07.07.1968
Expert
Siegfried Hildenbrand
Case design
Georg Weismann
Voicing
Kurt Baumann

Stop list


www.orgelbau.ch/ope=111470

St. Gallen

IV/P/73

Switzerland, Saint Gall
Dom

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf

Orgelbau Th. Kuhn AG, 1968

New organ

Windchests
slider chests
Key action
mechanical
Stop action
electrical
Inauguration
07.07.1968
Expert
Siegfried Hildenbrand
Case design
Georg Weismann
Voicing
Kurt Baumann

The church of Gallus, the wandering monk from Ireland

On a parchment plan of the monastery from the 9th century the wine casks in the herb garden cellar have been sketched in, but there is no sign of any organs. In spite of this the history of the organs dates back well into the Middle Ages. However, here it is our intention only to outline the history since the modifications to the Basilika of today's High Baroque church of 1755/66. The church was only given the status of a Cathedral (seat of a bishop) in 1823/36 after it was no longer in use as a Benedictine establishment from 1805.

In the new building of the Baroque period two choir organs, facing one another as a mirror image, sufficed for many years. They were commissioned on 15th July 1766 and built by Viktor Ferdinand Bossard (1699-1772) in 1768/70. They stand at the sides above the choir pews and the consoles are built into, and flanked left and right by, the pews. After having had the organs converted to function pneumatically by Franz Gattringer in 1939 they were restored in 1966/67 by Mathis Organ Builders.

It wasn't until 1808/10 that a large west gallery was built. It was necessary for a new large organ which was constructed in 1811/15 by Franz Frosch (1756-1829) from Munich and his son Josef (1785-1868). This instrument had four manuals and pedals, 60 stops and 3476 pipes. The commission for the organ case was given to the stucco-worker and sculptor Josef Simon Mosbrugger from Tschoppernau (in the Bregenzer Wald) who had previously created the new High Altar in 1808/10. The façade was quite unusual. It consisted of four roughly equal sized flat 16 ' towers, two on the left and two on the right, and a very low middle section. The basic Baroque forms appear somewhat rigid, as does the classical «Akantus» leaf ornamentation.

Between 1872 and 1875 Johann Nepomuk Kuhn made fundamental and extensive alterations to the Frosch organ. The new instrument with mechanical cone chests now only had three manuals and 55 stops, of which 14 were newly constructed, fully or in part. The other 41 stops originate from the old organ. The case remained unchanged.

During a complete restoration of the church between 1961 and 1967, which resulted in the interior being given back its original coloration, the new organ was also designed. Once again, this instrument has four manuals and pedals, 73 sounding stops and 5465 pipes. The two outer pedal towers on the left and right from the old organ of 1815 were used, but the rest of the design was new. The instrument was given new slider windchests, a mechanical action and six normal couplers. In order to lighten the key action, so-called «Balanciers» were fitted, which have since been replaced by a newer improved system.

Friedrich Jakob, 2007


Translation: SJR