Stylistic development in the work of organ maker Joseph Binvignat

by Frans Jespers | Het ORGEL | Year 115 | (2019) | Issue 4

Cover boek Böckeler

At the end of his dissertation on the Maastricht organ makers Binvignat, Rémy Syrier points out that Joseph Binvignat introduced various new registers in his organs after 1800 which showed influence from the Rheinland.  Syrier gives no explanation for this.  A recent discovery in Aachen in combination with a music-historical approach makes it clear that Binvignat had a concrete reason and a source of inspiration, halfway through his career, to alter the style of his instruments in a certain way.  An important document is a book by Heinrich Böckeler from 1876, which describes a number of Binvignat’s projects in Aachen.

It appears that Joseph Binvignat, working between 1796 and 1804 in and around Aachen, not only acquainted himself with the style of Rheinland organs and the customary way of playing them, which was quite different from what he was used to in the Maastricht-Liège region.  But he also observed the qualities of various Rheinland registers and soon began to use these as replacements of older stops, both in his work Germany and the in Maastricht-Liège region.  This was partly the result of a change in Limburg church music practice from 1800.