1687 Arp Schnitger Organ

Ev.-Luth. Parish of St. Nicolai et St. Martini, Steinkirchen / Germany


Short Introduction and History

In 1685 Arp Schnitger was commissioned to build a new organ on the west gallery.
Schnitger realised an instrument with a Hauptwerk, a Brustwerk and a Pedal division in two independent cases totalling 28 stops, of which six incorporated pipework from the 16th century. The organ was completed in 1687.

The various individual stops have great tonal beauty and polyphonic quality while the Principals, flutes and reeds blend together incredibly well offering a stunning sonority, even with a limited number of stops. The instrument has an extraordinary high number of original pipes with original voicing.

During the restoration it was decided to tune the organ to a mild non-equal temperament as probably already applied by Georg Wilhelm Wilhelmy in 1775.

The instrument was already well-known in the 1950s by LP recordings and was repaired by organ builder von Beckerath at that time with great respect. Schnitger Steinkirchen was the starting point of a reawakened interest in historic organs and their restoration.

Since the restoration in 2012 by Rowan West, the instrument is considered to be one of the most authentic Schnitger organs in existence and still in its original position.

The church has a reverberation time of about 2.5 seconds

See Location in Googlemaps

Sample Set Technical Details

The organ was recorded in Oct./Nov. 2012 with 48 kHz, 24 bit, multi-channel for Hauptwerk 4, using the multi-release technique introduced by OrganArt.
All stops were recorded with multiple release levels for short, medium and long key attacks for optimal acoustical mapping and native tremulant sounds (no simulation!)
The set supports 4-Channel Surround and/or Variable Audio Perspective (VAP).
All Brustwerk ranks were recorded twice for opened and closed doors to achieve authentic sounds for both situations (no simulation!)


Virtual Console




01. Principal 8  S
02. Quintadena 16  H/S
03. Rohr Flöt 8  +/S
04. Octav 4 +
05. Nassat 3  +/S
06. Octav 2  +
07. Gemshorn 2  S
08. SexQuialter 2.Fach  S
09. Mixtur 4.5.6.Fach  RW
10. Cimbel 3.Fach  B/RW
11. Trompet 8  S

Brustwerk (C,D,E,F,G,A– c3)*

01. Gedact 8  S/B
02. Rohr Flöth 4  S
03. Quinta 3  ++
04. Octav 2  S
05. Spitz Flöth 2  S
06. Tertzian 2.Fach  S/B
07. Scharff 3.4.Fach  S
08. Krumphorn S/H          

Pedal (C,D,E–d1)*

01. Principal 16  S
02. Octav 8  W
03. Octav 4  S
04. Nachthorn 2 B
05. Rausch Pfeiff 2.Fach  S/B
06. Mixtur 4.5.Fach  S/B
07. Posaun 16  S
08. Trompet 8  S
09. Cornet 2  S/B

Registration Aids

Manual shove coupler BW-HW

Tremulant for the entire organ

Additional Facilities


+:   before Hoyer (about 1520)
H:   Dirck Hoyer (1581)
S:   Arp Schnitger (1687)
++: Workshop Schnitger (after 1687)
W:   Georg Wilhelmy (1775)
B:    Rudolf von Beckerath (1987/1991)
RW:  Rowan West (2012)

* Switchable compass extension: Manuals C–d3, Pedal C–f1

 Pitch and Temperament

~ 3/4 whole tone above normal (a1 = 483 Hz 16°C),
Modified Werckmeister III

Blower System

6 wedge bellows
3 cut-out ventils (Pedalventil, Werckventil, Brustventil)
Wind pressure: 72 mm


Loaded Version


Memory Requirements 3)

Processor Speed

16-bit, compressed1), 2-channel

3,0 GByte ≥ 2 GHz  DualCore 2)

16-bit, compressed,   4-channel

6,0 GByte ≥ 2 GHz  DualCore

20-bit, compressed, 2-channel

4,6 GByte

≥ 2 GHz DualCore 2)

20-bit, compressed, 4-channel

9,1 GByte

≥ 2 GHz  DualCore 2)

Lossless compression (no loss of sound quality!)

Minimal configuration:
Dual-Core, 4 GByte main memory
Optimal configuration:
Quad-Core, 16 GByte RAM

3) To load this organ into Hauptwerk you will need enough free memory in your computer, due to the amount of playable stops, not including the operating system or any other programs that may be running!

We recommend a professional audio card (e.g. RME-Series) and a studio headphone (e.g. AKG Reference Headphone K701, K712) for optimal sound and room impression.


The following demo pieces were recorded with the Hauptwerk Advanced Edition V4.1 software and the virtual organ sample set, with no additional effects processing.

Live-Recordings Aarnoud de Groen, Niederlande:

J.S. Bach:  Partita "Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig", BWV 768 | 20:25 min |Registrations
Buxtehude: Praeludium in e, BuxWV 142 | 08:48 min | Registrations

Numerous other live recordings can be found on the ConcertHall Website
(Advanced Search, Organ: OAM - Arp Schnitger)

© OrganArt Media, all rights reserved
No demo sounds may be used or transmitted in any form for public purposes without the prior written permission of the publisher!

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