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The Silbermenn Organ of Arlesheim Cathedral (Switzerland)

The village of Arlesheim is mainly a farming community, situated just outside the city of Basel. It  became part of the princely domain of the Prince-Bishop of Basel in 1239. It was the Seat of the Cathedral chapter of Basel from 1679 to 1792. Between 1679 and 1681, the bishop built not only a cathedral, but also a complete town centre with houses for the advisors and the administration of the See. The architect was Franz Demess.In a total refurbishment and enlargement of the cathedral in 1759, an organ built by German builder Johann Andreas Silbermann, based in Alsace, was added in 1761. As Silbermann was included in the planning of the rebuild from the start, the cathedral's architecture was redone with a view to augment the acoustics. It is for its acoustic value that the cathedral's organ is often used for recordings of classical organ works. The instrument was restored by Metzler in 1959-62 and then later, in 2005,  by Gaston Kern. It is an example of the fusion of French and German organ building styles.

FUG 037

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