New article (ENG): "Austrian change for the World’s largest organ list", in: "The Organ”, No 396, May-July 2021
In the shadow of the pandemic, which for a year has been affecting us extremely painful in all areas of our lives, 2020 saw an important but very quiet event in the world of organ building. After three years of intensive works, the restored main instrument in the cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna (Austria), electronically connected with the choir organ, changed the balance of powers in the rankings of the largest instruments in Europe and the world. It is worth adding here that since 2007, i.e. from the completion of the Zych organ in the Basilica in Licheń Stary, Poland , until the end of 2020, these rankings remained unchanged. As the capital city of Austria, Vienna abounds in buildings within the walls of which important musical events took place and still are. One of these marvelous buildings is the Saint Stephen’s Cathedral (Ger. Stephansdom) located in the heart of the city. The first documented mention of the church and parish of St. Stephen took place in 1137 in correspondence between Babenberg Duke Leopold IV of Austria and Bishop Reginmar of Passau (a German city). This date is associated with the construction of the first Romanesque church in this place; it was consecrated ten years later, 1147. The historical turmoil did not spare the church but there were efforts to lift the building from the ashes every time. The construction of the current building begun in the years 1230–1263. In 1365 it became the founding seat of a collegiate chapter in the course of the new Gothic building by Rudolf IV. It was extended from the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century due to establishing the bishopric of Vienna in the 1470s. Liturgically, St. Stephen followed the catholic tradition of the Diocese of Passau until the 16th century. The archbishopric of Vienna was established in 1723 and the cathedral became one of the largest European temples.