Peter van Dijk Dutch organ culture between 1965 and 1970
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 4, x-x [summary]

lmbrtrn1.jpg (15593 bytes)The Dutch organ building style changed in the 1960s: modern ‘neobaroque’ principles were replaced by enthousiasm about historic organ building.The changes began as the restoration of the historic organ at Loppersum (a village near Groningen) was criticised by Klaas Bolt and Willem Talsma. Lambert Erné, one of the leaders of the neobaroque movement, had been involved with this restoration. Bolt and Talsma stated that the result of the restoration was that the ‘old sound’ had disappeared. Their focus on this ‘old sound’ was a result of the work of the organ builders Ahrend & Brunzema and Bernhardt Edskes.The two styles were discussed elaborately in the magazine het ORGEL. Erné mentioned that modern organ builders were able to make something beautiful out of nothing; whereas ancient organ builders just could rely on tradition. Talsma found that old instruments could teach a lot about the way they had to be played and how new organs could be built.Several projects stimulated the discussion: in 1971, the Swiss organ builders Metzler built a large organ in the Grote Kerk at Den Haag; in 1972, the large Walcker organ of the Nieuwe Zuiderkerk at Rotterdam from 1916 was moved to the Martinikerk at Doesburg. The points-of-view were underlined during two congresses in 1969. The Arp Schnitger Memorial at Groningen opened many ears to the sound of old organs and teached a lot about the way these organs were made. The congress of the Dutch Organists Association (NOV) focused on criticising this approach of old organs. New organs showed the effects of these developments: instead of focussing on sharp and small stops, organ builders tended to give the sound of their instruments a somewhat larger basis. At the same time interest in 19th century organ building increased, stimulated by, among others, Hans van der Harst. Lambert Erné died in 1971. It is not easy to prove a causal connection, but it is quite remarkable that the historic movement developed rather well since 1971.