The new organ in the Bovenkerk in Kampen by Hans Fidom

by Hans Fidom | Het ORGEL | Year 97 | (2001) | Issue 1

Hans Fidom The new organ in the Bovenkerk in Kampen
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 5-12 [summary]

kampenkoor.jpg (28384 bytes)In 1999 a new organwas placed in the choir of the Bovenkerk in Kampen. The organ is a gift from Henk Stoel.The Foundation Choir Organ Bovenkerk Kampen is responsible for the instrument, which wasbuilt by Orgelmakerij Gebr. Reil (Heerde). Jan Jongepier was consultant.

The organ has 29 stops on Hoofdwerk (Great, 12 stops), Bovenwerk (10 stops), and Pedal(6 stops). The 29th stop is a Klaroen, placed on top of the case; it is played from athird manual with keys from c1 upward, the ‘Récit’.

The organ documents the development of Reil so far. Whereas in previous organs the mainwind chest corresponded to the shape of the case, the chest here is an integrated part ofthe organ case: it is situated on top of the lower case, and bears the upper case. Thismakes the structure of the organ firmer, which, according to Reil, has a positive effecton the resonance of the sound. The façade shows Reil’s development as well: it isbased on the same type as the Reil organs at Vienna (Augustinerkirche) or Ancaster, Canada(Redeemer College). Like most historicising fronts, this one shows how difficult it is tocome close to the beauty of historical organ fronts. It raises the question why acontemporary design was not preferred.

Characteristic of the sound is its clarity; the fundamental of most stops is not veryprominent. The Octaaf 4 of the Hoofdwerk is a good example in this respect. On beingasked, voicer Han Reil stated that the design of the stops was inspired by old organs,especially the Bader/Timpe-organ in the St.-Walburgiskerk at Zutphen, which was recentlyrestored by Reil. Reil aims at voicing flues without nicking and reeds without usingleather, in order to discover how organ builders voiced in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The unity between façade and sound, both inspired by ancient organs, shows thestrength of Reil’s concept.