p. 50 Joris Verdin
Een heel programma
p. 51 Luk Bastiaens
Het orgeldebat in Vlaanderen
p. 52. Joël Hooybergs
De restauratie/reconstructie van het Bremser- en het Vermeersch-orgel in de Sint-Lambertuskerk te Geel-Bel
p. 66. François Van der Jeught & Jan Caluwaerts
De orgelbouwer meester baltazar Rutgheerts - een nieuwe biografie
p. 73. Peter Van de Velde
Het orgelconcerto van Joseph Callaerts
p. 78. Jean Ferrard/ Guy Bovet
In memoriam Marie-Claire Alain
p. 82. Stijn Hanssens
In gesprek met Jean-Pierre Draps + werkenlijst
Het Van Bever-orgel in de Sint-Lambertuskerk te Bouvignes-sur-Meuse
Het gerestaureerde orgel van de Sint-Niklaaskerk in Perk-Steenokkerzeel
Een drieklaviersorgel van Oberlinger in de kerk Saint-Nicolas van La Roche-en-Ardenne
Het Van Bever-orgel in de St.-Remykerk te Braine-Le-Château
* Joël Hooybergs: A brief overview of the restoration / reconstruction of the Bremser organ and Vermeersch organ in St. Lambert Church in Geel-Bel
The St. Lambert Church in Geel-Bel is currently the proud owner of two organs: the Bremser organ and the Vermeersch choir organ. The Bremser organ was largely reconstructed within the old 17th-century organ case. The most important additions from the 19th century, which despite their very different aesthetic were found to be historically interesting, were included in the new choir organ, whose case was designed by the organ expert Jef Braekmans.
The reconstruction of the Blasius Bremser organ was largely inspired by the organ built in 1646 by his father, Jan Bremser, in the Church of Our Lady in Aarschot. This extremely well-preserved organ previously served as basis for the reconstruction of another Blasius Bremser organ, namely that in the Elzenveld chapel in Antwerp (1675), which was conducted by the Manufacture d'orgues Thomas of Star-Francorchamps in 2007. Currently there are three restored Bremser organs, the most recent being in Geel-Bel.
Several indications from different periods made the identification of the organ difficult, with the exact origin still uncertain today. Meticulous research as well as the comparison with other instruments leads us to regard Blasius Bremser as the organ builder. The identification was based on formal features of the case, as well as a certain portion of the pipework bearing the name Bremser. However, the organ was not built for the St. Lambert Church in Geel, but rather bought by Father Sterckx in 1787. In 1877 the current Neo-Gothic church replaced that of 1705, and the organ was placed on a new rood loft.
In the 19th century, Father Sterckx's organ fell prey to numerous unfortunate transformations, mainly conducted by Henri Vermeersch and probably also by his business partner Théodore Smet. The organ was subsequently maintained by other organ builders of lesser stature, such as Mondt in Lier and Damel (Dammel or Dommel) in Sint-Truiden. All of these adjustments to the Romantic taste of that period irreparably contributed to the decay of the instrument: the Romantic concept, with bigger pipes requiring a new windchest was not compatible with the 17th-century case, which was decidedly too narrow to accommodate subsequent additions.
In 2000 the organ was totally dismantled in view of a thorough examination. Several years elapsed before the restoration was finally assigned to Manufacture d’orgues Thomas of Star-Francorchamps in November 2009, following a call for bids.
The Bremser organ currently contains 19 registers, 11 on the Great Organ and 8 on the Positive. The choir organ was built, starting from the preserved Vermeersch pieces, and contains 7 registers.
* François Van der Jeught & Jan Caluwaerts: The master organ builder Baltazar Rutgheerts (b. ca 1543 - † Mechelen, 1620). — A new biography
In the periodical The Praestant, there appeared in 1966 the most comprehensive study yet by J. Trudo Gerits about the organ builder Baltazar Rutgheerts, a composite of which appeared in the 1972 National Biographical Dictionary. The biography of Rutgheerts has remained very limited. Thanks to genealogical research in the Mechelen City Archives and the National Archives, the life of this renowned organ builder and his family could finally be described in detail for the first time. Baltazar Rutgheerts was likely born ca. 1543 in Lier, as with son Pieter Rutgheerts (also known as Calff) and Cathelijne Dueckels. Only in 1569 would his father legitimize him. In 1556 and 1557 he lived in Antwerp with his uncle Gillis Brebos, the famous organ builder. In 1567 he left for Italy under the employment – no doubt as organist – of Margareta of Parma (1522-1586). He then returned to the Netherlands in 1586, in the service of Alexander Farnese (1545-1592). Rutgheerts received the title Viscount of Lingen. In 1589-1591 he lived in Brussels, where he married Hester van den Dijcke, with whom he in certainty had five children: a son and four daughters. In 1597 he lived in Lier and was named Bailiff of Berlaar. In around 1600 he settled in Mechelen, where he quickly had many contacts, including high ranks in the Spanish military, and where he bought a house 1611 on the Peperstraat (now the Kanunnik de Deckerstraat), which still exists today. The activities of Rutgheerts as organ builder and repairer are only well-documented beginning in 1603. In addition he received income as a superintendent of clearing the rivers of Mechelen from mid-1601 until 1614. Rutgheerts was fairly wealthy and acquired several assets in Mechelen, where he died in 1620. In short, this new genealogical research paints for us today a picture of master Baltasar Rutgheers and his highly varied and versatile life.