Romantic music in the Veenkoloniën

The great Church in Wildervank has a very beautiful late romantic organ built by the famous organ builder E.F. Walcker. We are proud to have such an organ in Wildervank, for the North of the Netherlands unique, instrument. You can hear how the German romantic music is supposed to sound, but also French and English organ music in the romantic style are a feast for the ears on this organ in the beautiful monumental church (national monument since 2001).

The town of Wildervank (community Veendam) is located in the south-east of the Province of Groningen. Veendam owes its existence to the cultivation of the vast peatmoor lands (veenkoloniën). The area was opened up by a double canal structure mutually connected by cross-canals. Wildervank is more or less a continuation of Veendam. The population of both villages predominantly existed of peat laborers, boatmen, artisans, and merchants. Farmers settled at the cultivated areas. The church was built in 1910 between the two canals.

There is a rich organ culture in the North of the Netherlands starting from 1520. The last few decades the most attention went out to the instruments from the Baroque period and the appropriate repertoire. There is fortunately a change: the romantic organ repertoire is discovered by organists and music lovers. Initially mainly the music from France was looked at, but now the oeuvre from Germany also comes to attention. This is where our Walcker organ comes into the picture.

The beautiful instrument, that rises high above the liturgicalcentre scatters its sounds over the worshippers, has a nice facade with Jugendstil style elements designed by the famous architect Tjeerd Kuipers.

The subtle soft strings in the swell let the ears prick up so the soft passages in the music aren’t missed. The thundering tutti, with the appropriate reed pipes which work well in the total, give a big impression on the listener. There are sophisticated registrations possible including setzers to create a rich shade of sounds. A feast for both the organ player who suddenly experiences how the notes become romantic music and also for the listener who will be grabbed by the dynamics of romantic music.

The organ in the great church was built by the Fa. E.F. Walcker from Ludwigsburg, Germany. The instrument carries opus nr. 1747 and was built in the year 1913. It was delivered two years earlier than the well-known larger instrument of the same builder that is now in Doesburg. Unlike this big brother the organ in Wildervank wasn’t an electro-pneumatic one but equipped with a complete pneumatic tracker action. It was an organ with 2 keyboards and pedal and it had, according to the work list, 24 stops. The pipe organ in Wildervank was donated to the Church by the family Bosch. The organ fell into disrepair after the death of Jan Bosch in 1948, just as many other, younger, organs which fell outside the focal point of interest. We have to thank the enthusiastic members of the church in Wildervank that this instrument is again entirely refurbished. In 2001 the organ was completely restored  by the firm S. de Wit. The disposition is largely brought back to the situation before the changes from the 1960s. In these period at was attempted to adapt to the sound of the organ to the prevailing "neo-Baroque period". Hindsight this change in the 1960s, by a German organ builder, was less successful  because two style periods in one organ is undesirable. Stops that were lost in the 1960s, such as the synthematophon, are partially reconstructed and/or supplemented. The organ was entirely pneumatic. This has now turned into the much more reliable and faster electro-pneumatic system. The current disposition is complemented with some very usable and also responsible changes such as the Gedeckt 8 ' on the pedal. A new console is placed at a much better place for the organist who now has good contact with the organ and with the people in the church. The old console remained in its original place as a "historical monument".

In 2013 the organ was extended with a Voix Céleste 8’ and an Oboe 8’, also the Synthematophon has been set to a higher pressure and a sub- en super coupler was added to the swell.

The current disposition from 2013:

 PEDAL

HAUPTWERK

SCHWELLWERK

 1 Contrabass 16'

11 Bourdon 16'

26 Geigenprinzipal 8'

 2 Subbass 16'

12 Prinzipal 8'

27 Synthematophon 8'

 3 Gedecktbass 16' (11)

13 Doppelflöte 8'

28 Lieblich Gedeckt 8' 

 4 Oktavbass 8'  (12)

14 Dolce 8'  (29)

29 Viola 8'

 5 Gedeckt 8'   (2*)

15 Oktave 4'

30 Voix Céleste 8'

 6 Oktave 2' (17)

16 Flöte 4'  (31)

31 Flûte Harmonique 4'

 7 Posaunenbass 16' (20**)

17 Oktave 2'

32 Quinte 2 2/3'

 8 Kop. I + Ped.

18 Mixtur 3-4 f.

33 Gemshorn 2'

 9 Kop. I + Ped. super

19 Cornett 4 f. (34)

34 Cornett 4 f.

10 Kop. II + Ped.

20 Trompete 8'

35 Oboe 8'

 

21 Oboe 8' (35)

36 Kop. Man. II sub 

 

22 Kop. Man. I super 

37 Kop. Man. II super 

 

23 Kop. Man. II + I

38 Tremulant

 

24 Kop. Man. II + I sub

 

 

25 Kop. Man. II + I super

 

Stops used for transmissions are given between brackets.
*  The Subbass is extended to f'' for the Gedeckt 8'.
** The Posaunenbass is from c - f' a transmission from Trompete 8'.
  

Manuals 2 x 56 keys (C t/m g3), pipes extended to g4
Pedal 30 keys (C t/m f’)

P, MF, F, T(utti) - Combinations
VC - Free combination
AP - Automatic Pedal (Subbass 16', Gedecktbass 16', Gedeckt 8', P+II)
TA - Reeds Off
GC - General Crescendo
Swell Manuaal II
Pedal for GC in 10 steps with LED indication

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