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Notable Organs in Norway


Jonathan Thorne
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25 years ago I recorded an Anglican evensong in Oslo (Lutheran) Cathedral, and the organ there covered the Psalms (in Norwegian, to Anglican chant), Howells (Coll reg) and Hadley (My Beloved Spake) very satisfactorily; there was no set-piece exit voluntary, just a gentle improvisation leading out of the final hymn. I don't know what the organ is, though. The DOM of the time (Terje Kvam) was very welcoming.

 

Paul

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Last Thursday week I went to an organ recital in Bergen Cathedral, which has a 61-stop Rieger of 1997. The programme was all Bach so perhaps I did not hear all of the organ's capabilities. Frankly it didn't do that much for me. It was pleasant enough - mellifluous or bright as required - without ever taking my breath away. The reeds were slightly on the coarse side (as I think may be typical of Rieger). The building itself is about the size of a large parish church and by far the plainest cathedral I have ever been in.

 

The Johanneskirken in the same city has a three-manual Schlag & Söhne of 1893, rebuilt by Jøgensen in 1967 and restored by Christian Scheffler Orgelwerkstaff in 1999 when there was also a new console [? spillepulten] by Otto Heuss GMBH & Co. Their summer series of organ recitals had just finished so I didn't get to hear it, but the specification is:

 

Manual I

Principal 16

Principal 8

Hohlflöte 8

Gambe 8

Doppelföte 8

Gemshorn 8

Octave 4

Flöte 4

Violine 4

Rauschquint 2

Cornett I-III

Mixtur V

Trompete 8

Super I

 

Manual II

Bordun 16

Principal 8

Portunalflöte 8

Salicional 8

Rohrflöte 8

Octave 4

Spitzflöte 4

Rohrflöte 4

Piccolo 2

Mixtur III

Clarinette 8

II/I

 

Manual III

Lieblich Gedackt 16

Geigenprincipal 8

Lieblich Gedackt 8

Aeoline 8

Voix Celeste 8

Principal 4

Flauto Traverso 4

Progressiv Harmonique II-III

Oboe 8

III/I

III/II

 

Pedal

Principal 16

Violon 16

Gamba 16

Subbass 16

Nasard 10 2/3

Octavebass 8

Violoncello 8

Bassflöte 8

Octavebass 4

Posaune 16

Trompete 8

I/P

II/P

III/P

 

Accessories

Crescendovalse

Swell pedal

3 fixed combinations: mf, f, tutti

1024 setterkombinasjoner [not sure whether this refers to divisional channels or a sequencer/stepper]

 

The key action is electro-pneumatic and the stop action electric.

 

The stave church at Fantoft, Bergen (reconstructed in 1997 after the 11th-century original was torched by anti-Christian arsonists), has a little box organ with a push-in keyboard and the following stops: Gedakt 8', Rørfløyte 4', Principal 2', Kvint 1 1/3'.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Borgundkirkje in Alesund has a superb and beautiful 1981 Marcussen

 

Hovedverk II: Principal, Spidsflojte, Rorflojte, Oktav, Quint, Oktav, Terts, Mixtur Ivv-V, Trompet

Svellwerk I: Bordun 16, Principal, Voce Humana, Gedakt, Hulflojte 4, Nasat, Flachflojte, Mixtur IV, Trompet, Obo

Brystwerk III: Gedakt, Quintaton, Kobbelflojte 4, Principal 2, Blokflojte 2, Quint, Klokkencymbel II, Regal

Pedal: Subas, Oktav, Gedackt, Oktav, Nathorn 2, Mixture, Fagot, Trompet

Svell has conventional shutters, Bryst has folding doors - both lots controlled by balanced pedals.

 

The reincarnated old organ at Trondhjem Cathedral has been much in the news lately, but I look forward to the restoration of the large 1930 Steinmeyer. It was moved and somewhat emasculated in 1963 (losing its 'Willis' type swell reed chorus in the process), but still had a good whack of big-organ grandeur when I played it about 25 years ago.

 

The 1974 Ott at the Mariakyrkje in Bergen is quite famous, but I found it very much on the fierce side for a not-overlarge building.

 

Deep in the fjords, Norddal Church has a lovely little 15 stop two-manual by Christensen of Copenhagen.

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