Photography by Concord
The Petrikirche organ was built from 1734 to 1735 by Gottfried Silbermann, at the same time of the construction of the new organ for the Frauenkirche of Dresden. As the Frauenkirche had some constructive problems, the installation of its organ was delayed and the Petrikirche organ was promptly installed. The planned disposition was of 31 stops but Silbermann, as a sign of gratefulness, included an additional register. The organ was originally tuned in Chorton, opposing to the common practice of tuning in Kammerton.
In 1855 the organ was cleaned by Jehmlich and it was tuned into equal temperament, without changing the general pitch. Later, from 1893 to 1896, a new intervention involved changes in pipework in order to lower the pitch to 435 Hz and added a C# key to the manuals. The major intervention was, however, related to the introduction of a Brustwerk with a pneumatic cone-valve chest, controlled by a coupler to Hauptwerk, the addition of a third manual and an additional stop on the pedal (Subbass 16’). The Trumpet 8’ was moved to a secondary windchest.
In 1917 the tin pipes were saved from requisition for the war due to their high artistic value, preserving the original ones until our days. From 1937 to 1940 wedge bellows were replaced by parallel bellows and an electrical blower was installed. The entire instrument also received a worm treatment, due to a xylophage attack. In 1959 the organ was restored by Jemlich, trying a partial restoration to the original state, removing the third keyboard and proceeding to other minor interventions, such as the tuning in an unequal temperament.
From 1993 to 1994 the organ underwent on the first phase of an extensive restoration, comprising console restoration, removal of the added C#, reconstruction of the shove coupler (removed during the 19th century) and reconstruction of the Trumpet 8’ stop. Already in the 20th century, from 2006 to 2007, the restoration was completed, following as much as possible the original state of the instrument. The works included a restoration of the original case including gilding and painting according to the original color scheme, repairs in pipework, mechanics and air system. The parallel bellows installed during the 30’s were removed and substituted by a copy of the original four Silbermann wedge bellows. Currently the air system can be operated with an electrical blower or with two calcants. During those restorations some letters were found inside windchests, providing new information about the organs for Peterskirche, Crostau and Sophienkirche.
The organ façade was designed by Johann Christian Feige (der Ältere), with a composition and layout significantly similar to the Sophienkirche organ, and the case was built by Christian Polycarp Butzäus. Two of the façade pipes are mute pipes. Currently the instrument has two manuals and pedal, with 32 registers, and is tuned in 462,5 Hz, with Neidhardt II temperament.
1734-1735 – organ construction
1768 – organ repairs
1855 – organ cleaning and equal temperament tuning by Jehmlich
1893-1896 – organ changes by Jemlich
1937-1940 – organ changes
1959 – organ restoration by Jemlich
1993-1994 – organ restoration by Jemlich
2006-2007 – organ restoration
|Principal 16′||Qvinta dena 16′||Groß Untersatz 32′|
|Octav Principal 8′||Principal 8′||Principal Bass 16′|
|Viol di Gamba 8′||Gedackts 8′||Octaven Bass 8′|
|Rohr-Flöte 8′||Qvinta dena 8′||Possaune 16′|
|Octava 4′||Octava 4′||Trompete 8′|
|Spitz-Flöte 4′||Rohr-Flöte 4′|
|Qvinta 3′||Nassat 3′|
|Octava 2′||Octava 2′|
|Tertia 1 3/5′||Qvinta 1 1/2′|
|Cornet IV||Sufflöt 1′|
|Mixtur IV||Sechst Qvint altra 4/5′ / 1 3/5′|
|Cymbel III||Mixtur III|
|Fachott 16′||Vox humana 8′|