The Hildebrandt Organ

The history of the instrument

Die englische Übersetzung der Orgelgeschichte sandte
Charles Sullivan, Wellington, am 4. April 2007 mit den Worten:

Für die Hildebrandt-Orgel in St. Wenzel lohnt es sich, von Neuseeland nach Naumburg zu reisen.


There is no doubt that the Hildebrandt Organ in St. Wenzel belongs to the most significant creations of late baroque organ building. It exceeds all Silbermann organs not only in number of stops but also in variety. The specification shows conservative elements with deep roots in German baroque organ building and also aspects matching the new sound sensibilities which developed in the 18 th century, with French characteristics in the background. Thus this unique work has come into being from the universality of Bach`s spirit, from the cosmic multiplicity of his work, and likewise it unifies traditional achievements and foreshadows future developments in a brilliant synthesis.

Ulrich Dähnert (author of "The organ builder and instrument maker Zacharias Hildebrandt" and "The organs of Gottfried Silbermann in Central Germany")


History of the Hildebrandt organ in Naumburg

On the 27th of August 1743, the Naumburg City Council entered into a contract with Zacharias Hildebrandt of Leipzig for the building of the new organ of 52 stops in the existing case of the organ by Zacharias Thayssner (built 1696 -1705). Previously a report from J. S. Bach about the organ had been obtained which was "most kindly found acceptable". Thus we can surely assume that Bach had an influential role in the drawing up of the specification, and that this instrument corresponded to his idea of a fine large organ. On the 27th of September 1746 J. S. Bach and Gottfried Silbermann examined the finished organ and certified that Hildebrandt's work was good. In 1748 Joh. Chr Altnikol, Bach's son-in-law, became organist of the Hildebrandt organ.

In 1834 some small changes to the specification in the taste of that time were made by Friedrich Beyer, a local organ builder. In 1864 Friedrich Ladegast of Weissenfels overhauled the organ and also changed the specification. In 1917 Oskar Ladegast removed the windchests of the Oberwerk and replaced these with cone-chests. In 1932/33 the organ was extensively rebuilt by the Walcker firm (Ludwigsburg). The mechanical action remaining until then was removed and replaced by electropneumatic action, and an electrical console installed on the first gallery. The specification was nominally restored to that of 1746 following the advice of Christhard Mahrenholz.

In 1964, the Eule firm of Bautzen made the sound closer to that of the Hildebrandt original. In 1992 an international symposium took place on the past, present and future of the Hildebrandt organ. The unanimous vote for uncompromising restoration of the organ opened the way to restoration and reconstruction work from 1993 to 2000, again carried out by Hermann-Eule-Organbuilding of Bautzen. The work included: key action, stop mechanism, winding, pipe work, pitch, tuning, case, structural framework, carving, and colouring.


 

Weiterführende Links:


- Orgelrestaurierung in Naumburg, St. Wenzel:

"... und wer diese Orgel gesehen und gehöret, der ist niemahls ohne Bewunderung davon hinweggegangen"
(Johann Christoph Altnikol)
  www.euleorgelbau.de/orgelrestaurierung/naumburg/naumburg.htm

Winfried Schrammek "Die durch Hermann Eule Orgelbau Bautzen wiederhergestellte Bach-Orgel von Zacharias Hildebrandt in der Wenzelskirche zu Naumburg"
  www.gdo.de/orgelgalerie/naumburg/



 

Specification:


Rückpositiv (l)

Principal
Viol di Gambe
Prestanta
Quintadehn
Rohr-Floete
Vagara
Rohr-Floete
Nassat
Octava
Rausch-Pfeife
Mixtur
Fagott
 
 
8`
8`
4`
8`
8`
4`
4`
3`
2`
2  ranks 
5  ranks 
16`
  Hauptwerk (ll)

Principal
Quintadehn
Octava
Spitz-Floete
Praestanta
Cornet
Gedakt
Spitz-Floete
Sesquialter
Octava
Quinta
Weit-Pfeife
Mixtur
Bombart
Trompete
 
 
 
 
16`
16`
8`
8`
4`
4  ranks 
8`
4`
2  ranks 
2`
3`
2`
8  ranks 
16`
8`
 
 
Oberwerk (lll)

Bordun
Principal
Hohl-Floete
Princ.und.mar.
Praestanta
Gemshorn
Quinta
Octava
Wald-Floete
Tertia
Quinta
Sif-Floete
Scharff
Vox humana
 
 
16`
8`
8`
8`
4`
4`
3`
2`
2`
1  3/5`
1  1/2`
1`
5  ranks  
8`
  Pedal

Front pedal chests


Principal
Octaven Bass
Violon Bass
Octaven Bass
Octava
Mixtur Bass
Trompet. Bass
Clarin Bass
 
Rear pedal chest

Posaune
Posaune
Violon Bass
Subbass
 
 
 
 
16`
8`
8`
4`
2`
7  ranks 
8`
4`
 
 
 
16`
32`
16`
16`
 
Accessories

Coupler
Coupler
Pedal coupler
Tremulant
Schwebung
(Tremulant doux)
Sperrventil
Sperrventil
Cymbelstern

Pitch
Temperament
Wind-pressures

Compass
 
 
OW - HW 
RP - HW 
HW - P 
HW + RP 
OW 
 
HW 
OW 


a`= 464 Hz/15°C 
Neidhardt l (1724)
Man. 74 mm 
Ped. 78 mm 
C,D-c```
C,D-d`   

 

 

Organ tested and accepted by Bach and Silbermann