Freiberg Cathedral Silbermann Organ Freiberg Cathedral Silbermann Organ

BACH 708

Freiberg Cathedral – main organ and small organ
played by Hans Otto and Arthur Eger

Freiberg Cathedral Small Organ


1. Toccata and Fugue in d minor BWV 565
2. Trio in c minor BWV 585
3. Fantasie in C Major BWV 570
Tracks 1-3 played by Hans Otto, main organ Freiberg Cathedral

Four Chorale Variations
4. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein BWV 734
5. Fantasia super: Valet will ich dir geben BWV 735
6. Valet will ich dir geben BWV 736
7. Vater unser im Himmelreich BWV 737
Tracks 4-7 played by Hans Otto, small organ Freiberg Cathedral

8. Prelude and Fugue in C Major BWV 545
9. Trio in G Major BWV 586

The Six Schübler Chorale Preludes
10. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645
11. Wo soll ich fliehen hin BWV 646
12. Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten BWV 647
13. Meine Seele erhebet den Herren BWV 648
14. Ach bleib' bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 649
15.Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter BWV 650

16. Trio in d minor BWV 583
17. Prelude and Fugue in g minor BWV 535
Tracks 9-18 played by Arthur Eger, main organ, Freiberg Cathedral

That Bach's organ works should be performed on the organs of Gottfried Silbermann could hardly be more appropriate. Bach became known throughout the wider region not only as an organist and improviser, but also as a technician well-versed in the arts of organ building. Bach and Gottfried Silbermann, of similar age and living in the same area, were firm friends and colleagues. They shared an interest and advanced knowledge of acoustics as applied to the voicing and location of organs, and on a personal level we may be certain that Silbermann was a frequent visitor at the Bach home in Leipzig – he was after all godfather to Carl Philipp Emmanuel.

Silbermann was based in Freiberg, Saxony, where he had his workshop. His mainly small village instruments were built to a fairly standard model thus saving tooling costs which were passed on in the form of highest quality materials and workmanship. Perhaps the single most important feature of Gottfried Silbermann's instruments is their distinctive sounds. From the silvery flutes to the strong and reedy 16' Posaune in the pedal, Silbermann's sounds were unique, and indeed were constantly praised by organists in their testimonies of his instruments. Frequent reference is made to a play on his name, as organists praised his "Silberklang" or "Silvery Sounds". Mozart was quite clear: "These instruments are magnificent beyond measure".

The great Freiberg Cathedral Organ (top two pictures) was built between 1710 and 1714 as Gottfried's second "solo" instrument following his establishment in Freiberg, the first being for the village church of Frauenstein which was later destroyed by fire. This is without doubt Silbermann's largest and most impressive instrument – the Dresden Cathedral organ was not completed by him.

In addition to the main organ, we also include a brief sampling of the smaller organ in Freiberg Cathedral – a one-manual instrument originally built for the Johannis Kirche and moved in 1939. Thus although built by Silbermann (in 1719) it was not voiced by him specifically for its present location in a side gallery.

For more detail on the Freiberg Cathedral organ and additional pictures, check
The Great Silbermann Organ (1714) in Freiberg Cathedral, Saxony

To learn more about the master Saxon organ-builder, check the official Gottfried Silbermann Museum website:
GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN: Master Organ-Builder of the German Baroque

more detail

Baroque Music Library