Bader-organ  Walburgiskerk Zutphen

If there is one organ for which Hauptwerk had to be invented, it is these Bader organ. Jiri Zurek (Sonus Paradisi) has done a fantastic job, with the perfect sample of this outstanding sounds of the Bader organ. One of the most beautiful sample sets that are available.

Orgelmakerij Gebr. Reil in Heerde has carried out a thorough restoration in the period 1993-1996. Hauptwerk, Rückpositiv and pedal were brought back as far as possible in the original state of 1643.

Only pipes made of lead

It is noteworthy that during this restoration was determined that the pipes of Bader were made of lead. Lead in that period contained chemical additives which have a positive influence on the sound. The beautiful vocal sounds of the Bader organ were generated with pipes made of lead.

I asked Jiri Zurek if it was possible to record the sounds as dry as possible, so that the details are not blurred by the large hall of the cathedral. I want to hear them like the organist at the console in the church, not blurred by the hall. The articulation and the little roaring sounds are recorded wonderfully. With well-chosen settings of the equalizer of Hauptwerk it can be heard in my living room as well as at the console in the church.

Holzhey-Orgel  Weissenau 1787

Johann Nepomuk Holzhey (1741-1809) was one of the great South German master organ builders in the second half of the 18th century. In recent years Holzhey has received increasing attention. After decades of shadowy existence, the name Holzhey is about to become a household name again. His instruments belong to rococo and classicism. However, in his later works the influence of romantic sound aesthetics becomes more and more perceptible. Holzhey's work represents the zenith of classicistic organ building in South Germany.

Holzhey received most significant ideas for his work from Karl Riepp. Riepp practiced French organ building. Those two styles could not be more different.

Holzhey's masterstroke was to combine both styles and thus create tonally highly appealing instruments. His contemporaries frequently marveled at how soft but also how powerful his organs sounded.

Schnitger sounds in Anloo (Drenthe Nld)

The Radeker & Garrels-Organ of 1719 is located in the Magnus Church of Anloo (NLD) it is built by Rudolf Radeker and Johannes Garrels, organ builders who learned the work by Arp Schnitger.  

The organ has been restored back to its original state by the organ builder Henk van Eeken in Herwijnen (NLD). Some of the pipes had been lost due to fire. Fortunately the for the historic sound important eight and four-foot pipes and the reeds (for the largest part) are there still original present.

The destroyed part has been reconstructed by him in the same historic style. With his research to the reconstruction process (Gothenburg Art Center) he completely succeeded in finding back the characteristic old sound and no one hears any difference between the old and the reconstructed pipes.  A fabulous example of the art of organ trade art. 
Each organist, who wants to play this organ can get permission from one of the organists of the Church. As a contribution to the Church, a small fee is requested.

The Sample Set can be bought by Prospectum
Arp Schnitger organ 1721    St. Michaelischurch in Zwolle

In the last century, it has been proven that it was the organ maker Arp Schnitger, who has attained the highest degree of perfection in the art of the organ making. Schnitger organs apply after the rediscovery in the mid-20th century as the best examples in constructive and sound technical sense. Through the construction of new organs in the style of Schnitger the organ world could take note of the tonal characteristics of this style and obtained a deeper understanding of the art of the Baroque organ.

The comparison with Stradivari is often called, it is the highest standard for organ sound

Arp Schnitger built 170 organs, of which 110 are newly built. Of the more than thirty, which still exist today is the largest part in Northern Germany. There are 11 in the northern of the Netherlands, in the province of Groningen. 

The organ of the great or St. Michaelis-church in Zwolle is designed by Arp Schnitger, but completed after his death by his son Franz Caspar and Johann Georg.  
It is a four-manual organ with 63 registers and is the largest Schnitger organ.

From Schnitger organs, not many sample sets are created and only in a single set the sounds have been stored properly. The sample set that Jiri Zurek (Sonus Paradisi) in Zwolle has recorded, has the best reflects of the beautiful timbres of a Schnitger organ and thus Zwolle

                    is the best sample set that is available for Hauptwerk

Joachim Richborn organ 1681    
                                 St. Marien-church Buttforde

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Marien in the Wittmunder district Buttforde is a granite Church of great artistic importance. The Romanesque building was built about 1230 on an artificially raised hill.
                                          Buttforde   Joachim Richborn-Orgel

Sample manufacturers with artistic insights know how to record authentic sounds, like the sounds in the samples of Richborn organ of 1681 in Buttforde. By organologists as Harold Vogel and Reinhard Ruge, the sound is considered as the prototype of the vocal Baroque. An organ which still have all sounds like they were created in 1681. 

Dirk Menzenbach
made a sample set, where the microphones recorded the beautiful sound close to the pipes of this Richborn organ.
Gottfried Silbermann organ in Zöblitz  (1742)   

This particular sample set of Prospectum reproduces the sounds with four channels, the recordings in the back of the church are represented in the surround channels. The Silbermann organ is a Baroque organ, with wide labium’s in the principals. The organ has singing sounds with a great richness of overtones. It is significant for the sounds of Gottfried Silbermann. 

Gottfried Silbermann gave his principals wide labium’s. The upper mouth is pulled to the front compared to the languid gap and the wind band is directed outwards. All these factors contribute to a strong development of many overtones, thus creates a wide singing sound. The richness of the sound is so large and overwhelming that there is not much need to add reeds.

The character of the flutes is thin and clear, which indicates a good development of the third and fifth overtone. The basic volume is growing in the low octaves. In the intonation I voted this precisely to my sound field. The sounds are stored realistic in the sample set, but the organist must voice them carefully.

Renaissance orgel
Choro primo
Principale 8’
Cimbale 2st. ½’
Mixtura 3 st. 1’
Superoctava 2’
Quinta maior 2 2/3’
Octava principale 4’

Choro secondo
Salicinale 8’
Copula maior 8’
Copula minor 4’
Quintadena 4’

Regal 8' (apart van
Choro 1 en 2)

Superoctavasus 4’
Octavasus 8’
Subbasus 16’

Copula 8'
Copula 4'
Fugara 4'
Principal 2'
Quinta 1 1/2'  
Octava 1'

Sound in proportion to acoustics

Helmut Maier of OAM (Organ Art Media) has stored the sounds of the Arp Schnitger organ in the samples. He uses an old-fashioned stereo system, where the microphones are placed in a dummy head. The broadcasting and sound studios have been used this technique in the middle of the last century, but is was long exiled in the Museum.  Maier has edited the samples for the listening with headphones and that  is strongly recommended by him.

However, two universities (Erasmus in Rotterdam and the University of Leuven), show that the use of headphones cause hearing damage. It's a compelling reason never to use a set of headphones.

The best alternative is to hear two speakers on short distance and at ear level of the organist. I have substantially changed the samples so that they are adapted for speaker playback. The use of more speakers or speakers that are not focused on the organist will be no improvement.

Smecno Renaissance-orgel from 1587

The Renaissance-Organ of the Holy Trinity Church in Smecno (30 km west of Prague) is the oldest organ preserved in good condition in the Czech Republic. It was built in 1587 by an unknown Builder. In 1775 Jan Rusch in Litomerice has added a small Baroque Choir organ during an extensive renovation work. 

Dusan Doubek carried out a reconstruction of the organ in the Renaissance style. The name plates showed the original names of the pipes that are mostly original. During the reconstruction, the damaged pipes were created in the same style. The organ sound is the original Renaissance sound The renovation of the organ is continued in the years 2009-2010. The Baroque Choir positive remained separate from the Renaissance organ with an own manual and own register stops. It is located opposite the main organ and the organist must choose whether he plays the Renaissance organ or the choir organ.

The exceptional construction of this Renaissance instrument
The Renaissance organ with one keyboard is built on two separate wind chests. The first contains only the main chorus and on the other one has the flutes. It is possible to mute a wind chest with valves. They can be used to distribute the register by the Italian style of Choro Primo and Choro Secondo. Thus, it is possible to switch quickly from the plenary sound to the flutes and it imitates two keyboards.

Sonus Paradisi has recorded the sounds in dry, wet en surround samples. I prefer the dry samples and the Lexicon MX 300 cares for a very good acoustics


This book contains the pictures of the voicing of the Gottfried-Silbermann-organ in Zöblitz.

It can be ordered free by providing the full mailing address of the applicant.  

Please, send an email with:
the Silbermann organ intonations in Zöblitz.

      e-mail to:    John Boersma


Principal           8' 
Quintadena       8'
Rohrflöte          8' 
Octava            4'
Spitzflöte         4'
Quinta             3'
Octava            2'
Mixtur             IV
Cornet            III
Gedackt             8'
Rohrflöte            4'
Nasat                3'
Octava              2'
Tertia          1 3/5'
Quinta          1 1/2'
Sufflet               1'
Cimbel               II
Subbass           16'
Octavbass         8'
Posaunenbass   16'
Principal          16’
Octav Principal  8’
Viol di Gamba    8’
Rohr Flöte        8’
Octava            4’
Spitz Flöte       4’
Quinta             3’
Octava            2’
Mixtur        4 fach
Cymbel      3 fach
Cornet       4 fach
Fachott          16’
Trompete         8’
Quintadena      16’
Principal           8’
Gedackt           8’
Quintadena       8’
Rohr Flöte        4’
Octava            4’
Nasat              3’
Octava            2’
Quinta       1 1/3’
Sifflöt              1’
Mixtur       3 fach
Vox Humana     8’
Gross Untersatz 32’
Principal           16’
Octaven Bass     8’
Quintadena        8’
Posaune           16’
Trompete           8’
This book contains the pictures of the voicing of the Gottfried Silbermann-organ in Freiberg.

It can be ordered free by providing the full mailing address of the applicant.  

Please, send an email with:
the Silbermann organ intonations in the Petri church.

      e-mail to:    John Boersma