THE HISTORY OF THE ORGAN IN THE CORPUS CHRISTI CHURCH
First organ: The first reference to the organ in the Corpus Christi Basilica dates back to 1373.
In 1385 Master Jan modified the instrument but on 9th December 1595 there was a fire which destroyed the roof and the organ.
Second organ: Rev. Stefan Ranatowicz CRL wrote in his description of the church building:
”There was a huge organ above the lectern of an old construction and so distant that it wasn’t easy to get there. That’s why the parish priest Hyacynthus Liberiusz removed the instrument and replaced it with a window.”
At that time (in 1664) on the north wall of the chancel (Minori Chro) there was a small organ for 3 voices. Nowadays there is the side organ in that place.
Third organ: the instrument that currently can be seen at the chancel wall is the organ of 25-voices and it was built by the organ builder Master Bartłomiej Juszkowicz in 1664. The components of historic value such as the voices and the main box, which were restored in 2004, have remained in its form up to the present day. In the expenditures record of the Chapel the following piece of information about the organ was found:
“1665; the sum of 4 grosze to tip the gravedigger for removing the snow from the organ and in the B.V.M. Chapel ".
The organ builders who worked on the instrument burnt their initials on the box. It is worth mentioning that between 1775 and 1778 the organ builder Ignacy Ziernicki who worked on the organ stated that the organ in the church of the Body of Christ is too powerful and might cause the walls to crack. He suggested removing 5 up to 8 voices, which was done afterwards.
In 1860 the organ was moved from the chancel to the choir, which had been constructed in 1772, and it remained in that place till 1958.
The current organ (1963 - 2013) in the Basilica is the largest instrument in Krakow.
It was designed for 83 voices, it consists of two parts and form an integral whole.
Side organ (1664)
of 20 voices
located in the presbytery (chancel);
Main organ (1963)
of 63 voices
located in the chancel choir.
The organ is designed for 5950 pipes and 20 bells. The side organ has been connected with the main organ by electric cables laid under the floor which was restored at that time.
There are two 4-manual consoles standing freely with pedals for playing: one by the main altar, the other in the chancel choir at the back of the Basilica. This project was co-initiated by professors Machl, Chwedczuk and Jargon. The building company, owned by Dominik Biernacki, came from Warsaw. Such an undertaking in those days was not an easy task to do. In 1962 the organ was to be used for the first time during the First Communion ceremony but the day before, on Saturday, lightning struck the tower and damaged the organ so that it could not be used. Finally, in 1963 the construction of the organ was finished and in 2013 the instrument’s 50th anniversary was celebrated. The project has never been completed – 3 vocal voices have not been installed yet. I believe that the organ will be completed at some time in the future so that they can be a visible attribute of our faith for the next generations and that the tunes will lift their spirits and redirect their souls and minds to God and the heavenly reality.
|Manual I||Manual II (Great)||Manual III||Manual IV (Side organ)||Pedal|
M I – M II
Pryncypał fletowy 8',
M IV – M III
M IV – Ped
X - reeds pipes unmonted
Reeds pipes - reeds pipes