1732 Andreas Silbermann Organ

Église Abbatiale St. Maurice, Ebersmunster,  Alsace/France


Classified historic monument (Organ case, gallery + instrument)

Short Preliminary Introduction and History

The church reconstruction and expansion from 1709 to 1727 - after the devastation of the Thirty Years War - is the work of the famous Baroque architect Peter Thumb of Vorarlberg. The present organ loft between the two main towers was built by him in 1725.

The Silbermann organ of 1732 - one of his last works of a total of 34 - is largely preserved in its original condition.

This famous Alsacian organ in a great acoustics is one of the only two still existing authentic Andreas Silbermann organs, which have survived the decades. It's a wonder that the instrument survived the French Revolution and all wars. The organ and the complete organ gallery were entered into the Heritage Trust in 1971/72.

The instrument with its three manuals and 29 stops is based on French organ building principles with Plein Jeu, Jeu de tierce and Grand Jeu. The pedal has, in contrast to the tenor function of period French pedal divisions with pedal stubs,  a full compass and a Soubasse ouvert 16 stop behind the organ casework.

This later work has wider scales and softer sounds than its previous instruments. Exceptional are the quality and beauty of the sound of the Cornet and Flûtes. The unusual Quarte de Nazard stop of the Grand Orgue allows sonorous foundation registrations. Silbermann has created a French Baroque organ type with a "Southern German accent." These sound characteristics make it possible to play not only French but also other European baroque music.

After the restoration of 1997-98, the instrument is considered one of the most valuable organs of this period in Europe.

The church room has a wet acoustics with up to 5,5 seconds of reverberation.

See Location in Googlemaps

Recording technique

The organ was recorded in June 2009 with 48 kHz, 24 bit, multi-channel for Hauptwerk 3, using the multi-release technique introduced by OrganArt. The stops were recorded with multiple release levels for short, medium and long key attacks for optimal acoustical mapping. All ranks were additionally recorded with the original tremulant sound.

Special thanks are due to the  Association des Amis de l'eglise abbatiale d'Ebersmunster, represented by M. Keller and titular organist Bernard Chalté for local assistance and support. Last but not least special thanks to my wife, who assisted the project and was responsible for the photo documentation.

Virtual Console



Organ Temperament: Slightly unequal temperament, a1= 392 Hz  ("French tone")

I Positif de dos (C–c3)*

01. Bourdon 8
02. Prestant 4
03. Nazard 2 2/3
04. Doublette(2
05. Tierce 1 3/5
06. Fourniture III
07. Cromorne 8

II Grand Orgue (C–c3)*

01. Bourdon 16
02. Montre 8 1)
03. Bourdon 8
04. Prestant 4
05. Nazard 2 2/3
06. Quarte de Nazard 2
07. Tierce 1 3/5
08. Fourniture III
09. Cymbale III
10. Cornet V
11. Trompette basse+dessus 8
12. Clairon b.+d. 4
13. Voix humaine 8

III Echo (c1–c3)*

01. Bourdon 8 (perm.)
02. Prestant 4
03. Cornet III
04. Trompette 8

Pedale (C–c1)*

01. Soubasse ouvert 16
02. Octavebasse 8
03. Bombarde 16 2) (C-f)*
04. Trompette 8
05. Clairon 4


POS-G.O. (Shift Coupler)

Registration Aids

Tremblant douce
Tremblant fort (not in use)

* Extd. Version:
G.O, Positif: C–d3
Echo: c1-d3
Pedal C–d1
G.O.-P (Hook Coupler)

All pipes original by Andreas Silbermann, except
In part supplemented by Bergäntzel 1812
Wetzel (?) 1858

Blower System
Three one-fold wedge bellows (Wetzel 1857), operated manually or automatically
Wind pressure: 79 mm


Loaded Version

Memory Requirements 3)

Processor Speed 2)

16-bit, compressed1), all loops

3600 MB

≥ 2 GHz  DualCore

20-bit, compressed, all loops

5600 MB

≥ 2 GHz DualCore

24-bit, compressed, all loops

6700 MB

≥ 2 GHz  DualCore

1) Lossless compression (no loss of sound quality!)

2) Minimal configuration: Dual-Core, 4 GByte RAM
  Optimal configuration: QuadCore, 8 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 software and the virtual organ set, with no additional effects processing

Live recordings by Anton Doornhein, NL:

Jean-François Dandrieu (~1682-1738)

Magnificat in g
Plein Jeu
Bourdon, Prestant, Doublette, Fourniture
Bourdon 16, Montre, Bourdon 8, Prestant, Quarte de Nazard, Fourniture, Cymbale, POS-GO
Soubasse, Octavebasse
Bourdon, Nazard, Tierce
Bourdon 8, Quarte de Nazard,
Bourdon, Prestant, Nazard
Voix Humaine, Prestant, Tremblant douce
Basse de Cromorne

Bourdon, Prestant
Récit de Nazard
GO: Bourdon 8, Nazard, Tremblant douce
Dialogue sur les Grand Jeux
GO: Montre, Prestant, Quarte de Nazard, Tierce, Cornet, Trompette basse+dessus, Clairon basse+dessus
Bourdon, Prestant, Doublette, Nazard, Tierce, Cromorne
PED: Soubasse, Octavebasse, Bombarde, Trompette

Jean Titelouze (~1562-1633)
Verset de L'Hymne Exsultet coelum

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Musette en Rondeau
Air majestueux

J. S. Bach (1685-1750):
Sonatina from Cantata No. 106 BWV 106

Fantasia in G BWV 572
POS: Bourdon, Doublette (Part 1, 3), + Fourniture, + Prestant (Part 2)
GO: Bourdon 16, Montre, Bourdon 8, Prestant, Quarte de Nazard, Fourniture, Cymbale, POS-GO
PED: Soubasse, Octavebasse, + Trompette (Part 2), - Trompette (Part 3)


Live recordings by Jean-Philippe Rochefort, F:

François Couperin (1668-1733)
Messe à l'usage des Couvents

- 5° verset du Kyrie
  Dialogue entre la Trompette du Grand Clavier et la Montre, le Bourdon et le Nazard du Positif
- 5° verset du Gloria
Cromorne sur la Taille

Messe à l'usage des Paroisses
- 3° verset du Kyrie
  Récit de Cromorne
3° verset du Gloria Duo sur les Tierces

Messe à l'usage des Paroisses- 4° verset du Gloria
- Dialogue entre la Trompette, le Clairon et les Tierces du Grand Clavier,
et le Bourdon avec le Larigot du Positif

Messe à l'usage des Paroisses- 8° verset du Gloria
Dialogue en trio du Cornet et de la Tierce

Messe à l'usage des Paroisses- 9° verset du Gloria
Dialogue sur les Grands Jeux

J. S. Bach (1685-1750):
O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß BWV 622
Schmücke Dich, Du liebe Seele BWV 654
Präludium h-moll BWV 544
Trio-Sonate d-moll (1st movement) BWV 527,1

Numerous other live recordings can be found on the ConcertHall Website
(Advanced Search, Organ: OAM - 1732 Andreas Silbermann Organ)

© 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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