The Engelbrekt organ history in English. Please see the Swedish pages and "Gallery" page for pictures.
The first instruments 1914 - 1929
For the new Engelbrekt church, one of the most well known Swedish organ builders, E A Setterquist&Son of Írebro, created an instrument of good quality and modest proportions. It had a specification typical of its time, with 40 speaking stops, 3 manuals and pedal. The action was mechanical/pneumatic and the console was in front of the prospect. The architect of the church, Lars Israel Wahlman, designed every part of the interior, down to the last detail. The organ prospect was no exception and it blended seamlessly into the Jugend/Gothic character of the church.
Wahlman was convinced that the prospect should have a symbolic value. He writes: "The organ prospect is a portray of music's ability to ease the mind of souls in distress. The central part rises on columns, which twist and turns to show the force and power of the art of sacred music. The only art capable of bringing down the armour of hardened minds, which fall like the walls of Jericho."
After only a few years, the young organist Oskar Lindberg, felt that a larger instrument would be more appropriate in the vast space of this huge church. Investigations, involving the famous Swedish organ professor Otto Olsson, lead to a project of rebuilding the only 12-year-old organ. The parish agreed and a contract was signed with P.L ┼kerman&Lund organ builders. The new organ was going to be more than twice as large as the first. With 95 stops it included a Choir organ, "Fernwerk" (situated in the tower) and a high-pressure division.
The organ loft was also redesigned to give room for the expanding concert activities, mainly the annual performance of the St. Matthew passion. On this enlarged balcony, the organ console was placed on the south side and had electro pneumatic action, the technology preferred in those days. The organ was inaugurated in 1929 and was at that time one of the largest instruments in Sweden. The specification was typical of the Swedish romantic era, but with some dashes of classic inspiration, a result of Oskar Lindberg's interest in the new ideals of organ building.
The "Organ movement" was slowly building in Europe. Its goals were to reclaim the ideals of the baroque era, where the organ was an "honest" instrument with its own sound - not an instrument imitating an orchestra.
Professor Lindberg was very interested in organ building as an art. He was himself an accomplished amateur organ builder and was at his summerhouse in Dalecarlia constantly working with his house organs - the largest one eventually reaching 19 stops.
He was in the position to realize the growing ideas of the Organ movement into his instrument in Engelbrekt. As a result, the organ underwent constant alterations between it was built 1929 and until 1955. It was only the pipe work that was changed, not the basic construction. All the same, Lindberg changed several romantic stops for brighter ones in order to give the organ a more "baroqueish" character. In the end it reached the staggering sum of 101 stops, being - beside the organ in the Lund cathedral - the largest church organ in the country.
Although the organ was completely overhauled in 1946, with focus on installing a new electric action, the function was from time to time failing. The Roosewelt chests was of good quality, but took up all space in the organ, making it difficult repairing. The pneumatic system still used for distributing the action inside the organ was deteriorating and suffered from severe latency.
When Oskar Lindberg, after 41 years of service, died in 1955, the younger Henry Lindroth was appointed organist in Engelbrekt church. He immediately started to work with the possibility of building a new organ. He was aiming to accomplish all the goals of the Organ movement. The prototype was the already famous Marcussen organ in the Oscar's church, built in 1949, which had been revolutionary in Scandinavian organ building. It broke with the romantic era completely and was totally designed after the "movement-concept". Up to this day this organ represents some of the very best of this ideology and can still be heard in all its original splendour.