Breslau, Christophorikirche


Breslau, Christophorikirche

This organ was completed by A. H. Casparini on November 18, 1715. The organ had 14 stops, of which the 9 stops for the manual were playable from 2 manuals. This was made possible by a so-called "Zwillingslade" ("Twin-chest"). ZEGGERT 1931 gives a more detailed account of the organ than BURGEMEISTER 1973, although most of the historical information of the former seems to have come from the latter (of course the first edition of 1928). According to ZEGGERT 1931: 7-8, the Casparini instrument was of doubtful quality to say the least. The pipes remaining in 1930 were considered to be of "recht schlechter Beschaffenheit (Blei!)". We can be thankful to Burgemeister (he was Provinzialkonservator) also for saving the organ-case (FALKENBERG 1998: 89).

Before the rebuilding, the organ looked differently:

Breslau, Christophorikirche

Reparations in the 18th century were carried out by G. Rotter (1770) and Christoph Wahner (17??).
J.G.B. Engler added two stops in 1805 and probably removed the Posaune 16. In 1840, the fassade was repaired by Julius Müller. In 1852, the organ-builder Müller from Breslau added Portunal 8, Violoncello 8 and Doppelflöte 8.

Until 1930, there still existed some ranks (with a recognizable high Lead part) originating from Casparini. But in that year, the "Orgelbewegung" required again one of its numerous victims: all Casparini-pipes were removed, not being built according to the standards of the North-German organ as perceived at the time.

It should be noted that the "Orgelbewegung" was a genuine effort to produce better (=clearer sounding) organs than those which had been built during the preceding 150 years. But especially in the East-German (sensu pre-WWII) provinces, the movement extracted a notable toll from those instruments which showed allready a forecast to the romantic (One should also not forget that the (to our ears) already romantic sounding Gabler-organ of Weingarten just escaped being totally replaced in 1912 by a meaningless organ built by Weigle, from Echterdingen).
In casu Casparini: what remained of instruments of the Casparini-dynasty was nearly totally demolished by renewal and Orgelbewegung between 1890 and 1940. Whatever remnants survived the onslaught of 1940-1945 was destroyed, demolished or melted between 1945 and 1947.

The instrument of the Breslauer Christophori-kirche was probably one of the clearest victims to the early 20th century North-German organ movement. The Sauer-organ of 1930 was built as a "Praetorius-organ", with the seond manual as a "Seitenpositiv" ("Side-organ"). This design had clearly no connection at all with the remains of the, then lowly valued, Casparini-instrument.

The new instrument was destroyed with the church during the fights around Breslau in 1945.

The stoplist upon completion of the organ by A.H.Casparini on November 18, 1715 was:

Manual Pedal
Prinzipal 8 Subbaß gedeckt 16
Floet 3 (4?) Posaunenbaß 16
Quinte 3 Octavbaß 8
Sedezima 1 Superoctavbaß 4
Prinzipal 4 Quintbaß 5
Gemshorn 4
Mixtur IV
Superoctav 2
Octav 4

The stoplist shortly before replacement by a totally new Sauer-organ in 1930 was:

Manual I Manual II Pedal
Bordun 16 Flaut major 8 Subbaß 16
Prinzipal 8 Viola d'amour 8 Baßflöte 8
Salizet 8 Prinzipal 4 Violoncello 8
Fugara 8 Oktave 4
Portunal 8 Posaune 16
Oktave 4
Doppelflöte 4
Quinte 2 2/3
Oktave 2
Mixtur IV
Oboe 8