The Organ

Dutch Street Organl “De Lekkerkerker” (Carl Frei - Built in 1928, Breda)
Music: Johann Strauss Jr. - 1825-1899 - Banditen-Galopp, Op.378 - Arr. John van Kleef
This is the first 90-key organ made by the famous organ builder Carl Frei. It was ordered by the owner of a dance hall in Lekkerkerk near Gouda. However it did not serve a long career as a dance hall organ. In the early thirties the organ was adapted for use as a street organ. For many years it filled the streets and squares of Rotterdam with its cheerful sounds. By sheer luck it survived the infamous German bombing of that city in May 1940.

After World War II the organ came into possession of the Tom Brothers, very popular organ grinders, who introduced the instrument to Gouda and contributed to the city's musical street scene for years. In the late fifties they sold the organ to the Roodbol family. In 1990 the elderly couple decided to put an end to the exploitation, which was continued by the young John van Kleef. From 1991 on, 'The Lekkerkerker' is recognized as an irreplaceable work of Dutch Culture and thus protected by the Dutch government.
From 1994 'The Lekkerkerker Preservation Foundation', founded by judge/composer Mr. Romke de Waard and engineer Mr. Jan Kremers, owns the organ. Thanks to them the organ is preserved for the city of Gouda and many actions were undertaken to acquire funding for the, now very necessary, restoration of the instrument. Too bad neither of these two gentleman lived to see the completion of the restoration process.

A very thorough restoration of the technical and musical parts of the organ was undertaken by Mr. Adrie Vergeer of Gouda, who managed to preserve the authentic sound and character of the organ completely. The façade was restored and repainted by Pieter van Aken of The Hague.

If you would like to support us in keeping this musical monument playing, your gift is very welcome.

Bank: ABN-AMRO - Gouda
IBAN/SEPA: NL55ABNA0893455997