Friday, September 25, 2009

Stralsund Stellwagen Organ 1659


The Stellwagen organ of St Mary’s Church, Stralsund was completed in the middle of the 17th century and is the largest organ of its kind still existing in Europe. It is the only large-scale Baroque organ that has ever been preserved in one of the brick Gothic style basilicas in Northern Germany. Its construction and sound resemble the famous, though no longer existing, instruments of St. Mary’s Church in Lübeck and St. Catherine’s Church in Hamburg, which both had become centres of the North German art of organ-playing through the work of Franz Tunder, Dietrich Buxtehude, Heinrich Scheidemann and Jan Adam Reinken during the 17th and early 18th centuries. 

Only two instruments testify today to the work of Friedrich Stellwagen: the small organ in the Church of St. Jacob in Lübeck, which is a remodelled and enlarged Gothic instrument, and the organ in St. Mary’s in Stralsund, the largest and final instrument of his workshop. With its 51 registers on three manuals and pedals, 12 bellows and the over 20 m high case construction, it has become a masterwork of the craft and art of 17th century organ building.

The famous Stellwagen organ in Stralsund.*
Stamm plays Buxtehude Prelude and Fugue major

Recording from the concert on 6th September 2009 in the Catholic parish church Sankt Andreas Leverkusen-Schlebusch, Germany. I mixed this recording with extra recordings showing the pedal passages and inserted pictures of Buxtehude, his city Lübeck, a part from his beautiful old organ in the Marienkirche (destroyed during the war) and the famous Stellwagen organ in Stralsund.

*this is the only You Tube labelled "Stellwagen organ  Stralsund" but this appears to be incorrect. We are attempting to obtain a replacement You Tube with the correct sound from the organist of the Stellwagen organ..

Klangbeispiel: Heinrich Scheidemann - Fuga d-moll
(Principal 8´Rückpositiv, mitteltönig, vor der Restaurierung)
an der Orgel: Martin Rost anhören

Building history of the Stellwagen organ of St. Mary’s Church

Building of the organ by Friedrich Stellwagen.
Friedrich Stellwagen, who was born in Halle/Saale, in 1603, came to Hamburg around 1630 as a journeyman to Gottfried Fritzsche, organ builder by appointment to the Elector of Saxony. By 1635 he had established himself as an independent master craftsman in Lübeck. He worked mainly in Hamburg and Lübeck and died in Lübeck early in 1660, shortly after the completion of his largest and greatest work, in St. Mary’s, Stralsund.


Repair and reconstruction carried out by Ernst Marx from Berlin.



Repair and reconstruction carried out by Carl August Buchholz from Berlin. Between 1863 and 1873 repair works and tonal modifications were carried out by Friedrich Albert Mehmel from Stralsund.

Details of the organ were listed and recorded by the experts of the Keibel company. Thereafter, the Lübeck organ-building workshop of Emanuel Kemper dismantled and relocated the organ to Keffenbrink Castle near Grimmen.

The relocated organ parts were brought back with the aid of the Soviet Army.

Gradual rebuilding and reconstruction of the former disposition by the workshop of the Potsdam organ builder Alexander Schuke under the specialist supervision of church music director Dr Dietrich Prost.

Reconstruction of the reed pipe registers by the organ-building workshops of Carl Giesecke from Göttingen and Alexander Schuke from Potsdam.

The entire organ was structurally surveyed and its data recorded by the Gothenburg Organ Art Center, the organ-building workshops of Kristian Wegscheider from Dresden and Alexander Schuke from Potsdam, and a restoration team led by Hilke Frach-Renner. The work was financed by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. The original register signs of the casing from 1659 were restored by Hilke Frach-Renner (Dresden).

Restoration of the Stellwagen organ by the Dresden organ-building workshop of Kristian Wegscheider, Hans van Rossum from Andel, Netherlands and Gunter Böhme from Dresden. The restoration of the organ prospect with ornamentation is carried out by the Dresden artist’s workshop of Stephan Türmer and Hilke Frach-Renner. The whole project is financed by the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation, Hamburg


Hauptwerk (II)

Principall. 16' im Prospekt
Bordun. 16'
Octava. 8'
Spitz Flött. 8
Hollquinta. 5 1/3'
Super octav. 4'
Holl Flött 4'
Flachflött 2'
Rauschpfeiffe 2-4fach
Mixtur 6-10fach
Scharffs 4-6fach
G.Trommet. 16'

Rückpositiv (I)
Gr.Quintadeen. 16'
Principall. 8' im Prospekt
Gedact. 8'
Octava. 4'
Dultz Flött. 4'
Feltpfeiffe. 2'
Sifflitt. 1 1/3'
Sesquialtra. 2fach
Scharffs. 6-8fach
Zimbell. 3fach
Dulcian. 16'
Tröchter Regal. 8'
Jungfernregal 4'

Ventil.zum.ober posidiff

Oberpositiv (III)

Principall. 8' im Prospekt
Holflött. 8'
Octava. 4'
G.Plockflött. 4' (urspr. 8')
Kl.quintadeen. 4'
Nasatt. 2 2/3'
Gemshoren. 2'
Scharffs 4-7fach
Trommet. 8'
Krumhoren 8'
Schalmey 4'

Gros.principall.Bas 32'
        ab F, im Prospekt
Principall Bas. 16'
Gedact.undersatz. 16'
Octaven Bas. 8'
Spitzflött Bas. 8'
Superoctav Bas. 4'
Nachthoren Bas. 4'
Feltpfeiffen Bas. 2'
Mixtur Bas. 4fach
Posaunen Bas. 16'
Trommet Bas. 8'
Dulcian Bas. 8'
Schallmey Bas. 4'
Cornet Bas. 2'

III/II (Schiebekoppel) 

a=462 Hz, mitteltönig 


Technische Details

Register: 51 klingende Register auf 3 Manualen und Pedal
Pfeifen: etwa 3500 Pfeifen
Windladen: 8 Windladen (2 für Hauptwerk, 1 für Oberpositiv, 1 für Rückpositiv, 4 für Pedal)
Tonumfänge: Manual C,D-c''' - Pedal C,D-f '
Balganlage: 12 Keilbälge, zusätzlicher 13. Keilbalg für Betrieb mit Elektrowinderzeuger (Fabrikat Laukhuff)
Stimmtonhöhe: Chorton, a=462 Hz
Stimmungsart: mitteltönig
Gesamthöhe des Prospektes: über 20 Meter
Bildhauerarbeit: im Stil des niederländischen Knorpelbarock
größte Prospektpfeife: F des Gros.principall.Bas 32' , ca. 9 Meter lang, Gewicht 240 kg

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