Max Reger - Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott, Op. 27
In 1905, Wilhelm Sauer (1831-1916) completed his—up to then—largest organ for the new cathedral: the monumental instrument with 113 speaking stops on four manuals is a unique testimony to the great art of late romantic organ building in Germany.
Restored to its original condition in the early 90s (the cathedral was hit twice during WWII; even though it had no roof for several years, there was relatively little damage to the organ), it offers a great opportunity to hear the works of contemporary composers such as Max Reger on the kind of instrument that they were written for, and in the cathedral that embodies the unhealthy relationship between church and state in imperial Germany.
There are a few choice organs in the world whose encounter is a life changing experience. Today I would like to share my impressions from one such instrument, the majestic Sauer organ in Berlin Cathedral.
Here are a couple of pictures from last week's trip to Berlin: the cathedral is absolutely stunning (not just the organ!), and a great example of monarchistic architecture - one does indeed wonder who was worshipped here: God or Emperor Wilhelm II? The view from the dome is fantastic, especially of the 'Rote Rathaus' (red town hall), and the Reichstag (parliament).
Excerpts from my concert on the outstanding Sauer organ (Reger, Wagner, Mendelssohn & Bach) are available here.
Sauer Organ (IV/113, built in 1905)
On August 4, 2017, I gave a recital on the stunning Sauer organ in Berlin's Cathedral. Built in 1905, this instrument with 113 stops on four manuals is Wilhelm Sauer's largest organ. Everything is kept in its original condition, including the tubular pneumatic action, the three free combinations, and the 'Walze'.
Pictures, stories and videos from my concerts & travels