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

The present state of the organ

Since the removal to the Martinikirche in Halberstadt David Beck’s organ has been constantly altered. The last modification dates from 1921. Behind the magnificent facade a pneumatic instrument was installed, built by Röver from Hausneindorf in 1902.

Today, apart from the central pipes in front of the maim case, and the entire Principal 4’ of the Rückpositiv in Harsleben, no tonal element of the 1596 organ remains. By contrast it seems that the exceptional case of this instrument has always inspired the greatest respect. Conscious of its artistic value and its history later builders rejected any idea of modification or destruction.

The present state of the case is deplorable. This is because of bombardments of the town in April 1945 which severely damaged the church. Very luckily the organ had been taken down and stored before this destruction. Since then long years of neglect through lack of financial resources have rendered this delicate work of art fragile in extreme. After re-installation of the organ for years water was seeping in dripping onto the case. People of good will in the area did all that was in their power, after the destruction of a large part of the town to save the ruined church, its furnishing and the organ.

After 1990 activities were given in order to restore the roof, the towers and the vaults. A tremendous donation campaign of the Halberstadt citizens and the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz had great share that in 2011 the reconstruction of the outer facade could be successfully finished. Now there are great efforts to start the reconstruction of the inner facade. In 2012 on the initiative of the society for promotion “Organum Gruningense Redivivum” the Röver-organ was demounted and delivered to a church congregation in Calbe/ Saale. At this time only the organ-case is standing on the tribune and is waiting for urgent restoration work.