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Jozef Van Osta
Hilarius Vitalis Couwenbergh, o. praem.:leven en werk — auteur van L'orgue ancien et moderne

Peter Thomas
Het Joris Potvlieghe-orgel in de Sint-Catharinakerk in Wondelgem

Ruud van de Laar
De restauratie van het Johannes Smets-orgel in de Heilig Kruiskerk te Korbeek-Lo

Bart Wuilmus
Een impressie

Ontwikkelingen in het orgelrestauratiebeleid — deel 1: Vlaanderen

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Overzicht tijdschriften


Hilarius Vitalis Couwenberg (o.praem): his life and work
Author of L’orgue ancien et moderne [1887]

    Vital Couwenbergh o.praem. (1854-1914), trained by  Petrus Carolus van den Bogaert o.praem. (1829-1874) and by Joseph Callaerts (1830-1901), was from his entry into the Abbey of Averbode the talented organist of the great Hippolyte Loret organ. He published an important organological work in the French language: L’orgue ancien et moderne (1887) in which he described the whole 19th century development of organ-building in Belgium. Apart from Joseph Merklin (1819-1905) and Pierre Schyven (1827-1916) he focused especially on the extension-system developed by Leonard Drijvers (1827-1892), with whom he had a close relationship. The interesting vestiges of the organ in O.L.V in Aarschot are a testimony to this complex system. Notwithstanding well-justified criticism of the musical deficiencies of such instruments, it was nevertheless a technical prowess to be able to extend a single ground-stop over several manuals and pedal.   

    As chairman of the committee Couwenbergh played an important part in the reedition of the Graduale Praemonstratense (1910). In his quest for the ‘original’ Premonstratensian Gregorian tradition he was as a musicologist an intellectual paradigm, searching to apply traditional qualities to contemporary practice. He composed a number of respectable works for organ, harmonium and piano as well as choral and vocal music, without ever reaching the artistic quality of contemporaries such as Alphonse Mailly, Joseph Tilborghs and others. He was also  an accomplished artist, although his works were never of the highest quality. In 1901 he became chaplain, first of the new Jesuit Sint-Michielscollege in Brussels, and then from 1911 till his death of the royal Onze-Lieve-Vrouwkerk in Schaarbeek.