|Peter van Dijk||Johann Heinrich Mundt and the organ in the
Church of the Virgin Mary before the Tyn at Prague
Het ORGEL 98 (2002), nr. 3, 9-18 [summary]
On 17-22 September 2000 the completion of the
restoration of the Mundt organ in the Church before the Tyn at Prague was
celebrated with a series of festivities. The
organ was built in 1673 and is one of the most representative 17th century
organs in Europe.
Johann Heinrich Mundt (1632-1690) was born in Köln,
Germany. He built his first organs
in cooperation with Matthaeüs Köhler. As
an independent organ builder he built instruments at Prague (Church before the
Tyn and St. Nicholas, 1685), Vyssí Brod (1679), Plasy (1684), Sazavá (1688)
and Velvary (1689).
The City Council of Prague contracted Mundt in 1670.
Neither the contract nor other archival material is preserved.
Some of it, however, has survived via secondary literature. At the examination of his work in 1673, Mundt was criticised:
he was, for instance, forced to change the specification of the organ.
At the second examination, Mundt was confronted with additional wishes.
At the end of 1673, the organ could finally be inaugurated.
In 1682 Mundt repaired the organ; a great fire in the
church had damaged it in 1679. 'Court
Organ Builder' Josef Gartner restored the organ in 1823: he moved the organ
backward, moved the bellows, lowered the pitch and retuned it in equal
temperament. In 1843, Gartner
restored the organ again; he revised the Salicional of the Great at this
occasion. Emanuel Petr restored the
organ in 1895. It is not clear what
he did; the organ shows that other organ builders worked on it as well. In 1990, the organ was tuned in a Werckmeister temperament.
In 1998-2000 the German organ building firm Klais
(Bonn) restored the organ with German money; a condition was that the
restoration should be carried out by an organ builder from the same region as
Under supervision of an international commission (Marek
Cihar, Peter van Dijk, Jürgen Eppelsheim, Rupert Gottfried Frieberger, Jan
Kalfus, Martin Poruba en Harald Vogel), Klais reconstructed the state of the
organ in 1823.