Organ building after 2000 (III)

by Han Leentvaar | Het ORGEL | Year 96 | (2000) | Issue 1


Tjibbe Heidinga, Sietze de Vries Organ building after 2000 (III)
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 6, 40-42 [summary]

In het ORGEL 1999/5, Wietse Meinardi criticisedhistoricism in organ building. In het ORGEL 1999/6, Hans Fidom, Sicco Steendam and WimWinters reacted; they did not agree with Meinardi. The editorial board received two morereactions, written by organ building consultant Tjibbe Heidinga and organist Sietze deVries. Tjibbe Heidinga points out that history proceeds in episodes of about 350 years.Each of these episodes can be divided into seven parts of 50 years each. Heidinga saysthat the current episode started in 1850. In the first period of 50 years, the techniqueof the organ was reconsidered; in the second period every aspect of organ building(appearance of the instrument, technique, materials) was changed, whereas the thirdperiod, closing in 2000, shows a synthesis of these two. Heidinga finds that WietseMeinardi has well described the organ type of the future. Sietze de Vries is organist ofthe Van Vulpen organ at Zuidhorn, which was listed by Wietse Meinardi as an example of theconsequences of historicism: the organ is made fit for only a relatively small repertoire,because of its wind system and its temperament. De Vries shows how the concept of theorgan is based on historical knowledge. He reports that the temperament has been changed.The temperament was developed by Thomas Young in 1800. De Vries stresses that one shouldspeak of ‘historicism’ only when the unity of all parts of the organ in questionis as convincing as the unity represented by the best historic organs; and not, asMeinardi suggests, when just one or two aspects of the organ (wind system, temperament)are based on historical examples.