Hymn Accompaniment in the Protestant Churches in South Hesse
The article examines hymn accompaniment in southern Hesse against the background of its general development. Already in the Reformation period, choir or organ were involved with what was initially unaccompanied congregational singing of hymns. This is mostly understood to have been done by alternating verses („Alternatimpraxis“), although a description of the practice at the palace chapel at Kassel published in 1613 by Michael Praetorius notes that the congregation at that time had also sung along with the choir verses. One could therefore speak of a „modified Alternatimpraxis“. This style was in active use with choir or organ up until the end of the 18th century. During course of the 18th century, the organ gradually took over the accompaniment of all the verses. Initially, intabulated phrases were played, in the 18th century with figured bass. In the 19th century this was superseded by obbligato four-voice phrases. By the mid-20th century there was a return to the simple homophonic Kantionalsatz that was in widespread use around 1600. In the 18th and 19th centuries, interludes were introduced between the verses, at times improvised - for which there were also instructions - at times gathered together into collections and finally even added into the notation for the hymns in the hymnals.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 381-406]
Performance practice in the organ works of Tunder.
For the 400th birthday of the Organist of St Mary’s Church, Lübeck
In order to perform Franz Tunder’s organ works as authentically as possible, we need to discover the composer’s stylistic origins and individual characteristics by reference to his compositions. Two of the ornaments used by Tunder, Tremoletto and Gruppetto, can be found in Michael Praetorius’s Syntagma Musicum (1619), which cites the Italian musical style as the basis of Tunder’s thinking as an organist; hence, the “Sweelinck method” of fingering is inappropriate. The frequently-found Superjectio (Christoph Bernhard) features the added upper-second (enclitic), while in the case of the 1-note ornament, the grace-note has a proclitic quality. Another Orna-mentum, or “means of decoration”, is found in the Variatio (Bernhard) as “broken” figuration of intervals, where a longer note is divided into smaller figurae (usually two), notes, or intervals such as seconds, thirds, etc. Further, articulation (differentiation in phrasing or releasing notes) is an important parameter in organ playing, as can be seen immediately in the A-2 concluding ornamentation of Christ lag in Todesbanden (here published for the first time in a revised critical text). Structural analysis based on music history makes possible a reliable interpretation of Tunder’s organ works, both in principle and in detail.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 369-380]
The Organist and Organ Builder Joseph Anton Boos (1727–1804)
Joseph Anton Boos was born on July 1, 1727 in Koblenz. His father Bartholomäus Boos had settled there as an organ builder, having previously worked in the Upper Palatinate around 1720. After attending the Jesuit College in Koblenz, Joseph Anton Boos moved to Mainz. Here he was, as already in Koblenz, active as an organist, primarily at the Collegiate Church of St. Peter. He was also trained as an organ builder. After his father Bartholomäus suffered a fatal accident in 1755 during the installation of the new organ in Wenden, Joseph Anton completed this instrument. Likewise he had to fulfill his father’s already existing contract for a new organ in the church of St. Peter in Mainz (1756). In 1758 he tested the new organ built by Johann Christian Köhler in St. Cäcilia at Heusenstamm. From 1761–64 he built an organ for the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Gernsheim.
As the competition among organ builders in Mainz grew, Boos shifted the focus of his work to the construction of pianos and flute-playing clocks. A few of his pianos are still extant. After the occupation of Mainz by French revolutionary troops, he fled to Bamberg. His final work, the Orchestrion – a combination of piano and organ – he was unable to complete. He died in 1804 in Bamberg.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 11-35]
Hamburg – Stralsund – Visby: The Stralsund St. Nicholas Church Organist Bernhard Petersen († 1629) as Author of the Visby Organ Tablature
The Visby organ tablature, begun in 1611 by the Hamburg organist Berendt Petri, later fell into the hands of the cathedral organist in Visby, Johann Bahr, who in turn added pieces to the tablature. Until now, the whereabouts of the manuscript between 1611 und 1638 – the year that Bahr was appointed – were unexplained. The author recently identified Petri, the principal author of the tablature, as a later organist at the Church of St. Nicholas in Stralsund. By means of his putative student David Herlitz (the son of Petri‘s Stralsund predecessor Elias Herlitz), the tablature could have arrived in Visby, where Herlitz was appointed cathedral organist in 1620. After his death in 1638 the manuscript came into the possession of his successor Johann Bahr.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 349-356]
The History of the Organs at St. Jodokus in Bielefeld.
With Special Consideration for the Organ Building Family Reinking
The first instrument at St. Jodokus, as evidenced by traces left on the church wall, was a swallow’s nest organ above the rood screen (1511−1515). From 1563 until 1565 the Franciscans made use of a borrowed organ from Quernheim. An organ existing at the beginning of the 17th century was unplayable at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. In the years 1652-54, the significant Bielefeld organ builder Hans Henrich Reinking constructed a new instrument, probably with just one manual, to which 52 of the non-speaking pipes in the current façade may date back. Johann Patroclus Möller added an independent pedal organ in 1769 with a spring chest and five registers. The organ case was redesigned in the late Baroque style. Johann and Caspar Melchior Kersting expanded the organ in 1847 to 19 registers and presumably two manuals; Möller’s pedal organ remained unchanged. Rudolf August Randebrock repaired the instrument in 1881 and added a new blower. During a reconstruction done by Friedrich Bernhard Meyer from Herford (1897) much of the surviving organ pipes by Möller and Kersting were lost.
In 1913/14 Anton (I) Feith installed a new instrument that had a pneumatic action with three manuals (including a Swell) and 45 totally new registers. Anton (II) Feith in 1955 performed a complete rebuilding of the organ and reused only about half of the extant pipes. The organ now had electric stop and key action and a new console. In 1965 a new chapel organ with ten registers was added as an antiphonal division and the main organ was enlarged by two registers. It was now the largest pipe organ in Bielefeld. Already in 1974 a new construction followed, done by Matthias Kreienbrink. At this time the existing façade elements were redesigned into a new organ front.
13 registers from the Feith organ along with the console and 10 registers from 1955 went to St. Pius in Bielefeld-Gadderbaum, where Kreienbrink brought them together in 1974 to create a new instrument.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 37-88]
Michael G. Kaufmann
The Hess Organ in the Catholic Parish Church of Our Lady in Mannheim-Jungbusch
This organ was built during the war years 1941-1943 by Carl Hess (Karlsruhe-Durlach). The organ case was designed by Walter Supper of Esslingen; an architect and protagonist of the 'organ movement'. However, the actual installation of the organ could not be undertaken because of the bombing of the city of Mannheim. Thus, organ parts including about hundred pipes were stored in Neckarhausen in the castle of Count Friedrich von Oberdorff; all of the other pipes remained with the company Hess and A. Laukhuff (Weikersheim), where they were destroyed during the course of the war. In the spring of 1948, the installation of the organ began with reconstructed pipes in the hitherto only partially rebuilt Church of Our Lady. The instrument was consecrated on 12 December 1948.
During the 1970s, a conversion of the organ into the neo-Barock style was carried out by the organ building firm Vleugels (Hardheim) according to the plans of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Walter, the Archbishop's expert appointed to oversee the project. However, the state of the instrument was getting worse; so much so that there was a discussion during the 1990s about its being destroyed. However, along with the subsequent reorganization of the parish came the decision to restore and preserve the existing instrument. This work was completed by consultants from the organ building company Lenter (Saxony) in the year 2012.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 339-348]
Organs and Hymn Playing:
Registration Instructions from the Late 18th to the Early 20th Century
What purposes are served in the accompaniment of hymns by the organ? By what means should these purposes be achieved? Such questions are addressed repeatedly both in theoretical writings as well as in prefaces to "chorale books" ("organ books") for the period selected here of about 1780 to 1920. Thereby certain guiding themes emerge which will be briefly outlined.
In the opinion of many authors, the leadership of congregational singing is the most important task of the organist. At issue here are the strict observance of pitch, tempo and rhythm, occasionally also the dynamics of the singing. This is especially important when new hymns are to be rehearsed. It is advisable to highlight the melody through the distribution of the voices between two manuals, through the use of certain stops (Discant-Cornet, Trompete) or use of keyboard techniques such as playing octaves. One must always take into consideration the size of the singing congregation as well.
Other authors call more for restraint, unobtrusive accompaniment or subordination in organ playing.
Very frequently mentioned is the interpretation of hymn texts. Daniel Gottlob Türk (1787) was a realist who believed that one should express "in the music primarily feelings and passions (e.g. devotion, gratitude; sadness, anger, joy, etc.”. Friedrich Ladegast provides numerous examples of registrations for hymns of varied character from the collection used for his organ for the cathedral at Reval (1879, III/51). But there are also authors who work themselves up into poetic outpourings and thereby cross the line into literary kitsch.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 407-436]
Albrecht Schneider / Richard von Busch
On the Usage of quarter-comma meantone tuning for historical organs: some empirical data and criteria from musical acoustics
During the past decades, many historical organs have been tuned to quarter-comma meantone temperament (widespread in Europe from about 1600 onwards) instead of equal temperament (ET12) that became standard tuning for organs in the 19th century. The advantage VKMT offers (against ET12) is pure thirds and sixths, its weak point being narrowed fifths (and one much too large fifth). This article sheds light on specific features of VKMT in comparison to ET12, which is done by means of digital sound analysis and calculation of errors. For the analyses, sounds (musical tones, chords) were recorded from the historical organ Arp Schnitger had built for the St. Mauritius church at Hollern (Altes Land, near Hamburg). Since VKMT has certain limitations in regard to the keys and chords that can be used without an audible and often displeasing increase of roughness of sound, one should consider to implement a small number of subsemitonia on organs (as was done by organ builders in particular in the 17th century). By adding only a few such subsemitonia, a significant improvement of VKMT could be achieved.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 437-454]
The Visby Organ Tablature – a „Pattern Book“ of Liturgical Organ Music?
On the basis of a new examination of the Visby organ tablature, the author comes to the conclusion that an additional author – possibly David Herlitz from Stralsund – was involved besides the previously known writers Berendt Petri und Johann Bahr. There is a great likelihood that as composers all three writers are represented with pieces along with Hieronymus and Jacob Praetorius. In view of the fact that, as a rule, liturgical organ music in the 17th century was improvised, the systematic order and stylistic range of the manuscript (up to five authors from the period 1603-1666) lends itself to seeing it as a „pattern book“ for improvisation which was begun by Berendt Petri in Hamburg and then continued by David Herlitz and Johann Bahr.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 357-368]
Searching for what is lost.
The Baethmann-Organ of Convent Walsrode (1785-1945)
In 1785 Wilhelm Heinrich Baethmann (Hannover) built a positiv with 3 registers and two bellows for the Convent Walsroda. By the Convent services the cantor of the city church played the instrument. In 1812 the positiv was moved to the St. Maria church in Lüdersen, where it was altered. A pedal register, in the manual an additional Flute, and a third bellows were added. The console was moved to the left flank of the organ. These changes were completed in January 1815. In 1872 the little instrument was moved to Arnum without alterations and was used there in the chapel until 1906 when it was dismanteled and stored.
In 1908 came some parts of the casework in the new provincial museum in Nienburg. If more parts came there later is not known. All of what then remained was destroyed in the War in 1945.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 89-128]
Klaus Walter / Gert Rothe / Wolfram Hackel / Jiří Kocourek
Richard Kreutzbach (1839–1903). Life and work
With the death of their father Urban Kreutzbach (1898–1869), Richard Kreutzbach and his brother Bernhard took over the operation of their family's organ workshop which was located in Borna near Leipzig. They ran the shop together until 1875, after which time Richard did so alone until 1903. During this period, 118 new organs with up to 3 manuals and 46 stops were built. The early organs included slider chests with mechanical action. Later instruments employed mechanical cone chests, unit chests with pneumatic action, slider chests with pneumatic action, pneumatic ("Membranladen" (diaphragm chests) and pneumatic cone chests. The sound and the specifications of the organs were at first characteristic of the Saxon tradition of organ building. Later, however, the construction of solo stops resulted in the creation of a more romantic sound, and did so without the loss of the instrument's basic 'healthy' sonic foundation. The solid construction of the organs of the once powerful Saxon workshop is the reason that today the majority of these instruments still exist.
[Acta Organologica 34, 2015, 129-338]