The organ of la Mercè
History of the organ de la Mercè
The first time I have come across anything referring to organs and organ builders was that on 12th November, 1482 Friar Pablo Roselló, of the religious Orden de Predicadores (Order of Preachers), who resided in the convent of Santa Catalina, claimed twelve Barcelona pounds in exchange for a “barrel organ” built by the church of the convent of the Virgin of la Merced.
Years later, Joan Ferrando (active between 1507 and 1519), organ master and born in Gerona, made another one in 1510 (Madurell)
Now situated in the XVII century- according to the historian Louis Ausseil- José Boscá de Seringena (1698-1757), coming from a family in Cerdanya, completed an organ in the church of la Merced in 1757.
Bonastre says that the invoice for a new organ was attributed to José Boscá y Llorens (1734-1764) son of José Boscá de Seringena in 1759.
At any rate, it is difficult to acknowledge the assignment of two organs to two members of the same family completed in the space of two years.
Some historians say that in the same period the intervention of Jean-Pierre Cavaillé, organ builder born in the region of Gaillac (France) was called upon in 1743. He had learned the trade from his uncle Joseph with whom he worked in the region of Languedoc and Rosselló.
Jean-Pierre Cavaillé (1743 – 1808)
Before the XII century Jean-Pierre Cavaillé (1743-1808) Jean-Pierre Cavaillé comes to Barcelona around 1755 in order to build the organs for the churches of la Merced and the convent of Santa Catalina. (Historical details from the house of A.Cavaillé-Coll)
On completing the organs he marries Maria Francisca Coll, the daughter of a silk merchant, in Santa María del Mar in 1767. He returns to France where he continues to make numerous organs in the region of Languedoc-Rossellón, where his son Dominique is born in 1771. His wife, María Francisca Coll dies in 1780 and Jean-Pierre gets married for the second time to Marguerite Fabry.
The Cavaillé-Coll family come and go to Spain from France depending on the political and social situation in both countries.
In 1778 the Cavaille family move to Catalonia and in 1789, flee from the French revolution and settle in Barcelona where they maintain a good relationship with the relatives of the deceased María Francisca Coll.
Subsidised in 1794 by the Real Junta de Comercio de Barcelona (The Royal Board of Commerce of Barcelona), he restores the organ of Santa Maríay in 1796 and then in 1798 he restores the one in the new church of la Merced. (Ouret, p.180).
Dominique-Hyacinthe Cavaillé-Coll (Tolosa de Llenguadoc, 1771- París 1862)
Dominique-Hyacinthe Cavaillé-Coll (Tolosa de Llenguadoc, 1771-Paris 1862 Dominique, who soon learns the trade, works with his father and brother Pedro (Baldelló).
They build several organs in Catalonia and France: the one in the collegiate church of Puigcerdà (1789), the one in San Juan de las Abadesas , in Vic (1798) and the one in the Castelló d’Empúries, in Tortosa. In Barcelona, they build those of a “monumental nature” in Santa María del Mar (1796-inaugurated in 1797) and in the one of la Merced towards 1800. (Ausseil; Baldelló) Towards 1806 the family return to France where they continue with their occupation with considerable success.
At that time Jean-Pierre Cavaillé budgets the organ of the cathedral of Lleida. On Jean-Pierre’s death in 1808, Dominique proceeds with the execution until the completion of the work in 1830. We have also read that it was Aristide who completed this work at the age of 18. (Historical facts from the house of A.Cavaillé-Coll. The organ was destroyed during the Civil War)
Dominique marries Jeanne Autard in 1810 and they live in Montpellier, where their son Aristide is born in 1811. He continues to work in the region of Toulouse, where he builds the organ for the collegiate church of Saint-Gaudens, the only organ of this Master which is conserved in good condition and declared a “historical monument”. In 1833 the whole Cavaillé- Coll family settle in Paris where they successfully continue the family tradition with a firm that manufactures organs.
Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899).
Aristide Cavaillé-Coll will become one of the best and most prolific organ builders of the XIX century; he features the romantic organ and influences the work of Aquilino Amezúa.
Joan Puig (XIX century) organ master settled in Barcelona halfway through the nineteenth century, who intervenes in the manufacture of an organ in Santa María del Mar in 1854.
In 1875, the Order of la Merced agreed to proceed with the renewal of the organ and commissioned Joan Puig, who renewed the fundamental part of the instrument increasing it with higher power tones, placing the registers of ornamentation etc. In March, 1876 the official test took place and the organists Pardàs and Candi performed.(Cowley, p.140. This refers to the musicians and organists Primitivo Pardàs Font, 1828-1897 and Cándido Candi y Casanovas, 1844-1911)
Aquilino Amezúa y Jáuregui Aquilino Amezúa y Jáuregui (1847-1912) belongs to a family of Basque organ builders, who set up a work shop in Barcelona between 1882-1884, where they make several organs, the most important of which is the one in the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) of the Universal Exhibition of Barcelona in 1888.
He makes the organ of the Palau Güell, those in the churches of Santa Ana in 1877, Belen in 1881, las Salesas in 181, San Vicente de Sarriá in 1893, the church of the Jesuits of Casp in 1892, the Monastery of Montserrat in 1896 and the parish of the Virgin of la Merced in 1893. Outside Barcelona the one in the Monastery of Ripoll is his work too.
Aquilino Amezúa, following the path initiated by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll , introduced the romantic organ in Spain, and he is the master of Gaietà Estadella Soler and Pau Xuclà Camprubi, both interveners of the organs of la Merced, and to whom he transmits the tradition of the romantic organ of French origin.
Pau Xuclà i Camprubí Pau Xuclà I Camprubí (1868-1953) is the son of the family that founded the society “Órganos de Pablo Xuclà” (Organs of Pablo Xuclà) in calle Laforja 26, Barcelona in 1860.
His father- Mariano Xuclà- married Mónica Camprubí and they had two sons: Dolores, who married the organ maker, Estadella and Pau who died in 1953.
He was a disciple of Amezúa and builder of numerous organs in Barcelona: those in the churches of Pompeya, Belén, San José de Gracia, Santa Mónica, San José de la Montaña, San Felipe Neri, Condal school (La Salle).
He also works round Spain and abroad. Besides he reforms important organs, like the one built by Amezúa for the Palacio de Bellas Artes de Barcelona, and those in Morella, Vic and the cathedral of Barcelona.
Pau Xuclà builds a new organ for la Merced, equipped with a Baker machine, which is blessed in 1915.
The organs of the 20th century.
El coro y el órgano en 1934
During the Civil War two organs of la Merced were burnt down. In many large churches and cathedrals there was more than one organ.
El coro de la basílica después de julio de 1936. Fotografía Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico. Archivo Mas
The big and monumental ones, also known as great organs, were complemented by other smaller ones situated in chapels where individual religious acts were held. We think that there is only one large organ in la Merced and that the rest (the one in the chapel of la Soledad or in the alcove) were transportable, some of which may have been destroyed.
After the Civil War the most prestigious organ builders of Barcelona were Pau Xuclà and Gaietà Estadella, who had worked in Amezúa’s work shops and were fellow students of Lope Alberdi.
Gaietà Estadella i Soler (1877-1944) A disciple of Amezúa, he set up on his own and founded his own building business at 58, calle Martinez de la Rosa (previously called calle de la Estrella, in Gracia). The premises and work shop were sold to the Italian organ builder , Francesco Teppati, collaborator of Juan Amezúa, Aquilino’s father.
The organs that Estadella built are of a symphonic style and of good quality. Unfortunately most of them were destroyed in the Civil War.
He married Dolores Xuclà y Camprubí (1882-1952) who burnt and destroyed all the documentation and papers related to her husband’s activity when she became a widow. For this reason it is difficult to document Estadella’s career and activity. (Cowley)
Cowley divides Estadella’s organs in two stages depending on the style and characteristics: the former to 1925-more innovative and greater quality-and the latter up to his death.
This author defines the characteristics of his organs: “… the dimensions of an ordinary Estadella’s organ are rather reduced, between 16 and 24 registrations, with two manual keyboards and a pedal as a rule .
All the instruments of the second stage fall within these parametres … the one in Santa María de Mataró remained intact as proof of the romantic school of Catalan organ building”.
It seems that Estadella’s organs were made of good wood and the cabinet makers were qualified.
Among those that are preserved from the first period are those of the Monastery of Sant Cugat del Vallès of 1912( later restored), Sant Andreu de LLavaneres of 1918 and Santa María de Tàrrega of 1923.
From the second period are those of Carmen de Vic of 1930, Santa María de Vilafranca del Penedès of 1942-43, la Merced, towards 1944-1947 and others of minor relevance. He also repairs those of Santa María de Badalona, the Monastery of Ripoll, San Severo (Barcelona), the ex -collegiate church of Guisona and Nuestra Señora del Collell.
Likewise he reforms the one of the cathedral of Lleida in 1921 From the second stage, his best work is the organ of the church of Santa María de Mataró in 1927.
This organ was “pardoned” from the destruction of 1937 because “La Internacional” was interpreted on it when it was about to be burnt. (Records from the Archive Museum of Santa María) In 1935 he renovates the one in the cathedral of Barcelona, adding a pneumatic organ and a romantic device.
When the Civil War ends, Estadella starts working at the Town Hall of Barcelona and is in charge of the maintenance of the organ of the Cathedral.
As the organ of the basilica of la Merced was destroyed in the Civil War, the building of a new one begins (Cowley does not confirm this) between 1944 and 1947. When he dies suddenly, his brother-in-law Pablo Xuclà y Camprubí continues his work, also leaving it unfinished due to heart failure in 1953.
Ramón Solsona i Isanda (Ela Arcs, Lleida 1881-1950) When Ramón Solsona arrives in Barcelona, he starts work as an apprentice at the organ building firm of Casa Xuclà until 1931. After this date he works with Cayetano Estadella. He was a very qualified person in the execution of his work and renowned for the tuning of instruments. He never got to set up his own work shop or work for himself, but he intervened in the making of Xuclà and Estadella’s organs, in particular those in Belen and la Merced. (Cowley)
La Escolania (Cathedral choir), the organ and musical formation. Halfway through the 18th century, Father Joan Oliva y Torres from Barcelona who had been an altar boy in the chapel of San Justo and was an organist and composer, began forming some boys so as to create a choir in la Merced imitating the one in the Monastery of Montserrat.
The choir of altar boys sang at mass every day, apart from special interventions at festive times and various services.
When Mossèn Oliva died in 1801, the direction was resumed by Mn. Esteve Vinyals .
The first group of boys (about 25 between the ages of seven and thirteen) lived in the convent and were provided for thanks to the generosity of Barcelona citizen, Josep Gloria who, on his death in 1782, left assets for the support of ten or twelve pupils.
La Escolanía was independent from the music chapel, the pupils sang together, sometimes solo or with harmonium or piano accompaniment and they almost always limited themselves to singing the Salve (a hymn) and the joys and praises to Our Lady (Ouret)
The professors and teachers of the cathedral choir have been highly qualified musicians of renowned prestige and important figures in the history of Catalan music.
When the French War in ended the Escolanía had to be reorganized in 1814 and Fray Pascual Ferreras Escarràs (1775-1849) took charge of the direction together with Ignacio Combelles, a well- known flute professor. They were followed by Esteve Vinyals and Francisco Andrevi (1786-1853), master of the chapel from 1850 to 1853.
The composer and musician Bernard Calvó Puig Capdevila (1819-1850) succeeded Andreví as master of the chapel and conductor of the choir until Bonaventura Frigola Frigola (1829-1901) held the position from 1881 to 1901.
It is during this period (1879) that Enrique Granados (1867-1916) enters the Escolanía where he receives musical education by Francisco Javier Jumet. Joaquim Cassadó y Valls (1867-1926) enters la Merced when Bonaventura Frigola was master of the chapel.
On his death in 1901, Cassadó held the position for the next five yaers. He married Josefa Moreu Fornells and their sons Gaspar and Agustín were introduced to music in the Escolanía of la Merced. Gaspar Cassadó y Valls (1897-1966) began studying the violoncello at the age of five with the teacher, Dionisio March, in the same chapel of la Merced that his father directed.
Luis Millet (1867-1941) a musician, composer and choral conductor was appointed master of the chapel of la Merced in 1906 and his relationship with la Merced lasted until 1939.
Antoni Pérez-Moya (Valencia 1884-1964) a musician, composer and choral teacher entered the Escolanía at the age of eleven (around 1895) which was conducted at that time by Joaquim Cassadó, where he studied sol-fa, the piano, organ and violin with the teachers Bonaventura Frigola and Joaquim Cassadó.
In 1941 he took the place of Millet as master of the chapel.
La Escolanía de la Merced dibujada por Lola Anglada
Antoni Pérez-Simón (1920-2005) was a musician, composer and choral conductor. He entered the Escolanía of the Virgin of la Merced in 1929 where he received his musical formation from Lluis Millet and that of choral conductor from his father, Antoni Pérez-Moya.He was appoionted organist of the basilica in 1941 and on his father’s death in 1964 he took over as master of the chapel.
La Escolanía y el nuevo órgano en 1958
The Escolanía subsisted until 1978.
The organ of the basilica: 1942-2017
As the organ of the basilica was destroyed because of the Civil War, they decide to build a new one in 1942 thanks to the donation from Dr. Molera, former rector of the basilica.
Although the organ console bears the name of Pau Xuclà, the project could have been Estadella’s and the work done by Salvador Aragonés y Arcediano, from the firm of Francisco Aragonés y Puerta. The organ builder, Estadella died in 1944 and even so it seems the organ came to sound.
Expansion, restorations and projects 1955-2013
In 1955, the new Rector, Dr. Lorenzo Castells orders the extension and restoration of the organ from the Manufacturer of Organs of Nuestra Señora de Montserrat, situated in Collbató and which was created by José Rogent y Pedrosa (1967-33) and the Italian organ master, Silvio Puggina Felisati (d.1940), creator – among other things- of the organ of the school of San Miguel de Barcelona.
Once the Civil War ended, the Venetian organ builder, Enrico Rabagliati Pampuri runs the firm in 1940 at the same time as being the carpenter and mechanic. The manufacture of the pipes is carried out by Basilio Giménez. The firm installs the “pneumaticotubular” system of the master Puggina and cooperates with several well- known organ builders such as Pau Xuclà and Salvador Aragonés amongst others. The reform that Mosén Castells asks Joan Rogent y Massó (d.1967) for from the firm Organos de Nuestra Señora de Montserrat consists of two stages, the first of which is begun in April, 1956 and the second in 1957, with a total cost of 80,000 pesetas and ends in December, 1958.
At the same time that the organ is extended and restored, the sculptor Claudi Ríus decorates the space of the choir and adds the clay angel which is at the front of the instrument.
Shortly afterwards, in 1958, a third phase of the project is budgeted with the aim of enlarging and putting into operation the stool, which had turned out to be as Estadella had imagined. This job had an estimate of 130,000 pesetas but we are not sure that this was completed.
At Christmas, 1958 the new organ was played for the first time.
The firm of Joan Rogent y Massó continues to tune and repair the organ until 1964, when there is a business change with the Blancafort family.
Between 1967 and 1992 Enrico Rabagliati, who set up on his own in Llagostera street in Barcelona, deals with the repairs and tuning of the instrument.
Between 1992 and 1996 they study a new project of restoration, by Francisco Banaque, set up in calle Puigcerdá 261, Barcelona, with an estimate of 4,170,000 pesetas which is not down in writing that it has been done.
In 1998-as indicated by the master organist Antoni Pérez Moya, head of the basilica-a new project of the restoration of the organ is requested from the firm of Del Olmo Arrizabalaga, de Les Franqueses. The draft includes an historical and photographic study of the state of the instrument. The estimate of 8,753,118 pesetas was approved and paid.
In 2001 , the organist of the basilica, Raúl Prieto Ramírez, carries out a technical and historical study of the instrument and a new intervention of the restoration is commissioned to E R Ottes.This intervention, the sum of which was 9,015,711 pesetas, was paid in spite of being unfinished.
A new project of restoration was commissioned to Acityores in 2013 which remains without execution.
In 2016, the Brotherhood of the Virgin of la Merced commissions the organ builder Gerhard Grenzing to build a new organ for the Basilica, for the occasion of the commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the institution of the Mercedarian Order by San Pedro Nolasco in 1208.
These notes are taken from the documents of the Archive of the Basilica, and complete the bibliographic review.
Mª Luisa Camarero Roca,
de la Hermandad de la Virgen de la Merced y benévola de la Basílica
Barcelona, julio de 2017
Ausseil, Louis: L’orgue en Catalogne et dans les Pyrénnées Orientales.- Nº spécial de la revue “L’orgue”.
Baldelló, F.: Órganos y organeros en Barcelona: siglos XIII-XIX.- Separata del vol. 1 del Anuario Musical , 1946.
Bonastre, Francesc: Evolución del órgano español del siglo XVIII a través de la obra de los organeros Boscà. - A: El órgano español: actas del II Congreso Español del Órgano, p. 171.
Cowley, Neil: Instruments de teclat a Catalunya.- Manuscrit mecanografiat.
Curet, Francesc: Visions barcelonines, 1760-1860: la vida religiosa.- Barcelona: Dalmau i Jover, 1955.
Datos históricos de la casa A.Cavaillé-Coll: fábrica de grandes órganos de iglesia y de salón.- Barcelona: Tip.de la Casa Provincial de Caridad, 1901.
Escalona, Josep Maria: L’orgue a Catalunya.- Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, 2000.
Fulls del Museu Arxiu de Santa Maria ' style='Mataró:;'>, nº 92, p.38
Història de la música catalana, valenciana i balear.- Barcelona: Ediciones 62, 1999-2007
Madurell, José Mª: Documentos para la historia de los Maestros de capilla, organistas … y organeros (siglos XIV-XVIII) .- Separata del vol.4 del Anuario Musical, 1949.
Moli Frigola, Montserrat: Bartomeu Triay , Josep Boscà i els orgues a Girona.- Separata de: Annals de l’Institut d’Estudis Gironins, vol.48 (2007).
La organería española (1882-1940). ' style='Mataró:;'>' style='PDF:;d’autor:;desconegut:;en:;accès:;obert,:;p.321-:;'>
Orgues i harmòniums destruits durant la Guerra Civil a les parròquies de la Diòcesi de Barcelona. - A: Anuario Musical, nº 57 (2002).
Pujol, Amadeu: Real Santuario de la Merced (notas históricas).- Barcelona: E.Subirana, 1916.
Altres fons consultades
Llibre de comptes de la parròquia 1939-1940
Arxiu Fotogràfic de la Basílica
Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona
Institut Amatller d’Art Hispànic. Arxiu Mas
The new organ: 2017
The present instrument is the work of Cayatano Estadella. The organ builder completed the first stage of the building of the case, the console of four manuals,the wall unit and two of the keyboards, leaving 23 registers and 1,236 pipes in operation.
Different vicissitudes, such as the death of the builder in 1944 and the difficulties of the postwar, were the cause that this organ never achieved to develop all the possibilities intended in the original project.
There have been several attempts made to finish this organ, as by the organ builder and Estadella’s brother-in-law, Pau Xuclà or the latest commissioned to the Dutchman, E Ottes who around the year 2000 built a new console of 3 keyboards and installed a mechanical transmission without concluding the work, therefore leaving an unfinished and chaotic instrument.
The organ presents a certain state of neglect in a good part of its elements: case, mechanisms, air supply with lots of leaks, sound harmonization …. It displays affectations of woodworm, the leather decorations in the bellows and the mechanisms of the registers are really degraded and there other pieces which are deteriorated, like the mechanism case in danger of fire.
At a functional level the major deficiency is the hardness of the keys, with values that exceed 500 grams (double the maximum values admissible) and which makes it impossible for the organist to play with a minimum of comfort.
In this state the liturgical accompaniment is very difficult and it is impossible to use for concerts. For some years now The Brotherhood of the Virgin of la Merced has begun a series of studies and consultations to make the most suitable decision as regards to the restoration of the organ.
Thanks to God, and especially to the efforts and determination of both the members of the board and, in particular, its chairman Sr.Ignasi Riera, a contract was signed with the Master organ builder, Gerhard Grenzing on 9th November, 2016, to build a new organ, which could be used for the first time in 2018, within the 800th Centenary of the foundation of the order of la Merced.
GERHARD GRENZING, MASTER ORGAN BUILDER as in the same way, as centuries ago, there have been masters who have come from the north of Europe, Gerhard Grenzing settled here 46 years ago to take care of the cultural legacy of organs in Catalan territory, a task started in Majorca.
Together with the trust of his team, after creating more than 150 new instruments in three continents, it is his desire to contribute his vast experience and new values for the enrichment of the organ culture of the country.
HISTORICAL OVERVIEWFew European cities can relish a title of “international city of organs” as Barcelona does. Other models would be, although with limitations, Paris and Brussels. Since the 14th century Barcelona has been the meeting place of masters from Germany, Flanders, France and Switzerland who have exchanged their knowledge with the local organ builders.
The result of this melting pot has been the Catalan organ school with its exceptional works in size and greatly developed musical resources since the 16th century. As an example one can cite Johann Spinn von Neurern’s instrument in the basilica of Santa María del Mar in Barcelona around 1480.
The front of the organ of the cathedral of Barcelona and even its preserved huge pipes date from 1539, the work of the master Pere Bordons (1547) and his colleagues Peris Arrabasa and Fermin Granollers.
It is also the case of the Basilica of la Merced: the instrument that was lost in the Civil War was created at the end of the 18th century by Jean-Pierre Cavaillé, founder of the Cavaillé-Coll dynasty, and later an example and reference for romantic organs of the XIX century on a worldwide scale.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORKInfluenced by the Catalan school and developed from the XIV century to the beginning of the XX century. We must bear in mind that the building of the instrument must not be focused as a replica of an historical instrument, but as a reflection of the evolution of centuries in the history of organs and at the same time, closely linked to the tradition of local organists. Yet today the presence of the organ in Catalan “vox populi” is expressed with many sayings in spite of the fact that these instruments no longer exist in many places. One of the most important artistic losses in Catalonia during the Civil War was the organs.
The recovery of this immense treasure has been very slow besides the recovery of its surrounding musical atmosphere. One must take into account the fact that the long reverberations force an exquisite harmonization since the wind has to be alive to favour a warm sound, and the same high quality harmonization is necessary to be able to fill a large space, although this is completely occupied.
The instrument is projected under the outlook of personal experiences and innovations. The present tendency in organ building of this category is to incorporate the achievements, technical and aesthetic gains of former centuries in an updated design and material. For instance, this is the case of the direct and suspended mechanics, not exceeded in its sensitive tact or the supply alive with air by means of classical bellows, avoiding the extremes between a stiff wind and another that would be unstable.
An organ should be thoroughly versatile in a stylistic sense and, at the same time have its own personality, that is not only defined by its names and amount of projected registers: the organ as a work of art has to be just one unit and every detail and element is significant, from the Philosophy of its mission and setting to its mechanisms, wind power and moreover all the calculations, the craft elaboration, the harmonization and the voice of its pipes. In this case an instrument of three keyboards and pedal that make up four classical music bodies is suggested. This project gathers a wide aspect of interpretative possibilities. The draft of the building of the Organ of the Basilica of la Merced considers the recovery of an ancient tradition in Catalonia in order to obtain an instrument of worship, in the solemn liturgical services and for culture, with the opportunities of holding concerts of a high level.
The proposal considers carrying out the proceedings that, respecting the configuration of the piece of furniture, contribute to aesthetic and musical improvements. Essentially it involves converting the present expressive lattices into “castles of singing pipes.”
The composition of the piece of furniture is based on five “castles”; the layout of the pipes of the lateral towers and the central tower is repeated placing the largest pipe in the middle. These three towers stand out because of their mouldings and the decoration that crowns them, giving the unit slenderness and grandeur.
The Baroque carvings that decorate the front part of the unit joins the five towers in one line only.
We must point out that the largest pipe at the front is a G# of the Flautado 16’, this means we are talking about an organ we can catalogue in the group of large instruments, since it is the largest pipe at the front which establishes the measurements of the organs.
Here they give an impressive and majestic aspect that enriches the aesthetics which will be matched at the same time by its sound. They also propose to carry out some little improvements on the aesthetics of the seat, essentially to rebuild the round towers. A slight modification that will also facilitate the display of the rose window from the middle of the temple.
BUILDING SECRETS.The secrets serán los tradicionales de corredoras y tapa. Las corredoras ajustarán con arandelas de cachemir o un sistema similar. The valves will be made of cedar wood lined in leather and lead.
The console will be made of oak. The measurements will uphold the European regulations, with the following aspects, characteristic of our home:- the keyboards will be assembled horizontally, without any inclination.
- The Sharps will be parallel. – The normal Connections will be mechanical. There will be a switch with a key for the fans, connecting at the same time the illumination of the pedal as control, as well as the illumination of the music scores.
The keys will be ebony-veneered or similar and the sharps of boxwood or similar wood. The oak wood pedal will be of a parallel shape, situación de re# bajo re# de los teclados and will have a seat made of oak wood.
The mechanics will be hanging directly and the transmission of maximum sensitivity. The rods will be of cedar wood with adjustments in the console. The reductions will be steel mills, with suitable sections to avoid twisting, and steel arms welded on the extremes and the bearings made of wood, the shafts made of brass with automatic adjustment, avoiding grazing and noises. PIPES: It is necessary to conduct a detailed study of the existing pipes of the organ, its quality, its condition of preservation and for its musical performance the possibility of integrating it in the new instrument. It is possible that the most interesting registers like the one of the Catalan Flute than the present instrument can be incorporated into the new instrument. The pipes must be restored. The dents, cracks, holes and other damage that they have suffered will be restored. The new pipes will be partially built in our own work shop. The alloys will be: -86% for tubes of the front part and of principal nature, - 46% for Flutes, of a principal nature just as wood for the “bajos”.
MECHANISM OF THE DRAWKNOBS:
The stop Knobs will be of a traditional style, wooden Knobs with the name of the stop knob engraved. The performance will be electronic and at the same time, there will be a computer available with a minimum of 3,000 free combinations for the stop knobs to make the organist’s task easier.
SUPPLY OF WIND:
This will be carried out by a silent motor-ventilador and several fuelles reguladores bellows situated inside the piece of furniture, of a classical concept for a “live supply of the pipes”
MATERIALS IN GENERAL:
These materials will be chosen of high quality. The wood will be partially seasoned naturally. We reserve the possibility of substituting the material mentioned above for other similar ones. Harmonization: The pipes will be cut precisely starting at 1 1/3’. The tuning will be from 440Hz to 20ºC. The definite decision on the point of tuning and “temperament” will be communicated at the beginning of the harmonization.
The harmonization will be clear, warm and of maximum quality in all details so that the sound will always turn out attractive and alive. All the pipes will be well balanced, the different sound lay outs well attenuated and the reed will strike quickly. All the sound structure of the instrument and each one of the pipes will be adapted to the acoustics of the building.
To achieve this goal the elaboration of high quality pipes, rich alloys, painstaking calculations and tests of the measurements, and finally a generous and energetic artistic harmonization (that has nothing to do with “simply strong” or in any case “forced”) are essential, based on the multiple rehearsals and previous experiences through many long years of research on the Catalan masters and their schools. (All these descriptions are taken from the project that is the copyright of Gerhard Grenzing S.A)
In order to conclude the building of this new organ we rely on the generous subsidisation of social work expected from the Generalit and the Fundación Bancaria Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “la Caixa”.
The board of the Brotherhood of the Virgin of la Merced has set up a committee to pursue this issue, who will keep us informed of the progress of its building together with other aspects and campaigns expected to make this magnificent project succeed.