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AEOLUS / Instruments / Organ / San Sebastián, Iglesia San Vicente


San Sebastián, Iglesia San Vicente

San Sebastián, Iglesia San Vicente

San Sebastián, Iglesia San Vicente

The organ of San Vicente church in San Sebastian was built in 1868 by the famous parisian organbuilder Aristide Cavaille-Coll. It’s reputation is much smaller than the one of it’s bigger “sister” built only five years before by Aristide Cavaille-Coll at Santa Maria del Coro, only a few hundred meters far from San Vicente in the historic centre of San Sebastian.

Despite the large dimensions of the church building, Cavaille-Coll, at the time, only built an organ with 24 stops (Grand-Orgue: 12 stops, Recit expressif: 8 stops and Pédale: 4 stops).

In 1890 the organbuilder Eugène Puget (Toulouse) enlarged the organ. He added the “Positif expressif” manual with 9 stops. Also he proceeded to an extension of the organ case with two external 16-feet towers. This organ was inaugurated in 1893 by Alexandre Guilmant. Only 10 years later the organ was again restored, this time by the Mutin-Cavaille-Coll firm.

The voicing of Pugets Positif expressif stops was entirely revised “following the aesthetics of the Cavaille-Coll tradition”.

The re-inauguration took place on September 25, 1904. Since that time the famous plaque « A. Cavaille-Coll à Paris » again decorates the console.

A plaque on the organ informs us about another lestoration in the early 30’s: “El Fundador y culto director de la Schola Cantorum Dr. Juan Muona, generoso bienhechor de esta Parroquia, costeô la restauracinô de este organo.

El afamado D. Fernando Prince lo realizô. Junio de 1931 ”. [ “The founder and cultual director of the Schola Cantorum, Dr. Juan Muona, generous sponsor of this congregation , financed the restoration of this instrument. The famous Mr. Fernand Prince realized it.”] Prince, former voicer from Cavaillé-Coll, installed in the Basque Country then, worked there with Eugène Rochesson.

In 1963 the organbuilders Jose M.a Galdos, Alejandro Usabiaga and Ignacio Caucal from Hernani undertook another restoration. At this occasion the fourniture stop was modified.

Finally in 1980 the organ was again cleaned by Hermanos Usabiaga (Hernani). These works had been made possible by a subsidy from the Guipuzkoa government.

The important restoration of 2000 was carried out by the Renaud-Ménoret firm from Nantes, France. At this occasion the organ’s state of 1903 was restituted. Also the acoustic 32’ stop was added then.

The organ of San Vicente can be esteemed as one of the most beautiful romantic instruments in the province of Guipuzkoa . It’s rich spectrum of timbres gets even refined by the excellent acoustic of the gothic nave of San Vicente.

Christoph Martin Frommen



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