Past and Present Organs of the Frauenkirche

The organ in Bähr’s Frauenkirche was installed in 1736 and deemed one of the greatest works of Gottfried Silbermann. Johann Sebastian Bach gave a concert on it shortly after its installation. However, by 1769 the organ was retuned for the first time. A further retuning was carried out in 1819, because the organ, which was developed for the sound of baroque chamber music, stood ‘a half a tone too deep in relation to the present instrumental ambience’. Also in the period that followed, the organ was expanded several times and restructured so that its original sound form has not been handed down. The organ together with the organ case was completely destroyed in 1945.
 
The new organ was built in 2005 by Kern, an organ-builder from Strasbourg. It impressively combines the organ building principles of the brothers Gottfried and Andreas Silbermann. The instrument is tonally enriched by the typical sounds of a French romantic organ work, so that the new organ possesses an impressive versatility. As a result, the organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach can be played just as authentically as the symphonic organ works of César Franck. The extremely adaptable instrument possesses 69 sounding stops which are distributed over four keyboards and one pedal. Of the 4,876 pipes, of which only a small part is visible, the smallest measures less the one centimetre and the biggest measures over five meters. 
 
The organ is equipped with the following stops:

Great organ I

C-a’’’

Positive II

C-a’’’

Principal

16’

Quintade

16’

Bordun

16’

Principal

8’

Octave

8’

Quintade

8’

Viola di Gamba

8’

Salicional

8’

Rohrflöte

8’

Gedackt

8’

Octave

4’

Octave

4’

Spitzflöte

4’

Rohrflöte

4’

Quinte

22/3’

Nasat

22/3’

Octave

2’

Octave

2’

Terz

13/5’

Sesquialtera

1f.

Cornet ab c1

5 f.

Mixtur

4f.

Mixtur

5 f.

Trompete

8’

Zimbel

4 f.

Chalumeau

8’

Fagott

16’

Tremulant

 

Trompete

8’

Clarine

4’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Récit Expressiv III 

C-a’’’

Swell pedal IV

C-a’’’

Bourdon

16’

Gedackt

8’

Flûte harmonique

8’

Principal

4’

Viole de Gambe 

8’

Rohrflöte

4’

Voix Celeste

8’

Nasat

22/3’

Bourdon

8’

Gemshorn

2’

Principal

4’

Octave

2’

Flûte octaviante 

4’

Terz

13/5’

Octavin

2’

Quinte

11/3’

Piccolo

1’

Sifflet

1’

Plein Jeu

3-6f.

Mixtur 

3f.

Cornet ab g 

5f.

Vox humana

8’

Basson 

16’

Tremulant

 

Trompette harmonique

8’

 

Basson-Hautbois

8’

 

Voix Humaine

8’

 

Clairon harmonique

4’

 

Tremolo

 

 

 

Pedal

C-g’

 

Sub bourdon

32’

 

Principal bass

16’

 

Subbass

16’

 

Octave bass

8’

 

Bassflöte

8’

 

Octave bass

4’

 

Mixture bass

6f.

 

Bassoon

32’

 

Trombone

16’

 

Trumpet bass

8’

 

Clarina bass

4’

 

Couplers II-I, III-I, IV-I, II-I 16’, III-I 16’, III-II, IV-II, I-P, II-P, II-P, IV-P, III-P 4’ 
Appel I
Transpositeur IV  (415 Hz)
Setting combinations (8192 memory spaces)
Appels des anches I,II,III, P
Stop crescendo variable 
Crescendo Récit