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Wesel, Willibrordi-Dom, Marcussen [Back to Library]

Producer: Forestpipes Virtual Organs
Builder: Marcussen
Country: Germany
Style: Versatile
Manuals: 3
Pedalboard: Yes
Audio Ouput: Surround
Date Built: 2001


he Willibrordi Cathedral was built from 1498 to 1540 as a late Gothic basilica with 5 naves. The tower erected in 1487 was taken over from the previous Gothic building from 1424 to 1480. From 1883 to 1896 the building was renovated in accordance with the late Gothic taste of the time. During the Second World War, in which Wesel was almost completely destroyed, the Willibrordi Cathedral also suffered considerable damage. From 1948 it was rebuilt, with the neo-Gothic additions from the 19th century being largely removed. The completion of the reconstruction was the erection of the choir rider in 1994, from which a carillon sounds four times a day.

A first organ can be traced back to 1418 from old account books. In 1528 a new organ was built above the sacristy. In 1645, Johann Bader built a new organ above today's north portal, which had 27 stops on three manuals and a pedal.

The Sauer company (Frankfurt/Oder) used housing parts from the Bader organ to build a new instrument on the west gallery. With its 80 stops, the organ was the largest in West Germany at the time. This greatness drew Karl Straube to Wesel in 1897, where he took over the post of organist. But just 5 years later he became organist at the Thomaskirche and later Thomaskantor in Leipzig. Wesel owes his friendship with Max Reger several world premieres of Reger's organ works, which were considered unplayable at the time.

The Sauer organ was completely destroyed in the bombing raids of 1945. It was not until 1964 that a new organ was built by the Walcker company from Ludwigsburg, which found its place in the choir room. It had 66 stops on four manuals and pedal. Due to the importance of Karl Straube, they were named after him. Because of the neo-baroque disposition, the stiff action and the sometimes inferior material, demands for a conversion of the instrument were made as early as the 1980s.

Finally, the Danish company Marcussen built a new organ on the same spot in 2000, in which many stops from the previous instrument were reused. It was completed in 2001 by installing additional stops. The organ has 56 stops on three manuals and pedal and 4675 pipes. The facade was designed by the architect Ralph Schweizer from Bonn. A lightning strike destroyed the setter in 2020. This was renewed by the company Karl Schuke (Berlin), whereby octave couplers were also installed.

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