Church Instruments

The Bach Organ / The Continuo Organ / The Harpsichord / The Pianos


The Bach Organ
The main organ in the nave of Christ the King Lutheran Church was built by the Noack Organ Company (opus 128, 1995). It is called the Bach Organ, since it was designed in the spirit of instruments Johann Sebastian Bach knew in order to be uncompromisingly suited to the performance of his music. The two-manual tracker instrument has 30 stops and is housed in a single case, which is built of pine and decorated with beautifully executed carvings in the 18th century Saxon style. The center tower of the organ is inscribed with the motto Soli Deo Gloria [To God alone be the glory], which J. S. Bach  regularly wrote on his manuscripts. On the pedal towers appear the opening words of Psalm 100: Jubilate Deo omnis terra, servite Dominum in laetitia. [Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands, serve the Lord with gladness.] These words suggest that, just as a performance is great when it enables the listener to look through to the composer, so also the organ, through the music of Bach and others, is a medium for revealing the heart and mind of God.

A full description of this important organ, as well as a stop list, are available on the Bach Society website.

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The Continuo Organ
The continuo organ (opus 56, 2007) was built by Taylor & Boody Organbuilders, a small firm that specializes in building tracker action organs in the classical North German and Dutch styles. The instrument has five ranks of pipes in a small portable case which can be easily moved. It was primarily designed for use as a continuo instrument in baroque ensemble music, but it serves equally well as a solo instrument or for small worship services.

The organ has five stops: Gedackt 8′, Rohrflöte 4′, Hohlquinte 2 2/3′ (from c’), Principal 2′, and Regal 8′. The single keyboard has boxwood naturals and ebony sharps. A transposing mechanism allows it to be played at a=392, a=415, or a=440. The case is of gothic-inspired design built of quarter-sawn white oak with hand carved pipe screens in tracery style featuring the cross and crown emblem of Christ the King Lutheran Church.

The purchase of the continuo organ was made possible by a generous contribution from Paul and Tod Schenck.

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The Harpsichord
The harpsichord is a two-manual German style instrument by Dutch builder Jan Kalsbeek.  It is crafted in the style of Michael Mietke, who built a similar instrument for Johann Sebastian Bach in 1719.  Two of Mietke’s instruments still preserved in the castle of Charlottenburg in Berlin served as the inspiration for the construction.

The lower keyboard has 8’ and 4’ stops; the upper keyboard has 8’ only and the two manuals can be coupled. A transposing mechanism allows it to be played at a=392, a=415, or a=440. The keyboards have ebony naturals and bone-topped sharps.  The inside of the lid is beautifully decorated with a gold crysanthemum motif. The ornate stand is a replica of the original in the Charlottenburg castle in Berlin.

Mr. Kalsbeek writes of the instrument that, “The tone is slender, but very intense and carries extremely well. The dryness of sound and the singing character are uniquely balanced. Because of these qualities this instrument is most suitable for all kinds of polyphonic music.” The harpsichord is used as a solo instrument for the Bach Society’s Chamber Music concerts and as a continuo instrument with orchestra.

The acquisition of the harpsichord was made possible through the generosity of William Caudell.

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The Pianos

The grand piano in the nave is by Blüthner of Leipzig, Germany. The grand piano in the Parish Hall is by Bösendorfer of Austria. The baby grand piano in the downstairs Music Suite is from the Czech maker Petrof, and the baby grand piano in the downstairs Music Rehearsal Room is by Yamaha.

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The Bach Organ / The Continuo Organ / The Harpsichord / The Pianos