Saint Stephen’s 1970 Rudolf von Beckerath Organ
Designed and built for the interior of St. Stephen’s Church by the celebrated German organ builder Rudolf von Beckerath, the 1970 tracker organ takes its primary inspiration from the golden age of 17th and 18th century North German organ building in the time of Bach and Buxtehude. Its full mechanical (tracker) key action is faithful to the earlier organs. More modern additions include a swell division for greater versatility, with electricity supplying the wind pressure to activate the pipes.
The St. Stephen’s Beckerath organ has proven a delight to play and a revelation to hear. Designed to be heard in this outstanding example of the 19th century Gothic revival church architecture, it has become a major cultural resource, drawing an audience from throughout the state and concert organists from across America and Europe.
“The classic organ or the baroque organ is no longer possible except through an imitative return to the past. But our time is neither classic nor baroque. The vitality of a modern instrument demands instead the translation of the spirit of past greatness into contemporary forms.” — Rudolf von Beckerath