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Halgeir Schiager

Kuemstedt, Van Eyken, Reubke for Organ

  • Type CD
  • Label Lawo Classics
  • UPC 7090020182278
  • Catalog number LWC 1205
  • Release date 13 November 2020
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About the album

Music in the 1800s, as in earlier times, was influenced by the instruments for which it was written. As far as the organ is concerned, traditionally there was the influence of the piano, but also, to an ever increas­ing extent, the orchestra. Beginning in the mid-1700s, the Mannheim School’s introduction of variable dy­namics led to a paradigm shift, and the attitudes this represented were also evident in organ music. In his book of study for the organ from 1795–98, Justin Heinrich Knecht (1752–1817) described how one could achieve a crescendo on the organ from pianissimo to fortissimo, and he indicated the specific sequence of stops to be used. Further examples of a comparable use of the organ’s stops were provided by Christian Heinrich Rinck (1770–1846), who suggested that the registration could be changed while playing, either by the organist himself or by an assistant. Nonetheless, most organs of the time were distinguished by the ideals of the past and were not always well suited for a new registration practice. The norm, as document­ed in published organ music in the first decades of the nineteenth century, implied that the registration was not changed while playing, thus limiting one to terraced dynamics by the dynamics that the number of manuals permitted.

This CD’s intention is to present examples of develop­ments characterizing German organ music in the mid- 1800s. In doing so, it seems natural to include Reu­bke’s Sonate, which has accompanied me throughout my life as an organ performer. At the same time, the album features seldom performed organ composi­tions of Jan Albert van Eyken and Friedrich Kühm­stedt, interesting works of high quality that tell us something about German organ music of the day. All the works on this CD were written in the period 1854– 1857. The instrument I chose is the new Eule organ in Sofienberg Church, which was inspired by German organ building in the nineteenth century and by Fried­rich Ladegast in particular.

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