Eenum, Hervormde kerk


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1704: New organ by Arp Schnitger.

1809: Heinrich Hermann Freytag adds a pedal and a new bellows outside the case. Possibly changes were carried out in the tuning.

1845: Petrus van Oekelen changes the specification and adds Cis, Dis, Fis en Gis on a separate windchest.

1891: Repairs by Jan Doornbos. The wedge-shaped bellows were replaced by a reservoir-bellows.

Situation before the restoration of 1987

1987: Restoration by Reil to the situation of 1809.

Specification 1987:
Manual CDEFGA–c3
Holpyp 8′ S
Praestant 4′ S
Holpyp 4′ S
Quint 3′ S/R
Octaaf 2′ S
Woudfluyt 2′ S/R
Quinte 11/2 R
Sesquialter II 2/3 R
Scherp IV 1/2 R
Trompet 8′ S
Pedal C–d1

Strict Text from a booklet accompanying a CD (LBCD12) produced by Lindenberg Rotterdam)
The two villages Eenum and Godlinze are characteristically built on terps northwest of Appingedam in Groningen. The silhouettes of these villages are bly determined by the two brick Romanesque churches. The church of Eenum is one of the oldest brick churches in the province of Groningen, dating back to the second half of the 12th century. The churches are now owned by the Groningen Old Churches Foundation. This Society made it possible to restore the churches around the year 1980. The most valuable objects in the churches are the organs, both made by the famous Hamburg organ builder Arp Schnitger (1648-1719). The organs were built in the years 1703-4.

Since the 1920s the work of Schnitger is more and more considered to be a high point in five centuries  of European organ building history. The international Schnitger commemoration in 1969 generated an increased interest for the organs in Eenum and Godlinze. These organs were discovered to be fairly original Schnitger-organs both in workmanship and sound quality. After 1975 the state of these organs deteriorated to such an extent that they were unplayable and almost collapsed. The instruments were restored in 1985-6 by the organbuilders Reil of Heerde (Holland). They were advised by Klaas Bolt of Haarlem. Preservation  was the main issue of these restorations.

Between 1690 and 1719 Arp Schnitger remodelled at least twenty organs in the provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe, this amount being surpassed only in Hamburg and its surrounding Altes Land. Only one of his organs survived in the province of Friesland, while Drenthe possesses two Schnitger organs. The province of Groningen, however, counts nine organs built by this famous master.
Contacts with the influential Groningen organists Petrus and Gerhardus Havingha who learnt of Schnitgers work in East-Friesland, together with the more flexible guild laws in that area, led to further contacts with important aristocratic families who in turn financed the building of many organs in the region. On several Schnitger-organs a family coat of arms can be found. Arp Schnitger and his sons Frans Caspar and Barthold Joachim can be considered  the most important figures in the history of North-German organ-building. Schnitger worked very efficiently, which resulted in reasonable prices for top quality. Schnitger designed the organs by means of an exchangeable system which allowed for many variations. He trained several employees to work as subcontractors who then built up and finished the prefabricated parts from Hamburg wherever requested.
Johannes Radeker and Rudolph Garrels, two such contractors, built and maintained the Schnitger organs in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. After building an organ in Anloo in 1719, Garrels left the northern provinces and built organs in Purmerend and Maassluis, among others. Radeker stayed in the north . The latter’s son Henricus later became a renowned organist of  St. Michael’s church of Zwolle and  St. Bavo's in Haarlem.
The organs at Eenum and Godlinze were built shortly after each other by Radeker and Garrels. They were separately commissioned by two members of the Alberda family, who happened to be cousins of each other. The organ cases were fabricated according to sketches drawn up by local joiners and figure carvers, which was customary at the time. The cases of most Groningen Schnitger organs were made by Allert Meijer of Groningen, but in Eenum he possibly only made the case . Jan de Rijk, also from Groningen, made the necessary ornaments. Due to these Allert Meijer and Jan de Rijk,  Schnitger's work in the province of Groningen had a special character also in the outward appearance. Because both organs at Eenum and Godlinze were simultaneously restored by the same organbuilder, a comparing model of high music-historical and organological value was discovered.
Although the organ at Eenum was changed in later times, the original concept was  changed only in detail. A substantial loss did take place, however. Some bellows for example were replaced, and 3½ of the 10 stops had been removed. It was relatively easy to correct both of these changes  during the last restoration. In Godlinze, on the other hand, the inside construction of the original 2-manual organ was changed in 1785 by Schnitger's successor Albertus Anthonie Hinsz in such a way - new wind-chest; reduction to a one-manual organ with twelve stops; scale correction; and a change in the compostition of the mixtures - that one should speak of a Hinsz  concept  with Schnitger material. In fact it gives rise to a sound quality, especially in respect to the foundation stops and the reeds, that is very similar to the instruments made under Arp Schnitger's direction before his death in 1719.
The organs are tuned in the Praetorian 1/4 comma mean-tone temperament, without adjustments in Eenum. In Godlinze some adjustments have been made to the 1/6 comma temperament, resulting in the so-called equal temperament. The wolf tone was eliminated to obtain a regular circle of fifths. The mean-tone temperament is very pure and beautiful in sound quality but does not allow for keys with more than three sharps or two flats. Both temperaments could be deduced from the old pipework.

Especially the presence of the non-adjusted mean-tone temperament at Eenum supports the hypothesis that this type of tuning was preferred in the 18th century both for small village organs used to accompany the congregation and for organs in small, acoustically dry rooms. Already during the first half of the 17th century changes were made in the circle of fifths within the octave in large city-organs in big churches with wide acoustics, so that one could play in more keys. Because of the previously mentioned musical 'building blocks' it seems that both organs, in relation to each other, are very suitable to bring back the picture that had developed by the end of the 17th century, namely the transitional phase in respect to the introduction of a new tuning system other than the mean-tone temperament. The latter type had been the leading international temperament during the two previous centuries. First of all it became possible to satisfy the common whish of the time to be able to play in several keys while the size of the keyboard was maintained. lt contained seven naturals and five sharps per octave - a phenomenon that is natural in our time since the general introduction of the equal temperament at the end of the 18th century. Secondly, this temperament brought with it the 'key characters'. This means that every key has its own sound colour, the one bright and harmonic, the other more severe and a little harsh. This turned out to be an important fact in allowing the feeling (Affekt) of a song or aria text to be expressed optimally. Especially Bach's compositions excel in a very fine use of this. Of the 17th-century composers recorded on this CD, especially Georg Böhm and Johann Pachelbel composed part of their works with the new temperament in mind. However, it is possible that they meant this to be for mean-tone organs or other keyboard instruments with split sharps (special sharps for e.g. G sharp and A flat) Bach's early years covered this transitional phase. He undoubtedly became familiar with all possible temperaments.

It is interesting to note that almost half of the chorales in the Neumeister collection - the recently discovered collection of organ works of which 38 compositions are ascribed to the young Bach - can be played on a mean-tone organ without any major compromises. Another 12 arrangements only have one or two notes outside the 1/4-comma temperament, but are playable with a slightly adjusted mean-tone, such as the 1/5-comma temperament. Remaining are six chorale arrangements possibly meant specifically for the 'new' temperament, such as in the case of Andreas Werckmeister.
The temperament is of great influence on the style of composition and the use of harmonic means. The still dominant presence of the 'old' temperament in Bach's younger years - nowadays it is also very costly and time consuming to make any changes - has had a decisive influence on Bach's early compositions. This recording on authentic instruments makes it possible to experience the context of Bach's search for new paths. The Eenum organ represents the 17th century mean-tone, in Godlinze the 18th century 'equal' temperament resounds.