|Jaap Jan Steensma||Link between Scherer and Schnitger. The Stellwagen-organ in the Marienkirche of Stralsund restored
Het ORGEL 104 (2009), nr. 1, 22-36 [summary]
After a long period of preparation, research, and documentation, the
Stellwagen-organ (1659) in the Marienkirche of Stralsund has been restored and
reconstructed. During the eleventh celebration of the Friedrich Stellwagen Organ
Days, September 2008, the organ was reïnaugurated.
In the 15th century there were several organs in the Marienkirche. In 1647 the tower of the Marienkirche burned down and part of the west wall collapsed, destroying the organ. The instrument was probably that built by Nicolaus Maass in 1594.
Friedrich Stellwagen (1603-1660) was commissioned in 1653 to build a completely new organ. This was an important commission, because organ projects at that time were often revisions of existing instruments.
Stellwagen came from Saxony and worked from 1629 or 1630, or possibly even earlier, with his future father-in-law Gottfried Fritzsche. In 1634 Stellwagen became independent and gained a monopoly in Lübeck. In his work the influences of Fritzsche and the Hamburg Scherer tradition are apparent. Although Stellwagen is often associated with the composer Dieterich Buxtehude, the relationship with an earlier generation of composers (Heinrich Scheidemann, Jacob Praetorius, Franz Tunder) is much closer.
The Stellwagen-organ in the Marienkirche was damaged on various occasions in the course of time. The damage during World war 2 was disastrous. Schuke of Potsdam restored the organ in the 50s and 60s. But the intended reconstruction of the situation of 1659 was not satisfactorily realized due to insufficient finances and inadequate material and knowledge. The difficult political situation in the DDR played an important role.
The recently completed restoration was carried out by the organ makers Hans van Rossum and Kristian Wegscheider and voicer Gunter Böhme (Dresden). The advisory committee consisted of Gustav Leonhardt (honorary chairman), Peter van Dijk, Klaus Eichhorn, Niclas Fredriksson, Martin Rost and Eckhard Wiese. The goal of the restoration and reconstruction was to present as far as possible the situation of 1659. The restorers managed to adopt the 17th-century æsthetics convincingly.
The article discusses the sculptures in the façade. The group of seven large figures are important to the architecture of the front, and also to the allegorical and iconographical intention upon which it is based. The three figures of the vertical axis represent the relationship between heavenly and earthly music. In the middle stands king David; the angels above and below him are personifications of the Sanctus and Benedictus.
Schets orgelfront - Jaap Jan Steensma
Photo: Jan Smelik
Photo: Jan Smelik