Johann Friedrich Wenthin

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Wenthin organ in Backemoor (1783)

Johann Friedrich Wenthin (born August 10, 1746 in Otterstedt near Bremen , † May 27, 1805 in Emden ) was a German organ builder .


Johann Friedrich Wenthin was possibly a journeyman with Heinrich Wilhelm Eckmann and was considered Hinrich Just Müller's worst competitor in East Frisia . From 1774 he was a citizen of Emden. There he married Catharina Gertrud Wenthin from Neustadtgödens in 1775 and had four children with her. His second oldest son, Joachim Wenthin , took over his father's workshop, but hardly worked in East Frisia any more.


Wenthin's greatest work was the new organ in the Great Church of Emden , which established its fame, so that orders from the Netherlands were also made. The instrument had 40 registers and was the only new build with an independent pedal. The disposition is handed down to Nicolaas Arnoldi Knock in 1788. All later organs only have a pedal attached and a register of less than 20 voices. In the case of two-manual works, an upper work is added to the main work. In contrast to the Schnitger School and to Müller, who built more traditionally and preferred a powerful sound, Wenthin's organs are characterized by an elegant and delicate sound, with a larger proportion of flute and string registers. He also used new registers such as the transverse flute and the labial cornetto and used the equal tuning . Wenthin's progressive style is externally recognizable by the curved design of the prospectus, which is kept in the Rococo style and incorporates classicist influences in his last works , such as the lidded vases on the organ case.

List of works

The following organs from Wenthin are proven. Italics indicate that the organ has not been preserved or only the historical case has been preserved. The size of the instruments is indicated in the fifth column by the number of manuals and the number of sounding registers in the sixth column. A capital “P” stands for an independent pedal, a lowercase “p” for an attached pedal.

year place church image Manuals register Remarks
1779 Emden Big church II / P 40 New building; not received
1776-1781 Back Behind church 4720927 Rear organ.jpg I / p 8th New building; Prospectus received
1779-82 Weener Evangelical Reformed Church Weener Ref Organ.jpg III / P 37 Installation of the organ by Arp Schnitger on a new gallery, repair and expansion with a breastwork and the pedal towers; Pedal tower case, but no registers from Wenthin survived (today II / P / 29) → Organ of the Evangelical Reformed Church (Weener)
1785 Riepe Riepster Church 4722626 Riepe Organ.jpg I / p 10 New building; replaced, prospectus with prospectus pipes received
1783 Backemoor St. Laurentius and St. Vincenz Backemoor organ.jpg I / p 12 New building; largely preserved → organ
1785 Zweins (NL) Reginakerk (Hervormde Kerk)
Interior, aanzicht organ, organ number 1787 - Zweins - 20356833 - RCE.jpg
I / p 13 New building; later rebuilt
1787 Nieuwolda (NL) Hervormde Kerk
4795233 Nieuwolda organ.jpg
II / p 21st New building; largely preserved
1788-1789 Reepsholt St. Mauritius Church organ Reepsholtmsu6.jpg II / p 17th New building; largely preserved
1790-1793 Wolthusen Wolthuser Church I / p 8th New building; 4 registers received
1793 Hesel Liudgerikirche 4721197 Hesel organ.jpg I / p 13 New building; only the side carvings remain
1793 Westerende St. Martin
Westerende Organ.JPG
I / p 13 New building; 1885 extension conversion by Johann Diepenbrock (today I / P / 15); largely preserved
1796 Oldersum Oldersum Church II / p 12 New building; not received
1797-1798 bad Bentheim Ref. Church I / p 12 New building; not received
1798-1801 Groothusen Groothuser Church Groothusen organ.jpg II / p 19th New building; over half of the registers preserved
1802 Blersum Blersum Church I / p A house organ from Wenthins was acquired in 1850 by the Blersum parish; Replaced by Johann Martin Schmid in 1890 .
1804 Great Midlum Great Midlum Church Large Midlum organ (1) .jpg I / p 13 1956 Pipework replaced, prospectus and wind chest are preserved.

There are also various renovation and expansion work and repairs.


  • Walter Kaufmann : The organs of East Frisia - organ topography . Publishing house Ostfriesische Landschaft, Aurich 1968.
  • Ralph Nickles: Organ inventory of the Krummhörn and the city of Emden . Hauschild, Bremen 1995, ISBN 3-929902-62-1 .
  • Fritz Schild: Monument organs. Documentation of the restoration by Organ Builders Guide 1974–1991 . Florian Noetzel, Wilhelmshaven 2005, ISBN 978-3-7959-0862-1 (2 parts: Backmoor – Groothusen, Hage – Wiesens).
  • Harald Vogel , Reinhard Ruge, Robert Noah, Martin Stromann: Organ landscape Ostfriesland . 2nd Edition. Soltau-Kurier-Norden, Norden 1997, ISBN 3-928327-19-4 .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Sign: Monument organs. 2005, p. 30.
  2. Sign: Monument organs. 2005, p. 426.
  3. ^ Nicolaas Arnoldi Knock: Dispositien the most remarkable Kerk organs . Petrus Doekema, Groningen 1788, p. 47 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. Vogel, Ruge, Noah, Stromann: Organ landscape Ostfriesland. 1995, p. 86f.