Developments in the style of the organ makers Smits (I)

by Frans Jespers | Photo's: Jan Smelik | Het ORGEL | Year 117 | (2021) | Issue 6

beeld van Frans Smits (III) met een jonge assistent, vervaardigd door René van Summeren.

The instruments of the Noord-Brabant organ builders Smits are not easy to categorize.  The Smitses took pride in the fact that they had taught themselves and thus could maintain their own independent style.  But an analysis of the dispositions of the organs and placing these in a music-historical context show that the style had a specific character at the beginning, and then after a surprising change of direction found its own direction, which the Smits dynasty continually renewed in the course of three generations.  So we can discern several steps in the development of their style between the beginning of the firm in 1818 and the end in 1929.  The first part of this article discusses the path by which Frans Smits I around 1850 reached his own version of the early romantic organ.