Janno den Engelsman
Eddy Mul
Two congresses on organ building
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 5, 30-37 [summary]

The annual congress of the International Association for Organ Documentation took place in Utrecht this year (14-16 May). On 19 June the Foundation ‘Groningen Orgelland’ (SGO) celebrated its 30th anniversary with a symposium. The program of the IAOD-congress included lectures by Paul Peeters, Stef Tuinstra and Rudi van Straten. In addition, some young organologists introduced themselves. The keynote speech of Paul Peeters ended in a single question: ‘Can we conclude that the organ has reached the end of its development, or is the instrument about to begin a new development?’ Stef Tuinstra pointed out that each organ type needs its own wind system; a baroque organ requires, for example, a less even wind than a romantic organ. Tuinstra concluded that a synthesis of both organ types is impossible. Rudi van Straten, Organ Consultant for the National Monument Service, told of the inventory of all Dutch organs being made by the Service. The determination of historical value contained therein is necessary for the evaluation of applications for subsidies.

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The IAOD-congress was opened by concert by Gert Oost on the organ of the auditorium of the university of Utrecht.  Photo archief Universiteit Utrecht

The SGO-anniversary was celebrated with lectures by Hans Davidsson, Peter van Dijk, Bernhardt Edskes and Henk van Eeken. Davidsson and Van Dijk pointed out how important the Schnitger Commemoration in 1969 at Groningen had been: it was the start of the period, in which historic organs form the basis of contemporary organ building. Davidsson discerned four aspects: restoration, replication, unequal temperaments, implementation of new ideas. Van Dijk sketched the development of organ building since 1960, which was strongly influenced by Lambert Erné (until 1970) and Klaas Bolt (after 1970). Bernhardt Edskes spoke on the work of organ builder Christian Vater (1679-1756), Henk van Eeken on the Garrels/Radeker organ at Anloo (1718). Van Eeken remarked that organ builders should aim to achieve organs that are ‘as good as old’.