Principahl                   8'
Gedact                      8'
Quintadöhn                8'
Octav                        4'
Gedact                      4'
Nasat                       3'
Octav                       2'
Blockfloit                  2'
Sexquialtera              II
Mixtur                      IV
Dulcian                    16'
Kromhorn                  8'

Untersatz               16'
Principahl                 8'
Gedact                    8'
Octav                      4'
Mixtur                     IV
Posaun                   16'
Trometh                   8'

Corneth                   2'

Gedact                      8'
Gedact                      4'
Octav                       2'
Quint                  1 1/2'
Scharf                     III
Knopf Regal              8'
Coci-Klapmeyer Organ in Altenbruch     1497-1728

In the St. Nikolai Church in Altenbruch is one of the oldest northern German organs. In 1497 Johannes Coci built the oldest part of the organ with six registers. In 1577 Matthias Mahn added a Rückpositive and kept the original pipes made by Johannes Coci with their Gothic sound. These pipes are still present in the today's organ. Other pipes made before 1647 include the Principahl 8', Octav 4', Nasat 3' and the Blockfloit 2' in the Rückpositive.

In 1647 Hans Christoph Fritzsche expanded the organ with an Oberwerk consisting of a Principal plenum and in the Rückpositive the Quintadöhn 8', Gedact 4', Sexquialtera and Mixtur. Matthias Dropa expanded the instrument's keyboard scope in 1698 and added the pedal registers. These pipes still sound today in the Kromhorn 8', Octav 4' of the Rückpositive  and the Gedact 8', Octav 4', Mixture, Posaune 16', Trometh 8' of the Pedal.

500-year-old organ

A few decades later, the church was expanded with the addition of a West Gallery. Johann Hinrich Klapmeyer (1690-1757) was commissioned to move the organ to the newly built West Gallery. The organ was rebuilt between 1727-1730. The organ builder added new pedal towers and also made the Principahl 8' for the pedal. He placed a new wind chest with six registers under the wind chest of the Oberwerk and added new reed registers to this Oberwerk: the Trometh 8' and the Vox Humana 8'. Klapmeyer gave the organ its current view and so it remained unchanged to this day. The organ has three manuals and one pedal: a total of 2100 pipes and 35 sounding registers. It is noteworthy that there are three different sounding Principal 8' registers: in the Oberwerk, in the Rückpositive and in the Pedal. It is a stylistically pure organ and symbolic of the North German organ school. Because all the old pipes are still present and form the basic sound, Altenbruch has the most original organ in Germany.


Quintadöhn             16'
Principahl                 8'
Gedact                     8'
Octav                       4'
Waldfloit                  2'
Mixtur                      V
Cimbel                   III
Trometh                  8'
Vox Humana            8'
Sample set
The metal of a pipe that has produced the same sound for centuries is metallurgical altered. The most beautiful sound is achieved when the pipe is precisely tuned to its original pitch, the resonance is then maximum. It is comparable to the sounds of a Stradivarius. With time and use, the sound matures and gets a special resonance. Sound beauty is therefore found above all in historical organs.

The power of the samples of Jiri Zurek is that this sound beauty is perfectly captured in the recordings. In the church, the Breast work is at a very short distance from the organist and so near are the sounds also in the Hauptwerk organ. The masterful sounds of the Oberwerk and the soloistic character of the Choir organ are also very natural in the living room. With this Sample set, Hauptwerk surpasses a contemporary house pipe organ. Sounds can be heard that are more beautiful than I could achieve with new pipes. It's great to play the sounds in ever-changing combinations. Rarely do I play from notes, the sounds inspire to play my own compositions. It is the best way to get to know the character of the organ.

The samples have to undergo a drastic voicing in order to sound in the living room as in the church. The special features are present in the samples, but because the sounds in the living room at a much lower sound volume, the character must be accentuated more. It is accurately described in the book about this organ.

Authentic sounds from the fifteenth century

The Coci-Klapmeyer organ is considered to be the most authentic organ for the works written around 1600 – 1650. The compositions of Heinrich Scheidemann, Matthias Weckmann, Franz Tunder and Dietrich Buxtehude are the best in their right on this organ. The pipes belong to the oldest in original state remained Gothic pipes. They are of hammered lead and that gives dark but at the same time intensive tones with a vocal character with an increasing brightness in the treble part.

The Principals have different characters. At the Principahl 8' of the Oberwerk the tonic has more strength than the Principahl 8' of the Rückpositiv which is more voiced to brightly singing tones. The Principahl 8' of the pedal is a good basis for the plenum sound.

Power and transparency have been measured to each other in this organ. The sounds of the reeds are brilliant, they speak smoothly and clear, sometimes thin sounds (Regal) are to be heard. The richness of colourful flutes on each keyboard offers a lot of variation, sounds that penetrate well without being really sharp.

In those centuries each pipe was regarded as a musical instrument and strove the voicer to achieve the optimum. Successive pipes may differ from each other, but they do harmonize well. A good choir also consists of several voices that go harmoniously together.

In 1925, the organ was restored in a very cautious way by Karl Kemper in Lübeck, where the character of the sounds was not affected. It happened under the supervision of Hans-Henny Jahn as an expert in recognizing the Early Baroque sounds. Hahn has been so immersed in the sounds of this particular organ that the knowledge he acquired was groundbreaking for the research of historical organs. In 1956, the organ was still in such an excellent condition that it was described as the most impressive sound image of all preserved organs in the north of Germany.

In 2003-2004, the Altenbrucher organ with the almost completely preserved pipes and the impressive organ cabinet was restored by the organ builder Ahrend of Leer-Loga (East Frisia). It is now by its original unique sound palette and an adequately working mechanical tracker action one of the most important historical organs of northern Germany.
This organ is the best historical instrument for the presentation of early North German music.    

Authentic Sounds from 1497

The Coci-Klapmeyer organ is one of the best preserved historical organs with authentic sounds. If these sounds are stored optimally in samples, so that they sound in the living room like the church, a magnificent house organ is created. Ancient pipes produce sounds with a special resonance that can never be matched with new pipes. The sounds of the Coci-Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch are beautiful, because they have been preserved in the same state for hundreds of years. Later organ builders were always cautious with the older parts and ensured that the registers they added harmonize with the existing sounds. The organ remained a unit with authentic sounds.

Jiri Zurek Sonus Paradisi produced a great performance with the creation of samples, which convey the specific characteristics of the sounds to the living room excellently.
From the Coci – Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch I photographed the voicings on my Hauptwerk organ. The modes of transition and boost equalizer are corrections to the samples and can be copied literally. Brightness and amplitude depend mainly on the speakers and to a lesser extent on the environment. In practice it has been shown that literally taking over is always an improvement, but the progress of sounds is not evenly. Play this key after key and make sure with the amplitude controller for a smooth course. Especially the lowest octaves can be very different. If the tones are too dull or too sharp, correct this with the Brightness controller.

For the new Hauptwerk Manual the voicings of the Coci-Klapmeyer organ are the best examples to illustrate how Hauptwerk should be configured to hear sounds from samples as real pipe tones. The Hauptwerk Manual consists of 200 high-resolution photos of the  voicing to print perfectly sharp images.