The Netherlands is an organ country. Nowhere in the world can so many historically valuable organs be found within such a small area. Big ones and small ones. Famous ones and less known ones. Each one with its own design and beauty of sound. They have been maintained during the centuries and are still worthwhile to visit and listen to. In the northern part of the Netherlands you can find organs which are characterised by a baroque sound. This was developed by organ builders from Northern Germany like Arp Schnitger. On the other hand, the instruments in the southern part of the Netherlands have characteristics from Flanders and France.
Twenty years of experience as a producer for Dutch radio enabled musician Okke Dijkhuizen to make a selection of one hundred organs and 45 organists. From the Dutch oldest playable organ, the small organ of Jan van Covelens of the Saint Lawrence Church in Alkmaar from 1511, to the Maarschalkerweerd organ of the Church of Our Lady in Zwolle form 1896. Some of the organs are in protestant churches, others in Roman Catholic churches. There is even a concert organ. Remarkable are the five house organs. All five are in use as church organs. These are the organs in Gapinge, Baarland, Oosterland, Dalem and Ravenstein.
For a unique project, ‘Organs in the Netherlands’ the building history and the sounds of all these organs have been documented. In the accompanying book a nice photo of each organ is shown. The description of the organs contain the disposition and the most important years related to the building, extension and restoration. The used registration is mentioned in the programme information. In the introduction the organist and organ expert Jan Jongepier makes – as it were – a tour of five centuries of organ building. The book and the 20 CDs in a nice cassette are a fascinating panorama of the Dutch organ landscape.
Leeuwarden, Waalse Kerk
(Johann Michaell Schwartzburg, 1740)
Nijmegen, Grote of St. Stevenskerk
(Ludwig König, 1776)
Eenrum, Hervormde kerk
(Nikolaas Anthonie Lohman, 1817)