Trinity’s Beckerath 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. This organ is the first large mechanical-action pipe organ in North America built on historic Baroque principles.
Its installation was a watershed event in modern organ building. A stream of visitors – organ builders, performers, academics, and music lovers – came to hear, play, and inspect Trinity’s Beckerath organ. It has inspired more than one generation of builders, organists, and music lovers.
With this organ, Beckerath demonstrated that centuries-old techniques of organ-building produce a beautiful sound of unsurpassed clarity, power, and warmth. This sound is ideal for Baroque repertoire, most notably the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. A versatile instrument, the Beckerath is also congenial to the music of many other styles and periods.
Lawrence Phelps writes eloquently about the importance of the Beckerath in North American organ building and praises the builder and the organ in “A Short History of the Organ Revival” (1967).
“This instrument really marked the turning point in the American reform. Not only did it bring to America for the first time a modern, encased, mechanical-action instrument with traditional classical voicing reminiscent of the finest instruments of Arp Schnitger, but it also marked the very first time that sounds of this stature had ever been heard in North America. Even the best of our old instruments, even the imported ones, even those built in America by imported talent, fell far short of the musical excellence of this organ.” Click here for the article.