Ladies and Gentlemen,
this year we are entering a different festival level. The center of our activities remains the monastery complex of St. Trinity and the main idea of the festival is still a reconstruction and promotion of conservation activities in this complex. In addition to well-known places, such as the Church of St. John or St. John Bosko, we are starting the cooperation with new institutions – the National Museum, the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theater and the Church of St. Corpus Christi. The new spaces that our partners have made available give new, sometimes unobvious opportunities to implement fresh interesting ideas, where there will be a place for organ. However, what remains unchanged, is the original repertoire prepared by artists, specialists in their fields, less-known works by popular composers, but above all new names, new performers, reconstructions of completely forgotten works. And all this, as usual, matched to the interior, the instruments, presented in a way that is closest to the historical truth. This time machine will start working in Gdańsk in the autumn, when the hustle and bustle of beach parties will subside and the joy of discovering unobvious places and beauty will come. We are having a great celebration this year. There are countless musical jubilees and we have chosen a few important ones for you. Together we will rejoice and remind you that organ and organ-related music has many faces, not only the historical ones, but also the new ones, completely modern – we will be helped by original artists and instruments whose sound qualities have surprised us and enchanted. As usual, we have a lot of premieres and debuts ahead of us during as many as ten thematic concerts of this year's edition of the ORGANy PLUS+© Festival on September 28 – October 7, 2023.
Concerts, or rather "reconstructions", will start with a high C – Marcin Szelest and his Kraków vocal-instrumental group Vasa Consort will traditionally inaugurate the festival in the Franciscan Church of the Holy Trinity on Thursday, September 28, at 7.30 pm. The artists will present music that resounded at the court of the Polish king – Sigismund III Vasa. The title of the concert + Pacelli comes from the name of the royal Kapellmeister – Asprillo Pacelli, an outstanding Italian artist who not only had great musicians at his disposal, conducted works commissioned throughout Europe, but also created music himself. This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the composer's death, in this way we want to honor his memory. During our concert, we will hear the same and as the same as the Polish king in the seventeenth century during numerous religious ceremonies in the Krakow cathedral – heavenly music, which was presented especially for him by musicians brought from Poland and all over Europe and for our festival was prepared by artists from Krakow.
The next day we will move – for the only time during this year's festival – to the interior of St. John’s in Gdańsk. On Friday, September 29th at 7.30 pm at the St. John's Center in Gdańsk, the works of London's Thomas Augustin Arne will resound – the creator of the English anthem, an outstanding creator of operas, oratorios, concertos, sonatas, whose work is unjustly overshadowed by George Haendel. This prolific composer remains popular only in England, he is known almost exclusively in the world as the author of the Rule Britania, an informal British anthem. We will try to overcome this completely wrong acquaintance by presenting beautiful virtuoso organ concertos, which surpass the famous Haendel organ concertos in their artistry. We hope that during the monographic concert with the simple title + Arne, the incomparable instrumentalists of the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble and the soloist and conductor Andrzej Szadejko will convince you that Friedrich Johann Rohde's organ from 1761, reconstructed with such care by Polish conservators and the Belgian-Polish organ building consortium, can co-create with the orchestra one organism radiating energy sparkling with brilliant passages and catchy melodies.
On the third day of the festival, we will find ourselves in a completely new interior. We hope that it will reveal more areas for us, where organ will be able to sound in unusual configurations. The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theater stands on the site of the former Fencing School, where concerts and performances forbidden within the city walls used to take place outside the city walls in the past. Today, Baroque music on the Elizabethan stage, without amplification, as it was done in the old days, has not yet had the opportunity to resound here, so – the premiere. All the more so because the young Altberg Ensemble from Łódź, headed by Jakub Kościukiewicz, will also perform as a debut. This time, however, the position of maestro di cappella will be occupied by an unparalleled expert on keyboard and ensemble music of the seventeenth and eighteenth century – Jörg-Andreas Bötticher, Professor of the famous Swiss Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, who will also appear at our festival for the first time (not the only time!) as an artist-resident. We will hear these great musicians on Saturday, September 30th at 7pm. The program includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Phillip Telemann containing "Polish style". The Polish style was one of the national musical styles popular in Europe in the eighteenth century, just like the Italian or French one. This evening from the English stage we will listen to Swiss-Polish music forces, how famous German composers "smuggled" or exposed Polish threads in their music. Such events are possible only in Gdańsk!
After three intense days with outstanding ensembles, we will need a bit of a breather and something lighter in sound. Whether the subtle, exquisitely ornamented arias and sonatas by Georg Haendel in the rococo music hall of the Abbots' Palace in Oliwa will fulfill their role will be seen on Sunday, October 1st at 7 pm. Ingrida Gapova - a soprano with an unusual satin voice, well-known to ORGANy PLUS+ festival goers together with Radosław Kamieniarz (violin), Bartosz Kokosza (cello) and Aleksandra Rupocińska (harpsichord/organ positive) will take us to the intimate world of the composer. Apparently, these pieces were created during the last trip of the Great Saxon to Germany to say goodbye to his sick mother. Certainly these are the last works he wrote in his native language. + Haendel, plus the extraordinary voice of Gapova, the inspiring space of the rococo palace, seasoned instrumentalists – it will certainly be an evening that will stay in our hearts for a long time.
The tradition of the ORGANy PLUS+ Festival is to promote not only the material musical culture of Gdańsk in the form of unusual organ, but also to present the intangible heritage, which has been developing and radiating throughout Europe for centuries. Already on the first day of the festival, Gdańsk tropes will appear during the concert, and in the meantime, at the halfway point on Monday, October 2nd at 7.30 pm we will return to the Franciscan Holy Trinity Church to listen to the "Gdańsk" concert dedicated to two exceptional sons of this city. This time, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher will sit at the great organ of Merten Friese from 1618 and, alternatively, at the Italian harpsichord. On these instruments, he will accompany Katarzyna Olszewska – a talented young Polish violinist in the compositions of Ewaldt Hintz and Heinrich Döbel. In the seventeenth century, Gdańsk musical art reached far corners of Europe and it is from such "non-Gdańsk" sources that musicians will use during this concert. It is likely that these works will resound in our city for the first time in 400 years, and all this to celebrate the 330th anniversary of the death of Heinrich Döbel.
Jubilees will be the leading theme of the next festival concerts. And so it will also be on Tuesday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm in the parish Church of Corpus Christi in Gdańsk Morena. It is by no means a historical building, and the great symphonic organ were built there only in recent years. So why do we reach for such an unusual place for our festival. Paradoxically, we are forced to do so by the festival's attachment to the idea of compatibility of all concert elements – the interior, music, instruments, performers, and in this case this idea led us to this modern construction. Jan Janca is a composer from Gdańsk who celebrates his ninetieth birthday this year. Janca is also an outstanding researcher of the history of organ building in Pomerania. His organological works are the foundation of modern knowledge on this subject. This knowledge is reflected in his compositions, which, although thoroughly contemporary, refer eruditely to past eras and sometimes reflect in them as in a mirror, other times as in a crooked mirror. It was Jan Janca who requested that his works be performed on the organ, which enables the extraction of the colors written in the score, hence such a choice. What a wonderful coincidence that an instrument has just been created in Gdańsk on which we can fulfill this wish. It is also great that we have a fantastic choir in Gdańsk under the appropriate name 441 Hz, which specializes in such repertoire. Young singers from Gdańsk, under the direction of Anna Wilczewska, will be accompanied by the outstanding organist of the cathedral in Kassel, winner of the OPUS KLASSIK Award - Eckhard Manz. It promises to be a concert from a completely different fairy tale.
Seventh concert and another jubilee. We have to go back to 2007, when Mrs. Maria Pelczar, then director of the Gdańsk Library, planned to create a new catalog of musical items – the innovation was to be the possibility of listening to selected works. This is the genesis of the creation of the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble a year later, which was created to record these jingles. The catalog was ultimately not completed, but the ensemble still exists today. It's been 15 years now when musicians from all over Poland, and often also from abroad, have been pondering transcriptions of compositions specially prepared for them, mainly from the collection of the Gdańsk Library. This repertoire does not leave you indifferent, it is hard not to fall in love with this beautiful and extremely good music. Recently, the repertoire of the GBE ensemble has been expanding with works not only related to Gdańsk, therefore, somewhat perversely, to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of their activity, they chose the premiere performance of the Mass by Wojciech Dankowski, a composer extremely popular in the First Polish Republic, not only in the eighteenth century, but also after partitions, in the next century, but not in Gdańsk... Of course, there will also be Gdańsk accents in the form of the premiere arias of one of the last Gdańsk bandmasters – Gotthold Benjamin Siewert, whose 280th birthday is celebrated this year. We invite you to the Franciscan Holy Trinity Church on Wednesday, October 4th at 8 pm. The Goldberg Baroque Ensemble will perform under the direction of Andrzej Szadejko and Gabriela Kleban – soprano, Piotr Olech – alto, Sebastian Mach – tenor, and the world-famous Swiss bass – Stephan Macleod. This will be the last concert with a large cast at our festival, from that moment we have planned an interesting decrescendo….
400 years ago, one of the greatest keyboard players in the history of music died. William Byrd actually defined what we call keyboard music, his works for virginal and organ still amaze with their ingenious virtuosity and pose a considerable challenge for the next generations of interpreters. This challenge was successfully met by the Dutch organist Leon Berben, who on Thursday, October 5th at 7.30 pm again in Holy Trinity Church will show us the splendour of the English master's compositional proficiency. In the concert under the name +Byrd, he will be accompanied by a young Dutch zincist – Anne Schall, presenting in counterpoint works by composers who were an inspiration, but also a competitor to William Byrd. It promises to be quite a competition for the best piece for organ or the best one for tip. We will listen and decide.
+ Reger, the penultimate concert of the festival is also the last "jubilee" concert. There are artists in the history of music, including organ music, who open new horizons with their activities or accumulate all the best stylistic elements of their era. In the field of organ music at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, such a figure was undoubtedly Max Reger, whose 150th birthday anniversary we are celebrating this year. It is amazing how much he created in his relatively short life (he died at the age of 43), and even more amazing how greatof an inspiration he became after his death for many composers of subsequent generations. Fortunately, I have an organ from exactly that time and in the style that this German composer had at his disposal, so it would be a sin not to use it. We will do it on Friday, October 6th at 7.30 pm in the Salesian Church of St. John Bosko in Orunia. So we invited one of the best living interpreters of his music – Prof. Ludger Lohmann, who proposed an unusual twist, composing a Reger program based around a composition by an unknown, but no less outstanding German composer with Jewish roots, Günter Raphael – one generation younger than Reger. We hope that this musical brotherhood from the times when the worst nationalisms were born, which we will present at this concert will remind us that even today there are places in the world, even quite close to our border, where hatred is being tried again between nations and there are areas like music that can unify and trigger love and tolerance that result from a true sense of beauty.
The festival’s coda will be another concert in the series + Bach in Gdańsk performed by Prof. Andrzej Szadejko, who consistently shows us how the genius of the great Jan Sebastian was born and how he remained a man, with all his worries, fear, pain, but also joy. This time we will stop at 1702, when the young organist, still underage but already full of ideas, studied in Lüneburg with the great Georg Böhm, absorbing the Italian and French national styles. The end of the festival will take place in Holy Trinity Church, and we will hear the last sounds on Saturday, October 7th at 7 pm.
World-famous performers, original old instruments, old performance techniques, the acoustics of the Gothic church of St. Trinity and the neo-Gothic church of St. Jana Bosko, the reconstructed interiors of the Abbots' Palace and the Saint John's Centre, as well as the thoroughly modern, yet historically inspired Gdańsk Shakespeare Theater and the church of St. Corpus Christi, the original location of the musicians on the only reading room in Poland, and finally music not heard anywhere else in Poland will make us enter the situation of a participant in musical events from centuries ago, and even witness completely new musical events.
Let's take a short trip back in time!
Welcome to Gdańsk! I invite you to the Church of the Holy Trinity, St. John Bosco, Corpus Christi, Saint John's Center, Abbots' Palace and the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre!
Prof. Andrzej Szadejko
Artistic Director of ORGANy PLUS+© Festival
ANDRZEJ MIKOŁAJ SZADEJKO
Born in Gdansk in 1974. Organist, composer, conductor, teacher and organologist. Studied at the Music Academy in Gdańsk (1994-96). Graduated in 1998 from Academy of Music in Warsaw by Joachim Grubich and in 2002 in Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel by Jean-Claude Zehnder where he recived diplomas with honour in organ music. He also graduated with honours in singing by Richard Lewitt and composition by Rudolf Lutz. Other important teachers were Andrea Marcon (harpsichord) and Gottfried Bach (basso continuo). In the years 1992-2002 took part in over 30 organ, harpsichord and pianoforte master classes and interpretations courses in Poland, Germany, Switzerland and Netherland. In 2021 become professor of arts. Since 2006 he has been teaching organ and basso continuo in Gdansk Music Academy, Poland. He was visiting professor giving lectures, masterclasses and workshops in Poland, Germany, Finland, Lithuania and USA.
He is the finalist and prizewinner of many International Organ Competitions (Rumia/PL, Gdansk/PL, Warsaw/PL, Odense/DK, Brugge/B). Stipendist/scholar of many institutions: Mayor of City Gdansk/PL, Marshal of Pomerania voivodship/PL, Polish Culture Foundation/PL, City of Basel/CH, Doms-Stiftung/CH, Organ Summer Academy in Harlem/NL, Polish Institut of Music and Dance IMiT/PL, Adam Mickiewicz Institut/PL.
Since 1994 over 600 concerts in Poland, most of the European countries, Russia and USA.
Leader, adviser and organ expert in many projects of historical and modern organs, i.e. Merten Friese organ (1618) in Trinity church in Gdańsk/PL, Johann Rhode organ (1761) in St. John’s church in Gdańsk/PL, Eduard Wittek organ (1911) in Orunia/PL, Januszkiewicz & Kalnins organ (2022) in Vilnius/LT.
Since 2008 artistic director of the Project at the Polish Science Academy Bibliotheque of Gdansk – Musical Heritage of City Gdansk - reediting and recording of musical historical manuscripts from bibliotheques of Gdansk. Leader of GOLDBERG BAROQUE ENSEMBLE - vocal and instrumental baroque players (www.goldbergensemble.eu). Recordings (30 CDs) by polish labels DUX, SARTON, ARS SONORA, Acte Prealable and german labels MOTTETE and MDG (leader of the seria MUSICA BALTICA and GDANSK ORGAN LANDSCAPE). 2022 has got the OPUS KLASSIK AWARD.
Composer of organ, choir and chamber music. Publications in polish scientific and music editions. His thesis about organ music by two pupils of Bach – Mohrheim und Muethel has got a prize at the Fair of Scientific Books in Wroclaw/Poland in 2011.
Manager and artistic director of many musical events in Poland: festival ORGANy PLUS+ (www.organyplus.com), Koncerty dla Gdańszczan, ORUŃSKIE KONCERTY, festival Moniuszko in Churches of Warsaw. MONIUSZKO_150 – VILNIUS/BERLIN
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 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.
The origins of the Abbots' Palace date back to the fifteenth century, as evidenced by the fragments of the outer wall and the Gothic vaults of the palace cellars. However, the present rococo shape of the building was given during the reconstruction in 1754-1756, funded by the last abbot of the Oliwa monastery, Jacek Rybicki. In 1945, the palace was set on fire by the Germans, and twenty years later it was rebuilt by the then Pomeranian Museum in Gdańsk. Currently, it is one of the branches of the National Museum in Gdańsk. In the palace interiors there is a high Rococo music hall, which at its vault is connected by three large windows with a room for musicians. This architectural concept enables period music to be presented in the way it was performed in the eighteenth century.
The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre was built on the site where the School of Fencing, modeled after London's Fortune Theatre, operated in the 17th century. It was the first public theater in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Equipped with an Elizabethan-style stage and similar to numerous English theaters of the Elizabethan era, it served both for fencing exercises and competitions, as well as for staging performances. English itinerant actors regularly came to the Gdansk theater to perform plays by English playwrights, including Shakespeare. The current theater building stands in the place of the 17th-century original.
The interior of the Main Hall of the theater is a reconstruction of the former Gdansk Elizabethan theater. Thanks to modern technology, the interior is adaptable, allowing for different types of stages: classical Italian, Elizabethan (protruding towards the audience, where the ground floor audience stands around the stage), arena stages, and others. The retractable roof is another technological marvel that enables performances to be staged in natural daylight, following the Renaissance tradition.
The project was designed by Italian architect Renato Rizzi, who placed the wooden interior of the building within a heavy brick structure. The theater was opened in September 2014. The retractable roof, which opens in just 3 minutes, allows performances to take place in natural daylight under the open sky (in "Elizabethan" conditions).
The theater has a volume of over 53,000 m³, a total area of over 12,000 m², and a usable area of nearly 8,000 m². The building incorporates technical solutions such as a movable stage and seating system. The interior is adaptable, depending on the stage and seating arrangement, and the theater can accommodate up to 600 people (in a theatrical setup) or up to 1,000 people (in a concert setup).
Corpus Christi parish church - is a two-storey temple, including the lower church, with approx. 1,200 m2 and the upper, with approx. 2,000 m2. The modern block in the shape of a segment of a circle, which converges towards the presbytery, is covered with a roof consisting of four independent parts, covered with Swedish metal tiles. Above the presbytery there is a tower topped with an 18-metre-high cross illuminated at night, with a façade lined with aluminum panels, and granite from the base to the height of three meters, and clinker from the front. The other façades are plastered with white acrylic, and the lower part is clad with clinker bricks. Two huge window areas in the side walls of the upper church with a total area of 260 m2 are framed by aluminum frames, and one of them has stained glass windows already installed.
The place of daily common prayer is the lower church. On the altar wall there is a bas-relief of the Lord Jesus. In the presbytery there is a statue of the Mother of God designed and made by Krystyna Kręcicka, also the author of the Stations of the Cross. There are side altars on the right; from the back: first - with images of St. Padre Pio and the relics of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe and the figure of St. Francis of Assisi; Faustina, the fourth - Our Lady of Perpetual Help with the titular image and the figure of St. Joseph and the last one, by the presbytery - with images of Bl. Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko and Bl. John Paul II. In the lower storey there are also: the chapel of St. Adalbert with the papal altar and the so-called side chapel.
Sunday Masses are held in the upper church, which can be entered through five doors and further through vestibules, over which the choir balcony with an area of 610 m2 dominates. Through one side door you can also enter the side chapel of the upper church, where there will be a chapel of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The upper church captivates with its noble elegance, harmony and peace. The special character of the presbytery, raised by several steps, is emphasized by the white marble on the floor and the marble altar, pulpits, baptismal font and candlesticks. It is perfectly complemented by a light, granite floor (Cashmir gold and Cashmir white) - with a discreet mosaic pattern in the nave. The main ornament of the spacious and bright interior are huge stained glass windows, previously installed in the presbytery and the left wall of the church. Corpus Christi Church in Morena is the second largest church in the Archdiocese of Gdańsk. In addition to liturgical functions, it is an excellent venue for concerts.
The first mention of the existence of a small chapel dedicated to St. John dates back to 1358. From around 1360 to around 1546, construction of a three-aisle Gothic church in the hall style was ongoing. However, the church's structure was externally reinforced up until the end of the eighteenth century due to unstable statics. Between 1463-1465, the church received starry vaults, and in 1612, one of the largest European stone altars, created by Abraham van den Blocke, was installed and remains to this day. Between 1680-1690, a library funded by Zachariasz Zappio was established on the northern side of the transept. In March 1945, the church burned down. The roof structure, roof, windows, and floor were destroyed, the structure was damaged, and the twin Baroque townhouses on the south wall of the chancel were also affected. After the war, the burned church building was roofed and its valuable vaults were secured. The church itself was designated as a lapidarium and was not included in the planned reconstruction of the Main Town. Most of its equipment was transferred to St. Mary's Church in Gdańsk. The church was not taken over for religious purposes after the war and deteriorated over the years. It also served as a set for war movies, which further contributed to its decay. In 1960, the evangelical community relinquished ownership of the church, but it wasn't until 1991 that the church was formally handed over to the Gdańsk diocese.
The Baltic Cultural Centre in Gdańsk, based on an agreement with the Archdiocese of Gdańsk, has managed the reconstruction, conservation, and adaptation of St. John's Church into a Cultural Centre - St. John's Centre, since 1995. The reconstruction of the Johann Rohde organs is the most significant element of the second stage of the church's revalorization and adaptation project. It was co-financed as part of the project "Revalorization and adaptation of St. John's Church in Gdańsk into St. John's Centre – stage II", within the Regional Operational Program of the Pomeranian Voivodeship for 2014-2020, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
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
|- probably Merten Friese built the organ
|- adding Cimbelstern by Georg Nitrowski
|- Tobias Lehmann rebuilt the old instrument and built a new pedal case
|- barock reconstruction by Rudolph Dalitz
|- Total rebuilding and pneumatization by Otto Heinrichsdorf
|- dismantling of organ durin WWII
|- part reconstruction of pedal balcony and prospect with pneumatic organ behind by Ryszard Plenikowski
|- Begin of reconstruction of the historical barock organ by Kristian Wegscheider from Dresden with cooperation with Szymon Januszkiewicz from Niedalino
|- Reconstruction of the first section - Rückpositiv
|– the end of reconstruction of all preserved historical elements of organ cases
|- reconstruction of further divisions – Gross Pedal, Klein Pedal, Brustwerk
|- 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
|– first known side organ built in the south aisle by Hans Behrendt
|– Another instrument built by Michael Fischer.
|– side organ is moved to the northern aisle.
|– new Johann Friedrich Rhode organ with a new choir built to replace the previous instrument.
|– Eduard WIttek's new 17-voice pneumatic organ built inside the historical case
|– disassembly of the baroque case and organ gallery
|– destruction of the church and pneumatic organs
|– 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
|– new Andreas Hildebrandt organ in the rebuilt Lazaretkirche outside the walls of the city of Gdańsk
|– dismantling of the remains of the organ builder by the Gdańsk organist Christian Ephraim Ahrendt
|– construction of a new instrument with the use of old elements in the church in Orunia
|– Eduard Wittek put a new pneumatic organ in a baroque case.
|– Wawrzyniec Rychert rebuilds the instrument in the spirit of Orgelbewegung
|– devastation of the instrument by self-proclaimed organ builders
|– renovation and partial reconstruction of the Wittek organ by Szymon Januszkiewicz from Pruszcz Gdański
Disposition of the organ
The organs were built in 2023 by the organ-making workshop of Zdzisław Mollin in Odra according to the concept of Professor Dr. hab. Bogusław Grabowski.
Renovation of the organ in the church of St. Anna (1710/1911) - Invitation to participate in the Patronage
In the years 2008-2018, the great Mannerist and Baroque organ from the Holy Trinity Church in Gdańsk was renovated and rebuilt with great success. Thus, we brought back to life one of the greatest and most valuable instruments in Pomerania. The effort to rebuild it was huge, also in financial terms. However, the enthusiasm and kindness of many people and institutions showed us that it was worth taking up this challenge. Over the years in which we have conducted the reconstruction, the great organs have gained over 600 institutional and individual patrons involved in the work of reconstruction. Today, therefore, at least as many people (including entire families) can proudly say: these are OUR organs.
The instrument from the St. Anne's Chapel is certainly a different class object from the organ from the Holy Trinity Church - it is definitely smaller and its outer garment is not that impressive. However, these organs are an extremely valuable monument of musical culture in Gdańsk. The facade made by Hildebrandt in 1710 has been preserved in situ, and inside the organ case many original elements of the instrument made at the beginning of the 20th century have been preserved. It is also significant that the organ in the St. Anne's chapel was founded in the 18th century by citizens of Gdańsk, who met here for the liturgy celebrated in Polish. Today, the organs that have successfully survived the hostilities require immediate maintenance and repair. We hope that in the work of their renovation we will be accompanied by the same enthusiasm and commitment with which we met when we rebuilt the great organ of the Holy Trinity Church.
Father Tomasz Jank
guardian of the monastery and rector
of the Holy Trinity Church in Gdańsk
Contact: Rector of the Holy Trinity church, Fr. Tomasz Jank OFMConv., Phone: +48 606 231 933, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Franciscan Monastery in Gdańsk, ul. Świętej Trójcy 4, 80-822 Gdańsk
A separate account for the restoration of organs from St. Anne's Church:
(EURO): PL07 1240 5400 1978 0010 4884 9565
Account owner: FRANCISCAN MONASTERY IN GDAŃSK
Address of the account owner: ŚWIĘTEJ TRÓJCY 4, 80-822 GDAŃSK
Branch keeping the accounts: Bank Pekao, Branch in Gdańsk ul. Ogarna 116
Kościół OO. Franciszkanów p.w. Św. Trójcy w Gdańsku, ul. Św. Trójcy 4
Kościół rzymskokatolicki pw. Św. Jana Bosko ul. Gościnna 15
Centrum św. Jana (Świętojańska 50, 80-840 Gdańsk)
Kościół Bożego Ciała (ul. Piecewska 9 80-288 Gdańsk Morena)
Pałac Opatów (ul. Cystersów 18 80–330 Gdańsk)
GTS (Wojciecha Bogusławskiego 1, 80-818 Gdańsk)
Tickets available for purchase one hour before the concert. Reserved tickets at email@example.com to be collected half an hour before the concert at the latest.
Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Kościoła Św. Trójcy „Dziedziniec” w Gdańsku
ul. Św. Trójcy 4
General and Artistic Director
prof. dr hab. Andrzej Szadejko
mobile phone: +48 728 376 237
Together with our partner - the Hampton by Hilton hotel in Gdańsk, where the concert office will be located and all artists will be accommodated during the premiere, we have prepared a special offer for out-of-town music lovers who wish to attend our concerts. We offer a 15% discount off the daily rate when booking accommodation at the Hampton by Hilton hotel through the link provided below.
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