Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Organ St. Bavo Haarlem

Christian Müller Organ 1735 -1738.

The organ builder Christian Müller and the sculptor Jan van Logteren, both of Amsterdam, built the instrument in 1735 -1738. With its sixty-four stops and imposing 32 foot pedal towers it was for many years the largest organ in the world.

Soon after its completion the organ became a tourist attraction with international fame and it still is. It was played by G.F. Händel in 1740 and ’50, who travelled to Haarlem especially for this purpose, and in 1766 the ten-year-old Mozart was on the organ.

Dietrich Buxtehude (c. 1637-1707) Praeludium in d-dur BuxWV 139

Piet Kee at the Christian Müller organ of the St. Bavokerk in Haarlem

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries considarable alterations were made according to the dictates of the time. The purpose of the major restoration of 1959 -1961 by Marcussen & Son was to restore the organ as far as possible to its original state. In the years 1987 - 2000 Flentrop Orgelbouw worked on the voicing of the instrument.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)Toccata in F major BWV 540
Marie-Claire Alain at the Christian Müller organ of St. Bavokerk in Haarlem (Holland)

Wachet Auf, J.S.Bach


Fantasie In Fa-mineur of W.A. Mozart ,performed by Bernhard Bartelink.


With the organ of Haarlem its maker, Christiaan Müller, a German by origin, has placed himself among the great organ builders not only of his time, but of all times. Although it has been radically restored several times – the last big restoration was carried out in 1959-60 by the Danish company Marcussen – the organ has retained its original concept with yet about 90% of the pipes. During the past years the organ building company Flentrop from Zaandam, that is maintaining the organ, has carried out a number of retunings, through which the sound again closely approaches the original. The sound can be described as broad, prominent, and despite the countless nuances exceptionally homogeneous. Famous is the Cornet, the register that is placed to enable strengthening of the melody of the psalm, and the Vox Humana, or imitation of the human voice, with which Händel was very charmed, as we know. Of course, the superb acoustics of the church contributes to the beauty of the instrument's sound. Händel, Mozart and Mendelssohn number along the many celebrated visitors who have travelled far to play the instrument.

Some technical data: The organ counts more than 5000 pipes, divided over 64 stops, with three manuals and a pedal. The case is made of pinewood and painted in mahogany; all pipes are made of metal (an alloy of lead and tin), the play-register action is mechanical tracker (renewed in 1960). The tuning is even, which is a concession to the present concert practice, in which not only Baroque music, but also music from all style periods is performed. The Müller organ is played mainly in the summer period at the mentioned city concerts and during the church services on Sundays. In the summer the city organ concerts attract many visitors each week.

Buxtehude Prelude and Fugue in D

J.S. Bach - Choral Prelude - BWV 622
"O Mensch Bewein Dein Sunde Gross"


Praestant 1,2 st.16'
Bourdon 16'
Octaaf 1,2 st. 8'
Roerfluit 8'
Viola di Gamba (conisch) 8' 1
Roerquint 6'
Octaaf 4'
Gemshorn 4'
Quint-praesant 3'
Woudfluit 2'
Tertiaan 2 st. 2'
Mixtuur 4-10 st. 2-8'
Scherp 6,7,8 st. 1 1/2' 1
Trompet 16'
Trompet 8'
Hautbois 8'
Trompet 4'

Praestant 2 st. 8'
Quintadena 8' 1
Holpijp 8'
Octaaf 4'
Fluit Douce 4'
Speelfluit 3'
Super Octaaf 2'
Sesquialter 2, 3, 4 st.
Cornet 4 st. discant
Mixtuur 6, 8 st. 1'
Cymbaal 3 st. 1
Fagot 16'
Trompet 8'
Trechter regaal 8' 1

Quintadena 16'
Praestant 2 st. 8
Quintadena 8'
Baarpijp 8'
Octaaf 4'
Flagfluit 4'
Nasard 3
Nachthoorn 2'
Flageolet 1 1/2'
Sesquialter 2 st.
Mixtuur 4,5,6 st.2' 1
Cymbaal 3 st. (+terts) 1
Schalmei 8'
Dolceaan 8'
Vox humana 8'

Principaal 32'
Praestant 16'
Subbas 16' 1
Roerquint 12'
Octaaf 8'
Holfluit 8'
Quintpraestant 6'
Octaaf 4'
Holfluit 2'
Mixtuur 6-10 st. 2 2
Ruischpijp 4 st. (+terts) 3' 1
Bazuin 32'
Bazuin 16'
Trompet 8'
Trompet 4'
Cink 2'

1) Newly made in 1961
2) Added to the disposition in 1961

All pipes of all stops (64) are made of metal.

Works by Charpentier,Boyce and Derx.

Bist du bei mir J.S.Bach and an improvisation on


YouTube - Feike Asma Liebster Jesu
Pipe Organ splendour
St. Bavo Haarlem: Herre Gud, ditt dyre navn og aere
The Great Organ at Haarlem St. Bavo Church
Bass Pig's Rendition of Danse Macabre for Organ
YouTube - Haarlem St. Bavo Bass Pig's Rendition of Danse Macabre for Organ
JS Bach: Ach Gott Und Herr, BWV 714 (St. Bavo: ...
YouTube - Bach Chorale Prelude at St. Bavo
JS Bach: Chorale Prelude: O Mensch Bewein Dein Sunde Gross, BWV 622
JS Bach: Christ Lag In Todesbanden, BWV 625 (Michael Murray)
Marcello, Organ at St. Bavo in Haarlem, Netherlands
Haydn, Flute Clocks
JS Bach: FUGUE in Eb (St. Anne), BWV 552
James Pollard - Bruhns e minor Praeludium
James Pollard - Bach Prelude C major Bwv545
You Tube Organ at St. Bavo in Haarlem, Netherlands You Tube

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