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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Pipedreams Euro-Tour

  Pipedreams Euro-Tour 2006

April 28 - May 11, 2006

Day 10 -
Lindau, Bregenz & Dornbirn


Lindau (Minster)

  Lindau Minster

Located on a small island in the Lake Constance, the charming historic city of Lindau has preserved many of its middle-age buildings and many of those built after then disastrous fires of 1720 and 1728. Benedict monks built an abbey church around the year 1100. After the 1728 fire, the church was rebuilt in baroque style, with stuccos from 1746 by Franz Pozzi, and serves as RC Parish Church since 1813. The frescoes in the chancel are created by Joseph Appiani in 1750. All altars are made from stucco marble. The High altar has been made by Georg Gigl in 1753, the pulpit by Joseph Wagner from 1751.

  Lindau minster
When the new Baroque church was completed in 1751, a first organ had been built by Johann Huber in 1755, the facade is preserved, a Rueckpositiv was added in 1830. Behind the 1755 facade, new organs were built in 1841 by Remig Haaser and in 1898 by Steinmeyer. A fire caused severe damage of the roof and the organ. So, the present organ was built 1924-26 by G. F. Steinmeyer (Oettingen) with pneumatic action, 18 stops from the previous organ have been included into the new organ (III/P/60). The 1755 case had been restored and enlarged. In 1928, Steinmeyer added a Fernwerk (Echo division) with eight stops plus chimes, located behind the High altar.

In 1987, the roof collapsed and caused severe damages at the organ. The organ shop Gebr. Link (Giengen) restored the organ in 1993. Today, the instrument still possesses the majority of the Steinmeyer stops from 1926-28 plus the already mentioned 18 stops from the previous 1898 Steinmeyer organ. Link, in 1993, added a few principal stops and reconstructed the two free-reed stops, Klarinette 8′ and Sanfthorn 8′ (Man. II), which had been replaced by neo-baroque stops in the 1970s.

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Bregenz (RC Herz-Jesu Church)

Bregenz is the capital city of the Austrian region of Vorarlberg. The Romans called it Brigantium when they conquered the city in the 15th century and rebuilt it as a Roman city. Christianity was brought to Bregenz around the year 610 by Saint Columban and Saint Gallus. After a varied history the city was annexed by Austria in 1814.

  Bregenz Parish Church
When the oldest Parish church, Saint Gallus, of the prospering city became too small, a second church was planned and eventually completed in 1908, the Heart-of-Jesus Church. Today, this large downtown church is said to be one of the most remarkable Neo-Gothic churches around the Lake Constance. As a pattern, the architect used the famous brick church of Saint Mary’s in Luebeck. The two towers house the largest set of swinging bells (total weight of 11 tons) in Vorarlberg (g° - b° - d′ - e′ - g′, 1958).

The ground plan shows a long nave with transept and large chancel. Most of the neo-gothique furnishings are preserved, including five altars, pulpit, baptism font and the stained glass windows in the chancel and transept (1907). The church’s interior has been restored in 1994.

Along with the organ in Dornbirn Saint Martin, this instrument is one the largest of the Vorarlberg organbuilder, Josef Behmann (Schwarzach), built in 1930-31 with 58 stops on three manuals and Pedal.

Josef Behmann was born on 22 March 1880 as the son of the organbuilder Anton Behmann in Schwarzach (Vorarlberg). As an apprentice, he entered the shop of his father in 1895. To learn more about the state-of-the-art pneumatic action, he studied with the organ builder Friedrich Weigle (Echterdingen) in 1898, before returning to is father’s shop in 1901, working as foreman in 1907 and eventually, took over his father’s shop in 1911. In the following 20 years, he employed up to 24 workers in the shop before the extinction of the firm in 1932.

Behmann preferred to equip his instruments with pneumatic cone chests, large organs had electro-pneumatic action, and he attached a great value to a refined voicing. Today, Behmann’s Bregenz organ is valued as a significant example of the Late Romantic style. The isntrument has been carefully restored in 1994 by Th. Kuhn AG (Zurich).

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Dornbirn (Parish Church)


Saint Martin is the central Roman Catholic Parish Church of Dornbirn. The parish of Saint Martin is mentioned for the first time in 1130, most likely founded by the monks of Saint Gallen in the 9th century. A new Gothic church was completed in 1454 and the detached tower, crowned by a gothic spire, is preserved. After a fire caused by lightning, the church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1670. A completely new Rococo building was built in 1751-53. Some pews as well as the statues of Saint George and Saint Martin in the chancel have been preserved from this church. The corner stone of the present church was laid in 1839 and the church was consecrated in 1857. Due to the changing liturgical rites, the church’s interior was rebuilt in 1967-69; the worshippers gather around the centred altar - Christ as the center and powerful source among us.

With 72 speaking stops on three manuals and pedal, the gallery organ in Saint Martin is the largest organ in Vorarlberg and one of

the most significant organs of the late Romantic style in the entire region around Lake Constance. It was built in 1927-28 by Josef Behmann (Schwarzach) with cone chests and electropneumatic action. It has been preserved without any changes, carefully restored in 1986 by organbuilder Kuhn. Note that the case is spread over the entire width of the gallery. The specification is drawn in the tradition of the Alsacian Organ Reform, a synthesis of classical and romantic design in German and French traditions, as propagated by Albert Schweitzer and Emil Rupp. The only element that Rupp fought against was a high pressure division added to the organ at the last minute. With a wind pressure of c. 200 mm, five Seraphon-stops, a Tuba mirabilis, and, a Bombarde 16′ in the pedal are activated.

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Dornbirn (Haselstauden)

The church, the oldest in the city, was built in 1792/93 under the supervision of master-builder Sigmund Hilbe. In 1881 Brothers of the Redemption built a cloister close to the church. After they left the cloister it was used as an orphanage and later as a school.

The main part of the church, in classic style, is topped by a steep saddleback roof. There are four round arch windows. The interior is characterized by a four-bay nave. The west end contains a curved gallery supported by two pillars with stairways on either side.

  Dornbirn (Haselstauden)
(A description from organbuilder Caspar von Glatter-Götz):
The church’s original request was for an instrument to accompany singing yet allow the organist to conduct the choir from the organ bench. A further requirement was that the organ complement the architecture of the room. We proposed an all mechanical instrument with 20 stops. Our concept was the most preferred even though Rieger was close by and tried hard to win the contract. The manuals are on a common wind-chest in its own case and the Pedal in a separate case behind. The console is freestanding with a space between the console and case where the choir can stand. In this way the organist can easily conduct the choir and also hear balance and registrations in an optimal way.

The specification, though modest, allows not only the accompaniment of the choir and congregation, but also provides colourful stops for the postlude or even concerts. For economic reasons we made the Rohrflöte 4′ usable in both Manuals. You can pull it either for the I Manual or the II Manual. The Sesquialtera has a pre-draw for the 2 2/3′.

The design was done by my colleague, Thomas Itten from Switzerland, who attended master class with me in Ludwigsburg. He created a very simple but well proportioned case. Since I like curved forms, he included some curves to the design to make it appear softer for the eye. The colour is eggshell white to give a light and positive appearance, and the organ looks a little bit like an angel. The case, as well as the complete interior structure, is all made of fine-grained spruce.

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