The creation of a Monteverdi organ

by Pieter van Dijk | Photo's: Mich Buschman | Het ORGEL | Year 116 | (2020) | Issue 4

On January19, 2020, the ‘Monteverdi organ’ was inaugurated during a festive and well-attended concert in the St.-Franciscus Xaverius church in Amersfoort. The instrument was made by Henk and Niels Klop of Garderen, and is comprised solely of open wooden pipes. The firm of Klop has in recent decades gained much experience in the building of chest organs, and the shop also made several house and church organs, all with only wooden pipes.
The instigator of this remarkable instrument is the conductor and harpsichordist/organist Krijn Koetsveld, who records compositions of Monteverdi with his ensemble Le Nuove Musiche for the Brilliant Classics label. When recording the madrigals he found the blend of voices with a chest organ less than ideal, and so arose the idea to make a true Italian organ for the performance of this important repertoire. The case and decoration are based on early 17th-century Venetian examples. The painting was designed and carried out by Michele Barchi. The Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds (NMF) [National Musial Instrument Fund] commissioned the organ. Frits Schutte, chief of the collection of the NMF, was the leader of the project. The writer of this article served as consultant to the NMF. The ‘Monteverdi organ’ contains only wooden pipework, and is thus an ‘organo di legno’.