Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
spring 2021 brought hope that everything will return to normal, and the pandemic will not experience us as much as before. The time of culture only in internet is over, it has finally come time for the direct pleasure of communing with architecture, sound, color, smell, it is time for all senses to come into direct contact with an art, artists, places and instruments. Finally, at the ORGANy PLUS + ® festival, for the seventh time, we can offer you an undisturbed journey in time and space with music performed by Polish and foreign artists.
In spring, we will have 4 unique, premiere concerts in three extraordinary Gdańsk churches. The main theme of this edition, which will run through all evenings and afternoons, will be creating live music – improvisation. In two concerts, this rare art will appear at the center of the program, in two others – in a hidden way.
We traditionally begin the spring edition in the Franciscan St. Trinity Church. The first monographic concert will be devoted to one of the giants of European music during the Renaissance and early Baroque periods. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was not only a great organ virtuoso and a genius composer, but also an influential teacher with whom many musicians from all over Northern Europe were educated. What attracted them so much in Sweelinck’s music, we will be able to find out at the inaugural concert on Friday, June 4 at 7 p.m. An extremely talented organist from Wrocław – Tomasz Głuchowski and the vocal quintet of Cracow Singers entwine us with garlands of Dutch polyphony, which also resounded in the Franciscan church during the construction of the great Baroque organ.
During the second concert for the first time at our ORGANy PLUS +® festival, music meets film. At the beginning of the film’s history, live music was an integral part of it. It was performed by orchestras, pianists and organists. Special instruments for movie theaters were built, giving the possibility of almost quadraphonic sound. When the films started to be sounded, the live peforming disapearred and the instruments were lost. The young Polish organist Filip Presseisen, apart from his love of organ music, is also a film lover, especially silent ones. On Saturday, June 5 at At 7 p.m. at the St. John’s Center, we will be able to see what the art of organ improvisation for the film sounded like. Among the many enticing titles, we chose the rarely shown expressionist film adaptation of Friedrich Murnau from 1926 on Wolfgang Göthe’s Faust. We are waiting for an unforgettable evening full of various sensual and intellectual experiences.
At the end of the nineteenth century, after over a hundred years of collapse, the tradition of Gregorian chant began to revive. The neo-roman
tic style prevailing in European music at that time allowed composers to approach the harmonization of this beautiful singing in an innovative way. During the Sunday concert on June 6 at 3.30 p.m. in the St. John Bosco’s church of Salesian Fathers the Warsaw master of organ improvisation, Michał Markuszewski, together with the Krakow vocal ensemble Flores Rosarum, will introduce us to the unusual color of the modal scales of Gregorian chant and neo-romantic, symphonic harmonics.
We will wait until Saturday, June 12, for the end of the spring edition of our festival. Then at 7 p.m. again in the Franciscan Church of St. Trinity, but this time in its presbytery we will invite you to listen to the world premiere of the parts of the great eighteenth-century Gdańsk oratorio by Johann Daniel Pucklitz, which have been reconstructed in the form of a cantata. The huge executive line-up of the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble, consisting of almost fifty musicians, with unusual instruments such as the glass har
p or David’s harp, along with sensational soloists, debuting soprano – Ina Siedlaczek, and singers already known to us – David Erler, George Poplutz and Thilo Dahlmann, the vast space of the originally preserved Franciscan church fulfilled entirely with its colorful sound will take us completely to the times when extraordinary musical works were created in Gdańsk. During this concert, thanks to the composer’s unbridled imagination, the great organ will also sound in an unusual way.
The world-famous performers, original early instruments, authentic performance techniques, the acoustics of the Gothic Holy Trinity Church unaltered for centuries, the original arrangement of the musicians on the only rood loft existing in Poland, and finally the music one cannot hear anywhere else in Poland, will take us through time and put in the shoes of a participant in music events from ages ago.
Let us take a brief time travel!
Welcome to Gdańsk! Welcome to the Holy Trinity Church, St. John’s Church and St. John Bosco Church!
Composer, conductor, organist, organizer of musical life.
A graduate of the Academy of Music in Warsaw and Hochschule für Alte Musik Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel / Switzerland. He participated in 30 master classes for organ, harpsichord and pianoforte in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Finalist and winner of many organ competitions in Poland and abroad. Professor of the Academy of Music in Gdańsk. Visiting professor at universities in Germany, Finland and the USA. Laureate and scholarship holder of many Polish and foreign institutions. Since 1994, he has been giving regular concerts in Poland, Europe and the USA as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. Apart from performing organ concerts, he also composes.
An expert in the field of historical organ building. He is a consultant or supervises many organ projects in Poland, as well as in Lithuania and Belgium. Founder and head of the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble, with which he records premiere performances of cantatas by composers from Pomerania. As a soloist and conductor, he recorded 25 albums for Polish and German labels, nominated for the FRYDERYK and OPUS KLASSIK awards many times. Currently, he is the artistic director of the MUSICA BALTICA and GDAŃSK ORGAN LANDSCAPE series at the renowned German label MDG. Author of monographic publications, as well as scientific studies and articles printed in Polish and foreign periodicals.
Author of the program "Organy Nieograne" in Program 2 of Polish Radio. Organizer and author of many artistic formats and festivals in Gdańsk and Warsaw: ORGANy PLUS + ® Festival, Koncerty dla Gdańszczan, Popiszczmy Razem happenings for children, art competition "... and the organs played", ISO Conference - Pomerania 2008, GdO Tagung - Gdańsk 2018, festival "Moniuszko in the Churches of Warsaw".
The Franciscan monastery complex is located in the Lower City, in the direct vicinity of the major tourist attractions of the Old Town of Gdańsk.
The complex stands out to view when entering Gdańsk from the south. Its flèche-topped timber roof truss is the dominating element in the southern panorama of the Old Town.
The history of the complex dates back to the 14. century and the beginnings of the Franciscans’ presence in Gdańsk. In the 16. century the post-monastery buildings used to house the famous gymnasium and the first public library. In the 19. century the complex was turned to the natural history museum. After World War II the Franciscans returned to occupy a part of the complex despite oppositions from the communist state authorities, thus closing a certain stage in the history of the site.
The Holy Trinity church is one of the three authentic shrines in Gdańsk which have survived war destruction. This Gothic hall church is made up of two sections: the triple-nave main body and the single-nave presbytery. Both sections are crossed with the choir screen dating back to 1488, which is the only one authentic structure of the type preserved in Poland. The church owes its specific acoustic properties to the Gothic vault over the main body of the church, spanning at the height of 22.65 meters and supported by 10 massive pillars set in two rows every 5 meters. The three naves are 29.1 m wide, while in length the main body of the church (50.7 m) and the presbytery add up to 82 m. The characteristic feature in the church structure is the asymmetric angle of the presbytery axis with respect to the axis of the main body of the church. The organ is installed on two adjacent balconies in the transept, i.e. the crossing of the main church body and the presbytery, on the southern side of the choir screen. There is no other architectural solution of the type in Poland, with just several similar solutions found worldwide.
The first mention of a small chapel dedicated to St. John appeared in 1358. From around 1360 to around 1546, the construction of a three-nave Gothic hall-type temple was carried out, but until the end of the eighteenth century, the structure of the church was reinforced from the outside due to unstable statics. In the years 1463-1465 the church received stellar vaults, and in 1612 one of the largest European stone altars by Abraham van den Blocke, preserved to this day, appeared there. In the years 1680-1690, the library of the Zachariasz Zappio foundation was established at the northern side of the transept. In March 1945 the church burned down. The roof truss, roof, windows and floor were destroyed, the structure was damaged, as well as twin baroque houses at the southern wall of the chancel. After the war, the burnt church building was covered with a roof and its valuable vaults were secured. The temple itself was designated as a lapidarium and was not included in the planned reconstruction of the Main Town, and most of its equipment was transferred to St. Mary's Church in Gdańsk. The church was not taken over for the purposes of religious worship after the war, it fell into disrepair for many years, it was also a scenery for war movies, as a result of which it fell into further ruin. In 1960, the Evangelical community resigned from the ownership of the temple, but it was not until 1991 that the church was formally transferred to the Gdańsk diocese.
The Baltic Sea Cultural Center in Gdańsk on the basis of an agreement with the Archdiocese of Gdańsk as a user of the Church of St. Jana has been managing its reconstruction, conservation and adaptation to the St John’s Cultural Center - Centrum św. Jana since 1995. The reconstruction of Johann Rhode's organ is the largest element of the second stage of the project of restoration and adaptation of the church, and was co-financed under the project "Revalorization and adaptation of St. John’s church in Gdańsk - stage II ”, as part of the Regional Operational Program of the Pomeranian Voivodeship for 2014-2020, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
The first wooden chapel was built by the Teutonic Knights in Orunia, probably in the first half of the 15th century. In 1571 it was expanded and converted into a Lutheran church, which burned down in 1577. It was not until 1608 that the construction of a new church was started, and in 1684 a tower was added. As a result of another reconstruction, completed on June 13, 1764, the western and northern parts of the temple were expanded.
On September 3, 1813, the church was set on fire by the Russian army besieging Gdańsk. It was not until 1820, thanks to the personal and financial commitment of Hoene the trade counselor, who was the owner of large areas in Orunia, that the construction of today's temple was started according to the design of the imperial court architect - Karl Friedrich Schinkel from Berlin. A brick neo-Gothic body of the church was created with a slender tower, topped with a sharp dome with rarely seen, "gothic" vaults made of wood and covered with a layer of plaster forming ribs and consoles supported on 8 wooden pillars supporting also a gallery running along the side walls, connecting above the entrance the main one, where the organ was later placed. The new Orunia’s church was consecrated on October 5, 1823. the owner of the area founded also the main altar, two side altars and the organ.
The church was in good shape until 1945, when the advancing Soviet army destroyed it again. However, despite the damage to the roof, tower and windows, from which traceries and stained glass fell out, the temple did not suffer as much devastation as most of the religious buildings in the city itself.
After the war, the church in Orunia was assigned to the Salesians by the bishop of Gdańsk, Karol Maria Splett, as the rector's church, and on July 15, 1994, the church became a parish church, separating from the nearby parish in Old Scottland.
Organ of St. Trinity Church in Gdansk are unique in design, architecture and music on a global scale. It is one of the most important instruments in Europe, now influencing the whole musical culture of the region. It is the only instrument of this type in Poland and in Europe.
The reconstruction of the organ at the Holy Trinity church is fundamental for the cultural development of the monastery complex.
The purpose of reconstruction of the Merten Friese’s instrument is to bring it back to its shape and style gained after the most recent modifications carried out in Baroque, i.e. in mid-18. century, by Friedrich Dalitz, an organ builder from Gdańsk.
The instrument is being recreated using organbuilding techniques and materials typical for the epoch in which it was originally built. In order to be as close to the original as possible, the recreating team used all preserved authentic elements of the organ casing. The works are based on information and documentation drawn when dismantling the instrument in the times of the Second World War. The physical form and musical potential of the recreated instrument is unmatched in Poland. Its Baroque shape refers to the tradition of organ-building characteristic for the Baltic states. The instrument become an important link in the process of reviving the craft culture of the Hanseatic circle in such cities as Hamburg, Stralsund, Copenhagen, Goeteborg, Stockholm, or Riga.
Reconstruction of the instrument so large and so important for the musical culture of the region and all Poland is unique in many respects. The uniqueness of the project, in view of the organ-building tradition in former Hanseatic cities, stems from the fact that the project concept assumes following of the process of transformations which occurred in organ building in the region over the period of 150 years.
The organ was being put back in its original place, on the railing on the southern side of the presbytery, by the choir screen. This is the only structural solution of the type found in Poland, echoing the style, rare as it is, found in the organ-building art of the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern Germany.
Thanks to the positioning of the organ in the direct vicinity of the choir screen the qualities of the interior similar to those offered by concert halls enable holding musical events for which no other church interior in Poland is suitable, at the same time giving those musical productions an additional value of following the historic musical practice.
There is no other church in Poland with a choir screen so large, able to accommodate both the choir, and orchestra and an organ nearby. Thanks to it, the potential of using the intertior of the Holy Trinity church for artistic purposes is almost unlimited.
The organ is just finished in May 2018 and already serves to liturgy and cultural events as well as educational and scientific purposes.
A brief history of the instrument
|1616-18||- probably Merten Friese built the organ|
|1697||- adding Cimbelstern by Georg Nitrowski|
|1703||- Tobias Lehmann rebuilt the old instrument and built a new pedal case|
|1757||- barock reconstruction by Rudolph Dalitz|
|1914||- Total rebuilding and pneumatization by Otto Heinrichsdorf|
|1943||- dismantling of organ durin WWII|
|1960||- part reconstruction of pedal balcony and prospect with pneumatic organ behind by Ryszard Plenikowski|
|2008||- Begin of reconstruction of the historical barock organ by Kristian Wegscheider from Dresden with cooperation with Szymon Januszkiewicz from Niedalino|
|2013||- Reconstruction of the first section - Rückpositiv|
|2015||– the end of reconstruction of all preserved historical elements of organ cases|
|2017||- reconstruction of further divisions – Gross Pedal, Klein Pedal, Brustwerk|
|2018||- reconstruction of Hauptwerk – the end of the reconstruction project|
Disposition of the organ
In 2019, 77 years later, one of the most splendid instruments of 18th-century Europe returned to its former place in a reconstructed form, whose modern technological solutions were at that time set by experts as a model for other instruments. The 30-voice instrument was originally created together with the choir in 1760-61 as the second auxiliary instrument for the great main organ, the prospect of which is now in St. Mary's Basilica. The builder of this most modern instrument in Europe at that time was Johann Friedrich Rhode, probably a student of Andreas Hildebrandt from Gdańsk, an associate of Christian Obuch in Pomerania and Warmia, and Jonas Grena and Peter Strahl in Sweden. The beautiful carving and sculptural setting of the organ prospectus were made by Johann Heinrich Meissner, one of the most outstanding sculptors working on the Baltic Sea. Fortunately, this richly carved and gilded organ case was preserved in its entirety during the evacuation in 1943-44. However, the instrument had to be recreated. The main idea behind this realization was maximum fidelity to the original, which was achieved in almost 100% thanks to the professional work of the conservation company, Mr. Jacek Dyżewski Dart from Gdańsk and the Polish-Belgian consortium of organ-building companies Guido Schumacher from Eupen in Belgium and Szymon Januszkiewicz from Pruszcz Gdański. Intonation and tuning were entrusted to an outstanding organ builder from Latvia - Janis Kalnins. The entire project was conducted by Iwona Berent - the curator of the Church of St. John, who has been consistently managing the revitalization of the entire church for many years, and dr hab. Andrzej Szadejko - the author of research and the concept of organ reconstruction, who supervised the project and is currently the curator of the instrument.
A brief history of the lateral organs at the St. John’s church in Gdańsk
|1560-64||– first known side organ built in the south aisle by Hans Behrendt
|1642||– Another instrument built by Michael Fischer.
|1688||– side organ is moved to the northern aisle.|
|1760-61||– new Johann Friedrich Rhode organ with a new choir built to replace the previous instrument.
|1912||– Eduard WIttek's new 17-voice pneumatic organ built inside the historical case
|1943-44||– disassembly of the baroque case and organ gallery
|1945||– destruction of the church and pneumatic organs
|2017-2019||– reconstruction of the baroque-classical organ by the consortium of Guido Schumacher and Szymon Januszkiewicz
Disposition of the organ
The history of the smallest festival instrument is very complicated. For a long time the original authorship of the instrument was attributed in the literature to Johann Hellwig from 1611. However, during a recent renovation, it was discovered that the mechanical 20-voice instrument was originally created in 1749 in the workshop of the famous Gdańsk organ builder - Andreas Hildebrandt for the now defunct hospital church, which was rebuilt in 1734 just outside the walls of Gdańsk. On this occasion, on June 8, 1749, during the consecration of the newly built organ, the ceremonial cantata, which has been preserved in the collection of the Gdańsk Library - Saget dank allezeit - by Johann Daniel Pucklitz, a Gdańsk composer, was performed. The church was destroyed again in 1807 by the French army, and the devastated instrument and the case were dismantled and stored by the Gdańsk organ builder, Christian Ephraim Ahrendt. In 1824, using the original elements of Hildebrandt's organ, Ahrendt built a new instrument in the choir of the Orunia temple, visually adapting it to the neo-Gothic interior design. In the twentieth century, the instrument was rebuilt many times. First, in 1911, Eduard Wittek built a new 17-voice pneumatic organ in a baroque case, and then in 1986 Wawrzyniec Rychert, and in the 2000s, other unauthorized people partially changed the instrument's disposition and technical parameters, leading to its devastation.
Thanks to the initiative of Father Mariusz Słomiński, the parish priest of St. John Bosco in Orunia, in 2017-18, a project was carried out to renovate and partially reconstruct the neo-romantic pneumatic organs of the Elbląg company by Eduard Wittek, funded in 1911 for the local church by the Hoene family. The program of two-year works included the renovation and conservation of the organ case and the restoration of the original, neo-romantic disposition of the instrument from over a hundred years ago. The works under the supervision of dr hab. Andrzej Szadejko were done by the organ-building company of Szymon Januszkiewicz from Pruszcz Gdański and the conservation studio of Mrs. Jolanta Pabiś-Ptak and their associates. The preservation of the organs was financially supported by the donations of parishioners and by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the City of Gdańsk. Currently, it is the only stylistically homogeneous neo-romantic instrument in the whole Pomerania.
A brief history of the instrument
|1749||– new Andreas Hildebrandt organ in the rebuilt Lazaretkirche outside the walls of the city of Gdańsk
|1807||– dismantling of the remains of the organ builder by the Gdańsk organist Christian Ephraim Ahrendt
|1824||– construction of a new instrument with the use of old elements in the church in Orunia
|1911||– Eduard Wittek put a new pneumatic organ in a baroque case.
|1986||– Wawrzyniec Rychert rebuilds the instrument in the spirit of Orgelbewegung
|Lata 2000||– devastation of the instrument by self-proclaimed organ builders
|2017-18||– renovation and partial reconstruction of the Wittek organ by Szymon Januszkiewicz from Pruszcz Gdański
Disposition of the organ
Kościół OO. Franciszkanów p.w. Św. Trójcy w Gdańsku, ul. Św. Trójcy 4
Centrum Św. Jana w Gdańsku ul. Świętojańska 50
Kościół rzymskokatolicki pw. Św. Jana Bosko ul. Gościnna 15
Tickets sold on the day at the box office on the courtyard of the church opened one hour before.
Kościoła pw. Św. Trójcy
ul. Św. Trójcy 4
Online booking for the concerts firstname.lastname@example.org
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