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Aeolian Grand


Aeolian Grand


Desperately out of tune

desperately out of tune :-))













Dit artikel is ontleend aan de Weekkrant Bennekom van 15 september 2010. Overname in het Nederlands is niet toegestaan. In het menu links kunt u de orginele versie lezen als Acrobat bestand.


Aeolian Grand restored to glory

BENNEKOM – Monday September 6th 2010 the Aeolian Grand player harmonium is presented to the vistitors of the “See and Hear Museum” after a meticulous restoration by retired organ builder Wim Modderkolk. An audience of more than 60 listened to his dedication concert. It took mr. Modderkolk a year and a half to restore this beautifull instrument to glory, assisted by his friend Nico Meyboom.

By Doriet Willemen – Weekkrant Ede-Bennekom

Aeolian Grand

Foto: © Johan Mulder 2010

Each Monday, when the Museum is closed for visitors, the two volunteers have been working on restoring valves, shutters, reeds. “We have dissembled the instrument to the last tiny parts, restored them and put them back together” Meyboom said. “It is very meticulous labor. One can only restore 8 valves in a day. And this instrument has 58 of them. Spare parts are no longer available, so we had to make these ourselves.”

This harmonium, Aeolian Grand built ca. 1900 is of American make. It came to the Netherlands through the intervention of a Amsterdam trader. At first it stood in a private home and was donated to the Museum some years ago. Due to leaking bellows the instrument was not playable. It is a curious instrument, because it can be played mechanical (playing the keyboard yourself) or pneumatic, through a roll-mechanism like in barrel organs or street organs. Even the two can be combined. The instrument houses room for a roll mechanism to reproduce previous recorded playing, through the roll mechanism above the keyboard.


To present the restored instrument, Modderkolk played from an 1880 album. “I like to play music dating back to the years the instrument was built. I chose a piece written by the Dutch composer Worp. He started with two traditionals from Holland “Evening Song’ and ‘Young boy looking at a rose”. This was the right choise, all of the visitors joined in community singing spontaneously.

Modderkolk likes to work in the Museum, continuing his skills performed before retirement, where he was an apprentice for many years in the firm of Van Vulpen Organ Builders at Utrecht.

And as usual at a celebration, glassed were filled and emptied. The museum guides showed the museum to the visitors, knowing that from now on visitors can see and hear this instrument restored to glory. Modderkolk and Meyboom presented the instrument explaining the inner mechanisms of the instrument in detail. .