Leonardo Fernández Ávila | Catedral . Granada [Spain]

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Photography by Joan
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The organs in Granada cathedral were built from 1744 to 1749 by Leonardo Ávila. The Gospel organ was built from 1744 to 1764 and has a romantic character, while the Epistle one was built from 1746 to 1749 and still retains most of its baroque character, although rather different from the original characteristics.

The Epistle organ has 3 manuals – the top manual controls the Órgano Mayor, the middle one controls the Cadereta de Eco and the lowest one is linked to the exterior Cadereta – made in ebony and ivory. Both organs have double facades, one turned to the choir and another one turned to the aisle, and a large part of it is composed of non-speaking pipes.

Although being twin organs, they can’t be currently played together due to several tonal differences. The problem is not recent and in 1894 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, realizing that both organs were in the same tuning, the Canon priests determined that the major feast mass would be celebrated with the accompaniment of an orchestra and both organs – which proves that already in the 19th century it was not usually possible to play both instruments as a group.

The cases are gilded and in some parts it is also possible to appreciate the contrast between gold and small white painted sections. In some of the mouth pipes it is also possible to admire line decorations and tridimensional shells. Two large towers flank the facades and horizontal reeds decorate the lower case part, distributed along several pipe levels. Also in the Cadereta exterior, turned into the choir stalls, there is an undulating crowning of horizontal reeds. The tops are ornamented with flying angels and a bigger central angel over an open pomegranate fruit, directly inspired by the name of the city where it stands – Granada.


1744-1749 – organ construction
1765-1766 – organ revision by Leonardo Ávila
1811/1874 – compass changes by Pedro Roques
1928 – Gospel organ first major changes by Pedro Ghys Guillemín
1971 – Epistle organ repair


Órgano Mayor Órgano Mayor Cadereta de Eco Cadereta exterior Pedal
Left hand Right hand Left hand Left hand Contras 26
Orlos Orlos Dulzaina Trompeta recortada Contras 13
Dulzaina Regalía Quincena Decinovena
Violeta Chirimía Lleno Nazardos
Bajoncillo Oboe Tapadillo Quincena
Clarín Clarín Violón Violón
Trompeta de Batalla Trompeta Batalla Docena
Octava Trompeta Magna Right hand Tapadillo
Flautado Violón Flautado Violón Gaita Octava
Flautado Flautado Pajarillos Lleno
Flautado Mayor Flautado Mayor Temblante Zímbala
Clarin de Atrás Temblante Dulzaina
Quinta Imperial Clarín de atrás Corneta Right hand
Nazardos Octava Lleno Trompeta Magna
Lleno Flauta travesera Quincena Clarín
Sobre Zímbala Lleno Tapadillo Lleno
Trompeta Real Quinta Imperial Violón Corneta
Zímbala Corneta Viejas
Flautado de atrás Zímbala Tapadillo
Sobre Zímbala Flautín
Trompeta Imperial Violón
Flautado de atrás Octava

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