The Marc Nagels organ in Antwerp (2005)

In 2004 the organ builder Marc Nagels was given the task of building a new organ. The starting point was the existing Zacharias Hildebrandt organ dating from 1723 in the village church of Störmthal (Thüringen, Germany). None other than Johann Sebastian Bach was involved as advisor in the building of the organ and for its inauguration he composed the cantata ‘Hocherwünschtes Freudenfest’ (BWV 94).

The Nagels organ is not an exact copy of the Störmthal organ. However, the construction of the pipework , the sound colour and the way in which the pipes are made closely resemble this fine example. The Nagels organ is somewhat smaller than the original organ because the space available in Christ Church is considerably smaller than that of the church in Störmthal. 

A number of other stylistic features were included to increase the playing capacity: divided pipework Flemish style element) and the tiratutti (Italian). All the features that have an influence on the sound were built in the historical manner. For elements that would have no such effect, hypermodern techniques and materials were used, in particular at the mechanical level, to ensure far greater reliability and durability. 

The partially guilded organ case was designed and constructed by the Antwerp sculptor Jan Van Herck. The organ was inaugurated on Trinity Sunday 2005 with a cantata composed for the festive occasion by Willem Ceuleers, to a text by the Reverend Jaap Zijlstra: ‘Een woord kan een geheim bewaren’ (see separate page).

Stoplist (disposition)

MANUAL : C, D-d3
Holpijp 8 (Stopped Diapason 8)
Quintadeen 8 (Quintadena 8)
Prestant 4  (Principal 4)
Roerfluit 4 (Chimney Flute 4)
Nasard 2 2/3 (B/D) (Twelfth)
Octaaf 2 (B/D) (Fifteenth)
Terts 1 3/5 (B/D) (Seventeenth)
Kwint 1 1/3 (Nineteenth)
Sifflet 1 (B/D) (Twentysecond)
Mixtuur III (Mixture III)
PEDAL : C, D-f1
Subbas 16  (Subbass 16)

tiratutti for the plenum
division between bass and descant: c1-c#1
pedal coupler
Pitch:                       a1 = 438 Hz
Wind pressure:        ca. 70mm

– Tuning: 5 diminished fifths: C-G, G-D, D-A, A-E, H-F#
– Mensuration, wind chest etc. after the organ of Zacharias Hildebrandt in the village church of Störmthal (Sachsen), 1722-1723.