9712 JG Groningen
The Overture to the Schnitger Festival 2018
The opening of the Schnitger Festival 2018 comes in the form of the ‘traditional’ ambulatory evening concert. We walk across the two old market squares, from the one famous organ to the other, and we will hear concerts given by four renowned organists.
The golden gem of Groningen-town, the Schnitger organ in the Martinikerk or St Martin’s Church! When receiving important visitors, the town fathers would take them to this church and proudly show them: “Look what we’ve got here: this place of ours owns the most beautiful organ in the world.”They were undoubtedly right as well. Arp Schnitger had done a first-rate job, and had spent only about a year to accomplish it. In the year 1692 the construction of the organ was completed, and the famous builder had also added two very impressive towers on either side for the pedal division, for further brilliance of the instrument. Then and now, organ buffs came and come to Groningen, just to have a look at, and listen to this gem among organs.
That is what we can do this evening; look at the instrument and listen to the master-organist Matteo Imbruno, who is going to present a fascinating sampling of Italian baroque music, in line with this year’s theme.
After his recital of about 40 minutes, we can walk as a group across Grote Markt and Vismarkt to the Der Aa-kerk, where three more organists are awaiting us for the next instalment. At the organ, completed by Schnitger in 1702 for the erstwhile University Church and transferred to the Der Aa-kerk in 1815, Petra Veenswijk is going to play French repertoire on a German baroque instrument, Ko Zwanenburg will play the modern card with 20th century music, and the last organist of the foursome, Sander van den Houten, returns to the theme ‘Italy’ and will interpret arrangements of Italian compositions.
Friday 19 October, 20.00 – 22.30
Martinikerk, Martinikerkhof 1, Groningen (from about 21.00 pm Der Aa-kerk, A-kerkhof 2).