Organ building after 2000 (V)

by Han Leentvaar | Het ORGEL | Year 96 | (2000) | Issue 3


Wietse Meinardi, Peter van Dijk Organ building after 2000 (V)
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 3, 32-40 [summary]

In Het ORGEL 1999/5, Wietse Meinardi criticised historicism in organ building.In the next issues, Hans Fidom, Sicco Steendam, Wim Winters, Tjibbe Heidinga, Sietze deVries, Joop A. Klaassen and Jan-Piet Knijff reacted. The discussion is now closed withanother article by Meinardi and a concluding article by Peter van Dijk, editor of articleson organ building matters in Het ORGEL.

Meinardi stresses once again that Dutch organ building is one-sided and he pleads foran organ on which he can interpret a large wide range of musical styles. However, hisideal organ is not a synthesis of several historical elements, but an instrument like theorgan in the Grote Kerk at Leeuwarden (Müller, 1732). He does not wish to modifyhistorical organs according to his ideas. But he approves of the new temperament of theorgan at Zuidhorn, which is less unequal than before: ‘People have moved in thedirection I propagate in my article.’

Peter van Dijk states that when it comes to discussing historicism, it’s importantto discern that restoring historical organs and building new organs are two differentmatters. Furthermore, he thinks that one can discern two directions in organ playing aswell: some organists approach the organ as a means to play their repertoire, othersapproach the organ as a guide that helps to decide which music should be played in whatway. Van Dijk prefers the second group. ‘Each good organ is better than even the bestorganist – even when it’s small, it offers many opportunities.

In the 20th century, organ builders and organists have discovered a lot about oldorgans and old organ music. One of the results is that we know now that we have to becareful with our heritage: ‘The next generation will first of all be interested inthe monuments – not in our vision on these monuments.’