Dirk Luijmes 'New music for the psalm pump'
het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 2, 34-38 [summary]

After a period of professional interest in the harmonium, shown by composers like Cesar Franck and Franz Liszt, the instrument declined in popularity. During recent years, however, it seems that a revival is taking place. 19th-century music is investigated and played again and harmoniums are restored. Furthermore, the harmonium appears in pop music (Tom Waits) and ensembles like the Up There Trio. To stimulate this revival, Dirk Luijmes asked several composer to write music for the French harmonium he owns. As a result, four compositions where written.

Hommage a Victor Mustel (1997), by Louis Toebosch, shows the characteristics of Toebosch's other music: impressionistic harmo-nies, polytonality, polyphony and joyful improvisation-like ele-ments. The division of the stops into bass and treble plays a major part in the composition.

Harmonologue (1997), by Walter Hekster, is quite different: departing from several low frequencies - one of the specialities of the instrument - chromatic sound structures are developed bit by bit. As a kind of reminiscence of the organ, the BACH-motive appears in bar 37.

Longen en Tongen (1998), by Andries van Rossem, is inspired by an Eastern 'mouth-organ' the composer owns (a Japanese 'she', or Chinese 'sheng'). Van Rossem explores the possibilities of the harmonium in his composition. 3-pt. (untampered)

Product (1998), by Peter Adriaansz, is a piece for harmonium and other instruments: the bass of the harmonium is reinforced by a trombone, the treble by a piccolo (or flute). Percussion instruments are added as well.