Bach in the Netherlands around 1900 by Peter van Dijk

by Peter van Dijk | Het ORGEL | Year 96 | (2000) | Issue 4

Peter van Dijk Bach in the Netherlands around 1900
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 4, 35-45 [summary]

Zwolle, Onze-lieve Vrouwe-Kerk (1896)In the timearound 1900 J.S. Bach was quite well known in the Netherlands: several Dutch organists,such as Bastiaans, Van Eijken, De Lange, had studied in Germany. Dutch Bach interpretationwas as well influenced by Lemmens, Widor, Guilmant. At the turn of the century, Dutchorgan builders were divided into two groups. The first was traditionally influencedoriented (naturally resulting in rather classical organs). The second was influenced bythe German ‘modern’ organ. Organs such as the Maarschalkerweerd organ in theOnze Lieve Vrouwe-Kerk in Zwolle (1896), the Smits-orgel in the Goirkese Kerk in Tilburg(1905), the Witte-orgel in the Noorderkerk in Rotterdam (1894) illustrate the modern Dutchorgan type. The registrations used at the inauguration of the Rotterdam organ have beenpreserved: reeds were used only in combination with labial stops; strings could be used assolo stops as well. This manner of registration was increasingly propagated in Germanorgan methods. Karl Straube, in 1913, even published Bach’s Prelude in A as a sort ofsymphonic poem. Heinrich Reimann, Straube’s teacher, was quoted in het ORGEL,making an argument for using the full possibilities of the modern organ in Bachinterpretation. Albert Schweitzer, whose Bach-biography from 1907/1908 was known in theNetherlands, was strongly opposed to the views held by Reimann.

In the Netherlands, the modern way of playing Bach was practised by organists such asJean- Baptiste de Pauw and Johannes Andries de Zwaan; Willem Petri and Marinus Hendrik van’t Kruijs represented the conservative manner of interpre