In 1930 an organ of 100 stops was built for Nidaros Cathedral to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of St. Olaf's death.
The vast instrument was built by the German firm of Steinmeyer from Oettingen. Steinmeyer sourced his high pressure reeds
for the solo organ from Henry Willis. The organ was originally in the North Transept but took up so much room that it was
ultimately moved to the West end under the Rose Window. The Solo and Swell were put in the north and south triforium and
the enclosed Choir was turned into a two manual chancel organ.
The baroque case that had been shrouding it was moved back to the North Transept in 1994 when the "Wagner Organ" was restored, leaving the Steinmeyer without any casework. Some parts of the organ had been damaged or destroyed while in storage over the years, including the Solo organ. The organ had also lost all of its musical cohesiveness, being scattered around the building so it was decided to restore the organ to its original specification to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Norway's constitution.
Orgelbau Kuhn of Männedorf in Switzerland has beautifully reconstructed this amazing organ and provided a new case and prospect worthy of the building. The Solo organ was made new and Kuhn came to Henry Willis & Sons to recreate the original Solo stops provided to Steinmeyer in 1930. Henry Willis and Sons manufactured and voiced the new Contra Tuba 16'; Tuba 8'; Tuba Clarion 4'; Orchestral Trumpet 8'; Stentor Diapason 8'; Stentor Gamba 8' and the French Horn for the Swell Organ. The new Solo organ is situated in the South Triforium near to the transept.
Full details of the reconstruction of the organ can be found on the Orgelbau Kuhn website. On the Kuhn website there are also links to the book, recording and articles about this organ.
Spotted Metal is cut to shape using templates prior to turning up
Reed Resonators turned up, sized and soldered
Willis Reed Blocks are cast and prepared for fitting the Shallots
The Shallots are fitted to the Blocks
Sockets, Tips & Stockings are made and fitted
Fresh off the voicing machine
The pipes are carefully wrapped for transport
The distinctive domed caps of the Willis French Horn
The French Horn in the Swell Organ in Norway
The new Solo Organ in Norway