the organ of St. Jakobi CHurch in Freiberg
built by Gottfried silbermann, 1717
The first organ was to be found in the Jakobikirche already in the early 16th century. Over the years, this musical instrument was restored and extended several times. Gottfried Silbermann inspected it in 1714, he did not recommend any further restoration, and instead he suggested that a new organ was to be built.
Since the Reformation Jakobikirche had been an electoral church held on feudal tenure. Therefore, Elector Frederick Augustus I had to be asked for his permission, which he granted in January 1716. Afterwards, the building contract could be signed. The treaty stated that an organ with 18 stops on two manuals and pedal including the organ case and some stone carvings were to be built for 800 thalers. The versatile organist of Freiberg cathedral, Elias Lindner, designed the organ front.
The organ was finished in November 1717. The choirmaster of Freiberg cathedral, Johann Samuel Beyer, and Elias Lindner took over the inspection in January 1718. The expert report mentioned that Silbermann delivered two additional stops and an additional tremulant. The inspectors merely criticised that it was not possible to determine the organ pitch exactly due to the cold temperature in the building. This was obviously meant to avoid criticism of the temperament that Silbermann employed on all his organs in Freiberg (modified meantone temperament). – On 2nd February the organ was inaugurated.
Between 1890 and 1892 the old Jakobikirche was replaced by a neo-Gothic church. Friedrich Ladegast of Weißenfels moved the organ to the new building and modified it at the same time. Due to some additional tones, the rearrangement of the inner pipes and the lengthening of the front pipes the organ now featured a deeper pitch – which was more common at that time – as well as an additional C sharp and equal temperament. Furthermore, Ladegast included six 16’ and 8’ stops on pneumatic ventil windchests and replaced the wedge bellows by box bellows.
In 1905 and in 1953 the Gebrüder Jehmlich company from Dresden made some small changes to the organ, in 1955 and in 1974 they removed the pneumatic Ladegast stops. In 1974 they equipped the organ with a schwimmer bellow and renewed the pipes of the Mixtur and Cimbeln. In 1995 the musical instrument was partially restored by the company of Kristian Wegscheider from Dresden. Further restoration work is planned.
St. Jakobi CHurch, Freiberg
Gottfried Silbermann, 1717
C – c3
Quinta Dehn 8
Super Oktava 2
C – c3
Tertia 1 3/5
C – c1
Sub Bass 16
Posaunen Bass 16
coupler (shift coupler) II/I,
coupler I/P (not original)
Pitch: a1=440 Hz
(originally in the “Cornett- oder Chor-Tono”, about 465 Hz)