Hauptwerk: I. Manual
1. Principal 8'
2. Viola da Gamba 8'
3. Gedeckt 8'
4. Octave 4'
5. Principal 2' (Vorabzug aus der Mixtur)
6. Mixtur III 2'
Positiv (swellable): II. Manual
7. Coppel 8'
8. Traversflöte 8'
9. Flöte 4'
10. Flachflöte 2'
11. Quinte 2 2/3' (Vorabzug aus Sesquialtera)
12. Sesquialtera II 2 2/3'
13. Subbass 16'
Couplers: II/I, I/P, II/P
A new organ for St. Stephen’s Cathedral
A new, small organ arrives at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in autumn 2009. The instrument will primarily be used for masses conducted at locations other than the main altar. It will also be used to accompany smaller sacred music performances, and in continuo or solo contexts for concerts.
The organ (13 registers, two manuals, pedal, swellable positive) is mobile, meaning that it can be positioned at various locations in the Cathedral as required. Around 1,700 masses are held with musical accompaniment at St. Stephen’s each year, a significant proportion of which are held at the side, column and Baldachin altars.
The need for a smaller, mobile instrument to complement the main organ in the Friedrichsschiff nave (inaugurated in 1992) was recognised many years ago, and the first ideas put forward in the mid-1990s.
The idea of a mobile instrument was revived last year and quickly pursued. Private donations amounting to around half of the construction costs greatly assisted the project. The remainder was provided by the Cathedral and Metropolitan Chapters. Church tax contributions, donations towards the Cathedral’s upkeep and other declared financial income were not used for the project.
Of an original pool of over a dozen organ manufacturers, two companies from Austria and one each from Switzerland and Belgium were shortlisted and invited to submit tenders for the project.
The contract was awarded to Vorarlberg-based organ maker Riegler shortly before Christmas 2008. The new organ will play the role of little sister to the four-manual Cathedral organ, also made by Riegel.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral has had several organs since its early beginnings, a necessity born of the challenging acoustic properties of the Gothic architecture. At times there have been as many as four organs at St. Stephen’s, each fixed in different locations in the Cathedral. From this perspective, the advantages of a mobile organ, including the financial implications, are plain to see.
The future of the Giant Organ – which was installed in the western loft in the post-war period and has since fallen into disuse – played no part in the discussions regarding the new instrument.
The new organ provides a special highlight for Joseph Haydn Year 2009 at St. Stephen’s. Joseph Haydn and his brothers received a comprehensive education at the Cathedral and gathered almost 10 years’ musical experience while serving as members of the Cathedral Choir. The new instrument has been named the Haydn Organ in honour of their contribution.
The instrument will be blessed by Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schönborn on Saturday, 24 October at 5pm. The inauguration ceremony marks the official opening of the 2009 St. Stephen’s Organ Festival, which is held under the patronage of Cardinal Schönborn and Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl (schedule available in September).