Jacob Lekkerkerker The ‘artistically inherent motivation’ of organ music (discussion, part 2)
Het ORGEL 98 (2002), nr. 2, 40-42 [summary]

Peter Ouwerkerk and Sietze de Vries reacted in het ORGEL 2002/1 to Hans Fidom’s editorial in het ORGEL 2001/6. Fidom had argued for improvisation in the style of one’s own time. Peter Ouwerkerk thought that the ‘artistically inherent motivation’ of an interpretation and the role of the organist deserve attention: in his opinion, the organist is an artist. He also is convinced that there is basically no difference between organ art and other art forms. Sietze de Vries argued strongly to interpret organplaying as a craft. As a consequence, improvising in ancient styles should be stimulated.

Jacob Lekkerkerker points out that organists are artists indeed: they have a ‘musical intuition’, and listen ‘categorically’, whereas musicologists listen ‘systematically’ . An organist will therefore build up his vocabulary first. This will in turn determine the character of his interpretations of ancient music as well as that of his improvisations. To Lekkerkerker, improvising in ancient styles is first and foremost a means to explore a musical territory and to demonstrate organs: ‘How could copying be a goal in itself? A painter would never go on imitating his models all his life either, would he?’ Lekkerkerker: ‘What I strive for when I improvise at a concert or a contest, is to give a report of my relation with the musical past at that very moment.’