Ambitious restoration of a unique organ pipe
At 10 a.m. on the 11th of November it was safely put back in its place on the middle tower: the largest front pipe of the Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger organ in the St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Having been speechless for almost 20 years it now speaks once more: the lowest tone in the instrument.
The organ is being restored because many pipes are affected by lead corrosion. Flentrop Orgelbouw in Zaandam is iundertaking the restoration and cleaning of the pipes. Now that the organ is virtually empty, it is possible to also closely examine the other parts of the instrument, as for example the front pipes. Of more than 4000 pipes in he organ case, these pipes are the only ones that can be seen form the church.
On the examination it was found that the almost eight meters long front pipe was no longer in balance. This only not resulted in the pipe having lost its tone, but also added the risk of losing its balance even more and ending up falling out of the organ.
Not an attractive option. Therefore this unique pipe, built in 1645, was very cautiosly taken down and restored in the church itself. Putting the pipe back was, if possible, even more spectacular. After scrupulous preparation, by completely wrapping up the pipe and putting it in splints, it was hoisted back into place in perfect order. The organ is richer by one tone.
Below a photo impression. More about this restoration will follow in the next blog by Jan Zwart.
Makers of the photographs from left to right:
Fhoto 1 Hans Steketee
Fhoto 2 t/m 7 Jan Zwart
Fhoto 8 Ruud van Bokhorst