Johann Andreas Silbermann | Église St Pierre le Jeune, protestant . Strasbourg [France]

web JASil SPj Pierre Marteau 3_CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 crop

Photography by Pierre Marteau
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The Strasbourg organ was built by Johann Andreas Silbermann in 1780 and comprised originally one manual with twelve registers and a Pedal section with four registers.

The church was being used since 1681 by Catholics and Protestants at the same time, following the rules instituted by Louis XIV of the “simultaneum”, allowing the simultaneous use for both faiths on different parts of the church, divided by a wall – Catholics used the choir area and Protestants used the nave of the church.

In 1820 Jean-Conrad Sauer adds a new Positif de dos, complementing the existing Grand Orgue. During several years, from 1868 to 1884 the organ is maintained by Wetzel, being also slightly changed in some aspects.

In 1894 Catholics built a new church and the wall dividing nave and choir was demolished. Some years later, on 1900, the organ was moved from its original position, on the west wall, to a gallery above the choir. It was necessary to build a new façade, on the side facing the choir, and Roethinger took this opportunity to do further interventions, replacing several registers and changing the traction from mechanical to pneumatic. The case was painted with several colors, trying to match it to the inside of the painted church.

From 1948 to 1950 a new organ with three manuals and pedal was built by Mühleisen inside the original case, keeping the five remaining registers from Johann Andreas Silbermann.

In 1966 Alfred Kern proceeds to an additional restoration, re-intonating the organ and changing some parts of the stoplist, with changes in the composition of some mixtures and the replacement of the Grand Orgue Salicional by a Sifflet 1’ and the Principal 8’ from the Récit by a Sesquialtera. The instrument was used for recordings by Helmut Walcha of the J. S. Bach organ works.

1779-1780 – organ construction
1819-1820 – organ changes by Jean-Conrad Sauer
1868-1884 – organ changes by Charles Wetzel
1900-1915 – organ changes by Edmond-Alexandre Roethinger
1948-1950 – organ reconstruction by Mühleisen
1966 – organ restoration by Alfred Kern

Positif de dos Grand-Orgue Récit expressif Pédale
Bourdon 8′ Bourdon 16′ Bourdon 8′ Flûte 16′
Prestant 4′ Montre 8′ Prestant 4′ Soubasse 16′
Nasard 2’2/3 Bourdon 8′ Flûte 4′ Bourdon 16′
Doublette 2′ Prestant 4′ Doublette 2′ Montre 8′
Tierce 1’3/5 Flûte à cheminée 4′ Larigot 1’1/3 Flûte 8′
Fourniture III Quinte 2’2/3 Sesquialtera II Prestant 4′
Cromorne 8′ Doublette 2′ Cymbale II Quarte de nasard 2′
Sifflet 1′ Trompette 8′ Fourniture IV
Cornet V Voix humaine 8′ Cymbale II
Fourniture IV Bombarde 16′
Cymbale III Trompette 8′
Trompette 8′ Clairon 4′
Clairon 4′

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