Today we presented the campaign “Let’s restore the organ of the heart of Catalonia” with the aim of improving the conditions of the organ of the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Seu of Manresa, restore it and expand it to achieve a better sonority within the temple.
The current organ was built in 1922 by Sílvio Puggina in the abbey of Montserrat. In 1957, the Community of the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Seu of Manresa acquired it and located it between the buttresses of the chapel of Saint Peter, where it still stands today.
Since its installation in the basilica of Manresa, several interventions have been made with extensions of new registers, replacement of pedalboard, harmonization and reform of air supply ducts and adaptation of lingerie. However, the instrument has various problems and malfunctions due to the passage of time such as air loss, continuous detuning, howls, damage to the carpentry and wear and tear on the springs and electrical contacts of the keyboards.
The restoration project
The restoration work has been commissioned by Taller Carlos M. Álvarez, a master organist recognized by the International Society of Organ Builders. Álvarez has a long career in the fields of restoration and conservation of historical instruments and the construction of new organs.
The proposal of the Carlos M. Álvarez Workshop includes the total restoration and reconstruction of the instrumental part of the organ, the redistribution of its interior space, the incorporation of 10 new registers (it currently has 20) with an increase of 461 tubes (currently has 1437), the individualization of the registers in its 3 bodies (pedal, major organ and recitative organ), the total renovation of the console, 2 keyboards and pedalboard with a computerized system and electronic transmission and the restoration and reconstruction of the system of wind. The estimated duration of all these tasks is 14 months.
The presentation of the project was scheduled for last March, with a program of cultural events such as talks and concerts and a great farewell to the instrument. Due to the pandemic situation arising from Covid-19 it was postponed.
When the health situation allows, the Organ Commission will propose activities related to music, culture, heritage and the territory to make the maximum dissemination of the relevance of the project and the instrument.
A budget of € 300,000 is required to carry out the planned restoration and dissemination campaign. The project has the financial collaboration of the Amics de la Seu Association, which has made a contribution to start the restoration process, and is expected to have the participation of administrations, companies, entities and individuals.
The Commission proposes various types of sponsorship of organ pipes:
- Small tube: € 100
- Medium tube: € 250
- Large tube: € 500
- Large façade pipe: € 1,000
- Registration: + € 2,000
- Other amounts.
People who want to collaborate in the restoration of the organ of the choir of Catalonia can do so in cash at the Reception Point of the Cathedral of Manresa or by bank transfer (Banco Sabadell, ES88 0081 0049 5000 0260 2762).
All the information about the campaign is on the “Let’s restore the organ of the heart of Catalonia” website.