The Organ St. Nicholas' Church
Introduction History Stop list Concerts Multimedia Discography

Index of chapters

 1450 & 1608
 1755, Johann Friedrich Rhode
 1788, Paschke (??)
 1866, Friedrich W. Kaltschmidt
 1907, Bruno Goebel
 1932, Josef Goebel
 1953 (??), Zbigniew Zając
 1977, Hammer and Truszczyński
 Footnotes and sources




1450 & 1608
       The oldest records relating to an organ at St. Nicholas' can be found in the abbey's archives telling of employment of an organist in the year 1450[1]. A further record can be found in 1608 saying that the Dominicans have returned to their church following quarrels with the protestant community and that the senate of the city of Gdańsk has promised to provide aid for the reconstruction of the church and the organ[2]. It is also know that prior to its demolition in 1755 the organ was located on the north wall on the church[3].

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1755, Johann Friedrich Rhode
      In 1755 the Johann Friedrich Rhode, who had just started as organ builder, secured his first contract by signing up to build a new organ at St. Nicholas' church. The new instrument was located on the gallery on the west wall and placed into a horizontally undulating two part case, each with three, a central 8' tower hemmed in by a 4' tower to either side . Both parts of the case are joined by a small field of pipes in the middle just above the console. To the top this fields extends into a section housing a statue of the Immaculate Conception adorned with acanthus in the very centre of the organ case. The case occupies the whole width of the central nave. he Instrument was, according to Pawlowski, a one manual organ with pedal[4].

The earliest available stop list for the instrument is provided by Johann Ephraim Eggert around 1800 and Werner Renkewitz and Jan Janca suggest this listing to more likely to be associated with an extension of the organ in 1788 rather than with the original Rhode instrument[5].

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1788, Paschke (??)
      The extent of works done and the contractor responsible for it cannot be identified, but Jan Janca suggests the work might have been the installation of a second manual to what was previously one manual instrument. This work could possibly be attributed to Rhode's presumed apprentice Paschke[6].
The second manual, Oberwerk, is aligned centrally on top of the main organ case in its own casing.

The following is the stop list of the instrument as noted by Johann Ephraim Eggert around 1800[7].

Manual (I)
Bourdun 16'
Principal 8'
Flaut allamande 8'
Flaut douse 8'
Flaut Traverse 8'
Octava 4'
Rohrlöt 4'
Spiel Flöt 4'
Ocatva 2'
Waldflöt 2'
Mixtur 6 rks  
Dulcian 16'
Trompete 8'
 
Oberwerk (II)
Flöt major 8'
Fugar Flöt 8'
Quintadöna 8'
Principal 4'
Flöt minor 4'
Octava 2'
Bauerflöt 2'
Mixtur 3 rks  
Hoboe 8'

Registration aids
Manual coupler
Timpani 16'

 
Pedal (P)
Principal 16'
Violono 16'
Subbaß 16'
Bourdun 16'
Quintadöna 16'
Quinta 12'
Octava 8'
Spielflöt 8'
Hollflöt 8'
Viol di Gamba 8'
Salicinal 8'
Octava 4'
Bauernflöt 2'
Octava 2'
Mixtur 6'
Posaune 16'
Trompet 8'
Cornetto 2'

Technical information
Manual compass: C - c3
Pedal compass: C - c1


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1866, Friedrich W. Kaltschmidt
       The Szczecin based company of Friedrich W. Kaltschmidt extended the organ by a third manual in 1866[8]. A stop list is currently not available to author.

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1907, Bruno Goebel
       Bruno Goebel carried out a pneumatic rebuilding of the organ in 1907. Details as well as a stoplist are currently not available to the author.

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1932, Josef Goebel
       Josef Goebel rebuilt the organ again and changed the stop list considerably. The Oberwerk in its own case has been moved away from the main organ case and placed on the gallery of the south nave. This, apparently, has been done for acoustic considerations, however, that now separate section was oddly linked into the Hauptwerk, contained five smaller stops as well as the Hauptwerk mixtures[9]. A stop list of 1932 is currently not available to the author.

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1953 (??), Zbigniew Zając
    Post war repairs were carried by Zbigniew Zając, presumably around 1953[10]. Various repairs of individual stops were carried out post 1960 together with an overhaul of the windchests. A free standing console was installed and the pedal keyboard was extended by five keys[11].

The following stop list has been preserved for the post war instrument[12]:

Manual I   Manual II   Manual III
Bourdun 16'   Geigen-Prinzipal 8'   Flauto major 8'
Prinzipal 8'   Quintaton 8'   Aeoline 8'
Gedackt 8'   Flöte 8'   Vox coelestis 8'
Hohlflöte 8'   Salicional 8'   Prinzipal 4'
Gamba 8'   Prinzipal 4'   Flauto minor 4'
Nasard 5 1/3'   Rohrflöte 4'   Quinte 2 2/3'
Octave 4'   Blockflöte 2'   Waldflöte 2'
Gemshorn 4'   Sifflöte 1'   Schalmei 8'
Hohlflöte 4'   Mixtur 3-5rks        
Quinte 2 2/3'   Cymbel 2rks        
Superoctave 2'   Trompete 8'      
Superquinte 1 1/3'            
Septime None              
Mixtur 5-6 rks              
Scharf 3 rks              
Dulcian 16'            
               
               
Pedal (P)
Untersatz 32'   Octave 4'   Posaune 16'
Prinzipal 16'   Choralbass 4'   Trompete 8'
Subbass 16'   Weit-Gedackt 4'   Schalmei 4'
Violon 16'   Kugelflöte 1'      
Octavbass 8'   Terz-Cymbel 2 rks        


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1977, Hammer and Truszczyński
       Under the supervision of Prof. Jan Jargoń the organ builders Emil Hammer, from Hannover, and Włodzimierz Truszcyński, from Warsaw, began rebuilding the instrument to a stop list based on the original 18th century organ at St. Nicholas'.

During their work in was discovered that apart from that organ case and case pipes all pipework has been replaced during the various rebuilds after 1755[13].

The console was integrated into the organ case again, the division with casing located in the south aisle, removed from the main case and placed there in 1932 by Josef Goebel, was put back in its original place on top of the main organ case. The wind chests and pneumatic action of the instrument have been replaced with mechanical slider chests and a tracker action.

The stop list of the 1977 reconstruction reads as follows[14]:

Manual (I)
Bourdon* 16'
Principal* 8'
Rohrflöte 8'
Viola di Gamba 8'
Oktave 4'
Flöte 4'
Nasard 2 2/3'
Okatve 2'
Terz 1 3/5'
Mixtur 6 rks  
Fagott 16'
Trompete 8'
Tremulant  
 
Oberwerk (II)
Holzgedackt 8'
Quintadena 8'
Salicional 8'
Bifara* 8'
Preastant* 4'
Flöte 4'
Sesquialtera 2 rks  
Nachthorn 2'
Quinte 1 1/3'
Acuta 4-6 rks  
Dulcian 16'
Regal 8'
Tremulant  

Registration aids
II/I
I/P
II/P
2 Zimbelstern
2 Timpani

 
Pedal (P)
Subkontra 32'
Principal* 16'
Subbaß 16'
Oktave* 8'
Gemshorn 8'
Oktave* 4'
Feldflöte 2'
Mixtur 6 rks 4'
Aliquoten 3 rks  
Posaune 16'
Trompete 8'
Tremulant  

Technical information
Manual compass: C - c3
Pedal compass: C - c1
Action: Mechanical tracker
Wind chests: Slider chest

* Stop consists of original pipes from 1755/1788


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Footnotes and sources
1 Polskie Wirtualne Centrum Organowe, http://www.organy.art.pl/instrumenty.php?instr_id=148, 18 November 2007  
2 Same as 1  
3 Josef Nikodemus Pawlowski, Geschichte und Beschreibung der St. Nikolai-Pfarrkirche, der ältesten Kirche in Danzig, 1898, p. 28  
4 Pawlowski, p. 27  
5 Werner Renkewitz & Jan Janca, Geschichte der Orgelbaukunst in Ost- und Westpreussen von 1333 bis 1944,Vol. 1, Verlag Weidlich, Wrzburg 1984, p. 287  
6 Jan Janca, Abriß der Geschichte des Orgelbaus in den Kirchen Danzigs bis 1800, Bärenreiter, Kassel 1995, p.69  
7 Jan Janca, Abriß der Geschichte des Orgelbaus in den Kirchen Danzigs bis 1800, p.68  
8 Jan Janca, Abriß der Geschichte des Orgelbaus in den Kirchen Danzigs bis 1800, p.70  
9 Renkewitz & Janca, p.287  
10 Author's assumption  
11 Same as 1  
12 Same as 1  
13 Same as 1  
14 Jan Janca, p. 70  


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