Our final place of pilgrimage must be Freiberg, original location of Silbermann's workshops, and home today to four Silbermann organs in three churches. In the Jakobi-Kirche a two-manual, 20-register organ built in 1718; in the Petrikirche a larger, two manual organ with 32 registers built in 1735; and in the cathedral, two Silbermann instruments. The smaller is a one-manual instrument, originally built for the Johannis-Kirche and moved to the cathedral in 1939. The larger of the cathedral's organs must surely rank as one of the world's finest: the three-manual, 44-register instrument illustrated at the top of this page. Amazingly perhaps, this magnificent instrument was only Silbermann's second work, built between 1711 and 1714.
In 1736, Silbermann built a fine 3-manual, 43-stop instrument for the Frauenkirche, Dresden. The organ was dedicated on Sunday November 25. A week later, on December 1st, as the Dresdner Nachrichten reported, "the famous Capellmeister to the Prince of Saxe-Weissenfels and Director Musices at Leipzig, Mr. Johann Sebastian Bach, made himself heard from 2 to 4 o'clock on the new organ in the church of Our Lady, in the presence of the Russian Ambassador, Von Keyserlingk, and many Persons of Rank, also a large attendance of other persons and artists, with particular admiration, wherefore also His Royal Majesty most graciously named the same, because of his great ability in composing, to be His Majesty's Composer". Tragically, the Frauenkirche with its Silbermann organ was completely destroyed during the second world war.
Gottfried Silbermann's last, and largest work was his 3-manual, 47-stop instrument for the Katholische Hofkirche, now renamed Trinity Cathedral, in Dresden. However Silbermann died during its construction, and the work was completed by apprentices, so the all-important final voicing, in which process Silbermann excelled, was not completed by the master.
However, his many wonderful village organs, and the great Silbermann organ in Freiberg Cathedral remain as a lasting tribute to this Master Organ-Builder of the German Baroque, whose fame had spread during his lifetime well beyond his native Saxony, and whose "Silver Sounds" would be acclaimed by famous composers and musicians long after his death.
CONTACTS - ADDRESSES - OPENING TIMES - SCHEDULES
Gottfried Silbermann Museum, Museumsleiterin / Museum Director: Giesela MüllerACCOMMODATION INFORMATION
09623 FRAUENSTEIN. Telephone from outside Germany: +49 (37326) 1224
Open daily from 9am to 5pm May to October.
Winter hours: 9-12 and 1-4pm weekdays, 10-12 and 1-4 at weekends.
Gottfried-Silbermann Gesellschaft e.V., Obermarkt 16, 09599 FREIBERG/Sa.
Telephone/Fax from outside Germany: +49 (3731) 22248
The Silbermann Society welcomes organists and "organ-friends" to its membership. Contact the society for details, lists of publications, etc. The Society organizes concerts and recitals on local Silbermann organs and a Silbermann Organ Festival is held every two years in September.
Frauenstein is a small town offering a peaceful and picturesque environment.Thank you for your visit!
It is handy for the Museum and centrally placed for many of the Silbermann village organs.
For accommodation listings, concerts, events etc contact:
Markt 28, 09623 FRAUENSTEIN.
Telephone from outside Germany: +49 37326 9335
Fax: +49 37326 83819.
Visit the Frauenstein Website
Where to next?
We have several suggestions for you!
First and foremost: you have to hear the legendary "Silver Sounds" for yourself!
The Baroque Music Club has an (almost!) complete set of Bach's Organ Works.
The majority are performed on Silbermann Organs as a set of Six CDs.
Some aditional performances on the pedal-harpsichord - check their Complete BWV Listing of Bach's Organ Works with links to their own recordings. Available direct through the internet.
GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN: ORGAN INVENTORY
offers a chronological listing of organs built with notes on current status.
Planning your SILBERMANN Organ Tour
gives space to every Silbermann organ location with photo, how-to-get-there, concert and recital details etc... in fact all you need to plan a real - or a virtual! - Silbermann Organ Tour.
For further information about Frauenstein, home to the Silbermann Museum, visit Frauenstein's Website:
Herzlich Willkommen in der Silbermannstadt Frauenstein!
The Great Silbermann Organ (1714) in Freiberg Cathedral, Saxony
History, full specification, photos of this historic organ, still in original condition.
For information on the Silbermann organ in Reinhardtsgrimma (1731) check
The Dresden firm of Jehmlich Orgelbau
has much experience with the restoration of Silbermann organs.
the Bautzen firm of Hermann Eule Orgelbau
also has much experience with Silbermann restoration.
Through the legacy of his instruction, designs, and his pupils, Gottfried Silbermann was to influence organ-building in America, and, believe it or not, the development of the modern piano! Check
The GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN LEGACY
In 1736 Silbermann built a magnificent 3M+P/43 organ for Dresden's Frauenkirche. In 1945 organ and church were completely destroyed. The Frauenkirche lay in ruins until 1994; a grand program of rebuilding was undertaken and is now complete.
Visit the Frauenkirche one of Dresden's greatest monuments
Natürlich steht Ihnen eine deutsche Gottfried-Silbermann-Web-Seite zur Verfügung:
GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN: Orgelbaumeister der deutschen Barockzeit
Here's a useful "dictionary" for organists working with German websites:
Organ Terms / Orgelfachbegriffe German-English
This Official Gottfried Silbermann Website is presented
on behalf of the Gottfried Silbermann Museum, Frauenstein.
The BAROQUE MUSIC HOME PAGE - www.BaroqueMusic.org
for a complete listing of all our Baroque Music sites.