Arno van Wijk

St. Maartenschurch – main organ

The organ in St. Maartenskerk was built in 1786 by Andries Wolfferts from Rotterdam. In 1795 the organ was far from complete. A.F.G. Heynemann, who had just finished the renovation of the organ in St. Janskathedraal in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, came to Zaltbommel and, with some adaptions “after some botchers had struggled with it, the organ was finally brought into an excellent shape by Heinemann” in 1796. In 1860 a restoration of the instrument took place and in 1905 the disposition of the organ was changed, without affecting the original sound too much. In 1944 the organ was dismantled because Zaltbommel came into war territory and the Germans intended to blow up the impressive tower of the church. After the war the organ was rebuilt and to brighten up sound, the pitch of the instrument was raised by making all pipes a bit shorter and to place some new stops. The result appeared to be very disappointing: instead of clearer, the sound became dull. After the restoration of the church the organ could also be restored. One of the most important activities was the restoration of the original pitch by making all pipes longer. Apart from that the windchests were restored. In 1986, exactly 200 years after Wolfferts had finished the instrument, the restoration was complete and the organ in a very good condition again. Right now Zaltbommel has a unique instrument can truly be considered one of the most important organs in The Netherlands.