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MMD > Archives > January 1998 > 1998.01.27 > 10Prev  Next

Dutch Street Organ "de Duif"
By Hans van Oost

Dear Doug and Jan,  Thank you for your trust in my knowledge.  I will
try to give the story in short, because you already know a few things
of the organ.

"de Duif" was originally built in the late twenties in Belgium, by the
Decap factory.  In the thirties it was rebuilt by Mr. Carl Frei in
Breda, who converted the scale from 75-key to his own 72-key scale.  He
added a lot of own pipework to the organ and changed several registers.
Now the organ had a bourdon celeste, a soft violin and a two-rank
violin celeste on melody.  On counter-melody there were only the famous
Unda Maris pipes playing.

There were and are trombone pipes on the bass register too, but on
the album that was made of the organ in 1960 they are off, because
Mr.  Moehlmann, the owner, did not have time to tune them for the
recording!  (The organ was late for the recording session and came
from the freezing cold into the warmed streetcar garage where the
recordings were made, so the trombones went very much out of tune).

The album "Dutch Band Organ" was only released in the USA, so I have
never been able to hear it...

As I just mentioned, the organ was recorded in 1960, just after having
been restored to a good condition by Mr. Anton Pluer in Bussum (his son
Elbert is still a famous Dutch organ builder!).

In the seventies the organ was sold a few times, and it is now the
property of a man in Groningen, who has done a lot of things, including
changes in the proscenium.  I am sorry not to have recent pictures of
the organ.

On the record sleeve you will see "H. Moehlmann" on the front of the
organ, instead of "Carl Frei".  Most Dutch owners have the nasty habit
of painting the owner's name on the front, like here.

I hope that this will be enough information to you; I welcome further
questions of course.

Best regards,

Hans van Oost

(Message sent Tue 27 Jan 1998, 23:06:02 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  de, Duif, Dutch, Organ, Street

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