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Experiences with the two Hinsz samplesets

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:32 pm
by jb
During the last months I played the virtual Hinsz of Kampen almost on a daily basis, and the real Hinsz of Kampen every three weeks or so when attending organ lessons.

The sample set really shows the typical `Hinsz' or `Bovenkerk' sound, rather famous in the Netherlands. When attending concerts in the Bovenkerk it is crucial to choose a place her close to the organ. Otherwise the acoustics makes it very difficult to hear details. In fact, due to the acoustics it is very hard to determine, even by the professional organ player of the Bovenkerk, which of the two organs is played when entering the church (the church also contains a magnificent Reil organ). The acoustics also makes the organ sound rather friendly, never sharp or brutal, sometimes a bit to friendly, despite many high pitched stops. This also asks for a listening position relatively close to the organ.

Playing the sample set for the first time, the direct contact and relatively brutal sound surprised me positively. It means that the recording position is very well chosen. Apart from the physical toucher it really felt as playing in the church.
Apart from the 16' of the pedal the volume (of which Milan promised it will be corrected in subsequent volumes) and character of the stops closely resemble those in reality. This for example means that the 'Mixtuur bas' shows its rather high pitches, as in reality very often only the discant should be used in plenum registrations. As in reality, the Tertiaan serves quite well instead of a Sesquialter.

The 19th century (second) Bovenwerk clearly shows a rather different type of sound compare to the 17th century pipes of the Hoofdwerk. On the real organ we do not use it that much. This makes me looking forward enormously to the subsequent volumes.

One warning, having played Kampen every other organ, even the Metz, seems rather dry. I am very happy to be able to practice within such an acoustics. My organ teacher often said: you play it very nice if you were on a smaller organ in a smaller church, but here it is different. I still play some other sample sets regularly, but I load this set almost every day.

I recorded two pieces (mind that I'm not a professional):

Vater unser G. Bohm in Kampen:
Praeludium in C Bach in Kampen:

I also added recordings of the same pieces played on the Hinsz of Leens. Not so much to compare the two Hinsz organs, but because I promised to do so a time ago.

Vater unser G. Bohm in Leens:
Praeludium in C Bach in Leens:

The Hinsz organs have a completely different history and sound in a rather different acoustics.
After playing Kampen for a week or so I purchased active monitors replacing the 'normal' audio installation. It appears that it has a huge influence on the apprecation of a sample set. The Leens set really profits from the `colouring' of normal audio speakers, whereas in the case of the Kampen set it is the other way around. The huge acoustics really asks for a clear and direct output.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:59 pm
by JimB

Thank you for your excellent review of the Hinsz organs. Based on your having played the actual organ, your recommendation is very helpful.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:01 pm
by jb
I intend to add more comments when something pops up, and of course when subsequent volumes are available. Sometimes it is difficult for me to find suitable English words, but hopefully it is useful. In the end, music goes on where words stop.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:54 pm
by jvdwvd
JimB wrote:JB,

Thank you for your excellent review of the Hinsz organs. Based on your having played the actual organ, your recommendation is very helpful.


I played on both organs with Hauptwerk and both organs are beautiful.
But after a while I always choose the organ of Leens. I appreciate clear voices. And for study I always used Leens.
So I recommend both organs but when I had to choose one of both organs then I prefer Leens.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:51 pm
by jb
Well, I had a slight preference for Leens before I purchased active monitors, mainly because of the Vox Humana not yet present in Kampen. With active monitors I definitely prefer Kampen, the sound of Leens than becomes to shrill, sharp and `unmixed', whereas (with active monitors) the sound of Kampen is sufficiently clear for a lot of study purposes, although I also regularly change to a dryer set such as Leens or Cappel.
One remark on the latter: I appreciate this set much, much more having changed to active monitors. As I said before, this is quite the opposite for Leens.
So my advice depends on the loudspeaker system one wants to use.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:34 am
by jb
I just added some Christmas chorales from the `Orgelbuchlein':

Der Tag der ist so freudenreich
In dulci jubilo
In dulci jubilo (2)
Puer natus in Betlehem
Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich herr
Vom Himmel kam der Engelschaar

Even without important parts, namely the Bovenwerk (I) and Rugwerk of the Hinsz in Kampen nice registrations are possible. If the Cornet on the pedal was available I would have used it for In dulci jubilo. I keep returning to these (and other) splendid pieces of the Orgelbuchlein, especially having prepared and played a service in a church with several famous, but afer a while rather annoying Christmas carols.