1686/1720 Bosch/ F.C. Schnitger Organ

Grote of Sint Nicolaas Kerk, Vollenhove/Overijssel, The Netherlands

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01a-vollenhove organ gallery 01b-church view from waterside 02-parvis 03-church nave 04 05-organ gallery 06-organ protection appeal 07-pulpit 08-bosch memorial tablet 09-rugpositief 10-angels hoofdwerk 11-pedal tower 12-organ console 13 14 15 16-keyboard detail 17-bellows 18-stop and tracker action 19-soundboard hoofdwerk 20-soundboard rugpositief 21-front pipes from inside organcase 22-schnitger trumpet 23 24 25-pedal tower ranks

Short Introduction and History

In 1686 Apollonius Bosch (~1620-1699) of Amsterdam placed an organ in the church consisting of a Hoofdwerk, a Rugwerk and pull-down pedals.

Frans Caspar Schnitger was born in 1695 and learned the organ building trade from his father Arp. In 1720 Frans Caspar was commissioned to rebuild the organ in Vollenhove. It is very often said, that Frans-Caspar Schnitger was still better than his father. This is not only due to the fame of his name, but also to his majestic organ in the Grote-of St. Michaelskerk in Zwolle and his famous rebuild of the Van Hagerbeer organ in the St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar.

Schnitger placed a new wind chest in the Rugwerk and added new stops, reeds and labials to the organ. It's assumed, that he did tonal adaptations and extensions like in the Alkmaar organ later on.

In 1860 Jan van Loo from Zwolle/Overijssel added pedal towers on each side of the Hoofdwerk case with stops of such high quality, that one is not able to hear significant differences to genuine Schnitger ranks. He added six free pedal stops, all of which are still in the organ. As usual, several modifications were made in the 19th century.

It's a luck, that all front pipes (Prestant) are still original and mostly come from 1686. The Gebroeders Van Vulpen of Utrecht restored the organ in 1977 back to 1720 while maintaining the 1860 free pedal. All of the pipes had to be lengthened to the original pitch of a’ = 415. The organ was tuned to a Werckmeister I temperament.

The organ is especially famous for its warm Prestant sounds from 1686, the bright and clear church acoustics with about 4-5 s reverberation and the quality of the Schnitger reed stops as well as the added pedal ranks. The organ is also important for its original Cornet, one of the earliest examples of this stop in the north of the Netherlands. Cornet stops are normally not to be found in Schnitger organs.

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Recording technique

The organ was recorded in August 2006 with 48 kHz, 24 bit, multi-channel for Hauptwerk 2, using the new multi-layer release technique introduced by OrganART. The stops were recorded with multiple release levels for short, medium and long key attacks for optimal acoustical mapping.