The Steinmeyer organ in Nidaros Cathedral (2014)

Grieg, Dupre, Howells, Widor, Reger, Hovland, Dubois, Nielsen, Karg-Elert, Sandvold, Eben, Handel, Draagen, Gigout

Magne H. Draagen

Nidaros Cathedral’s Steinmeyer organ, completed in 1930 for the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Stiklestad, is one of the largest cathedral organs in Europe. The instrument has, however, suffered an unkind fate over the course of time as a result of moves within the cathedral, a reduction of the number of stops, and exposure to dampness and draft. Maintenance of the organ eventually became so demanding that those in charge of its repair could only pray and hope for the best. Many years of tireless effort to have the organ restored, led by former Director of Music Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen, finally produced results, and in the spring of 2012 the municipality of Trondheim agreed to act as guarantor for the cost of the restoration project. In late summer of the same year, Kuhn Organ Builders began the laborious task of dismantling the organ and sending a significant portion of the instrument to its factory in Switzerland for restoration. The following year, in September 2013, work began on installing the organ in its new façade, and in May 2014 it was ready for use. After having stood “with clipped wings” for over fifty years, the organ again has its full range of timbre. The Steinmeyer organ in Nidaros Cathedral is once more one of Europe’s largest and most magnificent cathedral organs, and it has, in addition, been updated digitally, making playing easier — and listening more pleasurable.

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Magne H. Draagen

 

Magne H. Draagen was born in 1974. He received his first organ lessons from Edvin Eriksen and Leidulv Grimsmo in Nordmøre. He studied organ with Terje Winge and Kåre Nordstoga at the Norwegian Academy of Music, from which he received a Bachelor’s in Church Music in 1997 and later a soloist diploma as organist. Draagen is former organist and choirmaster of Gamlebyen Church, Old Aker Church, and Holy Trinity Church in Oslo. From 2002-2012 he served as organist and choirmaster at Oslo Cathedral and, among other things, as artistic director of Oslo Cathedral Boys Choir. From 2010-2011 he was Director of Music at Stavanger Cathedral as head of the choir department. Since the autumn of 2013 he has served as Director of Music of Nidaros Cathedral. He has taught various church music disciplines at the Norwegian Academy of Music, the University of Stavanger, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. 

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The Steinmeyer organ in Nidaros Cathedral (2014)

Grieg, Dupre, Howells, Widor, Reger, Hovland, Dubois, Nielsen, Karg-Elert, Sandvold, Eben, Handel, Draagen, Gigout

Magne H. Draagen

    MusicWeb International

"This well-filled album is mighty impressive, and that goes for the sound as well; in short, a triumph. "

Dan Morgan for MusicWeb International[read full review]

    SA-CD.net

Some of the items in the recital also demonstrate the spatial placing of some registers within the Cathedral, giving a challenge for the Lawo engineers. Draagen's selection of pieces is designed not just for organ buffs but for music lovers in general. While the stereo sound excellently captures the organ in its cathedral acoustic (with a 5 sec decay), to get the most realistic sound you need to use the 5.0 multichannel track. Here, the engineers have been able to combine the detached solo and echo registers with those in the main organ in a 3-D sonic sound stage perspective which looses very little detail in the vast surrounding ambience, giving the listener the experience of being in the Cathedral. Engineer Thomas Wolden and producer/editor Vegard Landaas have used the ability of DXD to record the organ's very wide dynamic range. The remarkably soft, detailed output from the "gentle" pipes of the main organ (or that from the distant echo registers) is beautifully conveyed, although I would advise using a higher than usual playback volume unless you have a listening room which has virtually no ambient noise.

John Miller[read full review]

The Steinmeyer organ in Nidaros Cathedral (2014)

Grieg, Dupre, Howells, Widor, Reger, Hovland, Dubois, Nielsen, Karg-Elert, Sandvold, Eben, Handel, Draagen, Gigout

Magne H. Draagen

Digital Converters: Merging Horus AD/Micpre in 353.8 Khz (DXD)
Mastering Engineer: Thomas Wolden
Microphones: Schopes MK2H OMNI and MK21
Producer: Vegard Landaas
Recording Engineer: Thomas Wolden
Recording location: Nidaros Cathedral. Trondheim
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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LWC1075: The Steinmeyer organ in Nidaros Cathedral
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Tracks.
1.
Grieg- Morgenstemning
Grieg
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2.
Dupre- Placare Christe Servulis
Dupre
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3.
Howells- Master Tallis Testament
Howells
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Widor- Marche Nuptiale
Widor
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Reger- Benedictus
Reger
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Hovland- Toccata over kj?rlighet er lysets kilde
Hovland
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Dubois- In Paradisum
Dubois
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Nielsen- Nidarosdomens klokker
Nielsen
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Karg-Elert- Homage to Handel
Karg-Elert
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Sandvold- Adagio, Op 9
Sandvold
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Eben- Moto ostinato
Eben
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Handel- Hornpipe
Handel
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Draagen- Improvisasjon over en folketone fra Hornindal
Draagen
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14.
Gigout- Grand Choeur Dialogue
Gigout
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