Organs and Organ Builders in Slovakia
1651 – 2006
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The Pažický Family from Rajec

A wide-branching organ building family from Rajec. In the renowned organ workshop founded by the brothers Ondrej and Ján, which existed from at latest 1757 to the 1890s, several generations of the Pažický organ builders worked. Among them were Martin Pažický (1752 – 1834), Juraj Pažický and finally the brothers Ján and Peter, with whose productions the prolific workshop reached the climax of its activity around 1890. Unfortunately, more detailed biographical information about the individual members of the workshop, including registry entries, is unavailable. Often it is not possible to determine exactly who built a particular model. For those reasons we evaluate the work of the enterprise collectively.

Organ builder’s workshop

The workshop's founders, the brothers Ján and Ondrej Pažický, were originally tenants of a water mill. Though the sources often state that they were autodidacts, it is hard to believe that that could truly be so. The instruments that emerged from their workshop were quickly and sensitively responsive to the various novelties and trends, not only in dispositions and technical resolution, but also in architectonic and plastic conception. There are some indications that the Pažický brothers may have trained with the Franciscan organ builder Peregrin Werner.

An uncommon amount of information has survived regarding the workshop's activity, thanks to the publication of entries from the workshop record book under the name Specificatio Contractuum.The book is titled on the inside: "Record of work done for the praise of God, the Blessed Virgin and all the saints, and above all tfor the honour and praise of St. John Nepomuk". According to the record book, the first instrument produced in the Rajec workshop was a three-register Positive in 1757. Exceptionally, it is not stated who it was for. Up to 1875 more than 180 instruments of varying size were produced in this workshop. Undoubtedly though, the real number was greater, because not all instruments were entered in the record book. Apart from that, the author who published the Specificatio Contractuum in Katolícke noviny in 1875 did not concern himself with the numerous repairs which were also said to be recorded in the workshop book. more »»

Text: Marian Alojz Mayer