The organ in the St. Jacobikirche in Hamburg is one of Arp Schnitger's most well-known instruments. It has survived all the vagaries of time that one might expect to befall an organ over a period of 300 years (including two World Wars), and it is still highly regarded as one of his best. The history of the organ actually pre-dates Schnitger, for he re-used some pipes from an earlier instrument by Gottfried Fritsche. This table summarizes some of the major events in the life of this musical instrument:167

1693 The organ was completed by Schnitger.
1739 Chimes added to the organ.
1760 - 1761 Repairs and some changes to the disposition of the organ by Johann Jacob Lehnert, including replacing the Gedeckt in Cammerton on the Hauptwerk with a Viola da Gamba and the Rückpositiv Schallmey with a Trompete.
1917 Removal of the façade pipes for the war.
1928 - 1930 New façade pipes by Karl Kemper.
1944 The church destroyed by bombs. Chests, pipes and ornaments had been removed for protection, but action, winding and case did not survive.
1948 - 1950 Preliminary reinstallation in the south of the church.
1959 - 1961 Reinstallation in the west of the church with a new case and new action.
1989 - 1993 Restoration by Jürgen Ahrend.


Hauptwerk Rückpositiv Oberwerk Brustwerk Pedal
Prinzipal 16 Prinzipal 8 Prinzipal 8 Prinzipal 8 Prinzipal 32
Quintadena 16 Gedact 8 Rohrflöte 8 Octava 4 Octava 16
Octava 8 Quintadena 8 Holzflöte 8 Hohlflöte 4 Octava 8
Spitzflöte 8 Oktave 4 Octava 4 Waldflöte 2 Octava 4
Gedact im Cammerton 8 Querflöte 4 Spitzflöte 4 Sesquialtera II Nachthorn 2
Oktava 4 Oktava 2 Nasat 2 2/3 Scharff V Rauschpfeiffe II
Rohrflöte 4 Blockflöte 2 Octava 2 Dulcian 8 Mixtura VI
Super-Oktava 2 Sifflet 11/3 Gemshorn 2 Trichter-Regal 8 Posaune 32
Blockflöte 2 Sesquialtera II Mixtura VI Posaune 16
Rauschflöte II Scharff IV-VI Cymbel III Dulcian 16
Mixtura VI Dulcian 16 Krummhorn 8 Trommete 8
Trommete 16 Baarpfeiffe 8 Trommete 4
Schallmey 4 Cornet 2
Tremulants to Oberwerk and Rückpositiv
Couplers: Oberwerk to Hauptwerk
Brustwerk to Oberwerk
Cimbel Sterne

© 2000 AD James H. Cook