The Marcussen organ of the Nicolaïkerk
The organs of the Nicolaïkerk
The Nicolaïkerk boasts two remarkable organs which, despite their relatively young age, enjoy an international reputation. The three-manual, 33-stop main organ was erected in 1956 by the famous Danish builder Marcussen on the initiative of Lambert Erné, organist of the church. This second Dutch instrument by Marcussen was preceded in 1953 by the so-called Sweelinck organ, a two-manual, 16-stop instrument for the NCRV broadcasting studio in Hilversum. The latter instrument was placed on loan to the Nicolaïkerk in 2000, so that these two organs now stand together in this historic edifice.
The significance of the two instruments lies in the fact that Marcussen was one of the most prominent exponents in Europe of the Organ Movement. Discontentment with the standard of European organ building in the early decades of the 20th century gave rise to a movement that demanded radical reform. Led by figures including Albert Schweitzer, new inspiration was sought in the "classical" organ building of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. A new type of organ resulted, in which the principles of 17th- and 18th-century organ building were combined with modern techniques.
The Sweelinck organ and the main organ of the Nicolaïkerk are early examples of this new type of instrument. By reason of the unsurpassed craftsmanship of Sybrand Zachariassen, head of the firm of Marcussen, the two instruments fulfilled an exemplary role in Dutch organ building.
The case of the main organ (with horizontal trumpets employed for the first time in Holland) was designed by Poul-Gerhard Andersen.
The main organ by Marcussen replaced an instrument built in 1888 by the Utrecht builder Johan Frederik Witte. This instrument replaced in turn an organ by Peter Gerritsz of 1477-79, to which his grandson Cornelis Gerritsz had added a Rugwerk in 1547. After the Second World War the case of this unique instrument, after having been exhibited in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, was erected in the Koorkerk in Middelburg. A very considerable amount of the instrument has survived, and it is now considered to be one of the most important early organs in the entire world.
A booklet, photographs and cd's are available in the church.
Disposition of the Marcussen-organ (1956) in the Nicolaïkerk
Nasat 1 1/3'
Coupler HR HB PH PR
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