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Friday 17 October, 9.30 p.m.
Church of São João Evangelista (Colégio)

Pieter Van Dijk, organ










Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Pièce d’Orgue BWV 572
                  Tres Vitement
Chorale prelude Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin BWV 616
Chorale prelude Herr Gott nun schleuss den Himmel auf BWV 617
Chorale prelude O Lamm Gottes unschuldig BWV 618
Chorale prelude Christe, du Lamm Gottes BWV 619
Sonata in D minor BWV 527
Chorale prelude Christus, der uns selig macht BWV 620
Chorale prelude Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund BWV 621
Chorale prelude O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde gross BWV 622
Chorale prelude Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 623
Chorale prelude Hilf Gott, das mir’s gelinge BWV 624
Prelude and Fugue in B Minor BWV 544



It was largely during his younger years that Johann Sebastian Bach’s career as an organist flourished. His first positions in Arnstadt, Mühlhausen and Weimar respectively gave him the opportunity to play regularly during services and concerts, and to compose many different works for the organ. The Weimar years (1708-1717) particularly were in that respect a very fruitful period. Although Bach never travelled any further than to Northern Germany, he was very well informed about the different musical styles in other countries such as Italy and France. Through his direct contacts to the great masters Johann Adam Reincken and Dietrich Buxtehude, he learned the compositional principles of Northern Germany. French music reached Weimar in printed form, such as the Livre d’Orgue of Nicolas de Grigny. The Concerti Grossi of Antonio Vivaldi were brought to Weimar by Prince Johann Ernst von Weimar who studied law in Utrecht and visited Amsterdam.


The virtuoso Pièce d’orgue constitutes a unique example in Bach’s organ repertoire. The title and the tempo indications clearly show already French influence. The middle part, with its strong harmonic development, recalls the Plein Jeu. Growing pedal lines help to maintain the tension over a long period. In the third part, the descending pedal motive in semitones ends on a repeated organ point on D.   


The Orgelbüchlein is a collection of forty-six short choral preludes, based on hymns collected in the Weimar songbook. All preludes have an obligatory pedal part. Each chorale has a clear character in which key, musical motive and movement are in unique balance, expressing the text in relation to liturgical time.


Bach required that an organist be a “multitasker” avant la lettre. In his six Trio Sonatas he expected the player to divide his personality into three independent parts: the two hands both imitate a violin while the feet perform the bass like a cello. The sonata originates from Italy and is strongly connected to the composer Arcangelo Corelli.
The monumental Prelude and Fugue in B minor was composed in Leipzig at the end of Bach’s extremely productive life. The key of the piece and the expression of the musical motives suggest that this composition is related to theme of the Passion. Bach even fixed the registration above it: “pro Organo Pleno”, “for the full organ”. The Fugue is double, with two themes: the first is a stepwise motive in eight notes, without any specific rhythm. The second theme is greatly contrasting, beginning at the top of the keyboard, descending in leaps and having a string rhythmic profile.


Pieter van Dijk


Friday 17 October, 9.30 p.m.
Church of São João Evangelista (Colégio)

Pieter Van Dijk, organ

Pieter van Dijk


Pieter van Dijk was born in 1958 and studied organ with Bert Matter at the Arnhem Conservatory. He continued his studies with Gustav Leonhardt, Marie-Claire Alain and Jan Raas, and was a prize-winner at the international competitions at Deventer in 1979 and Innsbruck in 1986. He is the organist of the famous Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger organ of the St Laurenskerk in Alkmaar and organist of the city of Alkmaar. He is also artistic director at the St Laurenskerk, and has been in charge of the organ cycles since 1997. He is also artistic director of Organfestival Holland, whish organizes every two years a festival which includes a competition and teaching. Pieter van Dijk is the artistic representative of the city of Alkmaar in the ECHO association (European Cities of Historical Organs). He is also a member of the committee for the organ at the Katharinenkirche in Hamburg. In addition to his concert-giving activity in Europe, the United States and Japan, Pieter van Dijk is professor of organ at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. His publications include articles on Matthias Weckmann, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, J.S. Bach and Karl Straube, and he has made various recordings on historical instruments in Spain, Holland and Italy.


 Notes about organ

Friday 17 October, 9.30 p.m.
Church of São João Evangelista (Colégio)

Pieter Van Dijk, organ













Church of São João Evangelista (Colégio), Funchal

This instrument, with 1586 sounding pipes, is situated in a religious space with certain particularities. As a church typical of those belonging to Jesuit colleges, with a broad nave and quite a gentle acoustic, the organ had to be specially conceived, especially with regard to the measurements of the pipes. Thus all the pipework of the instrument has been specifically tailored to produce a full sound, and each stop produces a timbre with an individual personality, forming part of a harmonic ensemble based more on the sound of fundamentals and less on harmonics. It was also felt to be essential to give the instrument a certain ‘latin’ sonority that would favour performance of ancient music of the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese schools of the 17th and 18th centuries.


Another aspect to be taken into consideration was the need to complement the current range of organs available locally: the new organ responds in an ideal fashion to the performance of works of periods and of technical and artistic requirements that none of the 24 historic instruments of Madeira cater adequately for. It also enhances the range of organs that constitute the island’s heritage by being present in this particular religious space, as well as by existing side by side with other historical instruments. In the decision to build it for this church, not only were the issues of acoustic, aesthetic and liturgical space taken into account, but also the presence there of an important historic instrument which is currently on the list of instruments undergoing restoration.


I Manual - Órgão Principal (C-g’’’)
Flautado aberto de 12 palmos (8’)
Flautado tapado de 12 palmos (8’)
Oitava real (4’)                   
Tapado de 6 palmos (4’)                 
Quinzena (2’)
Dezanovena e 22ª                              
Mistura III                                                
Corneta IV                                               
Trompa de batalha* (bass)          
Clarim* (treble)
Fagote* (bass)
Clarineta* (treble)


II Manual - Órgão Positivo (C-g’’’)
Flautado aberto de 12 palmos (8’)
Tapado de 12 palmos (8’)
Flautado aberto de 6 palmos (4’)
Dozena (2 2/3’)
Quinzena (2’)
Dezassetena (1 3/5’)
Dezanovena (1 1/3)
Címbala III
Trompa real (8’)


Pedal (C-f’)                                                                                
Tapado de 24 palmos (16’)           
Bordão de 12 palmos (8’)                                 
Flautado de 6 palmos (4’)                                
Contrafagote de 24 palmos (16’)
Trompa de 12 palmos (8’)



* horizontal reeds