Bader-organ  Walburgiskerk Zutphen

After the very successful performance to capture the sounds of the Schnitger organ in Zwolle in a sample set, Jiri Zurek (Sonus Paradisi) has also stored the special sounds of the Bader organ in Zutphen very successfully. Both sets are very valuable organs for Hauptwerk.

Orgelmakerij Gebr. Reil in Heerde has carried out a thorough restoration in the period 1993-1996. Hauptwerk, Rückpositiv and pedal were brought back as far as possible in the original state of 1643.

Only pipes made of lead

It is noteworthy that during this restoration was determined that the pipes of Bader were made of lead. Lead in that period contained chemical additives which have a positive influence on the sound. The beautiful vocal sounds of the Bader organ were generated with pipes made of lead.

I asked Jiri Zurek if it was possible to record the sounds as dry as possible, so that the details are not blurred by the large hall of the cathedral. I want to hear them like the organist at the console in the church, not blurred by the hall. The articulation and the little roaring sounds are recorded wonderfully. With well-chosen settings of the equalizer of Hauptwerk it can be heard in my living room as well as at the console in the church.

Holzhey-Orgel  Weissenau 1787

Johann Nepomuk Holzhey (1741-1809) was one of the great South German master organ builders in the second half of the 18th century. In recent years Holzhey has received increasing attention. After decades of shadowy existence, the name Holzhey is about to become a household name again. His instruments belong to rococo and classicism. However, in his later works the influence of romantic sound aesthetics becomes more and more perceptible. Holzhey's work represents the zenith of classicistic organ building in South Germany.

Holzhey received most significant ideas for his work from Karl Riepp. Riepp practiced French organ building. Those two styles could not be more different.

Holzhey's masterstroke was to combine both styles and thus create tonally highly appealing instruments. His contemporaries frequently marveled at how soft but also how powerful his organs sounded.

Schnitger sounds in Anloo (Drenthe Nld)

The Radeker & Garrels-Organ of 1719 is located in the Magnus Church of Anloo (NLD) it is built by Rudolf Radeker and Johannes Garrels, organ builders who learned the work by Arp Schnitger.  

The organ has been restored back to its original state by the organ builder Henk van Eeken in Herwijnen (NLD). Some of the pipes had been lost due to fire. Fortunately the for the historic sound important eight and four-foot pipes and the reeds (for the largest part) are there still original present.

The destroyed part has been reconstructed by him in the same historic style. With his research to the reconstruction process (Gothenburg Art Center) he completely succeeded in finding back the characteristic old sound and no one hears any difference between the old and the reconstructed pipes.  A fabulous example of the art of organ trade art. 
Each organist, who wants to play this organ can get permission from one of the organists of the Church. As a contribution to the Church, a small fee is requested.

The Sample Set can be bought by Prospectum
Arp Schnitger organ 1721    Zwolle

Over the past century is proved that Arp Schnitger was the organ builder that in his time reached the highest degree of perfection in the art of organ building. Schnitger's organs were in the search for the lost art of organ building, after the sixties of the 20th century, seen as the best example. Thanks to the construction of new organs in the style of Schnitger the organ world could take note of the northern European sounds of the Baroque in this area and got a deeper understanding of the organ art in that region.

Arp Schnitger built 170 organs, of which 110 are newly built. Of the more than thirty, which still exist today is the largest part in Northern Germany. There are 11 in the northern of the Netherlands, in the province of Groningen. The organ of the Martini church isn't a real Schnitger organ, but Arp Schnitger has made the 32 foot towers ans some stops.

The organ of the great or St. Michaelis-church in Zwolle is designed by Arp Schnitger, but completed after his death by his son Franz Caspar and Johann Georg.  
It is a four-manual organ with 63 registers and is the largest Schnitger organ.

From Schnitger organs, not many sample sets are created and only in a single set the sounds have been stored properly. The sample set that Jiri Zurek (Sonus Paradisi) in Zwolle has recorded, has the best reflects of the beautiful timbres of a Schnitger organ and thus:

            Zwolle is the best sample set of a Schnitger organ

Quality of the sample sets
The sounds of many historic organs with valuable musical properties are stored in the sample sets. The beautiful Hinsz organ in the Bovenkerk in Kampen, I had often played in church was the first set that I have once played on a Hauptwerk organ met. Not one moment I had the feeling that I played the Hinsz organ, because I heard more hall than pipe sounds. The Bätz organ of the Dom in Utrecht was the second example of sounds that have been sampled poorly. It sounds as if I'm sitting on one side of the church and the organ is located on the other side. A musician has to play his instrument on short distance! In the church, both organs sound nice, but the sample set do reproduce the character of the sounds well.

In the church, the organist sits in the vicinity of the pipes and he hears the sounds immediately. If the sounds are recorded at this place, the sample set in the chamber can convey the sounds as the organist has experienced in the church. The sounds reflect in the acoustics of the church and the organist observes it out separately from the direct sounds. At first the sounds after that the hall. A sample set should transfer this situation, but in a large number of sets the reverb is so strong that the direct sounds are not transferred. On this page the sample sets, which provide a good representation of the sounds.

Gottfried Silbermann organ in Zöblitz  (1742)   

This particular sample set of Prospectum reproduces the sounds with four channels, the recordings in the back of the church are represented in the surround channels. The Silbermann organ is a Baroque organ, with wide labium’s in the principals. The organ has singing sounds with a great richness of overtones. It is significant for the sounds of Gottfried Silbermann. 

Gottfried Silbermann gave his principals wide labium’s. The upper mouth is pulled to the front compared to the languid gap and the wind band is directed outwards. All these factors contribute to a strong development of many overtones, thus creates a wide singing sound. The richness of the sound is so large and overwhelming that there is not much need to add reeds.

The character of the flutes is thin and clear, which indicates a good development of the third and fifth overtone. The basic volume is growing in the low octaves. In the intonation I voted this precisely to my sound field. The sounds are stored realistic in the sample set, but the organist must voice them carefully.

Renaissance orgel
Choro primo
Principale 8’
Cimbale 2st. ½’
Mixtura 3 st. 1’
Superoctava 2’
Quinta maior 2 2/3’
Octava principale 4’

Choro secondo
Salicinale 8’
Copula maior 8’
Copula minor 4’
Quintadena 4’

Regal 8' (apart van
Choro 1 en 2)

Superoctavasus 4’
Octavasus 8’
Subbasus 16’

Copula 8'
Copula 4'
Fugara 4'
Principal 2'
Quinta 1 1/2'  
Octava 1'

Sound in proportion to acoustics

Helmut Maier of OAM (Organ Art Media) has stored the sounds of the
Arp Schnitger
organ of Steinkirchen in the samples. He uses an old-fashioned stereo system, where the microphones are placed in a dummy head. The broadcasting and sound studios have been used this technique in the middle of the last century, but is was long exiled in the Museum.  Maier has edited the samples for the listening with headphones and that  is strongly recommended by him.

However, two universities (Erasmus in Rotterdam and the University of Leuven), show that the use of headphones cause hearing damage. It's a compelling reason never to use a set of headphones.

The best alternative is two speakers on a short distance and at ear level of the organist. I have substantially changed the samples so that they are adapted for speaker playback. Another speaker is used for the acoustics.

My voicing of the sounds are published in a book            

Heinrich Trost Organ in Waltershausen

In 1730 Heinrich Gottfried Trost built a large organ for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waltershausen. With 47 registers plus 6 transmissions this is the largest baroque organ in Thuringia.    

Documented is that Johann Sebastian Bach has played this organ himself as well as the Trost organ of Altenburg and the sounds were assessed by him as the most characteristic for his organ works. For example, a Violon stop in the pedal considered Bach as indispensable for his music. He also likes a Viola 8' plus Viola 4'.

The timbres of the organs in Central Germany are more playfully, overtone-rich and more varied as the North German organs. Bach was born in Eisenach and his living and working area was in the middle of Germany too.

Ewald Kooiman has recorded three times the organ works of Bach integral and he had a preference for the organs in the middle of Germany, including the Trost organ in Waltershausen and the Holzhey organ in Weissenau. Also he likes the sounds with French influences of Andreas Silbermann in Ebersmunster and his son Johann Andreas Silbermann in Arlesheim.
                                                          Trost Organ in Waltershausen

Smecno Renaissance-orgel from 1587

The Renaissance-Organ of the Holy Trinity Church in Smecno (30 km west of Prague) is the oldest organ preserved in good condition in the Czech Republic. It was built in 1587 by an unknown Builder. In 1775 Jan Rusch in Litomerice has added a small Baroque Choir organ during an extensive renovation work. 

Dusan Doubek carried out a reconstruction of the organ in the Renaissance style. The name plates showed the original names of the pipes that are mostly original. During the reconstruction, the damaged pipes were created in the same style. The organ sound is the original Renaissance sound The renovation of the organ is continued in the years 2009-2010. The Baroque Choir positive remained separate from the Renaissance organ with an own manual and own register stops. It is located opposite the main organ and the organist must choose whether he plays the Renaissance organ or the choir organ.

The exceptional construction of this Renaissance instrument
The Renaissance organ with one keyboard is built on two separate wind chests. The first contains only the main chorus and on the other one has the flutes. It is possible to mute a wind chest with valves. They can be used to distribute the register by the Italian style of Choro Primo and Choro Secondo. Thus, it is possible to switch quickly from the plenary sound to the flutes and it imitates two keyboards.

Sonus Paradisi has recorded the sounds in dry, wet en surround samples. I prefer the dry samples and the Lexicon MX 300 cares for a very good acoustics

Principal           8' 
Quintadena       8'
Rohrflöte          8' 
Octava            4'
Spitzflöte         4'
Quinta             3'
Octava            2'
Mixtur             IV
Cornet            III
Gedackt             8'
Rohrflöte            4'
Nasat                3'
Octava              2'
Tertia          1 3/5'
Quinta          1 1/2'
Sufflet               1'
Cimbel               II
Subbass           16'
Octavbass         8'
Posaunenbass   16'
Principal          16’
Octav Principal  8’
Viol di Gamba    8’
Rohr Flöte        8’
Octava            4’
Spitz Flöte       4’
Quinta             3’
Octava            2’
Mixtur        4 fach
Cymbel      3 fach
Cornet       4 fach
Fachott          16’
Trompete         8’
Quintadena      16’
Principal           8’
Gedackt           8’
Quintadena       8’
Rohr Flöte        4’
Octava            4’
Nasat              3’
Octava            2’
Quinta       1 1/3’
Sifflöt              1’
Mixtur       3 fach
Vox Humana     8’
Gross Untersatz 32’
Principal           16’
Octaven Bass     8’
Quintadena        8’
Posaune           16’
Trompete           8’