Friedrich Goll

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Friedrich Goll (born October 28, 1839 in Bissingen an der Teck ; † March 2, 1911 in Lucerne ) was one of the most important organ builders in Switzerland in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Apprenticeship and wandering years

Friedrich Goll was born as the twelfth child of the farmer and parish administrator Jakob Friedrich Goll (1797–1846) and his wife Anna Maria née. Weber (1798–1870) born. After finishing school he learned the organ building trade from 1854 to 1858 with his brother Christoph Ludwig Goll (1824-1897) in Kirchheim unter Teck . He then worked for a short time with Jakob Forell (1821–1893) in Freiburg i. Br. And in 1863 moved to Friedrich Haas , whose business had been founded in 1838 and who had settled in Lucerne from 1859 . Through Haas and Forell, Goll was a grandchild of Eberhard Friedrich Walcker . In 1865 he went to Joseph Merklin in Paris and in 1868 for a short time in London.

Own company

In 1867 Haas handed over his business to the 28-year-old Friedrich Goll. He achieved his breakthrough in 1877 with his Opus 12, the first large organ in the Engelberg collegiate church (III / 50, mechanical cone shop, Barker machine ; expanded to IV / 135 in 1926 by his sons). In the following decades, Friedrich Goll dominated Swiss organ building together with his competitors Johann Nepomuk Kuhn (1827–1888) and Carl Theodor Kuhn (1865–1925).

In 1905 Friedrich Goll's son Karl (1876–1967) became a partner in the company, which from then on operated as “Goll & Cie.”. Industrial production methods and an accelerated production rhythm enabled steady growth, so that the company employed around 70 people when Friedrich Goll died in 1911. Between 1902 and 1911 alone, around 130 new buildings were built, i.e. more than one instrument per month.

Further development of the company

The sons Karl and Paul Goll (1880 to 1955) successfully continued the company. In 1921 the workshops were relocated to Horw near Lucerne. In 1927 it went bankrupt, Karl Goll left and in 1928 a stock corporation was founded by Paul Goll (Chairman of the Board of Directors, Director) and the German Wilhelm Lackner (Director). When Paul Goll died in 1955, his son Friedrich took over the management. The family tradition ended with his accidental death in 1971. In 1972 the company was re-founded in Lucerne by Beat Grenacher and Jakob Schmidt († 1998) as Orgelbau Goll and led to rapid success; it still exists today. The organs of the French Church in Bern (1991, IV / 61), of St. Martin in Memmingen (1998, IV / 62), in the culture and congress center KKL in Lucerne (2000, IV / 66) belong to the largest newer instruments. and in the Marktkirche Hannover (2009, IV / 64).



Friedrich Goll's organs were completely in line with the successor to his business predecessor Haas and thus in the southern German romantic tradition. Goll initially only built cone chests with mechanical game and stop action, e.g. T. with barker machines. The gaming tables were always set up free-standing "to play forwards" and laboriously worked. The dispositions were based on tonally richly differentiated basic voices.

Friedrich Goll was known as an excellent voicer. When the business was handed over, Friedrich Haas issued him a corresponding certificate: he had “proven himself as a master of intonation [...] and not in the usual way; he knows how to appreciate the noble ecclesiastical and in France he has acquired the intonation of the fine French reeds ”. From 1894 the company switched to tube-pneumatically controlled cone drawers and from 1902 to pneumatic pocket drawers.

Friedrich Goll was active throughout Switzerland from the start and supplied all parts of the country. Exports abroad, on the other hand, were more random. This included a few orders from neighboring France and for various Anglican churches. A striking exception is the organ of St. Aposteln in Cologne (1892), with III / 62, his largest work (not preserved).

Until the last years of his life, Friedrich Goll adhered to a rather conservative stylistic conception based on Walcker and Haas. It was only his sons who increasingly took up French symphonic style elements and the demands of the Alsatian organ reform and also began to experiment with technical innovations (free combinations, transmissions, octave couplings, etc.).

In general, the very high quality of both the materials used and the execution of the organs by Friedrich Goll, which distinguishes the pipework, play systems and action in equal measure, should be emphasized. Even the smallest and smallest works were made with the highest degree of perfection. Émile Rupp praised the Goll company as "as important for Swiss organ building as Walcker and Steinmeyer for southern Germany".

Preserved inventory

10 to 15 percent of the almost 600 Goll organs originally built between 1868 and 1928 are still preserved. Of these 75 or so instruments, more than half have been rebuilt, losing their original character. The intact preserved works include small and medium-sized works, while almost all large ones (including several with four manuals) have been altered or destroyed.

Here is a selection of some of the still existing instruments by Friedrich Goll and his sons, which are (again) in their original or largely original condition or are particularly representative of Goll's work.

Works (selection)

Works by Friedrich Goll and his sons

year opus place church image Manuals register Remarks
1885 45 Bern St. Peter and Paul II 28 mechanical cone tray
1887 54 Heiligkreuz / LU II 11 mechanical cone tray
1887 56 Courroux / JU II 22nd mechanical cone tray
1888 66 Pleigne / JU I. 8th mechanical cone tray
1889 73 Saint-Saphorin / VD II 10 mechanical cone tray
1889 77 Meggen / LU St. Magdalena II 20th mechanical cone tray
1890 84 St. Pelagiberg / TG II 11 mechanical cone tray
1890 85 Menziken / AG ref. church II 27 mechanical cone tray
1891 96 Hundsbach (Alsace, France) II 22nd mechanical cone tray
1893 111 Attinghausen / UR II 10 mechanical cone tray
1893 117 Aesch / LU II 13 Mechanical cone tray
1894 127 Winikon / LU II 12 mechanical cone tray
1894 131 Trogen / AR II 24 mechanical cone tray
1896 152 Vaulruz / FR II 16 pneumatic cone tray
1897 161 St. Gallen Linsebühl Church III 35 pneumatic cone tray
1897 172 Travers / NE II 14th pneumatic cone tray
1898 179 Flühli / LU II 14th pneumatic cone tray
1898 181 Vevey / VD Sainte-Claire II 18th pneumatic cone tray
1902 220 Verscio / TI II 12 pneumatic cone tray
1902 219 St. Katharinental / TG Prayer room I. 8th pneumatic pocket drawer
1903 244 Lucerne English church III 22nd changed line-up; unplayable; pneumatic pocket drawer
1904 252 Le Crêt / FR II 15th pneumatic pocket drawer
1905 274 Rathausen / LU II 13 almost unplayable, pneumatic pocket drawer
1906 282 Göschenen / UR II 17th pneumatic pocket drawer
1906 287 Brussels-Ixelles (Belgium) Saint-Sacrement IV 32 + 4 unplayable, pneumatic pocket drawer
1907 307 Saint-Martin / FR II 18th pneumatic pocket drawer
1908 324 Corsier / VD II 17th Now in Echallens / VD, pneumatic pocket drawer
1908 328 Cannes (France) St. Georges II 12 pneumatic pocket drawer
1910 352 Zurich St. Anne's Chapel II 25 + 5 pneumatic pocket drawer
1911 361 Flawil / SG ref. church III 36 pneumatic pocket drawer
1912 400 Schwyz Collegiate Church Schwyz III 34 pneumatic pocket drawer
1913 404 Beckenried / NW II 29 pneumatic pocket drawer
1916 462 Château-d'Oex / VD Anglican Church II 10 pneumatic pocket drawer
1918 478 Niederrickenbach / NW Pilgrimage chapel II 15th pneumatic pocket drawer
1922 532 Kriegstetten / SO II 29 pneumatic pocket drawer
1922 535 Metzerlen / SO II 18th pneumatic pocket drawer
1923 547 Barberêche / FR II 13 Contains op. 230, pneumatic cone drawer and pocket drawer
1924 557 Meggen / LU St. Charles Hall II 14th pneumatic pocket drawer
1925 567 Courtemaîche / JU II 12 pneumatic pocket drawer
1926 579 Walchwil / ZG II 33 pneumatic pocket drawer
1926 580 Engelberg / OW Organ of the Engelberg monastery Engelberg-Klosterkirche-031936.JPG IV 135 Today 137 registers; contains op. 12; pneumatic pocket drawer

Works by the company "Orgelbau Goll"

year place church image Manuals register Remarks
1975 Dielsdorf ZH St. Paul Pauluskirche Dielsdorf Organ.JPG II / P 20th
1991 Bern French Church FranzKirche Bern 6101.jpg IV / P 66 behind the brochure by Franz Joseph Remigius Bossart (1928)
1998 Memmingen St. Martin (Memmingen)
IV / P 62 Organ of St. Martin (Memmingen)
1999 Durlach Town church Durlach Durlach city church organ.jpg III / P 39 behind the historical prospectus of Johann Philipp and Johann Heinrich Stumm (1759)
2000 Lucerne Culture and Congress Center IV / P 66
2005 gain Neustadt Church III / P 48 New building in the historic housing of Johann Glis, Nuremberg (1741)
2007 to 2009 Hanover Market Church
The multiple award-winning organist and church musician Ulfert Smidt at one of his workplaces, the great organ in the Marktkirche in Hanover.jpg
IV / P 64 behind brochure from 1953
2015 Munich - Moosach St. Martin
Muenchen-Moosach St Martin Goll organ.jpg
III / P 40


  • François Comment: Friedrich Goll (1839–1911): un parcours initiatique en terre fribourgeoise. In: L'Orgue, revue indépendante , No. 1/2000, pp. 4-16.
  • François Comment: The organ in the cath. Parish church Göschenen UR. In: Bulletin of St. Gallen Organ Friends , No. 3/2002, pp. 48 to 54. PDF
  • François Comment: «... to appreciate the noble ecclesiastical ...»: Friedrich, Karl and Paul Goll - a Swiss organ building dynasty 1868–1928. In: Orgel International (today Organ ), No. 4/2002, pp. 220–231.
  • François Comment: A discovery in the middle of Zurich: the Goll organ from 1910 in the St. Anna Chapel. In: Ars Organi , No. 2/2004, pp. 113-116.
  • François Comment: Un orgue romantique «symphonisé»: l'orgue Goll (1897/1914/1926) du temple de Travers NE. In: L'Orgue, revue indépendante , No. 2/2005, pp. 20-29.
  • François Comment: La restauration de l'orgue Friedrich Goll de Saint-Saphorin. In: La Tribune de l'Orgue, Revue Suisse Romande , No. 4/2005, pp. 19–23.
  • François Comment: The Goll organ from 1912 in the college church in Schwyz. In: Music and Liturgy , No. 4/2006, pp. 16–23.
  • François Comment: L'orgue Goll de Barberêche (1901/1923): du recyclage avant la lettre. In: La Tribune de l'Orgue, Revue Suisse Romande , No. 4/2008, pp. 31–39.
  • Hermann Fischer , Theodor Wohnhaas : Article Goll. In: Lexicon of South German Organ Builders. Wilhelmshaven 1994, pp. 118f.
  • Hermann Fischer, Urs Fischer: Goll. In: MGG2 , Person Teil , Vol. 7, Kassel / Stuttgart 2002, Sp. 1273.
  • P. Norbert Hegner: The big organ in the Engelberg monastery church. Engelberg 1976.
  • Bernhard Hörler: The Friedrich Goll organ from 1894 in the Protestant church Trogen AR. In: Bulletin of St. Gallen Organ Friends , No. 1/2002, pp. 3–13. PDF
  • Bernhard Hörler: The restored Goll organ in the Catholic pilgrimage church of St. Peter and Paul and St. Burkhard in Beinwil (Freiamt, Aargau). In: Ars Organi , No. 2/2002, pp. 95-99.
  • Bernhard Hörler: The Goll organ from 1907 in the former Protestant chapel in Horgen / ZH. In: Musik und Gottesdienst , No. 82/2008, pp. 110–118.
  • Bernhard Hörler: The Lucerne organ builder Friedrich Goll. On the 100th year of his death. In: Ars Organi , No. 3/2011, pp. 163-173
  • Franz Lüthi: The Goll organ from 1911 in the Protestant church Feld, Flawil. In: Bulletin of the St. Galler Organ Friends , No. 1/2001, pp. 12-19. ( PDF )

Web links

Commons : Goll Organs  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Advertising brochure “Fried's organ building business. Goll “, Luzern n.d. [1884], p. 1.
  2. Émile Rupp: The history of the development of organ building art. Einsiedeln 1929, p. 398.