Christian Müller (organ builder)

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Organ in St. Bavo, Haarlem

Christian Müller (born February 4, 1690 in Sankt Andreasberg ; ⚰ March 8, 1763 in Amsterdam ) was a German- Dutch organ builder . For the 18th century he is considered the leading organ builder in Holland . His large organ in the St. Bavo Church (Haarlem) achieved international fame .

life and work

Christian Müller was the sixth of seven children of the carpenter Peter Müller (around 1640–1705) and Elisabeth Otte (* around 1652). It is not known where Müller spent his apprenticeship in Germany. In 1716 he moved to Amsterdam and there is evidence that he worked for the Amsterdam organ builder Cornelis Hoornbeeck in 1718. On April 25, 1719, Müller became a member of the Lutheran Church in Amsterdam and went into business a year later. On May 17, 1720, he married Elisabeth van der Berg, who died a year later. Catherina Beverwijk became his second wife on October 19, 1721, who gave him eleven children. She died in Amsterdam on March 3, 1769 and was buried on March 9.

In 's-Hertogenbosch , Müller initially worked as Hoornbeeck's master servant together with Rudolf Garrels at St. John's Cathedral and subsequently received orders for work on three Amsterdam organs, all of which are no longer preserved. His field of work focused on Holland, the west of the country. The monumental organ in St. Bavo in Haarlem, which in its time was one of the largest organs in the world, became world famous. In addition to church organs, Müller also created cabinet organs . In terms of architecture and sound, Müller's organs form a synthesis between the old Dutch organ building of the 17th century and the newer Hamburger-Groninger concept by Arp Schnitger and Albertus Antonius Hinsz .

A relative named Johannes Caspar (* July 23, 1693; † 1746) from St. Andreasberg performed during the Leeuwarder organ building and next to Christian until 1729, but then went into business for himself in The Hague . The son Pieter Müller (* 1738) continued the tradition of his father and created organs in Haarlem (Coen Cuserhuis, 1760, I / 7), Wissenkerke (Prot. Kerk, 1767, I / 7) and Hoorn (Luth. Kerk, 1772 , II / p / 17), which are very similar to those of the father. He was also known as a builder of cabinet organs and harpsichords . The most important student was Johann Bätz , who founded a family of organ builders and continued Müller's work. Other students were Christian Ludwig König and his brother Kaspar Joseph König, Johann Nikolaus Ritter and John Snetzler (1710–1785?), Who worked in England. Müller was buried on March 8, 1763 in the Oude Lutherse Kerk on the Spui .

In 1740 and 1750 Georg Friedrich Handel played the Müller organ in Haarlem and in 1766 ten-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . While Klaas Bolt was organist in Haarlem, the instrument was largely restored to its original condition. Improvisation competitions and an international organ festival have been held there since 1951.

List of works (selection)

The following works by Müller have largely been preserved (5th column: large "P" = independent pedal, small "p" = attached pedal):

year place church image Manuals register Remarks
1724-1727 Leeuwarden Grote of Jacobijnenkerk
Organ Grote Kerk Leeuwarden.jpg
III / P 38 With Rückpositiv and Echowerk; largely preserved
1726 Westerbork Hervormde Kerk
Interior, aanzicht organ, organ number 1640 - Westerbork - 20359370 - RCE.jpg
I / p 8th Modification of an older instrument that was originally built for Beetgum ( Friesland ) and transferred in 1862
1734 Amsterdam Oude Waalse Kerk
Waal 4.jpg
II / P 26th Largely preserved; Housing from 1680 by Nicolaas Langlez
1735-1738 Haarlem St. Bavo's Church
St. Bavochurch Haarlem organ.jpg
III / P 60 Largely preserved; today III / P / 62
1737 Zaandam Lutheran Kerk
Interior, aanzicht organ, organ number 1733 - Zaandam - 20359293 - RCE.jpg
II / p 13 Prospectus and some pipework preserved
1742 Bennebroek Hervormde Kerk
Bennebroek-Hervormde Kerk organ met pauw.jpg
II / p New building behind the prospectus by Gysbert Bongaert (1686); Internal plant replaced in 1925
1744 Oosterwijtwerd Hervormde Kerk
Oosterwijtwerd - Hervormde kerk - interior.jpg
I. 8th Cabinet organ; original location unknown
around 1745 The hague Grote of St.-Jacobskerk / Van Assendelftkapel
Interior Assendelftkapel, aanzicht kabinetorgel, organ number 532 - 's-Gravenhage - 20359391 - RCE.jpg
I. 8th Cabinet organ; original location unknown
1747 Privately owned I. 7th Cabinet organ
1756 Beverwijk Grote Kerk
Interior, aanzicht organ, organ number 175 - Beverwijk - 20359371 - RCE.jpg
II / P 22nd Largely preserved
1762 Alkmaar Kapelkerk
Interior, organ - Alkmaar - 20367622 - RCE.jpg
II / p 18th 1882 changes by L. Ypma


  • Beverwijk Organ Commission (ed.): Jubileumboekje Müller-Orgel 1756–2006. Grote Kerk Beverwijk . Self-published, 2006 ( online [PDF; 2.8 MB ]).
  • Klaas Bolt : De historie en samenstelling van het Haarlemse Müller organ . Arti * Novo Publishers, Amsterdam 1985.
  • Douglas E. Bush, Richard Kassel (Eds.): The Organ. To Encyclopedia . Routledge, New York, London 2006, ISBN 0-415-94174-1 , pp. 360-361 .
  • Gerben Gritter: Christian Müller organ maker in Amsterdam . Amsterdam 2014 ( online [PDF; 6.8 MB ] dissertation).

Web links

Commons : Christian Müller organs  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gritter: Christian Müller Orgelmaker in Amsterdam. 2014, p. 19 ( online ) (PDF; 6.8 MB).
  2. Jubileumboekje Müller organ . 2006, p. 7.
  3. ^ Gritter: Christian Müller Orgelmaker in Amsterdam. 2014, p. 28 ( online ) (PDF; 6.8 MB).
  4. Jubileumboekje Müller organ . 2006, p. 12.
  5. Bolt: De historie . 1985, p. 32 f.
  6. ^ Gritter: Christian Müller Orgelmaker in Amsterdam. 2014, p. 27 ( online ) (PDF; 6.8 MB).
  7. ^ Organ in Haarlem , accessed on April 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Organ Festival Haarlem , accessed on April 4, 2018.