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A wide variety of improvisations, interesting facts about the organ and a thrilling sound: the Elbphilharmonie's Organ Day left no wishes unfulfilled…

At Organ Day on 11 February, the impressive instrument was unequivocally the centre of attention. In organ presentations and in a hosted concert, the complex mechanics of the Elbphilharmonie organ and its entire range of sound were presented. Elbphilharmonie fans even had the chance to hear their favourite works and songs!

Thomas Cornelius / Clemens Matuschek
Thomas Cornelius / Clemens Matuschek © Claudia Höhne

The three Hamburg organists Thomas Cornelius, Thomas Dahl and Manuel Gera led listeners through the concert, ably supported by Clemens Matuschek’s moderation. They demonstrated the whole range of sound that can be produced on 4,765 pipes, and explained how the way an organ sounds has changed in the course of music history.

Thus Manuel Gera concentrated in his improvisation on organ styles from 1700 to 1830; Thomas Dahl focused more on the English and French organ schools, and Thomas Cornelius highlighted the present-day organ.

Videos: Organ Day

Organ Day 2018

Make a wish!

And that wasn't all! A week before the event, Elbphilharmonie fans were asked through the social media networks and the Elbphilharmonie newsletter to submit the names of works or songs that they particularly wanted to hear played on the Elbphilharmonie pipe organ.

Der Tag der Orgel 2018
Der Tag der Orgel 2018 © Claudia Höhne

A look inside the organ

Elbphilharmonie organ
Elbphilharmonie organ © Peter Hundert

Well over 1,000 suggestions were submitted, and these served as inspiration for Gera, Dahl and Cornelius in the second half of the concert.

Improvisation by Thomas Cornelius

Thomas Cornelius

Selected songs from Thomas Cornelius's improvisation:

  • Limp Bizkit - Behind Blue Eyes
  • Sportfreunde Stiller - Ein Kompliment
  • Coldplay - Clocks
  • The Beatles - Let it Be
  • Gigi D'Agostino - L'amour toujours
  • Rammstein - Morgenstern
  • Rammstein - Engel
  • Zimmer/Badelt - Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Scooter - I Like it Loud
  • Scooter - Bora Bora Bora
  • Liquido - Narcotic

Improvisation by Thomas Dahl

Thomas Dahl

Selected songs from Thomas Dahl's improvisation:

  • Léon Boëllmann: Toccata
  • Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations

Improvisation by Manuel Gera

Manuel Gera / Thomas Cornelius / Thomas Dahl