An organ restoration is needed when:
- The organ has become technically unreliable;
- the pipes no longer sound good;
- it can no longer be tuned.
Owners are often afraid that their instrument will be too radically changed. For this reason it’s important to discuss expectations with regard to the restoration with an organ consultant. This way the owner can be certain what to expect.
How is an organ restored?
Often we study other instruments by the same builder first. We listen to get an impression of the quality and the working methods of the organ builder. It is also very important to compare the sound with other instruments. We record the sound as it is before the restoration.
Then we dismantle the organ partly or completely and take all the parts to our workshop. Here we restore the parts, using materials that are as similar as possible to the original materials. Pipe metal is cast in an appropriate alloy on sand or cloth.
Then we bring all the parts back to the church and put them together again.
The last phase of the work is the voicing, the precise adjustment of all the sounding pipes in tone quality and strength.
Finally the organ is thoroughly checked by the consultant, who has guided the whole process.
The owner is always welcome to come and visit, both in our workshop and in the church during the re-erection of the instrument.
How long does an organ restoration take?
Depending on the size of the organ, a restoration will take between 3 months and a year.
Will the organ be just the same as it was before?
Most organs have undergone many changes in the course of the centuries. Often these changes are part of the history of the organ. The current policy of the Department of Monuments is to preserve the evolved state of the instrument. Only in the case of exceptional instruments, which are unique in the oeuvre of the maker, do we try to reconstruct the original situation. Often an intermediate stage is restored rather than the original state, if this is well documented and historically important.
From old to young
Van der Putten restores all kinds of mechanical and pneumatic organs. We have completed many such projects, not only in The Netherlands but also in Germany. The oldest organ that we have worked on is in Krewerd and was made around 1530.
The Costs of an organ restoration
An organ restoration is very labor-intensive. The costs are different for each project.
As member of the VON we abide by the rules in “Uitvoeringsrichtlijn URL 7010”, which was drafted by the Stichting Erkende Restauratiekwaliteit Monumentenzorg, www.stichtingERM.nl.
We’d be happy to tell you more. Just contact us.