The Beckerath organ at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
This historic organ was the first large mechanical-action organ in North America in modern times.

It was built in 1956 in Hamburg, Germany by Rudolph von Beckerath, who crafted it in the tradition of the organs of northern Europe in the Baroque era.

With this organ, Beckerath demonstrated that centuries-old techniques of organ-building produce a beautiful sound that is transparent and powerful yet warm. Ideal for Baroque repertoire, this organ also serves music of many other styles and periods. It has inspired more than one generation of builders, organists, and music lovers.

E. Power Biggs was the first to visit the Beckerath, on March 28, 1957. He offered “most hearty congratulations on this wonderful instrument! Where else can one find an organ to equal this [in] tonal excellence.”

This organ has 3,467 pipes arrayed in 65 ranks in 5 divisions, with a keyboard for each division:
the Pedal division is encased in the two towers;
the Hauptwerk is the chief (haupt) manual division;
the Rückpositiv is at the organist's back (rück);
the Kronpositiv is the crown (kron); and
the Schwellwerk has shutters to reduce or increase (schwell) the volume.

Ranks of pipes are engaged by pulling stop(knob)s at the console. A stop typically controls 1 rank, with 1 pipe per key:
61 pipes (5 octaves) for stops in the manual divisions, and 32 pipes (2 1/2 octaves) for Pedal stops.
Some stops control 2 or more ranks and provide either bite or brilliance. This organ is entirely mechanical except for a 1hp motor that supplies the wind.

The specifications of this organ are given below. Here‘s a translation. The name of the stop indicates which family it belongs to:
principals: prinzipals, oktaves, sesquialtera, terzian, mixtures.
flutes: -flötes, subbass, nachthorn, quintadenas, gedackts, nasat, gemshorns.
reeds: trompets, posaune (trombone), dulzian, bärpfeife, krummhorn, oboe.

The number by sounding at other overtones (12th, 17th).
Some ranks sound 1 octave below the unison (16').
Many ranks sound 1 or 2 or even 3 octaves above the
unison (4', 2', 1'). Two stops (2-2/3' and 1-1/3') add color by sounding at other overtones (the 12th and 17th).

A Roman numeral indicates 2 or more ranks. The (II) stops
add bite; the (III, IV, and VI) stops add brilliance.
Couplers combine keyboards for more colors or more volume.



Prinzipal 16’
Subbass 16’
Oktave 8’
Oktave 4’
Nachthorn 2’
Rauschpfeife III
Mixtur VI
Posaune 16’
Trompet 8’
Trompet 4’





Quintadena 16’
Prinzipal 8’
Rohrflöte 8’
Oktave 4’
Spitzflöte 4’
Nasat 2-2/3’
Oktave 2’
Mixtur VI
Trompet 8’





Gedackt 8’
Prinzipal 4’
Koppelflöte 4’
Oktave 2’
Waldflöte 2’
Quinte 1-1/3’
Sesquialtera II
Scharf IV
Dulzian 16’
Bärpfeife 8’

Holzgedackt 8’
Prinzipal 4'
Rohrflöte 4’
Prinzipal 2’
Sifflöte 1’
Terzian II
Scharf III
Krummhorn 8’






Gemshorn 8'
Gems-celeste 8'
Quintadena 8’
Blockflöte 4’
Gemshorn 2’
Zimbel III
Oboe 8’





PEDAL +Schwellwerk +Rückpositiv  
HAUPTWERK +Kronpositiv +Schwellwerk +Rückposit


uuu©2007 text by Florence Mustric/Photography by Joe Glick Photography