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Schyven / Van Bever organ of Notre-Dame de Laeken 125.00EUR

Sample set of the Schyven / Van-Bever organ of Notre Dame de Laeken (Belgium)

The large Schyven / Van Bever organ of the Notre-Dame in Laeken (Brussels, Belgium) showcasts the height of romantic organ building in Belgium. Having worked together with Cavaillé-Coll, Pierre Schyven developed his own unique style of organ building. His organs show many similarities with the organs of the grand french master, but still display their own tonal character. Powerful reeds, beautiful solo flutes and a strong, but not piercing Tutti, mark the sound of this beautiful instrument. We are proud to be able to present this beautiful and powerful sound to the Hauptwerk community.

This sample set is available only for Hauptwerk 2 and above. It features around sixty combinations of this famous organ. The sample set features three release sample layers (the original recorded release plus two layers created artificially for staccato and portato notes) resulting in a superb rendering of the cathedral accoustics. The impulse responses used for the additional layers are included as a special bonus.

Note: The samples and ODF are not encrypted. Hence the samples may also be used with other sampler software and no Hauptwerk dongle is required.

You can also download the User's manual for more info.

A free trial version of this sample set is now available. Please look at the 'Trial-Version' tab for details.



About the sample set

The sample set features around 60 combinations on three manuals plus pedal, the usual couplers, plus ten general pistons to facilitate registration. In addition to the full recorded release samples, two additional release layers have been created using convolution reverb. We have pioneered this technique in our Madeleine sample set with great success, and also in this sample set the result is remarkable.

All stops/combinations have been recorded with two Neumann microphones directly to digital tape, at 16bit 44100Hz. There are four samples/octave for most combinations, the celeste stops have been sampled note by note. The Voix humaine on the Récit has been sampled with tremulant "on", since it is mostly used this way and to give the most realistic tremulant sound possible. Hence the Voix humaine stop is not affected by the Récit tremulant, which is implemented using HW's wave form technique. However, the tremulant frequencies are matched carefully and the sound of the sampled trem together with e.g. the Gambe using the waveform trem is just great, as you can hear yourself by listening to the Andante by Lefébure Wely.

The sample set includes two organ definition files, one labeled “lowmem” for users with limited available memory, and the regular version. We have decided to give users the most flexibility and so both versions share the same full set of combinations. Some combinations (marked in blue in the list below) are redundant, since they can be completely built up from other solutions in the set, and so may be omitted from loading to save memory. In addition the lowmem version uses only two release layers (original recorded plus one staccato layer), the release tails have been slightly shortened and the set only uses the original manual compass up to g’’’. The full set in contrast uses three release layers and a manual compass up to c’’’’, naturally no shortening of release tails has been applied here. Please have a look at the requirements page to see how much memory is needed to load the set.

Both versions share the same config files, so that voicing changes and combination files always apply to both organs.

Available Combinations

In the followong the combinations available in the set are listed.

Grand Orgue (I) C-g’’’

  1. Bourdon 16’
  2. Bourdon 16' et Doublette 2'
  3. Bourdon 16’, Flûte harm. 8'
  4. Bourdon 16', Flûte harmonique 8', Flûte octaviante 4'
  5. Bourdon 8' et Flûte octaviante 4'
  6. Bourdon 8' et Doublette 2'
  7. Fonds 8’
       Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Flûte 8’, Gemshorn 8’, Salicional 8’
  8. Fonds 8’4’
       Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Flûte 8’, Gemshorn 8’, Salicional 8’, Prestant 4’, Flûte 4’
  9. Fonds 8’4’ et Fourniture
       Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Flûte 8’, Gemshorn 8’, Salicional 8’, Prestant 4’, Flûte 4’, Doublette 2’, Fourniture VI rgs
  10. Fonds 16’8’4’
       Montre 16’, Bourdon 16’, Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Flûte 8’, Gemshorn 8’, Salicional 8’, Prestant 4’, Flûte 4’
  11. Fonds 8’4’ et Anches 8’4’
       Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Flûte 8’, Gemshorn 8’, Salicional 8’, Prestant 4’, Flûte 4’,  Trompette 8’, Ophicléïde 8‘, Clairon 4’
  12. Flûte harmonique 8'
  13. Flûte 4'
  14. Gambes et Flûtes 8'
       Flûte harmonique 8', Gemshorn 8', Salicional 8'
  15. Salicional 8' et Gambes 8'
      Gemshorn 8', Salicional 8'
  16. Grand Cornet
  17. Anches 8’4’
       Trompette 8’, Ophicléïde 8‘, Clairon 4’
  18. Anches 16’8’4’
       Bombarde 16’, Trompette 8’, Ophicléïde 8‘, Clairon 4’
  19. Bombarde 16'
       (derived stop, samples from G.O. Trompette 8’ and Ped. Bombarde 16’)
  20. Trompette 8'
  21. Plein Jeu
         Montre 16’, Bourdon 16, Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Prestant 4’, Fourniture VI
  22. Tutti 
       Montre 16’, Bourdon 16’, Montre 8’, Bourdon 8’, Flûte 8’, Gemshorn 8’, Salicional 8’, Prestant 4’, Flûte 4’, Doublette 2’, Fourniture VI, Grand Cornet V, Bombarde 16’, Trompette 8’, Ophicléïde 8‘, Clairon 4’

Positif-expressif (II) C-g’’’

  1. Bourdon 8' et Quinte 2 2/3'
  2. Dolciana 8', Carillon 3 rangs
  3. Dolciana 8' et Flûte 4'
       Dolciana 8', Gambe 8', Bourdon 8', Flûte 4'
  4. Flûte 8'4’
       Flûte 8', Flûte 4'
  5. Fonds 8'
       Flûte 8', Dolciana 8', Gambe 8', Bourdon 8'
  6. Fonds 16'8'4' et 2 2/3'
       Quintaton 16', Flûte 8', Dolciana 8', Gambe 8', Bourdon 8', Flûte 4', Quinte 3'
  7. Fonds et Mixtures
       Quintaton 16', Flûte 8', Dolciana 8', Gambe 8', Bourdon 8', Flûte 4', Quinte 3', Mixture (=Carillon) III rangs
  8. Carillon 3 rgs.
  9. Unda Maris 8’
       (recorded together with Dolciana 8’)
  10. Clarinette 8'
  11. Musette 8'
  12. Trompette Céleste 8'
  13. Tutti
       Quintaton 16', Flûte 8', Dolciana 8', Gambe 8', Bourdon 8', Flûte 4', Quinte 3', Mixture (=Carillon) III rangs, Trompette céleste 8', Musette 8'

Récit-expressif (III) C-g’’’

  1. Voix céleste 8'
       Gambe 8', Voix céleste 8'
  2. Voix humaine 8'
       Voix Humaine 8' Trémolo
  3. Trompette harmonique 8'
  4. Fonds 8'
       Gambe 8', Flûte octaviante 8', Dolce 8', Bourdon 8'
  5. Fonds 16'8'4'
       Bourdon 16', Gambe 8', Flûte octaviante 8', Dolce 8', Bourdon 8', Flûted'écho 4'
  6. Bourdon 16' et Flûte 4'
  7. Bourdon 8, Flûte 4', Hautbois 8'
       Bourdon 16', Flûted'écho 4', Basson et Haut bois 8'
  8. Flûte octaviante 8'
  9. Flûte 8'4'
       Flûte octaviante 8', Flûted'écho 4'
  10. Gambe 8'
  11. Plein Jeu
       Bourdon 16', Flûte octaviante 8', Bourdon 8', Flûted'écho 4', Flageolett 2', Fourniture III rangs
  12. Flûte 8'4'2'
       Flûte octaviante 8', Flûted'écho 4', Flageolett 2'
  13. Bourdon 8', Flûte 4', Octavin 2', Hautbois 8'
       Bourdon 8', Flûted'écho 4', Flageolett 2', Basson-Hautbois 8'
  14. Anches 8'4'
       Trompette harmonique 8', Basson-Hautbois 8', Voix Humaine 8', Clairon harmonique 4'
  15. Anches 16'8'4'
       Basson 16', Trompette harmonique 8', Basson-Hautbois 8', Voix Humaine 8', Clairon harmonique 4'
  16. Tutti
       Bourdon 16', Gambe 8', Flûte octaviante 8', Dolce 8', Bourdon 8', Flûted'écho 4', Flageolett 2', Fourniture III rangs, Basson 16', Trompette harmonique 8', Basson-Hautbois 8', Voix Humaine 8', Clairon harmonique 4'

Pédale C-g'

  1. Fonds 16'8’
       Flûte 16', Bourdon 16', Flûte 8', Violoncelle 8'
  2. Fonds 32'16'8'
       Sous-Basse 32', Flûte 16', Bourdon 16', Quintaton 12', Flûte 8'
  3. Fonds 32'16'8'4'
       Sous-Basse 32', Flûte 16', Bourdon 16', Quintaton 12', Flûte 8', Violoncelle 8', Flûte 4'
  4. Fonds et Trompette 8'
       Flûte 16', Bourdon 16', Flûte 8', Violoncelle 8', Flûte 4', Trompette 8’
  5. Clairon 4'
  6. Bombarde 16'
  7. Tutti
       Sous-Basse 32', Flûte 16', Bourdon 16', Quintaton 12', Flûte 8', Violoncelle 8', Flûte 4', Bombarde 16', Trompette 8', Clairon 4'
  8. Soubasse 32', Flûte 16', Bourdon 16'
  9. Bourdon 16’
       (derived stop, samples from G.O.)
  10. Violoncelle 8’
       (derived stop, samples from Recit Gambe 8’)
  11. Flûte 4’
      (derived stop, samples from G.O.)
Licence Inform.

This sample set is designed to be used with Hauptwerk™ version 2 and above and will not work with other sound producing software. It requires a modern PC with at least 4GB available memory and an operating system supporting Hauptwerk and large sample sets, currently ideally Windows X64.

There are separate definition files for people using monitors with 1024x768 and 1280x1024 pixel resolution. Obviously the higher resolution looks better, the smaller resolution version also does not display the manuals and pedal (these would have been too small to be useful), but it allows people with 15” touch screens to use the organ.

There are numerous loading options in Hauptwerk, and so in general it is difficult to state  memory requirements for a large sample set. We have tried to estimate the per rank memory requirement for three different load settings (loading 20 ranks and taking the average), and summarized the results in the table below. This can give you a feel how many ranks you can squeeze into your available memory when using certain options. The first column in the table is the base memory required by Hauptwerk with the ODF loaded (showing the rank selection screen). At this time the internal data structures have already been loaded. The other columns show the additional memory requirement per rank when selecting certain options. Note that you can mix different columns (load some ranks in 14bit and others in 16bit), but you cannot mix rows (=ODF versions).


Hauptwerk with ODF loaded

14bit, single-loop, compr.

16bit, multi-loop, compr.

16bit, single-loop, uncompr.


160 MB

70 MB

107 MB

116 MB


160 MB

110 MB

151 MB

197 MB

License agreement
§1) This agreement defines the licensing agreement between Pipeloops (Reiner Suikat) and the customer for our sample sets. The sample set consists of the samples and, depending on the version, images, database and other files.
§2) Pipeloops grants the customer the perpetual right to use the sample set with any software capable of playing the samples. Pipeloops retains all rights, including all copyright and intellectual property rights, to the sample set and all copies thereof.
§3) The customer may use the sample set for public performances and/or recordings without any restrictions unless specific restrictions are mentioned for a sample set. The customer must credit the use of the sample set in the program notes and notify Pipeloops of the performance / recording via e-mail.
§4) The customer is allowed to make backup copies of the distribution media as needed. However, the customer must not distribute copies of the sample set or parts of thereof to third parties.
§5) The customer may resell the sample set. In this case the customer must sign a written statement that he has has handed over the distribution media and all copies to the new owner and that he has deleted any files associated with the sample set from his computer and send this statement along with the name and address of the new owner to Pipeloops.
§6) The sample set comes without any warranty. Pipeloops can not assume any liability for the use of the sample set. The customer has to take the usual precautions when evaluationg the sample set, such as setting speakers to a low volume during the first tests. The audio signal reaching the speakers is determined by a number of factors, e.g. volume settings on the PC, settings on the sound producing software, the sample set itself and the input signal (e.g. midi-file).
This sample set can only be installed in Hauptwerk after accepting the agreement.



Virtual Organ Concert in Notre-Dame de Laeken

Organist: Anton Doornhein from the Netherlands. Many thanks to Anton for these recordings!

All pieces have been played live and recorded directly from Hauptwerk without any additional sound processing.

Louis Vierne: Symphony Nr. 1 for organ
Allegro vivace

Cesar Franck: Choral Nr 1 in E-Major from Trois chorals pour grand Orgue
Registration used for this recording

Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens: Fanfare

Felix Mendelssohn: Romance sans paroles

Lefébure Wely: Andante

Louis Vierne: Meditation (from Trois Improvisations; Transkription: Maurice Duruflé)

Louis Vierne: Toccata (from Pieces de Fantaisie)


Enjoy the concert!

Trial Version

This is the trial version of the sample set of the Schyven / Van Bever organ in Notre Dame de Laeken (Belgium). Please look at the description of the full version for details and sound demos of this sample set.

The trial version is a complete and fully functioning version with the following restrictions:

  • The organ definition files as well as the samples are encrypted, hence the trial version will only work with a registered Hauptwerk installation (with dongle).
  • Only the 15" gui screens are included. These do not display keyboards and the images are not as clear as for the large screen, but we could not include all ODFs for filesize reasons.
  • The sound will stop about every minute for 5-6 seconds. All stops will stay engaged and you can continue playing after this brief pause.
  • The download consists of two large files (approx. 2.2GB), so expect rather long download times. You will need to download both files and install them using Hauptwerk's built-in component installer.


The Organ


Grand Orgue (II) C-g’’’
Montre 16'
Bourdon 16'
Montre 8'
Flûte harmonique 8'
Gemshorn 8'
Salicional 8'
Gambe 8'
Bourdon 8'
Prestant 4'
Flûte 4'
Doublette  2' (C)
(1874: Trompette céleste 8')
 (1912: Quinte 51/3') (B)
Fourniture VI rangs
Grand Cornet V rangs
Bombarde 16'
Trompette 8'
Ophicléïde 8'
(1874: Cor anglais 8’)
Clairon  4'


Positif expressif (I) C-g’’’
Quintaton 16'
Flûte 8'
Dolciana 8'
Unda maris 8'
(ab 1912) (B)
Gambe 8'
Bourdon 8'
Flûte  4'
(1874: Flûte 8')
Quinte 3'
Mixture III rangs
(ab c1= Carillon)
Trompette céleste 8'
Clarinette 8'
Musette 8'
(ab 1912) (B)


Récit expressif (III) C-g’’’
Bourdon 16'
Gambe 8'
Flûte octaviante 8'
Dolce 8'
Voixcéleste 8'
Bourdon 8'
Flûted'écho 4'
Flageolett 2'
Fourniture III rangs
Basson 16'
Trompette harmonique 8'
Basson-Hautbois 8'
Voix Humaine 8'
Clairon harmonique 4'
(1874: Cor 16')
Pédale C-f’
Sous-Basse 32'
Flûte  16'
Bourdon 16'
Quintaton 12'
Flûte 8'
Violoncelle  8'
Flûte  4'
Bombarde 16'
Trompette 8'
Clairon  4'
Pédale de Combinaison
   du Grand-Orgue au Pédalier du Positif au Pédalier
   du Récit au Pédalier
   du Récit au Grand-Orgue
   du Positif au Grand-Orgue
   du Récit au Positif
   du Grand-Orgue l'octave grave
Forté général
Appel de jeux de combinaison
   du Grand-Orgue, Récit, Pédalier

Orgelbauer / Facteurs d’orgue / Organbuilders
   Pierre Schyven & Cie 1874
   Salomon Van Bever 1906/1912 (B)
   Patrick Collon 1975/78 (C)



Like an arrow the Avenue de la Reine points directly to the neogothic L’eglise Royale Notre-Dame de Laeken. The church, initially designed by the architect, Joseph Poelaert (1817- 1879), as a royal tombsite, especially in memory of the very popular Belgium Queen, Louise Marie of France, was erected in 1854 and blessed in 1872. The church was finally completed according to newer plans in 1908. Since its consecration, all of Belgium’s monarchs have been buried in its crypt.

For this church the Belgium government conmissioned a great organ as early as 1870. Pierre Schyven finally starts working on the organ in Laeken from 1871to 1874.

Under the name of P. Schyven & Cie., Pierre Schyven, born in Brussels in 1827 takes over the famous organ workshop of Merklin-Schütze together with Armand and Jacques Verreyt. Supported by François-Joseph Fétis, the director of the Brussels Conservatory, Joseph Merklin and Friedrich Schütze had played an important role in regenerating organ construction in Belgium. Merklin-Schütze had taken over Ducroquet of Paris in 1855.

Charles-Spakman Barker was their workshop master there until 1858. Pierre Schyven had been with Merklin since 1843 and was their workshop head in Brussels since 1851. Instruments out of the late Brusseler Merklin production and early Schyven pieces do not differ greatly. Despite the fact that Cavaillé-Coll dreaded Schyven´s Paris workshop it is said that Cavaillé-Coll admired Schyven´s Brusseler tradition. Even though one cannot call Schyven a Cavaillé-Coll imitation he was dedicated to the same organ manufacturing principles.

Next to the organ in the cathedral in Antwerp, it is his greatest work. The organ has 51stops, 13 pedal-levers, the Grand-Orgue and Récit have 2 Barkers levers (wind pressure is 170 mm Watercolumn) and a gigantic neogothic organ chest. Alphonse Mailly and Alexandre Guilmant play the inaugurating concert in 1874. For this concert the later especially recomposed his Symphony Ias an organ solo, dedicating it to the attending King of Belgium.

After cleaning and intonating the organ in 1888 Schyven carries out some repairs on its mechanics and on the bellows. He replaces the Récit and Grand-Orgue Barker levers with more precise ones. New Magazin bellows with two places for windmakers are installed and wind pressure is reduced from 170 mmWC to 120 mmWC.

Pierre Schyven retires from the firm 1905. As a business partner, his son François (1856 - 1927), had in the last 10 years incorporated more and more industrial production methods. François keeps up the business to his death without building any new instruments.

Maintenance of the organ is transferred to Samuel van Bever (1851-1916) in 1902. Together with his brotherAdrian (1837 - 1895) he had worked in the famous Hippolyt Loret organ workshop. He followed Loret when he moved his workshop to Paris in 1866 and worked there until 1878. He perfected his craftsmanship with Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, whose concepts continued to influence his entire career. As of 1880 the Van Bever brothers take over the Loret workshop and continue the tradition in Laeken. Van Bever undertakes several changes on the organ disposition; in the Récit Clairon 4 replaces Cor 16’, the Positif Ophiclëide 16’ now becomes 8’ and is exchanged for the Cor anglais 8’ in the Grand-Orgue. Besides cleaning and intonating, all the bellows are adjusted and the Récit is revised. Montre 16’ receives new conducts and the Positif gets a new Barker lever.

In 1906 the organ had to be dismantled to allow construction of the church steeple to finish. After the steeple was completed 1908, the church’s Rosette was left visible for architectural reasons. As a result, the ornamental Schyven Prospect had to be eliminated. Despite this loss, the organ was installed with the original windchests, console and the old pipes. The Positif receives new windchests and two additional registers; Musette 8’ and Unda maris 8’.

A Quinte 5 1/3’ displaces the Trompette Céleste of the Grand-Orgue. The Récit and Positif stop tracking are now pneumatically supported, while the Grand-Orgue and Pédale remain mechanical. The large Sous-Basse 32 pipes are installed in narrow cabinets along the back walls of the church aisles so as not to obstruct views of the Rosette in the nave. At the church’s consecration May 10th, 1912 the organ was presented almost as it is today.

After Salomon Van Bever died 1916, his nephews, the Draps brothers, took over the workshop and the maintenance of the instrument. Samuel Eyckmans (1889 - 1978) followed later.

Patrick Collon of Brussels cautiously restores the organ between 1975 and 1978. He exchanges the Grand-Orgue pipe Quinte 5 1/3´ with a Doublett 2´ so that the Organ stands out to today in all its grandeur as the summit of Belgium’s symphonic organ building. Etiènne de Munck of Sint-Niklaas has been responsible for the organ’s maintenance since 1994. He also tuned the instrument for this recording.

The organists at this organ were


  • 1901 Edmond Lemmens
  • 1904 Louisde Bondt
  • 1916 Clément Doucet
  • 1962 de Coster
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