Krone Krone Krone

Neresheim, Abbey

Neresheim, Abteikirche

Johann Nepomuk Holzhay 1793-1797

State of preservation: Pipes partly original after several repairs in the 19th century.

Neresheim is the biggest organ Holzhay ever made. Holzhay continued Gabler's tradition to build around the western windows but the external view of the instruments in Weingarten and Neresheim shows the differences of high baroque and neoclassicist styles. The pure white case with sparingly applied garlands and vases in antique fashion atop the bridge positives only reveals its relation to baroque design ideas in the already reduced cornices of the base and top.

Even without a parapet positive Holzhay had to design a complicated action running from the detached console (also following the Weingarten example) with uncommonly wide compasses to the different cases, and resembles the construction Holzhay's teacher Riepp designed with his choir organs in Ottobeuren. The organ is divided in two symmetrical c- and c#-parts along its central axis. Main and echo organ are placed in the inner, the pedal in the outer towers, the upper organ in the positive case directly above the console; all other bridge positives are mute design supplements.

Holzhay's sound design still contains some very traditional south German elements (like „Hörnle“) along with the newest innovations of his time (like the reed „Douce Clarinet“) and personal features like „Sonnet“, sadly changed and also no longer preserved in other organs by Holzhay. In spite of the prominent 8' colours Holzhay still kept a rich Plenum, added by French solo stops and a remarkable sum of reeds.

Music sample:

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Was mein Gott will

played by Wolfgang Baumgratz


III+P; manuals C-f3, pedal C-f1


Bordon           32’ (from g0 )

Prinzipal        16’ (front)

Oktav                8’

Piffarre             8’

Violoncell         8’

Copel                8’

Quintadena     8’

Oktav                4’

Flöt                   4’

Quint                 3’

Octav                 2’

Cornet               8’ 5f. (from g0 )

Cimbal               3’ 5f.

Mixtur                 2’ 7f.

Trompet              8’

Cromorne           8’

Claron                 4’



Prinzipal         8’ (front)

Gamba             8’

Salicet              8’

Unda maris     8’ (from g0 ; undulating)

Bordon             8’

Flauta travers  8’ (from g0; C-fis0 Bordon)

Feldflöt              4’

Sonnet                4’+1 3/5 ’ (from g0 ; C-fis0 Feldflöt)

Holflöt                 4’

Waldflöt               4’

Flagiolet               2’

Nazard                  3’ 5f.

Sesquialter           3’ 3f.

Douce Clarinet     8’

Hoboe                     8’



Nachthorn 8’

Dulciana     8’ (from g 0; C-fis0 Nachthorn)

Fugari          4’ (B/D divided)

Spitzflöt       4’

Syflöt            2’

Cornet          4’ 4f. (ab g0 )

Hörnle          3’ 3f.

Vox humana 8’ (B/D geteilt)

(Tremulant D)



Prestant     16’ (front)

Bordon       16’

Flauten        8’ (front)

Violonbass   8’

Flötenbass   4’

Bompart     16’

Trompet        8’

Claron           4’

Paucken      16’ (A and d0 )


Couplers III/I, II/I, I/P


© Greifenberger Institut für Musikinstrumentenkunde |