1654 Positif Organ

Chapel of Griebenow Castle/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

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The Griebenow chapel Positif organ Swedish chapel architecture Organ gallery Organ case with illusional painting behind Keffenbrinck heraldic figure Organ case with stops Manual details Historic wooden pipework

Short Introduction and History

This instrument, built by an unknown Swedish organ builder, is one of the oldest organs of this type that still exists in Germany. It is located in a small manor chapel built for Gerdt Anthon von Keffenbrink between 1648-1654 and belonging to the Griebenow castle estate near Greifswald. The chapel was restored in 1949 and 1988.

There are records of Griebenow dating back to 1248, and it has links to Eldena monastery. The estate was temporarily under Swedish administration ("Schwedisch-Vorpommern"). The Griebenow chapel is unique with its fifteen-cornered layout. The castle, chapel and grounds together form an impressive document of Germano-Swedish culture.

The Positif has a small wind blower operated by the feet, and a 4' flute stop with a sound of singular beauty, rather similar in character to that of an old Renaissance instrument.

Unfortunately, its tuning was changed during 19th century, whilst the manual keys (short octave) were extended so that music of that period could be played.

The organ is now in urgent need of further restoration due to severe woodworm problems in parts of the organ, hence the instrument has been restored virtually, showing how the organ should sound after restoration.

The church room has semi-wet acoustics of about 2 seconds of reverberation.

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Recording technique

The organ was recorded an processed in July 2002 with 44 kHz, 16-bit, for Hauptwerk 1 and completely reprocessed for HW3/4 in December 2010. Multi-releases for short and medium key attacks were reconstructed by architectural modelling, multi-loops were added.


I would like to thank the parish of Griebenow for supporting this project. Special thanks to organist Dr. Markus Funck, Stralsund for contacts and local assistance.