Peter van Dijk Bach in the Netherlands around 1900
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 4, 35-45 [summary]

Zwolle, Onze-lieve Vrouwe-Kerk (1896)In the time around 1900 J.S. Bach was quite well known in the Netherlands: several Dutch organists, such as Bastiaans, Van Eijken, De Lange, had studied in Germany. Dutch Bach interpretation was as well influenced by Lemmens, Widor, Guilmant. At the turn of the century, Dutch organ builders were divided into two groups. The first was traditionally influenced oriented (naturally resulting in rather classical organs). The second was influenced by the German ‘modern’ organ. Organs such as the Maarschalkerweerd organ in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe-Kerk in Zwolle (1896), the Smits-orgel in the Goirkese Kerk in Tilburg (1905), the Witte-orgel in the Noorderkerk in Rotterdam (1894) illustrate the modern Dutch organ type. The registrations used at the inauguration of the Rotterdam organ have been preserved: reeds were used only in combination with labial stops; strings could be used as solo stops as well. This manner of registration was increasingly propagated in German organ methods. Karl Straube, in 1913, even published Bach’s Prelude in A as a sort of symphonic poem. Heinrich Reimann, Straube’s teacher, was quoted in het ORGEL, making an argument for using the full possibilities of the modern organ in Bach interpretation. Albert Schweitzer, whose Bach-biography from 1907/1908 was known in the Netherlands, was strongly opposed to the views held by Reimann.

In the Netherlands, the modern way of playing Bach was practised by organists such as Jean- Baptiste de Pauw and Johannes Andries de Zwaan; Willem Petri and Marinus Hendrik van ’t Kruijs represented the conservative manner of interpre