Three 4’ organs from the period 1680-1725 by Auke Hendrik Vlagsma

by Auke Hendrik Vlagsma | Het ORGEL | Year 106 | (2010) | Issue 1

Auke Hendrik Vlagsma Three 4’ organs from the period 1680-1725
Het ORGEL 106 (2010), nr. 1, 20-36 [summary]

In The Netherlands the 4’ organ as a type came into existence only after the Reformation. These organs were placed in small church buildings, the majority in Lutheran churches and Catholic mission churches. These spaces with their limited height could hold only organs with no lower case. They were placed in the balustrade of the gallery with the keyboard in back, and were called ‘balustrade-orgel’. They are unjustly unfamiliar nowadays in The Netherlands.
The article compares three 4’ organs: 1) the organ in Bovensmilde, which came from the Waalse kerk in Kampen, where it was built in 1684, possibly by Johannes Cloutman; 2) the organ by Matthias Verhofstadt in Donkerbroek, that was originally built for the Catholic church of Jutphaas; and 3) the organ that Johannes Duyschot built in 1722 for the Old Catholic Church of St. Maria & Ursula in Delft. Of this last instrument only the case survives; in lieu of the original interior, the article studies the chest and pipework of the Duyschot cabinet organ of the Doopsgezinde kerk in Middelstum.
The article discusses the differences and similarities in case architecture, dispositions, scaling of the pipework, and finally sound.

Photos Bovensmilde: Jan Smelik

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Photos Donkerbroek: Jan Smelik