THE ORGANS OF MAGDEBURG CATHEDRAL

Three organs of distinct character

Alexander Schuke Orgelbau, 

1970

The Paradise Organ

The cathedral was reopened in 1955 after partial repair of the damage sustained during World War II. The cathedral had no organ at the time. In 1959, the Schuster organ built in 1957 for the Heilig-Geist-Kirche, which had been rebuilt and reopened in 1950 but then demolished by implosion by the socialists, was moved to the cathedral and erected in the south aisle. It was, however, far too small and of rather modest quality. Bremsteller fought passionately for the cause of a new instrument of cathedral dimensions and quality, but for a variety of reasons his campaign was doomed to failure. Finally, the decision was taken to construct a new organ on the narrow walkway in front of the window of the north transept (ironically, one of the reasons given for the rejection of a new instrument on the organ gallery was that it would block the window.) It is often referred to as a "swallow's nest" organ, but is not actually one; only the Rückpositiv is cantilevered.

The organ has 39 Stops on three manuals






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Schuke Orgelbau (Werder),

2008

The West organ

When Barry Jordan became Director of Music of the cathedral in 1994, the organ as an instrument not only for the liturgy but also for concert use regained an importance it had largely lost during the tenure of his predecessor, a passionate choir trainer - and indeed musician - but largely uninterested in the organ. It soon became apparent that the regaining of a major instrument on the west gallery would become a priority. But it was equally obvious that the small and cash-strapped parish would be completely out of its depth when confronted with the financing of the project, and that neither the diocese nor the owners of the building - a trust instituted by the state - were particularly interested.

A registered non-profit ("Aktion neue Domorgeln") was founded which successfully acquired the funding necessary, and eventually even commissioned the organ. A substantial part of the funding was provided by the Regional Development Fund of the European Union.

This symphonic instrument with 92 stops on four manuals and pedal was built by Alexander Schuke and dedicated on Trinity Sunday, 8th May 2008.

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Glatter-Götz Orgelbau and Rosales Organ Services

(Los Angeles), 2012 

The organ in the Remter

After the removal of the Schuke instrument of 1949 from the Remter, (once the refectory of the cathedral, temporary home of the cathedral congregation when the cathedral was closed after the war and still where most services are held during the winter months, since the cathedral never regained its heating system) which became possible when the room itself was renovated in 2009/10, it was permissible and possible to begin planning a new organ for this room.

Paramount was its situation; it was clear that for many reasons it should not be placed against the north wall of the room, where its predecessor had been, and where it would be acoustically disadvantaged. After much discussion, a place was found under one of the two arches forming the entrance to the lady chapel to the south of the room itself.

The partnership of Glatter-Götz Orgelbau (Aach-Linz) and Manuel Rosales of Los Angeles was entrusted with the project.
The organ has 22 stops, including two extensions. The second manual has two sets of swell shades, so that the organ can be effectively used in the lady chapel as well.

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