Photography by Hans-Jörg Gemeinholzer
The history of the organs of the Sevilla Cathedral is not linear, as during half a century a set of twin organs was being built, without in fact being finished.
The construction of both cases is started in 1724 by Luis de Vílches, with scultpture by Pedro Duque Cornejo y Roldán, and is finished in 1731. In 1725 Fray Domingo de Aguirre starts the construction of the instrumental part of both organs. All those operations were started due to the financing by Archbishop Luis de Salcedo y Azcona, which supported the construction of one of the organs, under the condition that the Chaupterhouse supported the construction of a twin instrument, as had already happened in some other regions of Spain.
The two organs were started by Fray Domingo de Aguirre but he could just work on those instruments for two months, before dying in February 1725. The construction was interrupted and Domingo Larracoechea took care of the instruments during the search for a new organbuilder. Diego de Orio was the chosen organbuilder to continue the work. Orio died in 1731 without managing to finish even one of the organs. After Diego de Orio, succeeded Francisco Ortíguez (since 1733) and Sebastián García Murugarren, both of which never finished the two organs.
In 1775 a new Gospel organ is ordered to José de Casas (finished in 1778) and in 1778 a new Epistle organ is ordered to Jordi Bosch (finished in 1793). This way, both instruments were finished but aren’t in fact a real pair of twin organs, as intended on the beginning.
From 1816 to 1831 the Gospel organ is rebuilt by Valentín Verdalonga. Some decades later, in 1888 one section of the vault collapses over the Epistle organ destroying it completely; the Gospel organ is seriously damaged with dust and humidity due to the exposition to the atmospheric elements.
Later, already in the 20th century, the organs are rebuilt by Aquilino Amezua, from 1901 to 1903.
In 1973 the organ is electrified by Organería Española and the console is moved to the ground floor between both organs. Currently both organs are controlled from a single console with 4 manuals and pedal. In 1996 a restoration is carried by Grenzing.
The cases are decorated with angels with trumpets and the Gospel case is crowned by King David with a harp, while the Epistle one is topped with a statue of St. Clement.
1724 – beginning of construction of both organs
1775-1778 – Gospel organ reconstruction by José de Casas
1778-1793 – Epistle organ reconstruction by Jordi [Jorge] Bosch i Bernat
1816-1831 – Gospel organ reconstruction by Valentín Verdalonga
1901-1903 – organs reconstruction by Aquilino Amezua
1973 – organ changes by Organería Española
1996 – organ restoration by Gerhard Grenzing
|Flautado 16′||Flautado 8′||Flautado Violón 16′||Flautado Mayor 16′||Contras 32′|
|Violón 16′||Chiminea 8′||Flauta Armónica 8′||Flautado 8′||Flautado 16′|
|Flautado 8′||Octava 4′||Corno de Gamo 8′||Octava 4′||Subbajo 16′|
|Tapado 8′||Tapadillo 4′||Voz Celeste 8′||Quincena 2′||Flautado 8′|
|Octava 4′||Docena 2 2/3′||Principal 4′||Nazardos y Corneta III-VII||Bajo Dulce 8′|
|Quinta 1 1/3′||Quincena 2′||Flauta Octaviante 4′||Trompeta Imperial 32′||Octava 4′|
|Corneta V||Decinovena 1 1/3′||Lleno V||Bombarda 16′||Compuestas IV|
|Lleno Mayor V-VI||Lleno III||Fagot 16′||Trompeta Magna 16′||Quinta 10 2/3′|
|Zímbala VI||Zímbala III||Trompeta 8′||Clarin Claro 8′||Nazardos III|
|Bombarda 16′||Churumbela II||Clarín 4′||Chirimía 4′||Contra Bombarda 32′|
|Trompeta Real 8′||Trompeta 8′||Oboe 8′||Violeta 2′||Bombarda 16′|
|Trompeta Batalla 8′||Cromorno 8′||Voz Humana 8′||Trompeta de Batalla 8′||Fagot 16′|
|Bajoncillo/Clarín 4’/8′||Bajoncillo 4′||Bajoncillo 4′||Trompeta 8′|
|Orlos 8′||Clarín 4′|