- 1. The dimensions and proportions are also found back in Hamburg: 286,57 mm. It is possible that the case was made by Allart Meijer, sculptor in Groningen. It was possible for us to compare the tool marks with the ones found in the organ of Uithuizen (Groningen), built just before.
a overall height of the organ case 13,5 b overall width of the organ case 7,50 c height of the upper case 6,75 height of the lower case 6,75 d height of the lateral tower of the upper case 5,00 e height of the central tower - height of the lateral tower 1,75
a : b = 9 : 5 a : c = 2 : 1 b : c = 10 : 9 : 2 b : d = 3 : 2 c : d = 27 : 20 = 13,5 : 10 d : e = 20 : 7 = 10 : 3,5
- The description equals the description by Siwert Meijer: 12 stops, 2 manuals and 1 bellows.
1 Principal 4 2 Holzflöte 8 (C-H closed, after cº open
3 Gedackt 8 (metal) 4 Holzflöte 4 5 Octava 2 (metal) 6 Quinte 3 7 Quinte 1 ½ (metal) 8 Superoctava 1 9 Sesquialtera 3f 10 Mixtur 4f 11 Dulcian 16 12 Trompete 8
- The organs of Faro Cathedral (Portugal) and Mariana Cathedral (Brazil) dont fit the Siwert Meijer description. But, probably, their later date of construction accounts for the fact that this organ from 1701 was built along other standards.
- The Arp Schnitger pupils, Matthias Hartmann and Hans Henrich Ulenkamp, were working on the organ of Magdeburg, in 1701.
- In the interior of the organ , the organbuilder Georg Jann found Arp Schnitger's signature dated 9 May 1701.
- The organbuilder Georg Jann saw that the organ was changed to be played from behind so that it was compatible with the lateral balcony of the church. The organ has been restored and conserved with its primitive character. Work has been carried out to enlarge the lateral balcony. At the moment the organ is played from the front side. The intonation of the organ is being finished at this moment.
- In the extensive documentation concerning the monastery the researchers have not yet found any significant documents about origin and date of this organ. But we can think between certain limits: :
- The Arp Schnitger organ of 1701 - with 12 stops 2 manuals and without pedal - can play music from before J.S. Bach (and from this composer himself the music for harpsichord only).
- In the course of the XVIII century it is natural that the more important churches
- adapt the old organs to have more possibilities (Faro Cathedral, Oldovoni,1767); or
- contract new organs with more possibilities and sell the older organs to less important or even insignificant churches.
- It is natural that a church contracts a new organ when the principal interior decorations are finished. The first Baroque carvings in the S. Salvador de Moreira Monastery are from 1730. Only at such a point of time is it natural to purchase a new organ.
- The inventory list of S. Salvador de Moreira from 1770 said that it was "an organ on a lateral balcony of the church". Was it the present organ?There are several hypotheses:
1st - the organ came directly to Porto in 1701: Porto had extensive commercial relations with the north (London, Amsterdam, Hamburg) and the south (Africa, Brazil) There were Portuguese merchants in Amsterdam and Hamburg.The most important possibilities in 1701 are:
- The S. Domingos Convent of Porto (near S. Francisco, in the City, but disappeared). There was an organ with 12 stops in the XVIII century (1726-1750). It is possible that the organ was sold abroad.
- The S. Francisco Convent of Porto, in the City: in the interior of his Gothic church, the decorative Baroque carvings were made between 1680 to 1780. It is possible that these were integrated in an organ contract. And, in 1873, this church acquired a new organ. The present instrument, built by António José dos Santos, was restored in 1999 by Georg Jann. Therefore it is likely that the previous organ was sold.
- The S. João Novo Augustin’s Convent of Porto, in the City: in the interior of this manierist church, the principal decorative Baroque carving work was done in 1700. It was possibly included in the contract for a new organ. But, in 1867, this church drew up a contract for the restoration of the current organ, by António José dos Santos, which is another organ.
- The São Salvador de Moreira Monastery signed a contract for a new organ directly in 1701. Organbuilder Michael Hensberg from Brussels, lived in Porto and worked in this town between 1685 and 1700. He had relationships with the Canons: he restored the organ of the St. Cross of Coimbra Monastery in 1694. Was there a link with Arp Schnitger?
2nd - the organ came to Lisbon in 1701 and afterwards it went to Oporto: This date is a date of change in the political alliances with England, Holland, Germany and Austria. It is possible that 2 organs came from Hamburg or Groningen to the important churches of Lisbon (Royal Chapel, Cathedral, S. Vicente de Fora, Bemposta Chapel). But when did they come to the Moreira da Maia Monastery? The main possibilities are:
- The new Italian music models at the S. Vicente de Fora Monastery in 1723; The organ went to another – less important - monastery of the same order at Moreira da Maia,
- The renovation of "Bemposta Chapel" in 1736, involving the transfer of the organ to the nearby Franciscan "Conceição Chapel", and afterwards to the "Conceição Convent of Leça da Palmeira, near Moreira da Maia.
- The Canons of S. Salvador de Moreira Monastery in the Mafra Convent (1771-1792).
In this moment, at the Municipal Library of Maia, there are microfilms of all the documents concerning the ancient Canonical Monastery of Moreira da Maia. Only a study of these documents can clarify the questions.
Porto, the 13 April 2000