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Nick Bennett

Hooglandse Kerk, Leiden

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According to this, an 1892 Willis in almost original condition has been purchased for the Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden. The church already has an absolutely stunning organ by de Swart and Hagerbeer (restored, inevitably, by Flentrop).

 

Where's this Willis coming from then? Any ideas?

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It's the one removed from St Mark's, Birkenhead in 1991 - http://www.chester.anglican.org/

 

Anyone got a spec? It doesn't seem to be on NPOR.

 

Hi

 

If anyone has a stop lst, please also send it to NPOR!

 

I'm a little surprised that the church doesn't appear on NPOR as a "building without survey" - is the dedication correct? Is it in a suburb or town just outside Birkenhead?

 

A search fo "Mark Cheshire" might be the way to find it - there are a number of St. mark's with no surveys - or could it be St. Mark, Claughton - http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N04403 ? or St. Mark, New Ferry - http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N08270 ? or are they too far away from Birkenhead?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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So what are they going to do with it I wonder - install in 'original' condition or use as the basis for something else? From past experience of similar (looking at least) vintage instruments they are best left alone and would probably do the job required very well without much alteration (maybe the Pedal reed though...).

 

AJJ

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So what are they going to do with it I wonder - install in 'original' condition or use as the basis for something else?

 

AJJ

 

One thing is sure: they won't paste would-be-"baroque" screaming whistles on it.

 

Pierre

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On checking the above two sites it can be seen that there are going to be some substantial alterations and additions. The case is to be split in two - or more likely, two completely new cases are to be made, on either side of the choir.

 

Two stops are to be added to the Great, three to the Swell, 7 to the pedal, plus a change from a posaune to an ophicliede, and a new solo manual with 12 new stops is to be added.

 

Estimated cost, £1,000,000.

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According to this, an 1892 Willis in almost original condition has been purchased for the Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden. The church already has an absolutely stunning organ by de Swart and Hagerbeer (restored, inevitably, by Flentrop).

I've just looked at that site. Some interesting points from the photos on that site.

 

Firstly, why does this organ remind me of the organ at Hereford Cathedral?

http://www.cathedralorgan.nl/images/gallery/orgel5_gr.jpg

 

This one reminds me of Durham:

http://www.cathedralorgan.nl/images/gallery/orgel2_gr.jpg

 

Dave

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One thing is sure: they won't paste would-be-"baroque" screaming whistles on it.

 

Pierre

 

 

=======================

 

 

Do you mean like this one?

 

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N03588

 

 

Actually, it's a magnificent sounding instrument, in spite of the stop-list.

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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=======================

Do you mean like this one?

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N03588

Actually, it's a magnificent sounding instrument, in spite of the stop-list.

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

 

Oh, that one seems -at least on paper- better balanced that many others

(say for example: 8-4-2-1 1/3-1- Terzian-Mixtur-Cymbel-Kratzenderegal 8)

 

Pierre

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Firstly, why does this organ remind me of the organ at Hereford Cathedral?

http://www.cathedralorgan.nl/images/gallery/orgel5_gr.jpg

 

This one reminds me of Durham:

http://www.cathedralorgan.nl/images/gallery/orgel2_gr.jpg

 

Dave

 

Possibly because whoever is in charge of the project would like their organ to look like a typical Willis cathedral organ (!!). Consequently a clever graphics person has superimposed some prime choices from the UK - a bit like tester pots of paint or carpet samples from Homebase etc. The age of the pipe rack is obviously not gone yet!

 

AJJ

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Rather strangely, I was in the Hooglandse Kerk, Leiden yesterday, assisting a lunchtime recital on the stunning West End organ. The church is very beautiful and blessed with astonishingly fine acoustics. During the course of my flying visit, I learnt about the project and talked to the church organist and some people involved with the project. The church is keen on British choral music and do regular Choral Evensongs.

 

The Cathedral Organ project website is at www.cathedralorgan.nl

 

The church are currently deciding on a builder from a list of a number of well-regarded (English) Builders to carry out the work. They seem to want a scheme approaching an historical reconstruction of a Henry Willis organ, permitting variation for good practical reasons only. I suspect they would look in askance at modern technical details and would see straight through an attempt at an "Englischer Tuba" by a foreign builder with little understanding or technical knowledge of English Cathedral organs. Conversely, there is no need for this organ to pander to any whims to introduce any baroque elements to the organ as their magnificent baroque organ will show up their shortcomings very quickly!

 

The specification of the organ has evolved from the (early) specification on the website. The solo mutations are out, a Solo Orchestral Oboe is in, as are a few less eye-catching (but more practical) stops, like a Flute 4' on the Swell - which will be invaluable for accompaniment.

 

The church has a fund-raising target of 1,000,000 Euros but have only raised about 200,000 so far. Of course, with the recent financial shocks, fund-raising for any project is very difficult. However, I came away feeling very positive about this project: the idea of a sizable British organ in a foreign country is very exciting and demonstrates the continent's growing interest in the British organ school. I would strongly encourage people to support the scheme if they can.

 

Details of the West End organ are here: http://www.orgelsite.nl/leiden5.htm

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According to this, an 1892 Willis in almost original condition has been purchased for the Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden. The church already has an absolutely stunning organ by de Swart and Hagerbeer (restored, inevitably, by Flentrop).

Not Flentrop, it was Jürgen Ahrend.

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The Stichting Cathedral Organ Facebook page is enthusiastically showing that this organ is now installed, albeit not yet in its final form. Links to glowing letters from Huw Williams & Ian Tracey on their main website's news page. See https://www.facebook.com/StichtingCOL and http://www.cathedralorgan.nl/

 

I seem to remember encountering an English Romantic instrument (can't remember which builder) from a North London church in another church in the Netherlands during a study tour whilst I was at the RNCM. Perhaps Paul Walton might remember this? (I think that it was in a balcony to the east of the south transept of whichever building it was in, if this jogs anyone's memory.)

 

However, I do clearly remember at the time that we all remarked (with some lament & irony) on the superb mechanical and tonal condition of the instrument, and how much we wished that similar instruments were equally treated in their home country!

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You may be referring to the Hill organ in the Pieterskerk in Leiden, which was recovered from North London before the building it was in collapsed, restored, and installed there in 1994 by Sicco Steendam. It complements the very old Van Hagerbeer organ at the "West" end, which at the end of the 90's was restored to its original state, complete with mean-tone tuning, and therefore not much use for modern music such as Bach. The Hill was installed on a new platform next to the "Quire".

 

There are a good number of English organs in the Netherlands, mostly revered for their "romantic" or "symphonic" characteristics and their battleship build quality. I'm not really sure what the specific attraction is, as the sound of, say, late 19th century English and Dutch organs is completely different, but I suspect that things like composition pedals and swell boxes might be attractive, as otherwise you really do need three people to perform music with any dynamics, one to drive and two to yank stops in and out and perhaps turn the pages at the right time. And it's a given that there is nothing like an English Open Diapason in the Dutch or German organ vernacular. But they are certainly valued. Recently, Goetze and Gwynn have just finished restoring a Pilcher organ in the Koogerkerk in Zuid-Scharwoude, a surprisingly small church I know quite well which has three organs, and up the road in Noord-Scharwoude a Forster and Andrews nestles next to the sanctuary of the catholic church. The organ builder F R Feenstra does a good trade in restoring and installing English organs in the Netherlands and Germany, which are sadly unappreciated in their home land.

 

http://www.orgelmakerijsteendam.nl/ned/home.htm (Web page of the organ builder for the Pieterskerk organ)

http://www.hengstman.net/organ/ (English organs in the Netherlands)

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32ft Double Open Wood now installed! Some great photos on the FB page. It seems to be of a narrower scale than some of the more visible UK examples.

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Members may (or not) be interested to know that last week saw the erection of the new casework for the Willis organ in the Hooglandse Kerk. Leiden. There are pictures on the SCOL Facebook pages (I'm told) but also on our own (Willis) website at www.willis-organs.com. There is also a Twitter feed accessible from the front page of the website which provides current detail.

 

The arrival of the casework provides the means for including the original (1891) Pedale Violone 16 - in the side front - and the new Great Double Open Diapason 16 in the front - into the specification. The final stage of the work will be the connection of the new entirely pneumatic actions for these two stops immediately after Easter.

 

David Wyld

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