The Organ of Oslo Cathedral is a richly varied album, showing off the full breadth of the cathedral’s Ryde & Berg organ built in 1998. The organ facade is the original one from the Baroque organ of 1727 built by the Danish organ builder Lambert Daniel Kastens, who studied and worked with the famous North German organ builder Arp Schnitger.
The album features great works of Bach and Reger, two composers who over the years have been cornerstones of the cathedral’s organ tradition, not least due to the influence of former organist and choirmaster Arild Sandvold. Sandvold’s variations over “Eg veit I himmerik ei borg” can be heard on the recording. Nordstoga’s own organ version of Grieg’s “Holberg Suite” has been performed on a number of occasions, and now — after many requests — it has found its place on a recording. And with the inclusion of two exquisite samples of Swedish and Norwegian traditional music, together with a meditation of Charles Gounod, we see the contours of an album of organ music where many traditions meet.
Oslo Cathedral, formerly Our Saviour’s Church, is a cruciform church located at Stortorvet in Oslo city centre. Completed in 1697, it is the main church for the Diocese of Oslo and the parish church for downtown Oslo. It is, at the same time, Norway’s national church , used by the royal house and the government for weddings, funerals, and other officlal occasions.
The Baroque organ, once Scandinavia’s largest, was completed in 1727 and built by Lambert Daniel Kastens, a Danish organ builder who studied and worked with the famous North German organ builder Arp Schnitger. Kastens’s organ façade, together with the altarpiece, pulpit, and baptismal font, constitutes the cathedral’s acanthus-carved Baroque interior, the organ façade being the only one of these treasures that has stood in the church continuously over the course of time.