Organ Works

Greiz, Stadtkirche St. Marien

Restaurierung der Kreutzbach-Jehmlich-Orgel (1881/1919) | III/58+4TM | 2022

The Kreutzbach-Jehmlich organ

Whilst the baroque tower of the Marienkirche in Greiz was rebuilt in 1802 in former style, a reconstruction of the nave at the beginning of the 19th century gave the church its present-day form of a hall church with pointed barrel vault.

The solidly-made furnishings are appreciated to full effect following the renovation completed in 2012. The imposing neo-classical organ case completes the whole architecturally successful ensemble.

In 1881 Richard Kreutzbach from Borna provided a new organ with three manuals and 40 stops and mechanical slider chests with pneumatic assistance to the sliders.

There followed a far-reaching rebuilding by Jehmlich (Dresden) in 1919 with enlargement of around 20 stops. The existing pedal slider chests were reused. The manual divisions received new cone chests with pneumatic action throughout. The keyboard compasses were extended (manuals from f3 to a3/a4, pedal from d0 to f1) and the additional pipes placed on extra bars in the windchests. Despite its markedly late romantic character the organ retained some of the disappearing Saxon/Thuringian tonal characteristics belonging to Kreutzbach. The specification was drawn up by the organist of the time, Richard Jung, a friend of Max Reger, who himself played on the enlarged instrument.

The various divisions within the instrument are laid out as follows: the wooden pipes of the Untersatz 32 stand in the middle at the rear, flanked on each side by the divided C and C sharp sides of the Großpedal. In front there is a passage board with the two Kleinpedal chests beneath. Manuals I and II occupy the full width of the case at the first level, with Hauptwerk on the left with large reservoir below and Oberwerk on the right. The swell box is to be found on the upper level, stretching back over the 32-foot pipes and corresponding to the gable of the case itself. All three divisions have two chests, one behind the other, with chromatic pipe layout and passage board in between. There are various extra chests for the extended compasses, added ranks (Trompete 4 HW) and case pipes.

The following decades up to the 1980s saw repeated tonal changes and rearrangements. Above all various ‘nordicisings’ of the stoplist between 1931 and 1942 had a lasting effect on the romantic tonal palette. Further changes were made in 1980 as well as conversion of the action to electro-pneumatic, in the course of which the attached pneumatic console was removed and an electric console in contemporary style installed on a mobile platform.



In the course of time the technical state of the organ had massively deteriorated and was on the brink of total failure. Thanks to voicing shortcomings and inadequate wind supply, there was little to be discerned of the former sound. The register complement of Kreutzbach and Jehmlich is still extant and the pipework is of good quality, with the result that the aim of the restoration was set at the re-creation of the enlarged 1919 specification (with the exception of the 1931 HW Trompete 4) which is to be retained.

Extensive measures were necessary to enable the largest organ in Eastern Thuringia to be heard and played in its old splendour as a tonal monument preserved in largely original state. All moveable parts were dismantled and the complete organ cleaned and treated for mould. The existing windchests with top boards and rack boards, relays, bellows and electro-pneumatic actions have been completely restored. Motor leathers, leather seals and the blowing arrangements have been fully restored. The failing electrics were completely replaced. At the same time, the organ received an electronic setter system with touch screen and a new progressive swell engine.

Damage to the case and passage boards have been repaired. Finally, the zinc front pipes got a new painting.

The pipework was carefully repaired. As a result of earlier substitutions, changed compositions and altered or cut down pipes, it was necessary to return twelve registers to their original condition, including pipe racks. This was done by partial or total retrospective reconstruction, replacing missing pipes and lengthening shortened ones. Tuning slots etc and reed tongues have been renewed where necessary.

Close attention to voicing has lend the organ a balanced, homogeneous and cohesive tonal palette, allowing the romantic tonal treasures to be heard in all their fullness, power and differentiated colour.

The proportions of the new mobile console are compact. It incorporates simplified ideas from the classical case design. In the layout of the keyboards and stops etc it draws on characteristic features of German Romantic organ building with a conscious optical nod in the direction of Kreutzbach consoles.

Untersatz 32'
pedal division
pneumatic slider motor
windchests man. I. + II.
additional windchest swell


I. Hauptwerk C-a3

  1. Prinzipal 16‘ Kr/Je (C-b Prospekt)
  2. Prinzipal 8‘ Kr/Je/Sp (C-cs Prospekt)
  3. Gamba 8‘ Je
  4. Flûte harmonique 8‘ Je
  5. Bordun 8‘ Je
  6. Gemshorn 8‘ Kr
  7. Dolce 8‘ Kr
  8. Oktave 4‘ Kr
  9. Rohrflöte 4‘ Kr
  10. Quinte 2 2/3‘ Kr
  11. Oktave 2‘ Kr
  12. Cornett 3-4f. 2 2/3‘ Kr
  13. Mixtur 4f. 2‘ Kr
  14. Trompete 8‘ Je
  15. Trompete 4‘ Je*

    Sub II-I
    Super II-I
    Sub III-I
    Super III-I

II. Oberwerk C-a3

  1. Bordun 16‘ Kr
  2. Prinzipal 8‘ Kr/Je (C-d1 Prospekt)
  3. Hohlflöte 8‘ Kr/Je/Sp
  4. Viola 8‘ Kr/Sp
  5. Salicional 8‘ Je
  6. Quintatön 8‘ Kr
  7. Rohrflöte 8‘ Kr
  8. Zartflöte 8‘ Je
    Schwebeflöte (Kanzellentremulant Zartflöte) Je
  9. Oktave 4‘ Kr
  10. Salicet 4‘ Je
  11. Quinte 2 2/3‘ Je/Sp
  12. Waldflöte 2‘ Kr
  13. Mixtur 3-4f. 1 1/3‘ Kr/Sp
  14. Clarinette 8‘ Je

    Sub III-II
    Super III-II
    Sub II
    Super II
    Aequal ab II

III. Schwellwerk C-a4

  1. Liebl. Gedackt 16’ Kr/Je
  2. Dolce 16‘ Je
  3. Geigenprinzipal 8‘ Je
  4. Konzertflöte 8‘ Kr/Je
    Gedackt 8' (TM 16' bis a''')
    Violine 8' (TM 16' bis a''')
  5. Fernflöte 8‘ Je
  6. Aeoline 8‘ Je
  7. Vox coelestis 8‘ Je (ab c°)
  8. Viola 4‘ Kr/Sp
  9. Gemshorn 4‘ Kr/Sp
  10. Traversflöte 4‘ Kr
  11. Rohrquinte 2 2/3‘ Kr
  12. Violine 2‘ Je
  13. Terz 1 3/5‘ Kr
  14. Sifflöte 1‘ Kr/Sp
  15. Harmonia aetherea 3-4f. 2‘ Je
  16. Trompete harmonique 8‘ Je
  17. Oboe 8‘ Je

    Sub III
    Super III (16'-2 2/3' ausgebaut bis a4)
    Aequal ab III

Pedal C-f1

  1. Untersatz 32‘ Kr
  2. Prinzipalbass 16‘ Kr
  3. Violon 16‘ Kr
  4. Subbass 16‘ Kr
    Gedacktbass 16‘ TM III.
    Dolcebass 16‘ TM III.
  5. Quintbass 10 2/3‘ Sp
  6. Prinzipalbass 8‘ Kr
  7. Violoncello 8‘ Je (im Schwellkasten)
  8. Gedacktbass 8‘ Sp
  9. Oktavbass 4‘ Kr
  10. Posaune 16‘ Kr
  11. Trompete 8‘ Kr
  12. Clarine 4‘ Kr

    Super II-P
    Super III-P

    Setzeranlage mit Touch-Display
    Crescendowalze, Zungen ab, Tutti

    Kr = Kreutzbach 1881
    Je = Jehmlich 1919
    Je* = Jehmlich/Schüßler 1935
    Sp = Späth 2022

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