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      Mosta Dome     
 
Cav. P. Inzoli 1885

Malta’s largest historic and mechanical pipe-organ has been restored to its former glory. The Inzoli organ in Mosta Parish Church, better known as Mosta Dome, was built in 1885. Pacifico Inzoli himself was probably present during its installation. It is a fact that Inzoli had been to Malta at least once, taking back a puppy with him to Italy. The puppy was named ‘Malta’.

One can imagine, way back in 1885, the pride of the Mosta parishioners with the Rotunda’s new organ. This organ had more than twice the number of stops than any other organ in Malta at that time. A sure novelty was its richness in reed stops. It had new and interesting tonal resources, some made possible by means of innovative mechanisms. Today, 125 years later, only two organs surpass the Mosta organ in terms of number of pipes: the Mascioni organ at St.John’s Co-Cathedral, and the Hill, Norman & Beard rebuild at the Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta.

The Inzoli organ was played frequently and was never an idle beast. Its pipework was dismantled and cleaned in the 1950’s. At the time of the commencement of the restoration works in 2003, the organ was still limping on, performing regularly every Sunday and in funeral functions, albeit in a bad state of conservation. Not many organs can boast that record – 120 years of service without a major overhaul.

Yet the time was ripe for the Mosta organ to receive some rejuvenation, without depleting it of its character and charm. Many organic materials were aged and worn-out. Leather plays a crucial role in such instruments, and after more than a century, this had lost its properties and many parts were failing. The bellows had been patched up several times but by 2003 the main bellows would not even attempt to rise. Valves were leaking. The organ was therefore dismantled and all the individual components transferred to the workshop for restoration. Once the restoration at the workshop was completed, the parts were brought back to Mosta Dome. These were then assembled and the finally the pipework was regulated and tuned. An inauguration recital was held by Dr. Hugo Agius Muscat. Since then, it has been played and greatly appreciated by some great names in the organ scene amongst whom Prof. Novenko, an internationally acclaimed concert organist and organ professor at Prague Conservatory.
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