Munetaka Yokota built the organ in historic baroque style. He has proven his great skills at the GoArt project in Gothenburg. Organ building according to historical principles, with the great example of the Silbermann organ of the Hofkirche in Dresden. This organ was designed by Gottfried Silbermann and built by Zacharias Hildebrandt in consultation with Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore the sounds are an example of the style desired by Bach. Munetaka Yokota built the organ in this style.

Gross Untersatz     32'
Principal Bass        16'
Octav Bass             8'
Octav Bass             4'
Posaunen Bass      16'
Trompeten Bass      8'
Cornet Bass            4'
Yokota organ, the most beautiful organ for Bach sounds in the living room

Kristian Wegscheider
, organ builder in Dresden, gave me the opportunity to research all Silbermann organs in the villages around Dresden and Freiberg. But I only really got to know the sounds of the pipes made by Gottfried Silbermann when I took a course at the Silbermann Museum in Frauenstein. I thoroughly learned how to make and voicing to the perfect sounds there. Dozens of organs in the area to test my knowledge. I contributed to the design of a new organ in the style of Gottfried Silbermann and Zacharias Hildebrandt.

With Silbermann the labium is much wider than with the North German pipes, of which Arp Schnitger is the best example. Where Schnitger gave the labium a quarter of the plate width, Gottfried Silbermann determined a third of the plate width. The wind direction was also different with him; the upper labium was pulled well forward and the wind from the languid gap was directed more outward. The result was an extraordinarily rich development of the overtones. 'Silbermann' and 'silver sound' were synonymous terms for very clear sounds.

Zacharias Hildebrandt was a student of Silbermann who developed his own preference for sounds. Slightly less pronounced Clarity and more Gravität (carrying capacity) for the fundamental tone gave more expressiveness to the sounds. Because he did not convince Silbermann, he resigned and started his own organ workshop. Johann Sebastian Bach often disagreed with Silbermann's sounds. Hildebrandt made organs whose sounds were especially appreciated by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Zacharias Hildebrandt organ in Naumburg was his opus magnus. The inspection was done by Bach and Silbermann and the organ was considered a master art in organ building.

Hildebrandt and Silbermann teamed up again and built the organ for the Hofkirche in Dresden, with Bach as consultant. Silbermann had made the design, but the practical implementation was in the hands of Hildebrandt. Due to the sudden death, Silbermann was no longer able to witness the completion. The voicing was done by Zacharias Hildebrandt with the sounds being judged by Bach.

The standards for the organ tones are in the relationship between Gravity, Clarity and Poetry (Loveliness). Most organs do show a good ratio between Clarity and Sweetness, but few organ builders manage to achieve the Gravity.

Only a limited number of Sample sets have been made of organs that reproduce the Gravity well. There are even more limited Hauptwerk organs that make the Gravity audible. Usually too much has been saved on an Audio reproduction to reproduce the deep fundamentals properly, not loudly but more felt than audible.

The organ that Munetaka Yokota has built is based on the sounds of the organ in the Hofkirche of Dresden. For Silbermann's sounds, his knowledge can be compared to that of Jürgen Ahrend and Cor Edskes for the sounds of Arp Schnitger. He has been able to convince many participants in the GO-Art project in Gothenburg of his deep insight into these timbres.

In Arnstadt composed

Präludium en Fuga a-moll / BWV 551
Fantasia C-Dur / BWV 570
Fantasia h-moll / BWV 563
Fuge c-moll / BWV 574
Fuge c-moll / BWV 575
Präludium Trio en Fuga C-Dur / BWV 545
Präludium E-Dur / BWV 566
Präludium G-Dur / BWV 568
Präludium en Fuga C-Dur / BWV 531
Präludium en Fuga c-moll / BWV 549
Präludium en Fuga e-moll / BWV 533
Präludium en Fuga G-Dur / BWV 550
Präludium en Fuga g-moll / BWV 535
Toccata en Fuga d-moll / BWV 565

Baroque organ by Munetaka Yokota

The two-manual organ of Chico State University (California) was built with mechanical tracker action by Munetaka Yokota according to the aesthetic and artisanal principles of Gottfried Silbermann. The special and unique thing about the instrument is the way it is built.

David Rothe, the university's music and organ teacher since 1968, met Munetaka Yokota when he was a student of John Brombaugh and the two had decided together to build organs in the style of the baroque organ builders. Subsequently, through the efforts of David Rothe, Munetaka Yokota was hired by the university as an "artist in residence" for several years.

In this way, Munetaka Yokota arrived in 1984 in the university of the small town of Chico without a team of trained professionals and without materials. He recruited volunteers from the student corps and university staff as his assistants and trained them in the craft of the historic organ builders circa 1700.

The city of Chico donated enough wood from the Hooker Oak to build the pedalboard and bench, while local lumber companies contributed wood for the organ case. The university farm donated shin bones from cows to use as key toppings for the white lower keys. The art department workshop cast sheet organ metal (tin and lead) for the pipes of Yokota's organ in the Silbermann-style. This created an organ with the timbre and style of Silbermann.

The Bach organ in Arnstadt

In the Neue Kirche in Arnstadt, Johann Sebastian Bach got his first job as organist at the age of 18. The Weimar church council had sent the young, talented musician to Arnstadt, and the ecclesiastical committee, elated by his ability, immediately offered him the position of organist. He held that position from 1703 to 1707. Under his advice, Johann Friedrich Wender built a new organ in 1703. Some of the current pipes from the plenum are well preserved and are the example of the intonation of pipes to Bach's preference.

When I got to know the organ in 1990 shortly after the fall of the Mauer and played the seven still original registers, I was surprised by intense chiff and the singing-rich sounds. Inspired by these timbres, Bach wrote at least fourteen great works and there is no better organ to study these works and thereby experience the lively virtuosity of the young Bach. The striking sound characteristics are detailed stored in the samples and in my living room I now can hear the organ in the special style of the Middle German Baroque, as I got to know in Arnstadt.

Oberwerk and Brustwerk) are housed in one cabinet. The Oberwerk offers no less than 6 eight-foot registers, a sparkling Principal 8', Quint 6', Octave 4, Mixtuur, Cymbel and Trumpet. The Brustwerk has 7 registers. Special is the lovely sounding Nachthorn 4', a wide scaled flute with a narrow labium. Although the organ offers few aliquots, there are many possibilities to color the sound with a large color range in the various basic registers of wide, normal and small scales. The Pedal is limited to 4 stops, including a solo reed Cornet 2'.
In 1935, the Neue Kirche was renamed Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Kirche on the occasion of the famous musician's 250th birthday.

Orgelbau Otto Hoffmann in Ostheim made the wind chets, the mechanism and all other interiors in 1999 in a detailed reconstruction of the Wender organ. Hoffmann's work was carried out according to the church's original agreement with Wender in 1699. Some missing registers were reconstructed to contemporary examples; Posaune and Trumpet after Lahm (Herbst, 1728), Cornet after Abbenrode (Contius, 1708).
In the workshop of Orgelbau Hoffmann I learned how to make metal pipes in the style of the Baroque


Quintadena           16'
Principal                 8'
Unda Maris (a)        8'
Quintadena            8'
Gedackt                 8'
Octava                  4'
Roehrfloete            4'
Nasat                    3'
Octava                  2'
Tertia              1 3/5'
Quinta             1 1/3'
Sifflet                    1'
Mixtur Scharf IV 1 1/3'
Trompete               8'
Vox Humana           8'
Principal             8' 
Viol de gamb      8'
Quintadena        8'
Grob Gedakt       8'
Gemshorn          8'
Quinta              6'
Octava              4'
Mixtur              IV
Cimbel              II
Trompet            8'
Still Gedakt        8'
Principal            4'
Spitz flöte         4'
Nachthorn         4'
Quinte              3'
Sexquialtera      II
Mixtur              III
Sub Bass          16'
Principal Bass     8'
Posaunen Bass  16'
Cornet Bass       2'

Cymbalstern C
Cymbalstern G
Calcant bell

Principal                16'
Octav Principal         8'
Viol di Gamba          8'  Hohlfloete               8' Octava                   4'
Spitzfloete              4'
Quinta                    3'
Octava                   2'
Tertia               1 3/5'
Mixtur IV                2'
Cymbel III         1 1/3'
Cornet IV               4'
Fagott                  16'
Trompete               8'

Glockenspiel           4'
Bach organ

The term Bach organ is often used, but it is not always a guarantee that it produces sounds, for which Bach himself had expressed his preference. He did, however, over the Silbermann organ of the Hofkirche in Dresden. The organ was designed by Gottfried Silbermann, but built and voiced by Zacharias Hildebrandt in consultation with Johann Sebastian Bach.

Kristian Wegscheider in Dresden is able to voicing pipes in the same way. Munetaka Yokota has proven that he too can build organs with these sounds and can apply Bach's intonation s well. In the Netherlands, the Utopa organ in the Orgelpark in Amsterdam is the only organ that plays these Bach sounds. It is therefore voiced by Munetaka Yokota.

For Hauptwerk organs, the sample set of the Chico State University Silbermann organ built by Munetaka Yokota is the best set for playing with real Bach sounds in the living room.

The house organ must have an excellent audio reproduction. Every organist is welcome to play it with me.