Organ Works

Stuttgart - Bad Cannstatt, Neuapost. Kirche

Orgelneubau | II/18 | 2014 | Opus 1003

The former New Apostolic Church in Bad Cannstadt was built in 1916 and from 1934 contained an organ by the firm of Steirer, Bietigheim. This instrument was repeatedly altered and enlarged. Electric slider chests were installed in 1971 and the specification radically changed, adding neo-baroque lightness and colour to the original late romantic tonal scheme. A Salicional was added in 1987 and in 1995 a swellbox, which tempered the brightness somewhat. Before the demolition of the church in 2012 the organ lacked any clear direction or homogenous ensemble, despite a complement of 20 stops including two mixtures and three reeds. The free-standing pipe front was made up of formerly speaking pipes, now silent after numerous rebuildings.

The new church is clearly smaller than the old, with only half the number of seats. The church is elliptical on plan, with a wall rising the full height in the sanctuary and facing a similar wall opposite containing a gallery and the organ. At the back of the gallery there is a shell-like niche, painted black, against which the caseless front pipes stand out clearly. At the same time the random, non-linear arrangement of the pipes offers a view into the inner parts of the organ and lends depth to the perspective.

The concept of the organ on the one hand pays heed to the clearly expressed wish of the congregation to re-use the worthwhile parts of the old organ, and on the other to the local Orgellandschaft or organ landscape. In the church in Stuttgart-South there is a romantic, ‘barockised’ organ by Weigle 1926, in Stuttgart-East the original late-baroque inspired organ has been enlarged to three manuals. In Ditzingen an Italian baroque scheme came into being and in Kornwestheim a small French romantic organ is planned. Given the existing pipe material in Bad Cannstadt, dating back to 1934, a German romantic scheme with many colourful unison stops seemed the right decision in comparison with its neighbours. The tonal style was slightly expanded by the inclusion of the existing three reed voices – to facilitate the performance of 19 th-century French works, for example – and by basing the Hauptwerk Mixtur on 11/3 pitch. This gives the plenum a brightness suited to the baroque repertoire. A small trick makes possible a mutation. The Mixtur contains a tierce rank from c1, which, together with the quint in the Mixture, gives a form of Hörnle (17-19). Drawn with 8 and 4 it gives a bright Cornett from middle C. There are 19 stops distributed over three manuals and pedal. All the pipes, with the exception of the front display, are from the former organ, as are the Hauptwerk and Schwellwerk windchests.

The layout of the organ is simple. Above the console, behind the middle of the pipe front, is the chromatic windchest of the Hauptwerk, followed by a passage board and the similarly chromatic Schwellwerk. Both chests date from 1971 and have been completely overhauled, mechanized and extended. The Pedal is divided in C and C# on either side of the Hauptwerk. The console in built into the lower part of the case. The Hauptwerk is played from Manual II, Schwellwerk from Manual III, and Manual I is a coupler manual linking the two. In addition, the Schwellwerk has sub- and super-octave couplers, putting it on a par with the Hauptwerk and allowing it to function on a 16ft basis.

The stop layout can be seen at a glance, being logical and easy-to-use. All workable combinations can be drawn with one hand. In the inner vertical column on the left are the Principals and associated ranks. In the outer column are Gamba, Bourdon and Rohrflöte plus two other stops commonly drawn together, including the Trompete. The same principle applies to the upper-manual stops on the right hand side. The couplers are engaged by pedal.


I. Koppelmanual C-g3

II. Hauptwerk C-g3

  1. Liebl. Gedeckt 16'
  2. Principal 8'
  3. Bourdon 8'
  4. Gambe 8'
  5. Octave 4'
  6. Rohrflöte 4'
  7. Octave 2'
  8. Mixtur 4-5f. 1 1/3'
  9. Trompete 8'

III. Schwellwerk C-g3

  1. Flötenprincipal 8'
  2. Flauto amabile 8'
  3. Salicional 8'
  4. Vox coelestis ab c0 8'
  5. Traversflöte 4'
  6. Oboe 8'

Pedal C-f1

  1. Subbass 16'
  2. Octavbass 8'
    Gedecktbass 8' kombiniert mit Subbass 16'
  3. Posaune 16'

III 16', III 4', II/P, III/P
rein mechanische Spiel- und Registertraktur