NEW ARTICLE (ENG): "The rebirth of Michael Engler’s treasure in Wrocław", in: "The Organ”, No 400, May-July 2022
Szostak Michał, "The rebirth of Michael Engler’s treasure in Wrocław",
in: "The Organ”, No 400, May-July 2022, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 4-19.
Fire and organs equal disaster and destruction of the cultural heritage. Nevertheless, fire and organs may be the beginning of something new that would not be born without tears and pain. We keep in mind the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris when the whole world cried and followed how the fire had been consuming this masterpiece of architecture. On the other hand, we are the witnesses of rebuilding the cathedral itself and renovating the organ, which will undoubtedly be restored and somehow modified. It is not often that we see reconstructions that consider historical truth and cleanse the organ of the effects of further modifications, wanting to recreate the instrument in its original technical and sound state. One such process is the meticulous restoration of the world’s largest organs at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, USA. The cost of reconstruction while maintaining original solutions from the era is many times higher than the cost of building a comparable instrument using modern solutions. Wrocław is the main and the largest city with county rights in southwestern Poland located in Central Europe, on the Silesian Lowland, at the Oder river. As the historical capital of the region, have been playing an essential role for the whole region. At the main square in the city centre, we can find a magnificent gothic basilica consisting of a priceless treasure that was raised from ashes just a few weeks ago – the fully-reconstructed Baroque organ of Michael Engler. This article aims to 1) draw a general picture of the historical instruments in St Elisabeth Basilica in Wrocław, 2) describe the characteristics of a newly-restored organ of Michael Engler in this venue, and 3) share the thoughts and impressions of Mr Andrzej Lech Kriese, the central person responsible for the coordination of the whole project’s restoration works on site.