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Mander Organs
Martin

Organs in Amsterdam

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Hello,

next weekend I'll be in Amsterdam (attending IBC) and I would love to take that chance (first time visitor) to get to know/play an interesting organ there. As it's most probably not possible for a "noname" to play one of the famous instruments like Oude Kerk, I gratefully take tips where/whom to ask on a smaller instrument ((pre-)baroque or modern) there..

Perhaps someone has tips here..

Thanks so much!

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Hello,

next weekend I'll be in Amsterdam (attending IBC) and I would love to take that chance (first time visitor) to get to know/play an interesting organ there. As it's most probably not possible for a "noname" to play one of the famous instruments like Oude Kerk, I gratefully take tips where/whom to ask on a smaller instrument ((pre-)baroque or modern) there..

Perhaps someone has tips here..

Thanks so much!

 

You might try contacting Sauer1889, who occasionally posts here and is currently Organist of the Nicolaaskerk, Amsterdam.

 

Aside from the fact that the instrument in the Oude Kerk is out of action (or was about a month ago), it is in a fairly dreadful state. In any case, it was partly 'Romanticised' at some point in the nineteenth century and somewhat spoiled as a result. However, the fine instrument in the Westerkerk* is definitely worth a visit. Jos van der Kooy is Organist there.

 

If you are unable to get access to any instruments and you still have some spare time, do visit the Rijksmuseum - it has recently re-opened after a ten-year refurbishment - it is absolutely stunning. Even if the exhibits were boring (which they are not), the building itself is a work of art.

 

 

 

* I can also recommend the restaurant next door (Werck), Prinsengracht 277. tel.: +31(0)20 627 4079, just to the left of the Westerkerk tower door, as you face the church tower. (It is between the church and the Anne Frank House.) I had a meal or two there again this summer and the food and service were still excellent. Herenstraat (off Herengracht) also has several restaurants: Max is good: Herenstraat 14, tel.: +31 (0) 20 4 200 222 (just to the right of Seasons). Also, l'invite: Bloemgracht 47. +31 (0) 20 570 2010. I know that you requested information about organs, but I thought that a few restaurant recommendations might help.

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Well, good luck with the Westerkerk. We stayed very near this church and tried several times just to be able to look inside. Passing the church late one evening we noticed that a concert had just concluded. Seizing our chance, we slipped inside to admire this beautiful church. A brusque churchwarden saw us and unceremoniously grabbed us by the arms and ejected us, in spite of our attempt to explain ourselves. I do find 'Christians' disappointing when they behave this way.

 

H

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Well, good luck with the Westerkerk. We stayed very near this church and tried several times just to be able to look inside. Passing the church late one evening we noticed that a concert had just concluded. Seizing our chance, we slipped inside to admire this beautiful church. A brusque churchwarden saw us and unceremoniously grabbed us by the arms and ejected us, in spite of our attempt to explain ourselves. I do find 'Christians' disappointing when they behave this way.

 

H

 

This is an unfortunate experience - and I am sorry to learn of it. Without wishing to make excuses for people whom I do not know, it could be (as has often happened here at the Minster) that the person(s) concerned had been on duty all day and were simply desperate to get home and get some rest. There have been a number of occasions when one or other of our vergers have been on duty all day - and then expected to come in again of a Saturday evening, in order to be on hand for a concert. This would normally entail being there at least from 18:30 (after working all day in the church), until at least 22:00, when the last orchestra member and concert-goer had left the building. However, on a Saturday, since our vergers also double a sacristans, once the building was made secure, there would be at least another half-hour's work getting everything ready for the first Mass the following morning. After such evenings, our vergers have looked absolutely exhausted.

 

Whilst I can understand that you wished to see this beautiful church, perhaps directly after an evening concert is not the most appropriate time. This church is normally open during the day for several hours - I have had no trouble whatsoever either looking around for as long as I wished, nor in taking photographs. I did just this a few weeks ago - and have some good, clear photographs of the interior of this beautiful church. If you wished, I should be happy to send you copies of some of these pictures by e-mail.

 

Perhaps it is easy to point the finger at vergers and churchwardens (or whatever is the equivalent in a Dutch church). However, if I had been on duty as long as our vergers have been on several occasions, I cannot say honestly that I would be particularly accommodating to late-evening visitors.

 

It is possible that this was the case at the time you wished to visit.

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Thanks to all - I also got a very helpful comprehensive mail from a dutch organist, a concert calender is here (for some reason I did not find this one with google before): http://www.hetorgel.nl/nagconcert.htm, remembering me of Orgelpark (they then play Frank Zappa et al, not really my interest though), and among others he suggested Noorderkerk and Oosterkerk and also the famous Haarlem is not so far away. Already way too much for the limited time..

And an organ list is here: http://www.orgelsite.nl/amsterdam12.htm

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