Text from a booklet with a CD (LBCD12) produced by Lindenberg, Rotterdam
1704: New organ by Arp Schnitger as an instrument with Hoofdwerk and Onderpositief (OP).
1785: Albert Anthonie Hinsz reduces the instrument to one manual. The frontpipes of the Prestant 4' of the Onderpositief are used for the Prestant 16' discant. Vox Humana
of the Onderpositief moved to Hoofdwerk. Changes to Mixtuur and Sesquialter. Enlargment of the manual to d3.
1919: Jan Doornbos moves the console from the backside to the left.
New mechanism. Mixtuur --> Gamba. Removal of Sesquialter and Vox Humana. Reservoir bellows in stead of the wedge-shaped bellows. Changes to the case.
1986: Restoration by Reil to the situation of 1785.
Disposition: Schnitger (S), Hinsz (H), Reil (R)
||16' discant (S,H)
||2 2/3' (S)
EENUM AND GODLINZE - TWO GRONINGEN TERP VILLAGES
The two villages Eenum and Godlinze are characteristically built on terps
northwest of Appingedam in Groningen. The silhouettes of these villages are
bly determined by the two brick Romanesque churches. The church of Eenum is
one of the oldest brick churches in the province of Groningen, dating back to
the second half of the 12th century. The churches are now owned by the Groningen
Old Churches Foundation. This Society made it possible to restore the churches
around the year 1980. The most valuable objects in the churches are the organs,
both made by the famous Hamburg organ builder Arp Schnitger (1648-1719). The
organs were built in the years 1703-4.
Since the 1920s the work of Schnitger is more and more considered to be a high
point in five centuries of European organ building history. The
international Schnitger commemoration in 1969 generated an increased interest
for the organs in Eenum and Godlinze. These organs were discovered to be fairly
original Schnitger-organs both in workmanship and sound quality. After 1975 the
state of these organs deteriorated to such an extent that they were unplayable
and almost collapsed. The instruments were restored in 1985-6 by the
organbuilders Reil of Heerde (Holland). They were advised by Klaas Bolt of
Haarlem. Preservation was the main issue of these restorations.
SCHNITGER'S WORK IN THE NORTHERN NETHERLANDS
Between 1690 and 1719 Arp Schnitger remodelled at least twenty organs in the
provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe, this amount being surpassed only
in Hamburg and its surrounding Altes Land. Only one of his organs survived in
the province of Friesland, while Drenthe possesses two Schnitger organs. The
province of Groningen, however, counts nine organs built by this famous master.
Contacts with the influential Groningen organists Petrus and Gerhardus Havingha
who learnt of Schnitgers work in East-Friesland, together with the more
flexible guild laws in that area, led to further contacts with important
aristocratic families who in turn financed the building of many organs in the
region. On several Schnitger-organs a family coat of arms can be found. Arp
Schnitger and his sons Frans Caspar and Barthold Joachim can be considered
the most important figures in the history of North-German organ-building.
Schnitger worked very efficiently, which resulted in reasonable prices for top
quality. Schnitger designed the organs by means of an exchangeable system which
allowed for many variations. He trained several employees to work as
subcontractors who then built up and finished the prefabricated parts from
Hamburg wherever requested.
Johannes Radeker and Rudolph Garrels, two such contractors, built and maintained
the Schnitger organs in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. After
building an organ in Anloo in 1719, Garrels left the northern provinces and
built organs in Purmerend and Maassluis, among others. Radeker stayed in the
north . The latter’s son Henricus later became a renowned organist of St.
Michael’s church of Zwolle and St. Bavo's in Haarlem.
The organs at Eenum and Godlinze were built shortly after each other by Radeker
and Garrels. They were separately commissioned by two members of the Alberda
family, who happened to be cousins of each other. The organ cases were
fabricated according to sketches drawn up by local joiners and figure carvers,
which was customary at the time. The cases of most Groningen Schnitger organs
were made by Allert Meijer of Groningen, but in Eenum he possibly only made the
case . Jan de Rijk, also from Groningen, made the necessary ornaments. Due to
these Allert Meijer and Jan de Rijk, Schnitger's work in the province of
Groningen had a special character also in the outward appearance. Because both
organs at Eenum and Godlinze were simultaneously restored by the same organbuilder, a comparing model of high music-historical and organological value
Although the organ at Eenum was changed in later times, the original concept was
changed only in detail. A substantial loss did take place, however. Some bellows
for example were replaced, and 3½ of the 10 stops had been removed. It was
relatively easy to correct both of these changes during the last
restoration. In Godlinze, on the other hand, the inside construction of the
original 2-manual organ was changed in 1785 by Schnitger's successor Albertus
Anthonie Hinsz in such a way - new wind-chest; reduction to a one-manual organ
with twelve stops; scale correction; and a change in the compostition of the
mixtures - that one should speak of a Hinsz concept with Schnitger
material. In fact it gives rise to a sound quality, especially in respect to the
foundation stops and the reeds, that is very similar to the instruments made
under Arp Schnitger's direction before his death in 1719.
The organs are tuned in the Praetorian 1/4 comma mean-tone temperament, without
adjustments in Eenum. In Godlinze some adjustments have been made to the 1/6
comma temperament, resulting in the so-called equal temperament. The wolf tone
was eliminated to obtain a regular circle of fifths. The mean-tone temperament
is very pure and beautiful in sound quality but does not allow for keys with
more than three sharps or two flats. Both temperaments could be deduced from the
ORGAN TUNING AND THE YOUNG BACH
Especially the presence of the non-adjusted mean-tone temperament at Eenum
supports the hypothesis that this type of tuning was preferred in the 18th
century both for small village organs used to accompany the congregation and for
organs in small, acoustically dry rooms. Already during the first half of the
17th century changes were made in the circle of fifths within the octave in
large city-organs in big churches with wide acoustics, so that one could play in
more keys. Because of the previously mentioned musical 'building blocks' it
seems that both organs, in relation to each other, are very suitable to bring
back the picture that had developed by the end of the 17th century, namely the
transitional phase in respect to the introduction of a new tuning system other
than the mean-tone temperament. The latter type had been the leading
international temperament during the two previous centuries. First of all it
became possible to satisfy the common whish of the time to be able to play in
several keys while the size of the keyboard was maintained. lt contained seven
naturals and five sharps per octave - a phenomenon that is natural in our time
since the general introduction of the equal temperament at the end of the 18th
century. Secondly, this temperament brought with it the 'key characters'. This
means that every key has its own sound colour, the one bright and harmonic, the
other more severe and a little harsh. This turned out to be an important fact in
allowing the feeling (Affekt) of a song or aria text to be expressed optimally.
Especially Bach's compositions excel in a very fine use of this. Of the
17th-century composers recorded on this CD, especially Georg Böhm and Johann Pachelbel composed part of their works with the new temperament in mind. However,
it is possible that they meant this to be for mean-tone organs or other keyboard
instruments with split sharps (special sharps for e.g. G sharp and A flat)
Bach's early years covered this transitional phase. He undoubtedly became
familiar with all possible temperaments.
MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT AND BACH'S CHORALES FROM THE NEUMEISTER COLLECTION
It is interesting to note that almost half of the chorales in the Neumeister
collection - the recently discovered collection of organ works of which 38
compositions are ascribed to the young Bach - can be played on a mean-tone organ
without any major compromises. Another 12 arrangements only have one or two
notes outside the 1/4-comma temperament, but are playable with a slightly
adjusted mean-tone, such as the 1/5-comma temperament. Remaining are six chorale
arrangements possibly meant specifically for the 'new' temperament, such as in
the case of Andreas Werckmeister.
The temperament is of great influence on the style of composition and the use of
harmonic means. The still dominant presence of the 'old' temperament in Bach's
younger years - nowadays it is also very costly and time consuming to make any
changes - has had a decisive influence on Bach's early compositions. This
recording on authentic instruments makes it possible to experience the context
of Bach's search for new paths. The Eenum organ represents the 17th century
mean-tone, in Godlinze the 18th century 'equal' temperament resounds.