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The Sauer-organ in Our Lady Church (Vår Frue kirke)

In 1922 the installation of a large, new organ with 3 manuals and pedal was completed at Our Lady Church, Trondheim. It was built by the German firm W. Sauer, one of the most prominent European organ-building firms at the time. The organ had 50 stops and tubular-pneumatic action. The pipework was placed behind the old facade which was all that remained of the previous organ from 1770. The console was placed directly in front of the facade, facing the nave.

The voicing and disposition of the organ was characteristic of Sauer’s symphonic/orchestral romantic style, with a rich and warm sound. The specification suggests an influence from French romantic organ style, which is not surprising considering that the firm's founder, Wilhelm Sauer, was a pupil of the French master organ-builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. An example of the French stylistic influence is the large number of reed stops. The organ's Man. III is particularly notable in this respect: Trumpet, Oboe and Vox Humana is a typical and characteristic stop combination for a French Swell (Récit) organ division.
In 1971, parts of the organ were rebuilt. The pneumatic action was exchanged for an electric system, and 10 of the stops were replaced to give the organ a brighter sound. A new console was installed near the gallery railing, and the old console was disconnected.

In 2007, at the time of the 800th anniversary of Our Lady church, the organ was restored by the German organ builder Christian Scheffler. The main aim of the restoration was to reestablish the original Sauer sound. The pneumatic action was reconstructed, a new console in Sauer style was installed, and 3 new stops were added. The playing aids are in accordance with the Sauer practice of the time, but as an additional option, a modern sequenzer system with 12000 combinations has been added.


Man. I  C-g’’’
Principal 16’ (new)
Bordun 16’
Principal 8’
Gedackt 8’
Gambe 8’
Fl. harm. 8’
Dolce 8’
Octave 4’
Rohrflöte ’
Quinte 2 2/3’
Octave 2’
Cornett 3-5f.
Mixtur 4f.
Trompete 8’


Man. II   C-g’’’
Quintatön 16’
Flötenprinc. 8’
Concertflöte 8’
Schalmey 8’
Salicional 8’
Unda maris 8’
Traversflöte 4’
Viola 4’
Piccolo 2’
Mixtur 3 f.
Fagott 16’
Clarinette 8’


Man. III   C-g’’’
Liebl. Ged. 16’
Violonprinc. 8
Fugara 8’
Quintatön 8’
Liebl. Ged. 8’
Aeoline  8’
Vox Cel. 8’
Fugara 4’
Dolce 4’
Flautin 2’
Harm. Aeth. 3f.
Trompete 8’
Oboe 8’
Vox hum. 8’


Ped.   C- f
Principal 16’
Kontrabaß 16’
Subbaß 16’
Gemshornbaß 16’ (new)
Gedacktbaß 16’
Quinte 10 2/3’
Octave 8’
Violon 8’ (new)
Cello 8’
Baßflöte 8’
Posaune 16’
Trompete 8’

II/I, III/I, Sub II/I, Sup II/I, Sub III/I, Sup III/I, III./II, Sup III/II, I/Ped, II/Ped, III/Ped


3 free combinations
3 fixed combinations (P, MF, Tutti)
General crescendo (Walze)
HR ab, Walze ab, RW Tutti, RW ab


Computer sequenzer combination system, 4000x3 combinations 

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