Magazine article The American Organist

Het Groot Orgel Van De Sint-Janskathedraal: De Nachtwacht Van 'S-Hertogenbosch

Magazine article The American Organist

Het Groot Orgel Van De Sint-Janskathedraal: De Nachtwacht Van 'S-Hertogenbosch

Article excerpt

HET GROOT ORGEL VAN DE SINT-JANSKATHEDRAAL: DE NACHTWACHT VAN 'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Wies van Leeuwen. Zwolle: WBOOKS, 2016. 128 pp., ill. ISBN 9789462581630. euro 22.95. Available from Wbooks.com. The first time I saw the great organ in the Cathedral Church of St. John in 's-Hertogenbosch in person, it literally took my breath away- surely this is the most beautiful organ case in the world. Other stunning instruments are in the Netherlands, the organ by Christian Müller in Haarlem chief among them, but the dark oak case in late Renaissance style with a 24'front and an incredible array of carved decoration and figures in the Gothic church of the capital of North Brabant is unmatched. The important Renaissance organbuilder Hendrik Niehoff rebuilt the instrument in 1540, but unfortunately his organ was lost to fire in 1584. The new case, by François Symons, was finished in 1620. A year later, Georg Schysler was paid for his carvings, while Floris Hocque completed the instrument itself in 1622. It was only in 1634, however, that the organ was approved, this after labors by father and son Galthus and Germen van Hagerbeer to correct work by Hans Goltfuss, Hocque's successor. Rebuildings by Antonius Heyneman (1785- 86), Gebroeders Franssen (1897-1902), and the Verschueren firm (1951-53) produced instruments typical of their time. The decision to restore and reconstruct the organ to its 1786 state by Flentrop in 1982-84 was undoubtedly the correct one, as any attempt to reconstruct the van Hagerbeer instrument would have been too speculative. …

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