the organ of the kapelkerk in Alkmaar
built by Christian and Pieter Müller, 1762
restored by Flentrop orgelbouw, 2004
- 1784 restoration by Johannes Stephanus Strumphler
- 1824 repairs by A. van Gruisen
- 1850 repair by B.J. Gabry
- 1882 restoration and alteration by L. Ypma
- 1939 alteration by H.W. Flentrop
- 2004 restoration by Flentrop Orgelbouw
Previous organs of the Kapelkerk.
The first organ of the Kapelkerk was installed in 1542. From a note in the ‘Memoriaelbouck voir die kerckmeesteren’ (‘memorial-book of the churchwardens’) we can deduce that the small organ of the Sint Laurenskerk (placed above the south entrance) was sold to the ‘capellemeesteren van onser lieve vrouwen capel upte leedt’ (churchwardens of Our Ladies Chapel on the ‘Laat’) in this year. Later changes to this instrument were carried out by Jacob Jansz. van Lin (1625), Levijn Eekman (1631), Jacobus van Hagerbeer (1656), and Johannes Duytschot (1704). In 1726, the instrument was replaced by Frans Caspar Schnitger. In 1760 the church burnt down as the result of work carried out by plumbers. The Schnitger organ was completely destroyed by the fire.
The new organ of 1762, the swansong of Christian Müller.
On the 4th of December 1760, the mayors of Alkmaar signed a contract with the organbuilders Christian and Pieter Müller from Amsterdam, to build a new organ in the restored Kapelkerk. It was to be Christian Müller’s final opus: he died in March 1763 in Amsterdam, aged 73. The instrument was donated by Lady Johanna Geertruida le Chastelain. An inscription found on the inside of the organ-case reads: ‘Den 16 december 1762 is dit orgel voor de eerste maal onder de Godsdienst gebruykt…’ (‘On the 12th of December 1762, this organ was used during the church service for the first time…’). The beautiful organ-case was built according to a design provided by the city. Its classical style corresponds with the new church’s interior. The case is surrounded by pillars which carry a so-called ‘fronton’ (pediment) upon which one can see the city-arms of Alkmaar. The inspiration for such an exceptional construction, which suggests an instrument of much larger dimensions, can be found close by: the classical organ-case designed by Jacob van Campen in the Grote Sint Laurenskerk!
The carvings are the work of sculptors Asmus Frauen and Willem Straatman.
Later restorations and changes were carried out by Johannes Strumphler (1784), A. van Gruissen (1824), B.J. Gabry (1850), L. Ypma (1882) and H.W. Flentrop (1940).
Between 2001 and 2004, the organ was entirely restored by Flentrop Orgelbouw, Zaandam. The point of departure was the situation created by Ypma in 1882. The manner of restoration, reconstruction and voicing of the pipework was primarily governed by the large number of extant Müller stops. The changes carried out in 1940 were reversed. The organ case was repainted in its original colours, a combination of mahogany and marble. As a result, the instrument has regained its former splendour, both internally and externally.
© Frank van Wijk (2005)
Christian and Pieter Müller, 1762
Temperament: equal temperament
Wind pressure: 76mm
Wind supply: horizontal reservoir