The Archdiocese of Barcelona presented this Friday the new organ in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, a Cavaillé-Coll from 1896 donated by the Congregation of Religious of the Sacred Heart and recently restored with a crowdfunding campaign.
This was indicated at a press conference by the rector of the basilica and the parish of the Sagrada Familia, Josep Maria Turull, together with the restorer, Albert Blancafort, and the organist of the temple, Juan de la Rubia, who will offer a concert with the instrument the afternoon of this Friday.
The organ, built in the 19th century, is considered one of the best romantic models in the world, and it is the only one from the manufacturer Aristide Cavaillé-Coll de Catalunya: “We are talking about a jewel embedded in a jeweler, which is the crypt of the Sagrada Familia”, said Turull.
For her part, Blancafort has highlighted from the body that “it is an instrument that was almost lost and hidden, and it is a work of art as it could be a sculpture or a good painting “, and has celebrated the perfect fit of the instrument in the church.” It fits for visual and architectural aesthetics, but also for sound “, has corroborated De la Rubia , who recalled that the instrument was built a year after the crypt was completed and that it is the perfect size for the chapel.
The organ will be blessed this Friday afternoon and can be heard during mass, which will be chaired by Bishop Sergi Gordo, and in a first concert by De la Rubia and with the participation of Cor Francesc Valls, directed by Pere Lluís Biosca.
A “necessary” restoration
The rector of the parish has stated that “restoration of this organ was necessary to bring it back to life and so that the city and everyone can enjoy a body of the highest level “, and has considered the work an investment in the future and heritage.
The works have had a cost of 178,000 euros, “more than half of which have been achieved through donations from individuals and companies,” explained Turull, who recalled that the crowdfunding project remains open until all expenses are covered.
He has also explained that concerts in favor of the restoration of the organ and he has invited everyone to sponsor tubes of the instrument: “It is a worthwhile investment, especially in these times when we need music so much,” he said.
Blancafort has detailed that the disassembly, restoration, replacement of parts and new installation have involved a year and a half of work –more than 4,000 hours, he has specified -, but that it has been possible to “recover the authentic Cavaillé-Coll sound “.
The rector added that the new body will have a triple function: the first and main one is the liturgical one, to accompany the celebrations; the second, the cultural, and the third, the pedagogical, since it will be useful for music students.
“Any organist in the world wants to play a Cavaillé-Coll, and for a student it is a luxury to be able to see it and play it, it is like a second teacher,” said De la Rubia, who recalled that until now they had to go to Euskadi or even to France to find an organ of this brand. “Cavaillé-Coll was a genius, and that we have the work of a genius, next to the grave of another genius (Antoni Gaudí), is a symbolic fact and the best gift that could be given to the architect”, said Blancafort .