Main case: base with view of the Brustwerk
Main case: base with view of the Brustwerk

What is to become of this mythic case?

It is not certain that the case can survive for long in its present condition. All the sculptures have decayed and parts are missing. The polychrome and gilding are in an alarming state. Everything is covered in a thick layer of dust. The sculpted and gilded sheaths which surround the large pipes are decaying and buckled. Furthermore the case is full of old electric cables which represent a real danger. As far as possible restoration is concerned an international collaboration should be considered. The rehabilitation of the instrument could take place in three stages:

  1. Immediate protection measures to avoid any further degradation of the case.
  2. Application and provision of national and European funds possibly involving patrons and sponsors.
  3. Reconstructing David Beck’s organ to its original disposition and in the restored case could be a large international cultural project. The work could be the object of a collaboration between the best specialists in Renaissance organ building. This reconstruction would proceed to a preliminary study and inventory of all the tonal material still present in different instruments typical of this era and style. The existence of this extraordinary case and the musical historical context of this region of Central Germany truly represents an unique opportunity to reconstruct a large organ from the end of the sixteenth century.

The church of St. Martin in Halberstadt could be thus become a centre of research on organ music from the beginning of the Baroque, forming a pendant to the John-Cage-Organ-Project which is taking place in the St. Burchardi-Church in Halberstadt over a time span of more than six centuries.

All the above named work is target of the society for promotion “Organum Gruningense Redivivum”.

Source: Jean-Charles Ablitzer - The David Beck Organ of the Castle Chapel in Gröningen