The Seifert organ of Kevelaer, Saint-Mary's basilica
The large Seifert organ in the St. Mary’s Basilica in Kevelaer was constructed in the space of two years, from 1905 to 1907. At the time the instrument contained 113 speaking stops on three manuals and pedal.
In 1926 the organ, which at the outset had tubular-pneumatic pouch chests, was electrified and enlarged with an 18-stop Antiphonal division (located in the north gallery of the church). It henceforth comprised 131 speaking stops on four manuals and pedal. It was on this occasion as well that the present console was supplied.
In 1944 the instrument sustained heavy war damage. At that time, the basilica was being used as an internment camp. The Antiphonal division was totally destroyed. The main organ underwent stopgap repairs in 1946.
Today the large Seifert organ in the St. Mary’s Basilica in Kevelaer boasts 149 speaking stops (not counting borrowings!) on four manuals and pedal. The casework is 14 meters in height an 9 meters in width; the organ is 10 meters deep.From 1979 to 1981 the instrument was thoroughly overhauled by the Romanus Seifert company in Kevelaer. In 1987 three horizontal chamade reeds - Tuba magna 16’, Tuba mirabilis 8’ and Cor harmonique 4’ - were installed behind the main case. These stops took the form of copies of the chamade ensemble of the Cavaille-Coll organ in the basilica of Sacre-Cœur in Paris. They blend superbly into the tonal scheme of this gigantic symphonic organ. In 2002 the Antiphonal division was finally reconstructed.