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The organ of Jesus church in Riga

W.Sauer, 35/III/P, 1889, op.520

The very first organ in the Jesus church was built in 1822 and installed in the February of 1823 by organ builder Christien, who was also an organist in the church of Katlakalns.


HW                      OW

1.  Principal 8’       12. Geigenprincipal 8’
2.  Bordun 16’         13. Gedeckt 8’
3.  Barbanflöte 8’     14. Traversflöte 8’
4.  Viola d.Gamba 8’   15. Oktave 4’
5.  Salicional 8’      16. Flöte 4’
6.  Oktave 4’          17. Oktave 2’
7.  Flöte 4’           18. Schalmey 8’
8.  Quinte 2 2/3’
9.  Oktave 2’          PED.
10. Mixtur 4f. 2’      19. Prinzipal 16’
11. Trompete 8’        20. Violon 16’
                       21. Subbass 16’
                       22. Oktavbass 8’
                       23. Violon 8’
                       24. Posaune 16’

In the year of 1847 organbuilder A.Martin, who lived in Riga, rebuilt this instrument, installed new windchests and new facade pipes, and reduced specification to the following:

HW                         OW

1. Prinzipal 8’ (new)      11. Geigenprinzipal 8’
2. Bordun 16’              12. Gedeckt 8’
3. Hohlflöte 8’ (from      13. Traversflöte 8’
                Barbanfl.) 14. Oktave 4’
4. Viola d.Gamba 8’        15. Flöte 4’
5. Gemshorn 8’ (new)       16. Oktave 2’ (new)
6. Oktave 4’ (new)
7. Flöte 4’                PED.
8. Quinte 2 2/3’           17. Prinzipal 16’
9. Oktave 2’               18. Subbass 16’
10.Mixtur 4f. 2’           19. Oktavbass 8’
                           20. Posaune 16’

In the end of July, 1889, the council of church, deans T.Hartmann, Vandsberg, Karkovsky, priests Bergmans and Jozefi, after recommendation of organist Oskars Shepsky, ordered and in the December 17 of the same year, received new mechanical tracker organ, built by german organbuilder Wilhelm Sauer in Frankfurt at Oder.

Specification of the Sauer organ, built in 1889
(op.520, III/35)

Hauptwerk:   Prinzipal 8’ (new, except facade pipes)
             Bordun 16’ (new)
             Fl.harm. 8’ (new)
             Viola d.G. 8’ (new)
             Gemshorn 8’ (from the old organ)
             Oktave 4’ (new)
             Rohrflöte 4’ (new)
             Rauschquinte 2f (new)
             Mixtur 4f (new)
             Trompete 8’ (new)

Mittelwerk:  Prinzipal 8’ (new)
             Quintaton 16’ (new)
             Rohrflöte 8’ (new)
             Salicional 8’ (from the old organ)
             Dulciana 8’ (new)
             Oktave 4’ (new)
             Fl.dolce 4’ (new)
             Cornett 3f (new)

Schwellwerk: Prinzipal 8’ (new)
             Liebl.Ged. 16’ (new)
             Konzertflöte 8’ (new)
             Aeoline 8’ (new)
             Voix celeste 8’ (new)
             Fugara 4’ (new)
             Traversflöte 4’ (new)
             Flautino 2’ (new)
             Harm.aeth. 3f (new)
             Oboe 8’ (new)

Pedal:       Prinzipal 16’ (from 1823)
             Subbass 16’ (from 1823)
             Bassflöte 8’ (from 1823)
             Violon 16’ (new)
             Prinzipal 8’ (new)
             Violoncello 8’ (new)
             Posaune 16’ (new)

Manual compass: C – f’’’, pedal: C – d’

Barker lever on 1st manual; tuning on 441 Hz at 18 degrees (C).

Couplers: II/I, III/I, III/II, I/P, II/P.

Other features: Forte, Tutti, additive combination switch; Swell box for 3rd manual (2 fixed positions); crescendo roll.

In the end of 30ies, in the process of significant restoration of the church, also the organ was restored a bit. Old stops, which Sauer had inherited from the previous organ, were fully replaced (in Pedal – partly) with new ones. Most likely at that time happened also those changes: revoicing of Dulciana 8’ (2nd man.) into Quinte 2 2/3’; addition of pedal coupler III/P.

In the years of WWII and post-war years many of the original pipes were stolen.

By the request from Lutheran Church of Latvia, the authorized organ expert from Northern Yelba G.Boitling, Church music director J.Baumann and organ repairman K.Scheffler examined the state of organ for the first time in September 1991 and the decision was made to repair the organ in a joint effort and restore the missing pipes. On the subject of renewing pipes three names needs to be mentioned with a gratitude: 1) The organist and organ repairman of Old. St.Gertrud’s church in Riga, I.Lams, who carefully worked out the construction and voicing drawings for the missing pipes; 2) the organist with baltic germans roots G.Luckau, who managed and supervised the process of making the pipes and paying through "Gustav-Adolf-Werk" in Germany; 3) Organ building company "Eule" in Bautzen, where the pipes had been ordered after G.Luckau didn’t succeed in arranging that with "Sauer". Already in December 1991 the congregation of Jesus church could praise the Lord for a beautiful Christmas present – new organ pipes. A total of 172 pipes were made, the most of them being Oktave 4’ (1st man.) – 27 pipes, Oktave 4’ (2nd man.) – 27 pipes, Mixtur 2’ (1st man.) – 22 pipes; Quintaton 16’ (2nd man.) – 16 pipes; Prinzipal 8’ (1st man.) – 16 pipes; Violoncello 8’ (ped.) – 15 pipes.

In the period from September 8 1992 to October 17 the planned restoration and installation of missing pipes was performed by K.Scheffler, T.Herrig, M.Ullman, G.Boitling, V.Ilsums, I.Lams and J.Jerums. Thanks to financial support from the Church of Northern Yelba, the 25.000 DEM worth of work was done.

The renewed organ first was played in a thanksgiving service on October 25, 1992.

Information by Vita Kalnciema

Click on any image to view enlarged version

View of the console
View of the console

View of the pedalboard, couplers etc.
View of the pedalboard, couplers etc.

Some action elements and Barker levers
Some action elements and Barker levers

Swell box and some of the bigger pipes (view from below)
Swell box and some of the bigger pipes (view from below)