Map: Merseburg

Merseburg Cathedral
Ladegast Organ


The organ in the Cathedral of Merseburg was built by Friedrich Ladegast and completed in 1855. Ladegast was in the forefront of German organ builders in the middle of the century. His larger instruments use Barker machines, a technology he learned from Cavaillé-Coll while visiting Paris. His instruments have the full, round sound one would expect to hear in a Romantic instrument, even one by Cavaillé-Coll. In spite of the tonal and mechanical similarities, however, Ladegast's instruments are decidedly German, not French in their stoplists.199 He typically included a far greater range of flues and relatively few reeds compared to French instruments of the period.

This particular instrument has an important place in the history of German Romantic organ music. Liszt's Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H was written for its inauguration, but the piece was not completed in time for the performance. The organist was one of Liszt's students, Alexander Winterberger, who substituted Liszt's Fantasia and Fugue on the Choral "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam". Another of Liszt's students, Julius Reubke, premiered his own Sonata on the 94th Psalm in a recital on this organ in 1857. This instrument, then, is tied to three of the largest, most dramatic nineteenth-century German works for organ.


Hauptwerk (II)
Oberwerk (III)
Brustwerk (IV)
Bordun (TC) 32 Quintatön 16 Lieblichgedeckt 16
Principal 16 Principal 8 Geigenprincipal 8
Bordun 16 Rohrflöte 8 Lieblichgedeckt 8
Principal 8 Gambe 8 Flauto dolce 8
Hohlflöte 8 Flauto amabile 8 Salicional 8
Doppelflöte 8 Gedeckt 8 Unda maris II 8
Gemshorn 8 Oktave 4 Oktave 4
Gambe 8 Spitzflöte 4 Zartflöte 4
Quinte 5 1/3 Rohrflöte 4 Salicional 4
Oktave 4 Quinte 2 2/3 Nassat 2 2/3
Spitzflöte 4 Waldflöte 2 Oktave 2
Gedackt 4 Terz 1 3/5 Cimbel III
Doublette II 4+2 Sifflöte 1 Progressiveharmonica II-IV
Quinte 2 2/3 Mixtur IV Aeoline 16
Oktave 2 Schalmei 8
Mixtur IV Stahlspiel
Scharff IV
Cornett III-V
Fagott 16
Trompete 8
Rückpositiv (I)
Bordun 16 Untersatz 32 Oktave 4
Principal 8 Principal 16 Flöte 4
Flauto traverso 8 Salicetbass 16 Scharfflöte 4
Fugara 8 Violonbass 16 Mixtur IV
Quintatön 8 Subbass 16 Cornett IV
Octave 4 Grossnassat 10 2/3 Posaune 32
Gedeckt 4 Principal 8 Posaune 16
Octave 2 Violoncello 8 Dulcian 16
Mixtur IV Bassflöte 8 Trompete 8
Cornet II-V Terz 6 2/5
Oboe 8 Rohrquint 5 1/3
Couplers: OW-HW
Mechanical key action
Barker level pneumatic assist

Mechanical stop action