The church of St. Sebastian in Noordwolde is known to have had an organ as early as the sixteenth century, but nothing is known about its layout. In 1621, an extensive restoration of the church took place, including the organ. When a new tower was built in 1639 the space between the nave and the tower was used for the organ's bellows - which are still found there today.
In 1658, a new organ was built by Hendrik Huis, who reused a lot of the old pipes. The organ then had 3 manuals and 27 stops. Arp Schnitger himself performed maintenance tasks of this organ in 1695.
In 1802, Heinrich Hermann Freytag rebuilt the organ, reusing most of the older material, resulting in an instrument with 2 manuals, pedal and 20 stops.
In 1833, Antoni Lohman performed a further rebuild of the instrument. Three stops were replaced, the instrument was revoiced, and the tuning changed. For the next 170 years, the organ was not subject to any major alteration.
In 2004-2006 the organ was restored by the Mense Ruiter company, retaining its 1833 state. It is a truly historical instrument with most of its pipework dating back centuries. Its character is created by a rich principal chorus, a wide variety of flutes, a Vox Humana enclosed in a wooden box, a 19th-century Viola da Gamba (a string stop), and a wooden hammer "Schel" to give the signal to the calcant. The Basuin 16´ is believed to be the oldest surviving sixteen-foot pedal reed stop in the world. The temperament is slightly unequal, reconstructed after the Lohman's pattern.
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Huis-Freytag-Lohman organ, Noordwolde: an exploration (Popup Player)
Two Chorales From the Rudorff Collection (Popup Player)