Stijn Hanssens: Made in Belgium!?

Made in Belgium!? The Evolution and the Influences within the Belgian Organ Music from  Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (1823-1881) to Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Stijn Hanssens

Research Unit Music & Drama
Research Group Performance Practice & Composition

Throughout the centuries the organ has always been able to inspire composers and to incite them to creative work. This way, amongst others the German and French organ tradition have rightly achieved world fame. Also in our own country creative minds have remembered the “Queen of Instruments” with numerous compositions. Many valuable pages of organ literature speak of this, unfortunately often in silence.

This doctoral research project wants to look for an artistically sound way to perform Belgian organ music that belongs to a period that started with the first organ works of Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens and ended with the organ works of Flor Peeters. To what extent the evolution of this music has had an impact on the performance practice? What influences - i.a. the changing tendencies in organ building, the evolution of organ music outside Belgium and the rediscovery of old music - have played a crucial role in this evolution and in what way these findings can support the present-day performer in making artistic choices? Finally, can this music bring to light characteristics that are typical of the Belgian organ school both in the field of harmony and counterpoint studies and in the way of performing?

Supervisor: Joris Verdin
Co-Supervisor: Luk Bastiaens
Duration: 2009-15

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