AD SOLIUS DEI GLORIAM
Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707): Wir danken Dir, Herr Jesu Christ (BuxWV 224) Gabor Soos - organ Alkmaar (NL), Grote Sint Laurenskerk Van Hagerbeer/ Schnitger organ a'=415 Hz Equal temperament
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) Piet Kee at the Schnitger organ in St. Laurenskerk (Alkmaar)
J. S. Bach 2 chorales Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland BWV 661 Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns BWV 709 Organist: Manuel Tomadin
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
1. Chorale Prelude "Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich" BWV 732
2. Chorale Prelude "Valet will ich dir geben" BWV 736
Gustav Leonhardt at Jacobus van Hagerbeer/Frans Caspar Schnitger organ of the Laurenskerk in Alkmaar
Summary of the history and description of The Van Hagerbeer-organ St. Laurenskerk, Alkmaar
Details of the history of this organ can be found at: http://www.schnitger.nl/index.php?id=172
1637-1639 / Preparations
A small instrument, built in 1545 by Claes Willemsz. from Haarlem, placed above the south-entrance in the choir of the church, was dismantled in the 17th century. Its pipes were removed around 1640, to be used in a new large organ. On the 25th of October 1638 an agreement was signed with the famous organ-builders Van Hagerbeer. It was decided to construct a new, much larger organ, in which the pipes of the small organ from 1545 could be included.
1639-1646 / The building of the Van Hagerbeer-organ
In 1639 the organ-builders started their work at Alkmaar. According to the contract an instrument with three manuals and pedal, supplied with 31 stops should be built. The instrument had cost the enormous amount of 52.095 Dutch guilders, which also included retention of the existing building for the bellows at the west-end of the nave.
Stop list according to organist Gerhardus Havingha (1727) after the completion in 1645(?) by Jacobus van Hagerbeer.
Opene Fluyt 4’
Echo Holfluyt 4’(from c)
Super Octav 2’
Nassat 1 ½’
Gemshoorn 1 ½’
Sexquialter II(from c’)
Vox Humana 8’(from c)
Super Octav 2’
Nassat 1 ½’
Quintanus 1 ½’
Sexquialter II(from c’)
Tertiaan [1 3/5’]
Compass Bovenwerk and Rugpositief: C-d’’’
Compass Hoofdwerk: C-d’’’, Prestant 24’ and 12’: FF,GG,AA,BB,HH,C-d’’’
(according to the specification of 1639 all the Hoofdwerk stops could have this extended compass!).
Compass Pedaal: C-f ’ for own stops, attached to Hoofdwerk: FF,GG,AA,BB,HH,C-f
Split keys for d# and a# on all manuals
Transposing mechanism (to play a natural higher)
Tuning: mean-tone temperament
Wind supply by six diagonal bellows
Pipe materials: lead, except for the resonators of the Trumpets which were made from painted iron sheets.
1652-1653 saw some large alterations and some additions by Jacobus van Hagerbeer.
The organ-case was designed by the painter/architect Jacob van Campen (1595-1657). The case of the Rugpositief was made in the workshop of Van Hagerbeer in Leiden, but the main case was constructed by Jacob Jansz. Turck at Alkmaar. ’AD SOLIUS DEI GLORIAM’, (‘only God be honoured’) can be read underneath the organ-balcony.
The paintings at the outside of the hinged doors were made by the painter Caesar Boethius van Everdingen (born in Alkmaar around 1617 and buried at the St. Laurenskerk in 1678). It took him about seven months to finish these gigantic paintings with a surface of more than 70 square meters!
Renovations between 1646 and 1722
1652-1653 / Large alterations by Jacobus van Hagerbeer
1684-1685 / Restoration by Duytschot
On the 5th of July 1683 the mayors of Alkmaar decided that the organ had to be repaired: an agreement for the restoration was signed with Johannes Duytschot and his father, Roelof Barentsz. Duytschot, organ-builders from Amsterdam. These very able organ-builders can be seen as continuing the Van Hagerbeer-tradition. They carried out the following work:
-The supply of six larger bellows
-The keyboards from the Hoofdwerk and Bovenwerk were reversed (Hoofdwerk was III and became II, Bovenwerk was II and became III)
-A new pedal-board was made
-A coupler Rugwerk-Hoofdwerk (probably divided) was added
-The Trumpet 8’ on the Hoofdwerk was changed into a Basuyn 16’ with 30 pipes, corresponding with the three separate Pedal stops: the bass function of the Pedaal was reinforced.(These changes can be related to a new kind of organ-accompaniment during the congregational-singing; because of the large congregations which assembled in the town churches in Holland in the second half of the 17th century, powerful accompanying instruments were required on which a melody (the ‘Voys’) could be brought out as clearly as possible; for this reason many organs were modified and increased in sound volume at the time and couplers - often divided between bass and treble - were added).
-On the Bovenwerk the Bourdon 16’ was replaced by a Baarpijp 8’ (this beautiful stop is still extant), bass pipes were added to the Quintadena 8’ and a new Vox Humana 8’ was made (now the beloved ‘Dutch Trio’, Baarpijp, Quintadena and Vox Humana was complete!)
-Finally wind-leakages were mended and the whole instrument was tuned.
A smaller restoration by Duytschot was carried out in 1704, on which occasion the draw-stops of the Rugpositief were placed in their own case (originally they were placed above the upper keyboard).
The repositioning of the wind-chests in 1722
Havingha concludes in his description that anyone with some knowledge about the arrangement of organs, can clearly see how chaotic the structure of the old instrument had been. It seems likely that the changes and additions made by Jacobus van Hagerbeer in 1652-53 meant a considerable increase of the complexity of the instrument.
1722 1725 / The rebuilding by Frans Caspar Schnitger
1722 / A new town-organist
On the 22nd of April 1722 Egbert Enno Veldcamps, town-organist of Alkmaar since 1702, died after a short illness. On the 3rd of September of the same year Gerhardus Havingha (1696-1753), until then organist at Appingedam and son of Petrus Havingha (organist at the Martinikerk, Groningen), was appointed organist. With his arrival a new and important period in the history of the organ of Alkmaar commenced. It was Havingha who introduced the North-German organ-builder Frans Caspar Schnitger (1692-1729) in Alkmaar. Havingha had many complaints about the Van Hagerbeer-organ, for example:
-The technical layout of the instrument was too complicated
-The wind-supply was insufficient
-The pedal-division was much too small
-The (mean-tone) temperament in which the organ was tuned gave too many restrictions
Moreover, Havingha was familiar with the North-German style of organ-building and -playing, he knew a number of organs built by Frans Caspar’s famous father Arp Schnitger (1648-1719), and, last but not least, he knew the impressive organ at the St. Michaelskerk, Zwolle, begun by Arp Schnitger in 1718 and completed in 1721 by Frans Caspar.
Proposals for a renovation
In three stages Havingha convinced the municipality of Alkmaar about the necessity of a large renovation.
His first report is called ‘Necessary Reparation’ and the second ‘Necessary and powerful Reinforcement of the large Organ of the city of Alkmaar’. After some days of deliberation by the mayors, Havingha was asked to combine his reports in a new specification, and: he was allowed to ‘summon the builder of the organ at Zwolle’; the introduction of Frans Caspar Schnitger to Holland was a fact!
1723-1725 / The rebuilding by F.C. Schnitger
The contract between the town-council and Frans Caspar Schnitger was completed on the 7th of May 1723. The specification had been drawn up by Havingha. Within the existing cases an entirely new instrument should be built, equipped with slider-chests, new tracker action and three additional bellows. Originally the organ should get 52 stops, but finally 56 stops were supplied. Suitable pipes from the old organ could be used again. The pitch had to remain unchanged (‘netto Camer of Houbois thoon’: a’=415 Hz.). Nothing was said about the tuning. Much progress was made with the work and in the summer of 1725 the rebuilding was finished.
The examination report was dated the 9th of August 1725 and was full of praise, particularly about the stops which were supplied in addition to those specified in the contract. It was also emphasized that Schnitger’s new Vox Humana (Rugpositief) was better than the old one made by Duytschot (Bovenwerk): Schnitger’s superiority to the Dutch organ-builders had to be clear!
Specification of 1725
Fluit Dous 4’
Vox Humana 8’
Groot Manuaal (II)
Viool di Gamba 8’
Praestant 8’ I-II
Quintanus 1 ½’
Tregter Regaal 8’
Vox Humana*) 8’
*) stops supplied in addition to those
specified in the contract
Schnitger’s rebuilding of the Van Hagerbeer-organ meant no less than an earthquake in the Dutch organ-landscape. With the breakthrough of Schnitger in Holland and the death of Johannes Duytschot in 1725 the Dutch school of organ-building, connected with great names as Van Covelens, Niehoff, De Swart, Van Hagerbeer and Duytschot, came more or less to an end. Furthermore, a number of foreign organ-builders (mostly from Germany) arrived and filled the
The 18th Century
In 1729 Frans Caspar Schnitger dies at the early age of 36 years. The maintenance and tuning of the organ were taken over by Nicolaas Willembroek in 1731 and Christian Müller (1690-1769) in 1734, who also carried out repairs in 1734 and 1751. In 1753 Gerhardus Havingha dies at the age of 56 years, after an engagement of more than 30 years as town-organist and carillonneur of Alkmaar.
1779-1780 / Preparations for a restoration
Town-organist Michael Körnlein complains about several items of the instrument which were not in a satisfactory condition and for which he partly blamed Pieter Müller (son and successor of Christian Müller), who was at that time responsible for the maintenance of the instrument. Several organ-builders were consulted, but finally a contract was signed with Johannes Strumphler on the 5th of June 1781.
1781-1782 / Restoration by Johannes Strumphler
The 19th century / Restorations by Van Gruisen, Ypma, Naber and Witte
After some smaller repairs in 1794 by J.M. Gerstenhauer and J.C. Deijtenbach (a former assistant of Strumphler) in 1804, a restoration was carried out by Albertus van Gruisen & Son from Leeuwarden in 1823-24. Only scarce information about this restoration is available, but probably Van Gruisen changed the Quintanus 1 ½’ (Rugwerk) into a Flageolet 1’ and added a pedal coupler.
1843-1844 / Restoration by Dirk Sjoerds Ypma
1851-1853 / Possession of the organ is handed over to the church
After an argument in the town-council about the future cost of repairs of the organ, a committee was founded. Much to their surprise it was discovered that, according to a law of 1798(!), the possession of the organ should have been handed over to the church long ago. The town-council agreed on the 23rd of February 1853 with the change of ownership.
1854 / Restoration by C.F.A. Naber
1897-1898 / Restoration by Johan Frederik Witte
The 20th century: Restoration 1947-1949 / Restoration 1982-1986
The organ in danger
In 1899 the maintenance of the organ was appointed to Ypma but also requests from other organ-builders were taken into consideration (e.g. from the organ-builders Spanjaard and Pels from Alkmaar).
In 1921 an electric blower was installed. In the meantime the condition of the building deteriorated. The situation soon became dangerous. In 1923 a restoration was started, but in 1927 further work was stopped. The restoration resumed in 1940 on a much larger scale.In this period there was also a lot of discussion about the organ, even a large restoration was considered.
-In 1929 Hendrik Wicher Flentrop (Zaandam) asked to be invited to do the restoration and regular maintenance. The churchwardens decided, however, to wait until the restoration of the church was finished.
-H.W. Flentrop was given the contract for the maintenance of the organs of the St. Laurenskerk and Kapelkerk in 1935.
In 1939 he restored the Van Covelens-organ. In 1940 Hendrik Wicher Flentrop retired and was succeeded by his son Dirk Andries.
1939-1946 / Preparations for a restoration.
In 1939 there was contact between the architect Van der Kloot Meyburg and Flentrop about the large organ. At the time the architect was only discussing a dismounting and remounting of the organ. Flentrop, on the other hand, preferred an entire restoration. In his first offer from 1939 Flentrop mentiones an amount of 9600 guilders for dismounting and remounting, including a new wind-supply. In 1941 Flentrop made a proposal for a restoration in which he also gives some historical information about the instrument. Flentrop wanted to re-establish more or less
1941-1943 / The loss of
According to the plans of the architect the 17th century building for the bellows had to be demolished: in his view it didn’t belong to
1944-1946 / Dismounting
In January 1944 the organ was dismantled on the request of the restorers of the church. All parts were packed in chests and stored in the southern part of the transept. It is a well-known fact that many organs of historical importance have survived the 19th and early 20th centuries due to a lack of money. This certainly applies to the organ at Alkmaar; it escaped entire renewal or demolishing in 1854, 1898 and around 1930.
However, in 1944/1945 the instrument was in danger again. Organist Dr.P. Brommer of the St. Laurens- kerk proposed in 1944 to give the mixtures and reeds electric action. Later on, after having visited the Gonzalez-organ in the cathedral of Notre Dame at Reims in 1945, Brommer developed a plan for a practically new organ with four keyboards in which the old pipework would be placed in the old case.
1947-1949 / Restoration by D.A. Flentrop
Immediately after Easter 1947 Flentrop started the restoration of the instrument. Shortly before it had been discovered that many parts of the organ (especially the wind-chests) had been seriously damaged by melting water. In the autumn of 1947 Anton van der Horst was appointed as advisor. The cooperation between Flentrop and Van der Horst became of very great importance. In November 1947 they made a proposal aimed at a return into
-The loss of the entire wind-supply.
-The removal of the plastering from the walls of the church, which resulted in a considerable deterioration of the acoustical circumstances in the church.
-The rather rough way (even though with the best intentions) in which the pipework was treated.
1974-1982 / Preparations for a new restoration
From 1960 on a gradually increasing number of defects were found in the organ, especially the condition of the wind-chests worsened. The tuning of the instrument gave many problems and was unreliable. This manifested itself at the most in the wind-chests of the Pedaal; the tuning of the four reed stops became almost impossible. The organ-committee of the Reformed Church was asked for advice. This resulted in a report dated the 18th of July 1974. As proposed, advisors were appointed soon: Klaas Bolt and Jan Jongepier. The church- wardens added the organist of the church: Piet Kee.
A.C.M. Luteijn writes October 1980: ‘In spite of all the defects the sound of the organ is still majestic’. The organ recitals could therefore be continued.
At first a restoration in phases was considered, starting with the wind-chests of the Pedaal, but soon it was realized that a better solution was to tackle the restoration of the whole instrument completely.
After much deliberation and investigation the first offer for the complete restoration of the instrument by Flentrop Orgelbouw was presented on the 8th of February 1978.
It was decided to return, with a few exceptions, to the situation of 1725. The modern wind-supply would be replaced by a reconstruction of the old system. A committee with the name ‘ORGEL 78’ was founded to raise money for the tremendous cost (around 3.000.000 guilders) of the restoration. In 1978-79 the instrument and the archives were inspected thoroughly by the advisors and in 1980 a full historical report was published, combined with proposals for a restoration of the instrument. A new offer from Flentrop Orgelbouw followed on the 1st of September 1980. The order was given to Flentrop on a festive meeting on the 29th of March 1982.
1982-1986 / Restoration by Flentrop Orgelbouw
The dismounting of the instrument started in the autumn of 1982. The research of the pipework was started in January 1983. As a result
The remounting of the instrument started in June 1984. The revoicing of the pipes could start on the 3rd of June 1985. This delicate work lasted, with an interruption during wintertime, more than a year.
The following stops were repaired or reconstructed:
Quintadena 8’ Corrections to the cut-up of the pipes
Quintfluit 3’ Reconstructed (partly with
Quintanus 1 ½’ Moved back to
Sexquialter II Made 5 1/3’-3 1/5’ again in the treble (with original pipes)
Cimbel III Reconstructed into
Quintpraestant 6’ Reconstructed from
Quint 3’ New, made in the style of van Hagerbeer
Tertiaan II Made 5 1/3’-3 1/5’ again in the treble (with original pipes)
Mixtuur VI New, in style and composition of 1725
Viool di Gamba 8’ Placed back to original place
Trompet 4’ Place changed with Viool di gamba, 12 highest pipes renewed
Sexquialter II Made 5 1/3’-3 1/5’ again (with original pipes)
Cimbel II Reconstructed into original composition
Principaal 22’ Situation of 1725 reconstructed (sounds as a Quint 21 1/3’)
Rohrquint 12’ C-E new, the other pipes refashioned and placed back on original places
Octaaf 8’ Change of place with Rohrquint 12’
Quinta 6’ Refashioned, pipes placed back on original places
Mixtuur VIII Was made VI, original composition reconstructed
General repairs to the pipework
The pitch of the instrument was slightly increased at each restoration. Moreover, modern tuning arrangements had been made.
The wind pressure was established at 76mm water pressure: after several experiments and discussions this appeared to give the best results. During the revoicing the changes which had been made during the restorations of 1897-98 and 1947-49 to the foot openings, the languids and the positions of the upper lips were corrected.
The present specification
Specification since 1986 with dates of the pipework
Praestant 8’ (Tr.II) 1782 (front)/1646/1725
Quintadena 8’ 1646 (1782/1949/1986)
Octaav 4’ 1725
Nasaat 3’ 1725
Fluit 4’ (1545/1646)1725
Superoctaav 2’ 1725
Quintfluit 3’ 1646/1986
Waldfluit 2’ 1646/1725/1986
Quintanus 1 ½’ 1725/1986
Mixtuur V-VI 1725
Sexquialtera II 1725
Cimbel III 1725
Fagot 8’ 1725
Vox Humana 8’ 1725
Groot Manuaal (II)
Praestant 16’ (1545)1646
Praestant 8’ 1646
Praestantquint 6’ 1646(1782/1986)
Octaav 4’ 1646
Quinta 3’ 1986
Octaav 2’ 1646
Flachfluit 2’ 1646/1725
Ruyschpyp II 1646/1725
Tertiaan II 1725
Mixtuur VI 1986
Trompet 16’ 1725
Viool di Gamba 8’ 1725
Praestant 8’ 1646
Baarpyp 8’ 1685
Rohrfluit 8’ 1725
Quintadena 8’ (1646)1725
Octaav 4’ (1646)1725
Fluit Dous 4’ (1646)1725
Spitsfluit 3’ 1725
Superoctaav 2’ 1646
Speelfluit 2’ 1725
Sexquialtera II 1725
Scherp IV 1725
Cimbel III 1725
Hautbois 8’ 1725
Vox Humana 8’ 1725
Principaal 22’ 1646
Praestant 16’ 1646
Rohrquint 12’ (1545/1644)1725(1782/1949/1986)
Octaav 8’ 1646
Quinta 6’ (1646)1725(1986)
Octaav 4’ 1646
Nachthoorn 2’ 1725
Ruyschpyp III 1725
Mixtuur VIII 1725(1986)
Basuin 16’ 1725
Trompet 8’ 1725
Trompet 4’ 1725
Compass Manuals: C-d'''
Compass Pedal: C-d'
Manual couplers: Rp+GM, Rp+Bw, GM+Bw
Pedal couplers: P+Rp, P+GM (added to the specification of 1725)
Four cut-out valves
Pitch: a'=415 Hz
Wind pressure: 76 mm
Dates and makers of the pipework
1545: Claes Willemsz. (reused material from the former small choir-organ)
1646: Galtus, Germer and Jacobus van Hagerbeer
1685: Roelof Barentsz. and Johannes Duytschot
1725: Frans Caspar Schnitger
1782: Johannes Strumphler
1949: D.A. Flentrop
1986: Flentrop Orgelbouw
For a very interesting detailed history of this instrument written by Frank van Wijk, Bergen NH, we refer you to: http://www.schnitger.nl/index.php?id=172
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Bux 229 Alkmaar St. Laurens Gabor Soos plays Vater unser im Himmelreich (BuxWV 229)
Bux 148 Alkmaar St. Laurens Gabor Soos plays Praeludium in g (BuxWV 148)
BWV contrapuntus 18- Helmut Walcha Alkmaar
JS Bach: Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in c major (H. Walcha ...
Canon alla Ottava, alla Decima, alla Duodecima (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts XIV (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts XII (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts XI (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts XI (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts X (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts XIII (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts VIII, IX (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts VI, VII (H. Walcha)
Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapuncuts I, II, III (H...
JS Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E minor BWV 533
Bux 223 D. Buxtehude: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (P. Kee)
Bux 137 Alkmaar St. Laurens Piet Kee
JP Sweelinck: Echo Fantasia (Piet Kee)
Bux 153 Alkmaar St. Laurens Piet Kee und Buxtehude
Bux 192 D. Buxtehude: "Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn" BuxWV 192
Bach Praeludium et Fuga e-moll - Leonhardt - Schnitger organ
Bux 159 Alkmaar St. Laurens
Bux 143 Alkmaar St. Laurens
Bach Toccata d-moll - Leonhardt - Schnitger
BWV 661 - BWV 709 - Alkmaar organ Manuel Tomadin
JP Sweelinck: Engelsche Fortuyn (P. Kee)
Bux 149 Alkmaar St. Laurens