the organ of the remonstrantse kerk in Alkmaar
built by johannes stephanus strumphler, 1792
restored by Flentrop Orgelbouw, 1995
- 1829 repair by Geese van Groningen
- 1848 repair by D.S. Ypma
- 1908 alterations by Jos. Vermeulen
- 1920 alteration by Jos. Vermeulen
- 1966 repair and alterations by Jos. Vermeulen
- 1968 restoration by Gebr. Vermeulen
- 1995 restoration and reconstruction by Flentrop Orgelbouw
The first information about an organ in the Remonstrant Church dates from 1725. The minutes from the church-council from the year 1726 mention a decision to place a two-manual pedal-clavichord at the disposal of organist Rijk Dirksz to practise on. This was done on the condition that he should stay organist at the Remonstrant Church for at least four years!
Joachim Hess mentions in 1774 a two-manual organ in this church with 10 stops and a pull-down pedal.
In 1788 a contract was made with Johan Dirk Baars (a builder of chamber-organs from Amsterdam). At the impost beneath the lower case (filled with dummy pipes) we can still read this date. The archives mention activities concerning the making of a Positive, but already four years later Johannus Stephanus Strumphler from Amsterdam was ordered to built a new organ. The work of Baars probably lacked quality. Strumphler, on the other hand, had a great reputation as a builder of chamber-organs. In 1792 he built for 1725 guilders a new organ with ten stops on one manual.
In 1908 the organ was changed radically by the organ-builders Vermeulen from Alkmaar. The instrument was supplied with pneumatic action and the specification was changed: the Trompet, Quint, Mixtuur and Sexquialter were replaced by soft eight foot stops like a Gamba and a Voix Célèste. Curiously enough the three original wedge-bellows (taken out of action at that moment) were preserved! The organ-case was also made deeper.
After the restoration of the church (1964) plans were made to restore the organ. Vermeulen carried out repairs and supplied a Mixtuur, Sexquialter, and Dulciaan, but the action remained pneumatic.
During the restoration by Flentrop Orgelbouw in 1995, advised by Jan Jongepier, the Strumphler-concept was reconstructed. The case was restored to its original dimensions and the three original bellows were installed again. The keyboard was copied after the Strumphler-organ of Noordeinde and the action and specification were reconstructed. A happy circumstance was the possibility to use an 18th century wind-chest from the stock of Flentrop Orgelbouw which fitted very well into the organ-case. Alkmaar is enriched with another characteristic historical instrument!
© Frank van Wijk (2000)
Johannes Stephanus Strumphler, 1792
Temperament: equal temperament
Wind pressure: 62mm
Wind supply: three wedge bellows