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Klapmeyer, Altenbruch, 1727–30 [Back to Library]

Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Builder: Johannes Coci
Country: Germany
Manuals: 3
Pedalboard: No
Audio Ouput:
Date Built:


The St. Nikolai church in Altenbruch owns one of the oldest North German organs. In 1497-1498, Johannes Coci built a small organ of 6 stops. It stood near the main altar. Matthias Mahn enlarged the instrument in 1577 (or 1561?) by adding a Rückpositiv.Today, some of the Coci organ's pipes are still incorporated into the RP Gedact 8', OW Quintadohn 16', and Pedal Untersatz 16'. Other pre-1647 pipe material is to be found in the RP Principahl 8', Octav 4', Nasat 3', and Blockfloit 2'.

In 1647, Hans Christoph Fritzsche renewed the organ, enlarging the Hauptwerk as well. The Principal plenum of the Hauptwerk (called also the Oberwerk) is formed from his pipes today. His pipes also sound in the Quintadöhn 8', Gedact 4', Sexquialtera, and Mixtur of the Rückpositiv. Matthias Dropa expanded the compass of the instrument in 1698 and provided additional stops, especially in Pedal. His pipes still sound today in the RP Kromhorn 8', Octav 2', Pedal Gedact 8', Octav 4', Mixtur, Posaun 16', and Trometh 8'. A few decades later, the church was rebuilt and a west choir was added.

Consequently, Johann Hinrich Klapmeyer (1690-1757) was commissioned to relocate the organ into a newly constructed west gallery. The organ was substantially reworked as well between 1727-1730. The organ builder added new Pedal towers and supplied the Pedal Principal 8'. He also inserted a new Brustwerk of 6 stops under the chest of the Oberwerk, and he added new reed stops to the Oberwerk:Trometh 8' and Vox humana 8'. Klapmeyer provided the organ with its present look. The organ survived until the present mostly unchanged. It was restored in 2004 by the Ahrend organ workshop.

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