Friedrich Stellwagen | Marienkirche . Stralsund [Germany]

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Photography by Aktron
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The Stralsund Marienkirche organ was the latest instrument built by Friedrich Stellwagen (1603-1660), from 1653 to 1659, and is composed by 51 registers distributed along three manuals and pedal. The huge dimensions of the organ, with a case higher than 20 meters and several 16’ stops – both the Rückpositiv and the Hauptwerk are 16’ based – and even a 32’ stop on the pedal, request a big air supply, for which there are 12 bellows in the wind system. The Hauptwerk is composed of two windchests, the Oberwerk and the Rückpositiv have one each, and the Pedal has four windchests in total. The whole organ and the bellows house were constructed over a specially built cantilevered structure on the west wall.

The current tuning is at A=462 Hz in meantone temperament.

The façade is extremely rich in ornamentation, from the white and gold decoration to the numerous figures that populate the case. On the center stands King David, stepping out of his pedestal. His harp is being played with both hands, so in fact it appears to be floating in the air.

The pipe shades also contain figures, with a special emphasis on the pedal towers which contain two angels each. On the top of the case, below the main angel and the two smaller ones, there is a sun (on the left) and a moon (on the right). Below those two celestial bodies, between parts of the main case, there are also two small angels filling the empty space. On the bottom of the organ platform there is even a suspended angel, emphasizing the height of the instrument and the visual impression of a huge organ floating in the air.


1653-1659 – organ construction
1775 – repair and reconstruction by Ernst Marx
1828 – repair and reconstruction by Carl August Buchholz
1863-1873 – repair and tonal modifications by Friedrich Albert Mehmel
1943 – inventory of organ details and dismantling of the organ by Emanuel Kemper, relocating the parts to the Keffenbrink castle in order to save it from the war
1945 – relocation of organ parts on the Marienkirche
1951-1959 – reconstruction of the organ by Alexander Schuke
1972 – reconstruction of reed stops by Carl Giesecke and Alexander Schuke
1999-2000 – general instrument inventory and data recording
2003-2008 – restoration to the 1659 organ state, by Kristian Wegscheider, Hans van Rossum and Gunter Böhme (intonation), and façade restoration by Stephan Türmer and Hilke Frach-Renner


Rückpositiv Hauptwerk Oberpositiv Pedal
Gr. Quintadeen 16′ Principall 16′ Principall 8′ Gros.principall Bas 32′
Principall 8′ Bordun 16′ Holflött 8′ Principall Bas 16′
Gedact 8′ Octava 8′ Octava 4′ Gedact undersatz 16′
Quintadeen 8′ Spitz Flött 8 G.Plockflött 4′ Octaven Bas 8′
Octava 4′ Hollquinta 5 1/3′ Kl.quintadeen 4′ Spitzflött Bas 8′
Dultz Flött 4′ Super octav 4′ Nasatt 2 2/3′ Superoctav Bas 4′
Feltpfeiffe 2′ Holl Flött 4′ Gemshoren 2′ Nachthoren Bas 4′
Sifflitt 1 1/3′ Flachflött 2′ Scharffs IV-VII Feltpfeiffen Bas 2′
Sesquialtra II Rauschpfeiffe II-IV Trommet 8′ Mixtur Bas 4fach
Scharffs VI-VIII Mixtur VI-X Krumhoren 8′ Posaunen Bas 16′
Zimbell III Scharffs IV-VI Schalmey 4′ Trommet Bas 8′
Dulcian 16′ G.Trommet 16′ Dulcian Bas 8′
Tröchter Regal 8′ Schallmey Bas 4′
Sup. Regal 4′ Cornet Bas 2′

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