Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cappel, St. Peter and Paul 1680 Schnitger Organ Germany

Cappel, St. Peter and Paul 1680 Schnitger Organ Germany

 Brief History:

The Arp Schnitger organ standing today in the St.Peter-und-Paul-Kirche of Cappel - a little village east of the river Weser estuary - had initially been built in 1680 for the Dominican monastery St.Johannis in Hamburg which no longer exists. It replaced an instrument there dating from 1567 with a high rate of certitude, from which Arp Schnitger adopted a number of late renaissance stops. Unfortunately no records were kept in the Hamburg State Archive about this occurence. But sitting above the console an inscription in golden letters has been preserved, stating that the organ was built by Arp Schnitger "from April until December 1680".

It was the first work of the organ maker in Hamburg. There is evidence that in 1688 Schnitger carried out some smaller works perfecting the instrument, yet no documentation has been passed down to this day. A document by Schnitger's first biographer, the Dutch organist Siwert Meijer, quotes that Schnitger "in 1679 made a new opus for the St.Johannis church in Hamburg with 30 voices, two keyboards and an independent pedal". Further sources mention six bellows for the wind supply.

The organ had endured the 18th century without any changes or damage. During the French occupation of Hamburg (1806 - 1814) by Napoleon's troops the church served to store buffer stock and was never used for religious services anymore. The organ probably mainly survived since it was dismantled in 1813 by the Hamburg organ builder Geycke and stored in a monastery room adjacent to the church.

In December 1810 the church in Cappel and a fairly new organ built by Georg Wilhelm Wilhelmy in 1800 burnt down completely, leaving the parish for about six years without an instrument. It was thus a welcome coincidence that the Schnitger opus from St. Johannis was offered to them for 2000 Reichs-Talers as initial price. A ship transport for the parts from Hamburg to Cuxhaven was arranged, the rest of the route to Cappel with horse and cart. In the course of 1816 Wilhelmy re-erected the organ within slightly more than four months; it was played first on Christmas Eve the same year. He was paid 385 Reichs-Taler in gold currency. The parish decided to spend an additional amount of 15 Reichs-Talers for a Zimbelstern with "harmonically tuned bells". The statues on top of the organ were removed to enable it to fit on the organ loft. These statues are now above the altar at the front of the church.

Since the beginning of the 17th century not only rich Hanse cities like Hamburg had good sounding and magnificently equipped organs, it was not unusual even on the countryside to install them in comparatively small churches. Yet it presumably took a while for the Cappel parish councel to fully recognize what a gem they had acquired, the more so as Schnitger's name had not been mentioned in the sales contract.

In 1846 the same organ builder carried out some minor repair works but introduced no changes beyond that. Due to the remoteness of Cappel village the organ remained unaffected for 100-years; it prevented it from any adaption to the prevailing taste of the 19th and 20th century. When during the organ renovation movement the instrument's high merit became realized it was restored 1939 in several steps by Paul Ott, Goettingen, followed in the years 1976/77 by comprehensive overhaul works which Beckerath organ workshop carried out. The company reworked the Zimbel III to the Hauptwerk manual and the Cornet 2 in the Pedal, all other stops remained unaltered. Organ case, Principal (tin) pipes of the facade, manuals and wind chests were designed and built by Schnitger.
Above text and translation by Dieter Thomsen

The following passage is an exact copy of the text by Helmut Walcha, as found on the DGG LP's.

"Of all the organs still in existence, which have come out of the workshop of Arp Schnitger, the grand master of German organ construction (born 1641 in Golzwarden near Oldenburg, died 1719 In Hamburg, the one in Cappel is the best preserved and the most valuable. Every visitor who enters the small village church of Cappel is surprised to find here such an ornate baroque work of art.

The exterior of the organ, which is richly carved, is painted white and green and is decorated with gild statues. The impression of great preciousness is further emphasized by the contrast with the church itself, which is designedly simple, and which has a pale blue barrelvault painted with stars. But the visitor will be still more astonished when he listens to this instrument, with its incomparable freshness and crystal-clear transparency, which can reproduce the polyphonic achievements of the old composers of organ works in a most impressive manner.

The explanation for this is given by the history of the organ. The Instrument was built in 1695 (or 1618?) for the church of the St. Johannis monastery in Hamburg. In contrast to many of the known Schnitger-organs, which were largely reconstructions of organs then in existence, or on which he worked as a journeyman, as in St. Cosmae Stade, this organ has been built specially by the master. Merely some particularly wide ranks of pipes, such as the chimney flute 8', the nason flute 3' or the gemshorn 2', were taken from an older instrument, probably from one made by a member of the Scheerer family of organ builders.

During Napoleon's occupation, the Church of the St. Johannis monastery was used as a store shed. The organ had to go and was sold in 1816 to the people of Cappel, whose church was burnt down in 1806 end had in the meantime been rebuilt, but who, much to their regret, could not afford a new organ.

It is due to these circumstances that the organ did not perish in the great fires of Hamburg in 1842 and 1943. For over 100 years the organ lived an uneventful life in Cappel. The modest resources of the church made it fortunately impossible to execute any but the most urgently necessary repairs, so that the organ was preserved from all reconstructions or improvements in the taste of the turn of he century - which means from serious interference with its original character. In consequence of this we have here a monument of the period of Schnitgers greatest achievements, which has come down to us unaltered and represents an inestimable value.

There is a conspicuous wealth of mixture stops, of which the pedal board has two, and the great organ and chair organ (the small choir organ at the back of the player) have three each (rauschflute, mixture, scharff, cymbel, sesquialtera, tierce). There cannot be many historical organs still in existence which have all mixed stops preserved in their original form, in this case from the hand of Schnitger.

Particularly beautiful are the principals, which with all their velvety smoothness have a tone of such vigorous pungency as will rarely be found elsewhere. The entire pipe work is free from signs of later interference with its intonation. This fact allows the conclusion that in this organ from Cappel we have preserved for us the genuine ideal diapason of the most flourishing period of classical organ construction.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Toccata and fugue in D minor BWV 565
Helmut Walcha, Schnitger organ in Cappel

The organ is still tuned in the choir pitch of the baroque period (which is half a pitch sharp compared with the present day standard pitch). To retune the organ would upset the whole tonal structure and would be quite insupportable. The fact that the tracker mechanism gives rise to certain small noises is only to be expected considering the age of this venerable instrument."

Text from the CD of Egbert Ennulat
In 1678, Schnitger set out as an independent organ builder, and his first extant instrument (1680) was the organ for the church of the Benedictine monastery St. Johannis in Hamburg, Germany. During the French occupation (1806-1814) this church was confiscated by Napoleon and served as a military depot. The organ was put into storage in 1813. Meanwhile, the church of St. Petri and St. Pauli in Cappel, a village northwest of Hamburg, was destroyed by fire (1810) due to negligence of the organist. The rebuilding of the church exhausted the financial means of the congregation and did not allow for the acquisition of a new organ. An opportunity to buy the organ of St. Johannis/Hamburg for 600 Reichstaler in Louisdor, made possible the installation of this instrument in Cappel in 1816.

The remote location of Cappel and the continuing lack of finances allowed this organ to fall into oblivion and to escape the inappropriate and harmful restorations typical of the 19th century. The fact that Cappel was accessible only by a dirt road during World War I also prevented the confiscation of its front pipes for the war effort. Of all Schnitger's instruments, the organ in Cappel is the only one to retain the original pipes in the front of the organ case. Built for a much larger church, this organ dominates the small village church of Cappel. Until the installment there in 1816 by Johann Georg Wilhelmy, the organ had not been subjected to alterations and, fortunately, there were no changes until 1939, when the concepts of the Orgelbewegung made possible a faithful stylistic restoration.


1680: New organ by Arp Schnitger for the Johannis Kirche in Hamburg. Pipework from a former organ was used and perhaps also parts of the case.
1816: Georg Wilhelmy moved the organ to Cappel.
1939: Restoration by Paul Ott.
1978: Restoration by von Beckerath after damage by a new heating-system. The original frontpipes still are present. They were "forgotten" in 1917.

The tonal design contains 30 stops in two manuals and pedal, as follows:



Quintadena 16'
Principal 8'
Chimney fl 8'
Octave 4'
Spitz flute
Nason flute 3'
Gemshorn 2'
Rausch flute 2 ranks
Mixture 5-8 ranks
Cymbal 3 ranks
Trumpet 8'


Quintadena 8'

Gedeckt 8'
Principal 4'
Flute 4'
Octave 2'
Sifflute 1 1/3'
Sesquialtera 2 ranks
Tierce 2 ranks
Scharff 4-5 ranks
Dulcian 16'


Untersatz 16'
Octave 8'
Octave 4'
Nachthorn 2'

Rauschpfeiffe 2 ranks
Mixture 4-5 ranks
Posaun 16'
Trumpet 8'
Conopean 2'

Manual Couplers
chair to Great
Tuned Bells

The keyboard gives some information about the remarkable elaboration in the construction of this organ. In contrast to the "reduced octave" which at that time was common in manual keyboards, in which the only genuine sharp in the tenor octave was the key of B, the organ in Cappel possesses two doubled sharps, by means of which the keys F sharp and a sharp can also be played. The reasons for the reduced octave were probably considerations of economy and the moderate requirements of the period prior to Bach. The two additional keys in Cappel represent an important increase to the manual, it is only by Ibis means that the nearly complete performance of Bach's organ works becomes possible. It is easy to see that the unusual fingering involves a great complication for the player.

BWV 565 - Arp Schnitger organ Cappel, Kay Johannsen

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walcker organ in the Grote Kerk, Doesburg, Holland

4-manual, 75-stop Walcker Organ built in 1916
in the Martinikerk Grote Kerk of Doesburg, The Netherlands.

The  organ in the Martinikerk Grote Kerk, Doesburg, Holland is a large electropneumatic E.F. Walcker & Co. instrument of more than 75 stops, originally built for the Nieuwe Zuiderkerk of Rotterdam in 1914. Following the deconsecration of this church, the instrument was moved to the Doesburg Martinikerk Reformed Church in 1970. The sound is exceptional, displaying the imposing power of this organ and its superb acoustic setting.

HISTORY of the Walcker Organ

On July 17, 1914  the firm EF Walcker & Cie. in Ludwigsburg (near Stuttgart) was awarded the contract to build a new organ for the Nieuwe Zuiderkerk at  the West Zeedijk in Rotterdam. 

This was made possible through a bequest from Henry Bos Kzn. and from the beginning the aim was to build "a big, in every respect first-class organ."
An investigation of the best organ builders in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, led to the conclusion, to build an electro-pneumatic organ of the latest invention with four manuals and pedal - the 4th keyboard as a 'Fern-( Echo) work "- to be built by the firm of E.F. Walcker & Co., Hoforgelbaumeister at Ludwigsburg, Germany."

With the construction of this instrument they planned to build an organ, "as a model of organ building, also for future generations as a witness of the artistry of our time. "

The concept of the organ sound, designed by Oscar Walcker, was designed from the German romantic tradition, but also shows influences of the Alsatian "Organ Reform ', which none other than Emile Rupp and Albert Schweitzer promoted.

The disposition was prepared in agreement with the donor and the Rotterdam organist J.H. Besselaar. The latter even mentions in the brochure that he wrote about the organ: "There is no cost spared, witness the electric lift to the organ, the organ room with both her artistic furnishings and rich lighting, the applied electric and central heating. For such a magnificent organ it is therefore a suitable environment. "

On March 29, 1916 the instrument (Walcker Opus 1855) was taken into service, and the organ remained in its unaltered state to 1970. In mid 1968 the Nieuwe Zuiderkerk decided to close its doors and find a buyer for the organ. On November 20, 1968 it was publicly sold and went into the hands of the Reformed Congregation at Doesburg. In 1970 the firm Jos Vermeulen at Alkmaar was commissioned to restore and rebuild the organ in the Grote or Martinikerk at Doesburg. On August 31, 1972 the organ with its beautiful "Jugendstil" façade was put back into use.

The original sound concept was retained, although it was not possible to place the Fernwerk in a similar way as it had been in Rotterdam. (The Fernwerk was now placed above the church rafters and used a nearly 21 meter long canal to connect with the church space.) The placement of the Swell also required a different solution, which led to a different visual appearance.

The organ has 4 manuals and pedal and 75 registers and 5415 pipes (which are on 4 floors) and it is the largest electro-pneumatic organ in the Netherlands! A special feature is, that under the metal pipes of the organ there are no specimens of zinc. It is one of the few instruments of the Walcker company from this period, which have been preserved.

Sonate per Organo by Vincenzo Bellini,
performed on the Walcker organ in the Grote Kerk, Doesburg
by Aad van der Hoeven

Schmüke dich O liebe Seele of Adolf Merke
Cieli Immensi of Benedetto Marcello,
performed on the Walcker organ in the Grote Kerk, Doesburg

Improvisation on the Walcker organ at Doesburg, Holland.

Klaas Jan Mulder plays the Intermezzo from the 6th organ-symphony from C.M. Widor on the Walcker-organ at the St. Martini church in Doesburg (Holland)


Hoofdwerk: (C-c4)
Prinzipal 16'
Gross Prinzipal 8'
Bourdon 8'
Viola di Gamba 8'
Jubalflöte 8'
Gemshoorn 8'
Dulciana 8'
Praestant 4'
Rohrflöte 4'
Octave 2'
Cornet Silb. 3-5 fach
Mixtur Silb 5 fach
Trompete 8'

Positief: (C-c4)
Bourdon 16'
Flötenprinzipal 8'
Synthematophon 8'
Doppelgedeckt 8'
Flûte harmonique 8'
Salicional 8'
Cello 8'
Harmonika 8'
Prinzipal 4'
Orchesterflöte 4'
Piccolo 2'
Cornettino 3-4 fach
Nazard 2 2/3'
Gross Mixtur Silb. 5-7f
Basson 16'
Tromp.harm. 8'
Orchester Oboe 8'
Clairon harm. 4'

Schwellwerk: (C-c4)
Lieblich Gedeckt 16'
Geigen Prinzipal 8'
Lieblich Gedeckt 8'
Konzertflöte 8'
Quintatön 8'
Viola d'amour 8'
Aeoline 8'
Voix Céleste 8'
Liebes Geige 4'
Flauto dolce 4'
Flautino 2'
Sesquialtera 2 2/8' 1 3/5'
Cymbel Silb. 3-4 fach
Clarinette 8'

Echowerk: (C-c4)
Quintatön 16'
Nachthorn 8'
Echo Bourdon 8'
Echo Gamba 8'
Vox Angelica 8'
Spitzflöte 4'
Glockenton 3-4 fach
Vox Humana 8'
Echo Trompete 8'

Pedal: (C-f1)
Grand Bourdon 32'
Prinzipalbass 16'
Subbass 16'
Harmonikabass 16'
Contrabass 16' (transm I)
Flötenbass 16'
Octavebass 8'
Flötenbass 8' (transm I)
Choralbass 4'
Quintbass 10 2/3'
Mixtur 5 fach (transm I)
Bombardon 32'
Posaune 16'
Tuba 8'

Gedecktbass 16' (III)
Echobass 16' (IV)
Bourdon doux 8' (IV)
Bassflöte 8' (III)
Violoncello 8' (II)
Bassonbass 16' (II)
Clairon harmonique 4' (II)


Normaalkoppeln : I+P, II+P, II+P, IV+P, II+I, III+I, IV+I, III+II, IV+III
Suboctavkoppeln : I+P, II+P, III+P, II+I, III+I, III+II, IV
Superoctavkoppeln : II+P, II+I, III+I, III+II, IV
Basskoppeln : P+I, P+II, P+III, P+IV
Melodiekoppeln : II+I, I+II, III+II, II+III, IV+III
Automatisch pianopedal (IV,III en II)
Generalcrescendo (Registerwalze)
Koppeln aus Crescendo: alle Normal,
Suboctav und Superoctavkoppeln,
aber nicht: Sub IV + Super IV
4 Freikombinationen
P, MF, Tutti ohne Mixturen und Zungen,
Tutti ohne Koppeln, Zungen ab, Mix- turen ab,
Handregister ab, Crescendo ab,
Leerlauf koppel I, Rücklauf Crescendo

Organ improvisation on own theme by Jan Hoppezak on the Walcker organ
of the Grote or Martinikerk in Doesburg

Monday, October 26, 2009

Roskilde Cathedral organ in Denmark 1555 Hermann Raphaëlis / 1654 Johan Lorentz

The history of the cathedral organ

The organ gallery in Roskilde Cathedral contains parts dating from the middle of the 15th century.

In 1555 a new organ was built here by the Dutch organ builder Hermann Raphaëlis, who perhaps had been summoned to the country for this very purpose. The façade of the Rückpositiv and the parapet of the gallery stem from this instrument.

During a thorough rebuild begun by Johan Lorentz and continued by Gregor Mülisch and (probably) Peter Karstensen, the organ acquired its present main façade which bears the date 1654.

A brief summary of the organ's history since 1654:
1833 Marcussen & Reuter. Rebuilding and enlargement.
1926 Th. Frobenius & Co. Rebuilding and enlargement.
1957 Th. Frobenius & Co. Rebuilding. Reduction in the number of stops.
1991 Marcussen & Søn. Reconstruction (with modifications) of the instrument as it was in 1654.

Franz Tunder (1614-1667) Choralfantasie "Auf meinen lieben Gott"
Bernard Foccroulle at the Raphaelis organ in Domkirke (Roskilde)

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)Praeambulum A-moll Bux 158
Ulrik Spang-Hanssen at the Raphaelis organ in Roskilde Cathedral


Manualwerk 13 (9)
Bordun 16
Principal 8
Spitzflöjt 8
Octava 4
Rohrflöjt 4
Nassath 2 2/3
Super Octava 2
Mixtur IV-V 1 1/3
Trompet 8

Rygpositiv 12 (9)
Gedact 8
Principal 4
Gedact 4
Octava 2
Salicional 2
Sedecima 1
Sesquialtera II
Mixtur III
Hoboy 8
+ Tremulant

Brystpositiv 7 (7)
Gedact 8
Gedactflöjt 4
Octava 2
Waltflöjt 2
Sedecima 1
Regal 8
Geigen Regal 4

Pedal 11 (8)
Principal 16
Octava 8
Gedact 8
Octava 4
Mixtur IV 2
Posaun 16
Trompet 8
Schalmei 4
+ Tremulant

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Praeludium in C major BuxWV 138

Ulrik Spang-Hanssen at the Raphaelis organ in Domkirke (Roskilde)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



Pablo Bruna, Tiento de dos tiples, played by Mexican organist José Suárez on the historic organ of San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca, Mexico, restored by Susan Tattershall in 1991. A good example of a "medio registro" organ piece, employing a single divided keyboard with different stops drawn in bass and treble. Recorded in 1998, Quindecim QP014.

The piece you hear in the background is "Diferencia sobre la Gallarda Milanesa" from the Baroque Composer Antonio de Cabezón, and it's performed on the Organ located in the chorus of this magnificent church by the French Organist Dominique Ferran.


Every inch of this beautiful Organ was painted to match the frescoes on the walls of this Church. The identity of the builder is unknown, but it was built around 1735 and had some interventions dated on 1867 and 1890.

The convent of San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya was founded in 1558 by Fray Jordan de Santa Catalina, a Dominican ascetic, as a retreat for the Dominican priests based in the city of Oaxaca. The original church looked different than the structure we see today, since the choir loft, interior decoration, and façade were added in the early eighteenth century. However, the former convent of modest dimensions, located behind the church, is unchanged.

Even though the exact date of construction of the organ is unknown, it was most likely built around 1725-35, based on characteristics of musical design, decoration, and case construction similar to other organs of the time: San Dionisio Ocotepec (1721), San Andrés Zautla (1726), and San Pedro Quiatoni (1729). The organ was modified in 1735, a date found incised in the largest pipe of a new row of pipes (bardón) installed soon after the original construction. At that time, other modifications were made to the organ: the stop action was altered so that the registers could be controlled by pulling knobs on the front of the case rather than the slider tabs on the sides (you can still see the mortises—rectangular holes—from which the original slider tabs protruded); the case was painted with angel musicians and floral motifs to match the interior decoration of the church; a row of horizontal trumpets was installed on the façade; and the organ was moved from the church floor up into the new choir loft.

During the Revolution (1910-1919), many churches throughout Mexico, including that in Tlacochahuaya, were used as military barracks, and countless organs lost some or all of their pipes, which were melted down for bullets by the soldiers. Those organs which survived, with or without their pipes, the times of political strife were the lucky ones, since so many instruments, altarpieces and other church art, and entire archives were either burned for firewood or simply destroyed. Fortunately, the Tlacochauaya organ lost only a few of its pipes, which were replaced by organbuilder Joachim Wesslowski during the restoration.

After many years of abandonment, the Tlacochahuaya organ was finally restored in 1991 by organbuilder Susan Tattershall, thanks to the support of the Pichiquequiti Foundation. She was assisted by José Luis Falcón, and the case painting was restored by Mireya Olvera. An electric blower was installed in order to create a constant supply of wind to one of the bellows, but the two bellows may still be pumped by hand if necessary.

Since the year 2000, the Instituto de Órganos Históricos de Oaxaca A.C. has overseen the maintenance of the organ and has encouraged its more regular use. The organ in Tlacochahuaya is not a large instrument, but its robust sound is enhanced by the acoustical properties inherent in the architectural design of the church, so that this little organ is capable of filling the entire space with its music.


Date of construction of the church: 1558, built as a retreat for Dominican friars in Oaxaca; choir loft, soto coro, and façade added around 1730
Date of construction of the organ: ca. 1725-1730
Builder: unknown
Inscriptions: the largest pipe of the bardón has a cross and the date 1735, as well as a reference to the 1867 intervention. All ranks numbered from 1 to 45.


Restoration: 1990-1991, Susan Tattershall; Mireya Olvera, restoration of the case
Funding: Fundación Pichiquequiti

The piece you hear is called Pange Lingua de 5o. tono, of Pablo Bruna, played by the French Organist Dominique Ferran on this very Organ.


It has 12 registers or stops, 6 for each hand and one Toy stop.

On the left:

Diez y Novena,
Flautado de 6,
Leinte y Docena,
Quincena and Bardón.

On the Right:

Trompeta en Batalla,
Octava 1a.,
Flautado II,
Flautado de 6,
Octava II.

The Toy Stop is known as Pajaritos (Little Birds).

It was restored by Maestra Susan Tattershall, the case by Maestra Mireya Olvera.


Flautados: LH- 4´, 2´, 1´, 2/3´, 1/2´-1´
Flutes: LH- 8´
Reeds: LH- 4´ (interior)
Accesories: Pajaritos (birds)
RH- 4´, 4´, 2´, 2´, 1 1/3´
RH- 8´
RH- 8´ (exterior)


Type: stationery four foot organ
Location in the church: in the choir loft on the right south (Epistle) side of the main altar
Measurements of the case: 3.68 m height x 2.03 m width x 0.87 m depth
Case finish: polychromed and gilded
Pipe finish: polychromed
Distribution of the façade pipes: correspond to the LH, divided among three towers, center tower with the tallest pipe in the center, side towers with pipes arranged chromatically
Distribution of the interior pipes: chromatic
Keyboard: made of bone and Mexican white pine in the nineteenth c., restored in 1991.
Compass: 45 keys C-c’’’ with a short octave
Key action: suspended without rollerboard
Stop action: probably from 1735 when the stop action controled by lateral slider pulls was changed to stop knobs on the façade; pajaritos stop is still operated by the original slider; registers divided middle c/c#.
Labels: made in 1991
Windchest: predates the additions of 1735; pallets numbered
Measurements of the windchest: 1 m length x 0.58 m width x 0.1 m height
Vertical channelboards: two- LH of flautado mayor and clarines
Offset chests: none
Bellows: two cuneiform types, covers original, new ribs and blower added in 1991; may be hand-pumped
Location of the bellows: to the right side of the organ
Wind pressure: 84 mm, original stone weights
Pitch and temperament: a = 392 HZ, 1/4 comma meantone
State of conservation: very good






Iglesia Parroquial de San Andrés Valladolid, Spain Don Esteban de San Juan 1784

Built in 1784 by Don Esteban de San Juan, Logroño
Restored in 1996

Francisco Correa de Arauxo - Segundo Tiento de Quarto Tono

Montserrat Torrent plays the historic 1784 organ in the Church of San Andres, Valladolid, Spain. This was during the master class she gave on 9/23/2006.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lüdingworth, St. Jacobi Germany 1599 Antonius Wilde 1683 Arp Schnitger.


1683: Building of the organ by Arp Schnitger. He used parts of  pipework, case and windchests of the previous organ from 1599 by Antonius Wilde.
1746: Jacob Albrecht replaces the Dulcian 16' of the Rückpositif by a Vox Humana 8'.
1796-1798: Georg Wilhelm Wilhelmy adds Dis to the Pedal and replaces the Cimbelstern by "Harmonischen Glocken".
1930-1931: Repairs by Furtwängler & Hammer.
1960-1961: Restoration according to the principles of the "Orgelbewegung". Intonation on a low wind-pressure and new tracker action mechanism.
1981-1982: Restoration by Jürgen Ahrend.

Wolfgang Zerer demonstrates the Antonius Wilde/Arp Schnitger organ of the St. Jacobikirche at Lüdingworth.


Quintadena 16' (W,S)
Principal 8' (W)
Rohrfloit 8' (W)
Octave 4' (W)
Hohlfloit 4' (W)
Nahsat 2 2/3' (W)
Octave 2' (W)
Rauschpfeife II (W,S)
Mixtur V (W,S)
Zimbel III (A)
Trommette 8' (W)

Gedeckt 8' (W)

Principal 4' (S,A)
Spitzfloit 4' (S)
Octava 2' (S)
Siflit 1 1/3' (S)
Sesquialtera II (S)
Terzian II (S)
Scharff IV-VI (S)
Dulcian 16' (S,A)

Gedacktes 4' (W)
Quintfloit 2 2/3' (W)
Octave 2' (W),S
Scharff III (S)
Regal 8' (W)

Untersatz 16' (S)
Principal 8' (W)
Octava 4' (W)
Nachthorn 2' (A)
Rauschpfeife II (W)
Mixtur V (A)
Posaune 16' (S)
Trommet 8' (W)
Cornet 2' (A)

Specification: Wilde: (W), Schnitger (S), Ahrend (A)

Ochsenhausen 1734 Gabler Organ

Ochsenhausen IV/P/49 Germany, Baden-Wurttemberg Ehem. Abteikirche St. Georg

The famed Gabler organ in Ochsenhausen presented one of today's greatest challenges in the art of restoration. To rise to this challenge meant embarking on a journey through numerous phases of modification back into the year 1734, always searching for evidence of the circumstances under which reconstruction work took place. Gabler's first organ was an intrepid project. His visionary design brought with it, however, problems with the action and wind supply. As a result the instrument underwent a long series of alterations by generations of organ builders - headed by Gabler's own modifications in 1753. This ultimately resulted in the complete loss of the original technical system. The pipework alone remained, for the most part, in its original state.

This complex starting point presented the difficult question of the actual aims of the restoration work. The return of the organ to its original condition was theoretically as equally feasible as a reconstruction of the instrument as it stood after the alterations undertaken during the 19th Century. The task of re-integrating original material, gradually removed from the organ over numerous generations, was an ambitious project and, at the outset, a seemingly unsolvable puzzle.

Meticulous research eventually concluded that the conditions under which Gabler undertook his work in 1753 were verifiable. This enabled us to clearly define the aims of our restoration work.

The task was carried out in an interesting and productive partnership with Orgelbau Klais of Bonn. Our experience gleaned from the restoration of the Gabler organ in Weingarten proved valuable, but most of all patience, a critical and enquiring approach and, importantly, a common wish to achieve something special all led to a convincing outcome to the whole project.

What actually prompted two organ building firms, each with its own well-established restoration department, to join forces in a project of this kind?

The idea for this collaboration actually came to fruition in both factories, independently of one another. Intensive talks then led to the decision to undertake the work in partnership.

The Gabler organ in Ochsenhausen presented one of today's greatest challenges in organ restoration.

The cumulative expertise of two highly qualified restoration teams under the direction of Wolfgang Rehn and Hans-Wolfgang Theobald undoubtedly raised the level of success.

The joint work on key tasks such as the dismantling of the organ or the drawing up of the restoration plan made it possible for an experienced restorer to work alongside an equally qualified expert, who, at crucial moments, could take the role of "advocatus diaboli", posing pointed questions, even at times when, on the face of it, everything seemed clear. The knowledge which had been gleaned from the restoration of the Gabler organ in Weingarten and the people involved in this previous project were a positive enrichment to the restoration in Ochsenhausen. Good personal contacts between the houses of Kuhn and Klais were already at hand among the workers, representatives of the restoration team and management.

Organist Diane Bish plays this piece on a unique organ housed in the Ochsenhausen Cathedral of Ochsenhausen, Germany.

The success of such a partnership is dependent on those involved being prepared to put the aims of the restoration above the name of one's own company. Indeed, is it not such a prioritization which is the true mark of excellence in restoration work? Through a joint acceptance of the responsibilities both sides could profit, profounder discussion was made possible and an absorbing learning process resulted.

We enjoyed this challenge and are today able to ascertain that the bold step we took in undertaking this project together with a partner has paid off. A climate of mutual respect and the will to work constructively in collaboration have produced a convincing end result. For all involved, the co-operative work presented an additional dimension through which all involved were able to profit.

Together we have accomplished a complex task and looking back on the whole project brings back many fond memories. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all those involved for their trust and for the satisfying and stimulating collaborative work. Our very best wishes go to the Gabler organ itself: may it pass on joy to the hearts of many generations to come!

Orgelbau Kuhn AG
Dieter Utz,Wolfgang Rehn

Orgelbau Joh. Klais GmbH & Co. KG
Philipp Klais, Hans-Wolfgang Theobald

Organ built by:
Joseph Gabler, 1734 / 1753

Windchests: slider chests
Key action: mechanical
Stop action: mechanical

Inauguration: 10.10.2004


A GOOD VIEW OF THE CONSOLE: (I suggest you turn off the sound)

Dr. Labounsky playing the organ on our trip to germany and austria. she is playing out of the organ manual that the organ builder left behind for all organists of this church. sry it is not the best music to listen to lol but it is just to demonstrate how to work the organ. and she is just sight reading lol. this organ is in Ochsenhausen which is outside of Munchen germany

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mariastein Basilica(Switzerland)

monastery in Metzerlen-Mariastein in the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland. Mariastein, after Einsiedeln, is the second most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland. Over the Chapel of Grace (''"Gnadenkapelle"'') now stands a late Gothic three-aisled basilica. The interior is Baroque and the entrance facade classical.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Triple Fugue in E flat major BWV 552
Marie-Claire Alain at the Metzler organ in Mariastein Basilica


Johann Sebastian Bach (Eisenach 1685 - Leipzig 1750) Prelude and fugue in g minor BWV 535
Marie-Claire Alain, Metzler organ (Mariastein Basilica) 

Johann Sebastian Bach, Praeludium und Fuge e-moll BWV 548-1
Organist: Marie-Claire Alain
Organ: Metzler of of the Mariastein Basilica(Switzerland)

Johann Sebastian Bach, Praeludium und Fuge e-moll BWV 548-2
Organist: Marie-Claire Alain
Organ: Metzler of of the Mariastein Basilica(Switzerland)


Grand Orgue
Bourdon 16'
Principal 8'
Hohlflöte 8'
Bourdon 8'
Octave 4'
Spitzflöte 4'
Quinte 2 2/3'
Superoctave 2'
Terz 1 3/5'
Cornett V Diskant 8'
Mixtur IV 1 1/3'
Trompete 8'

Coppelflöte 8'
Salicional 8'
Principal 4'
Gedackt-Flöte 4'
Gemshornquinte 2 2/3'
Nachthorn 2'
Terz 1 3/5'
Krummhorn 8'

Principal 8'
Bourdon 8'
Viola da Gamba 8'
Octave 4'
Rohrflöte 4'
Flageolet 2'
Cornett III 2 2/3'
Mixtur III-IV 1'
Fagott - Oboe 8'

Unterstaz 32'
Principal 16'
Subbass 16'
Octavbass 8'
Bassflöte 8'
Mixtur IV 2'
Posaune 16'
Trompete 8'
Clairon 4'


Flentrop-Organ Grote Kerk in Breda


Historical documents already mention an organ as early as 1410. Breda then was the important court of the Nassaus and a large wealthy commerce city. In 1429 a certain Mr. Jannes wt Brabant worked on the organ. From 1492 on the organists of the church are known.

In 1543 on the South-West wall opposite the in 1525 erected chappel a for that time large organ was built. This instrument is still the basis for the present organ. Probably due to the big city fire in 1534 the contract was never totally realized. The organbuilder is not known, but all indications point to Hendrik Niehoff, the famous Organbuilder from Brabant who had completed the organ in the St. Jans Cathedral in 's-Hertogenbosch three years before. At least the organ case comes from 's-Hertogenbosch. A remarkable detail is the spring chest of the organ.

In 1536 a small positive for the accompagniment of the choir is built by Hans Graurock from Zutfen. Maybe it is him also who did build the big organ. Then Ysbrant Claeszoon
from Breda worked on the organ in 1543, 1546 and 1549. It is not known which stops he added to the organ.
In 1566, just before the iconoclasm, the pipes were removed from the organ and stored in a cellar at the city hall. Maybe there was no time to save the largest pipes that were lost. In the following period the church becomes alternated catholic and protestant and the condition of the organ deteriorates.
In the period until 1693 various organbuilders worked on the organ until Jacobus Zeemans was appointed who was an organist and organbuilder.
Zeemans did build and maintain many organs in Breda, like in the Grote Kerk (1710-1714), the Markendaalse Kerk (1711) and the Catholic Schuilkerk (1722). He also delivered many organs to villages around Breda, like in Leur.
After the death of Zeeman in 1744 a pupil of the famous Christiaan Mueller the organbuilder Johan Heinrich Hartmann Bätz was addressed for an investigation and the maintenance of the organ. In the turbulent period until 1815 again many unknown organbuilders worked on the organ. Then in 1816 the name C. van Oeckelen is mentioned in the archives. He carried out a number of repairs. In 1843 a large repair was assigned to Maarschalkerweerd en Stulting.

In 1938 the organ is restored by H.W. Flentrop in Zaandam under the leading of the organist Willem Mathlener and mr. A. Bouman from the Dutch Carillon and Organ Council. After restoration of the church between 1904 and 1956 a new organ was ordered from D.A. Flentrop in Zaandam while using as much old parts as possible. In 1969 the organ was inaugurated and is still in use in the Grote Kerk. It is a unique instrument and famous far beyond the Dutch border.

The organ counts 53 stops and 4 manuals and pedal. In total it counts 3780 pipes. The Borstwerk dates probably from 1760 and was found in an old barn in Athis (Belgium). The Hobo 8' from the Bovenwerk was built by Anneessens and was saved from the former Catholic Cathedral in Breda. The Schalmei 8' from the Bovenwerk originally was built around 1750 by J.B. le Picard for an organ in Walshoutem (Belgium).

The organ in the Grote Kerk of Breda is one of the larger organs in the Netherlands and the history goes back to the 16th century. At that time the organ only possessed 16 stops. After being displaced several times the organ arrived at its present spot in 1712. This happened under directions of the organist and organ builder Jacobus Zeemans who carried out various extensions and installed a new case for the Great. The old case was used for the Positive. After several renovation activities by a/o Johann Heinrich Hartmann Bätz, the organ got a new wind supply in 1780. Afterwards organ builders like C. van Oeckelen and Maarschalkerweerd further extended the organ. In 1904 the renovation of the church started and the organ was dismantled a few times.

After the completion of the church restoration Dirk A. Flentrop from Zaandam built in 1966 under the supervision of organist and organ expert Jaap Hillen a new instrument into which old pipes and parts were partly used. The Borstwerk mainly consists of materials from an old (from 1760) Belgian organ. Some other historical stops used were the Hobo 8’ (built by Anneessens) and the Schalmei 8’ (built around 1750 by J.B. le Picard).

At the time the organ was built, Jan L. van den Heuvel was one of Dirk Flentrop’s employees so he knew the organ, and the work of Flentrop, quite well.

Between early October 1999 until May 2000 the restoration of the large four manual Flentrop organ in the Cathedral of Breda (Netherlands) took place. This unique instrument, famous far beyond the Dutch border, counts 53 stops and 3780 pipes.

This important restoration contract was awarded to one of Dirk Flentrop’s former employees Jan L. van den Heuvel, who registered himself as independent organ builder in 1967. In the past 33 years the valuable and approved technical building principles from the earlier glorious period of Dutch organ building were all applied by Jan L. van den Heuvel-Orgelbouw and their reputation was established worldwide.

Jaap Hillen, who acted already in 1966 as organ expert, again was the consultant.
The organ was re-inaugurated on May 28th, during this concert Jaap Hillen († 27 juni 2008) celebrated his 50-year jubilee as organist of the Grote- of Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk.

The organ of the Grote Kerk in Breda is one of the few complete mechanical 4-manual organs of the Netherlands. It has an interesting history which dates from before 1530. The organ has been restored in 1969 by Flentrop.

In 2000, after the restoration of the church building, the organ has been completely overhauled by Van den Heuvel Orgelbouw in Dordrecht.



Prestant 16'
(double from a1 )
Octaaf 8'
Roerfluit 8'
Octaaf 4'
Quintadeen 4'
Quint 2 2/3'
Mixtuur IV-V
Scherp IV
Cornet V
(from c1)
Trompet 16'
Trompet 8'


Prestant 8'
(double from f )
Holpijp 8'
Octaaf 4'
Fluit 4'
Octaaf 2'
Quint 1 1/3'
Sesquialter II
(from a)
Mixtuur IV
Dulciaan 8'
(2 speed)


Gedekt 16'
Prestant 8'
(double from f )
Holpijp 8'
Viola 8'
Octaaf 4'
Openfluit 4'
Nasard 2 2/3'
Fluit 2'
Terts 1 3/5'
Flageolet 1'
Mixtuur IV
Schalmei 8'
Hobo 8'


Gedekt 8'
Quintadeen 8'
Prestant 4'
Roerfluit 4'
Gemshoorn 2'
Quint 1 1/3'
Cornet V
(from cis1)
Vox Humana 8'
(bas/discant, c1/cis1)

Chimes (24 tones)


Prestant 16'
Subbas 16'
Octaaf 8'
Gedekt 8'
Roerquint 5 1/3'
Octaaf 4'
Nachthoorn 2'
Mixtuur V
Bazuin 16'
Trompet 8'
Klaroen 4'

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Prelude and fugue in A minor BWV 543 Daniel Chorzempa, organ

C.Franck - Choral n° 3 - 1st part - Matteo Imbruno - live recording 1995 -
Flentrop organ Grote Kerk Breda (NL)

C.Franck - Choral n° 3 - 2nd part -
Matteo Imbruno - live recording 1995 - Matteo Imbruno Flentrop Grote Kerk Breda(NL)

Wagner organ, 1739, Trondheim, Norway - Werckmeister II (IV)

The Baroque Organ in Nidaros cathedral, built by Joachim Wagner 1739-41
Changed by Claus Jensen 1860-90 Restored by Jürgen Ahrend 1994

Nidaros cathedral

The Sagas tell us how King Olav Tryggvason of Viking fame founded the city by the mouth of the River Nidelva in 997. Trondheim holds a special place in Norwegian history and culture. It was the first capital of Norway, and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing in the Nidaros cathedral.

Situated by the Trondheim fjord, it is surrounded by lovely forested hills, with the Nidelv river winding through the town. It has been and still is a popular pilgrimage site and ecclesiastical centre, a regional capital and centre for commerce and administration. It features a professional theatre and symphony orchestra and a rich church music tradition.

Trondheim’s organ history dates back to the Middle Ages. A document from 1319 gives credit to the organ culture existing already by that time. In the cathedral, the baroque organ from 1741 has received international reputation as a “Bach” organ, and the large romantic Steinmeyer organ will undoubtedly regain international fame after its restoration.

The Wagner organ

The Cathedral's famous baroque organ was built by renowned organ builder Joachim Wagner and was completed in 1741. Wagner belonged to the community of organ builders around Johann Sebastian Bach, and his instruments lend themselves well for interpretations of Bach's music. The history of the baroque organ in the Cathedral is a history of modification, until it was finally stowed away when the new organ was set up in 1930. However, a surprising amount of the original material was still intact when the facade and the remains of the baroque organ were shipped to the great organ builder Jürgen Ahrend's workshop in Germany.

In 1994 the organ was completely restored and was again placed in the north transept of Nidaros Cathedral in all its former glory. Today there are only four other large Wagner organs, all in the Berlin area, in addition to ours. The organ in Nidaros Cathedral has 30 registers distributed on two manuals and pedals.

(This youtube is no longer available. )

Byne Cathrine Bryndorf at the Wagner organ, 1739, Trondheim, Norway - Temp. Werckmeister II (IV) Leipzig chorales, BWV 651, by JS Bach.

Hauptwerk – 1 manual:

Bordun 16
Principal 8
Rohrflöte 8
Octav 4
Spitzflöte 4
Quinta 3
Octav 2
Waldflöte 2
Cornet 3 fach
Scharff 5 fach
Mixtur 3 fach
Trompet 8

Oberwerk – 2 manual

Gedact 8
Quintadena 8
Principal 4
Rohrflöte 4
Nasat 3
Octav 2
Tertia 1 3/5
Quinta 1 1/2
Mixtur 4 fach
Vox humana 8
Mixtur 3 fach
Trompet 8


Subbas 16
Principal 8
Octav 4
Quinta 3 eller 6
Mixtur 5 fach
Posaune 16
Trompete 8
Cleron 4

3 Sperrventile, Tremulant, Schwebung, Koppel zum manual Clavier, Zimbelstern / Sonne, Calkantglocke

Wind Pressure: 85 mm WS
Ting System: Werckmeister II (modified by Ahrend)
Pitch: a=453 Hz at 17,5 Celcius

Trondheim, Norway

The Steinmeyer organ
The large main organ in Nidaros Cathedral was built by the German company Steinmeyer. With its 127 registers the organ was one of the largest in North Europe until 1960, when it was moved and substantially modified. Even though the rebuilding ruined much of the original design and the acoustic balance, the sound of the instrument still affords the listener a sense of the original sound from the organ in the Cathedral. The organ is currently in a poor condition, but is still well worth preserving. A committee convened to assess the Steinmeyer organ in 1992 unanimously proposed that the organ should be restored to its original condition. Very few of these large German organs from this period still exist. Since 1999, a committee representing the concerned parties has been putting together specific plans for repairing and restoring the organ.

Up to 1993 the baroque organ facade was placed in front of the Steinmeyer organ as an ornament.

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