The Organ

by Susanne Wiegrefe

In 1867, St. John's Church in Lüchow installed its previous church organ.  It was built by the organ builder Rohlfing of Osnabrück.  In 1913, the organ was rebuilt by the son of the original builder.  In 1952, an organ inspector in a report to the Parish Council stated that it was no longer feasible to maintain the thirty-stop, two-manual with pedal Rolfing tubular pneumatic action pipe organ due to major technical defects.

In 1957, during the renovation and restoration of the church's roof-vaulting it was decided that problems with the old church organ could not be solved.  Since it was pointless to restore the old organ, it was proposed and decided to build a new organ in several phases.  In the meanwhile the congregation would make due with a small organ of four registers as a temporary measure.  The contract for construction of the new three-manual organ with mechanical or tracker action was awarded to Weissenborn organ builders of Braunschweig.  A portion of the pipe work from the old organ was restored after being reworked.  In the first phase of construction the major work was completed, and the organ was dedicated on Cantate Sunday in 1959.  In the second phase of construction during February of 1961 the pedal work was completed.  This was followed in October, 1962 with installation of the Rückpositiv, and in April, 1963, of the Brustwerk.  In 1965,  the rest of the missing pipes were installed in the Rückpositiv, and finally, in 1968, the pedal work with its missing Zungenregistern and the Mixtur were completed.

In 1967, a fire starting in the boiler of the church also severely damaged the organ.  Wooden parts were warped and had to be rebuilt.   The systems of moving parts were so swollen that they had to be removed.  The pipes had to be thoroughly washed, and dust and dirt had to be removed
from their lips. Then the whole organ had to be re-voiced.  On July 18, 1968 the organ was finally re-dedicated. Since then the organ has accompanied our divine services and has also served for church music and organ concerts.

For those interested in technical detail: the specifications of the organ have been subsequently listed in detail with the Oberlandeskirchenrat Utermöhlen, the former Clerk for Organs and Church Music of the Regional Church (Landeskirche), as well as with the organist Rogge of Lüneburg who oversees organs for the local diocese.

Organ Specifications

Hauptwerk: Rohrflöte, 8', Quintade, 16', Prinzipal, 8', Quinte, 2, 2/3', Nachthorn, 4', Octave, 4', Mixtur, 3fach, Mixtur, 5-bis, 6fach, Octave, 2', Trompete, 8', Trompete, 16'

Pedalwerk: Trompete, 4', Trompete, 9', Posaune, 16', Oktave4', Offenbaß, 8', Subbaß, 16', Mixtur, 5fach, Rauschpfeife, 2fach, Nachthorn, 2', Prinzipal, 16'

Brustwerk: Prinzipal, 2', Holzgedackt, 8', Koppelföte, 4', Septime, 1, 1/2', Terzian, 2fach, Zimbel, 3fach, Krummhorn, 8', Regal, 4', Tremolo

Rückpositiv: Prinzipal, 4', Gedackt, 8', Rohrflöte, 4', Nazat, 2, 2/3', Waldflöte, 2', Terz, 1, 2/3', Sifflöte, 1', Rankett, 16', Schalmei, 8', Scharf, 4fach, Tremolo

Koppeln: Rückpositiv/Hauptwerk, Brustwerk/Hauptwerk, Hauptwerk/Pedal, Rückpositiv/Pedal