Organ Gloriosa · Concert four Europe
A concert with 4 soloists from 4 countries
on the historical "Great Buergy Organ of 1787"
in the Bad Homburg Castle Church
Martin Knizia (United Kingdom),
Pieter Dirksen (Netherlands),
Federica Iannella (Italy)
& Thorsten Mäder (Germany)
Works by Nicolaus Bruhns, William Byrd,
Hugo Distler, Matthias Weckmann,
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach,
Jan Brandts-Buys, Padre Davide da Bergamo,
Ferdinando Provesi & Josef Gabriel Rheinberger
A concert in the Castle Church in Bad Homburg
CD · DDD · c. 72 Minutes
rgan Gloriosa - just imagine - a church full of shadows, a hard pew, gazing at the altar out there in front, waiting for the sound of the organ to come from far away ... The popular way of listening to an organ concert. Yet I ask myself - what about the masters of an instrument like this? Composers like Bach and Mendelssohn - what were their feelings? What was the decisive factor that triggered their profound compositions?
Have you ever sat at a church organ? Staring at the manuals, in front of you the keys and the stops - and, stretching away behind you, the noble nave and transept of the church. Then, looking upwards, you see the mighty bass pipes that seem to tower over you, reaching up and up before losing themselves in the half-light of the vaulted ceiling ... And now, the first hesitant touch of the keyboard, a resonant booming that uplifts the soul - and you immerse yourself in the sound of the organ... We want to bring home to you the wonderful and powerful tones of this instrument - exactly as it sounded in the days of the old masters, when they sat at the keyboard of an organ and devised these compositions in honour of the Creator.
Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
Martin Knizia, London (United Kingdom plays:
1. Nicolaus Bruhns (1655-1697) ~ Prelude in E Minor "The Great"
2. William Byrd (c.1543-1623) ~ Fantasia in G
3. Hugo Distler (1908-1942) ~ "Suite" aus 30 Spielstücke Opus 18 No. 1-4
Intonation - Concertino - Chaconne - Kanon
4. Matthias Weckmann (c.1616-1674) ~ Magnificat I. Toni
Pieter Dirksen, Cuijk (Netherlands) plays:
5. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) ~ Wir glauben all an einen Gott
We all believe in one true God
6. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784) ~ Fuga in g
7. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) ~ Fantasia in C Major (C3)
8. Jan Brandts-Buijs / Jan Brandts-Buys (1868-1933) ~ Patria Opus 36
Federica Iannella, Senigallia (Italy) plays:
9. Padre Davide da Bergamo (1791-1863) ~ Elevazione in D Minor
Recitativo - Andante cantabile - Allegro con spirito
10. Ferdinando Provesi (1770-1833) ~ Sinfonia in C Major
Thorsten Mäder (Germany) plays:
Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) ~ Organ Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Opus 98
11. Tempo moderato - 12. Intermezzo - 13. Fuga cromatica
he Great Buergy Organ of 1787 in Bad Homburg Castle Church dates back to those eventful times at the end of the 18th century. At that time, there lived in the little town of Homburg, seat of the Landgraves, a superb organ maker from Switzerland by the name of Johann Conrad Buergy (1721 - 1792). He received a commission from the Protestant-Lutheran Church Convent to build what was to be his greatest masterpiece. With 38 stops distributed over three manuals and pedals, this organ is a magnificent example of Central German organ building in the style documented as being preferred by Johann Sebastian Bach because of its distinctive sound. The effulgence of the organ takes on something of the Northern German tradition without neglecting the tonic keynotes found in Southern German organ building.
With its many registers, the organ offers a wide variety of wonderfully different sounds, ranging from exquisite solo voices of remarkable colour to a majestic tutti with striking bass tones. It is therefore equally suited to interpreting Baroque or Pre-Baroque works, classical compositions or selected pieces from the Romantic era, or indeed, even modern music. An unusual feature of the organ is its echo chamber: the wind chests and the pipes of this section of the instrument are hidden in the lower part of the organ housing, so that the tones are not directed straight into the church, but diverted though various byways, thus sounding remote and almost echo-like - an effect very popular in Baroque music, which was later continued with the remote consoles of Romantic organs.
The impressive sound is accompanied by opulent visuals: the artistic back-drop of pipes, which fills the entire rear space above the first gallery right up to under the church ceiling, forms a striking counterpart to the choir section facing it, framed by two rows of windows. These bathe the interior of the church in a warm glow of light that was nearly lost in the course of the changing history of the castle. For, with the dwindling influence of the Landgraves, the organ rapidly fell into disrepair. After only 90 years, its use was discontinued and it was later dismantled. All that remained were the housing and the bellows and - for a short time - the tin flue pipes, until these were melted down during the 1st World War. However, 200 years after its commemoration, two lucky coincidences made it possible to restore the organ to its original glory: Johann Conrad Buergy had a journeyman by the name of Johann Georg Foerster, who was to become one of the founders of Foerster & Nicolaus, the world-renowned and respected Hesse firm of organ builders. Buergy's knowledge of the art of organ making has been handed down in this company until today. In the 1980s, the devoted citizens of Bad Homburg who were members of the Board of Trustees of the Bad Homburg Castle Church succeeded in having not just the church building restored to its original splendour, but the Great Buergy Organ of 1789 as well. And what could have been more natural than to entrust this demanding task to Foerster & Nicolaus, who duly completed it in 1989?
Today you can admire the organ in all its glory - as one of the few remaining testimonies to the style of organ building in the classical era. Its distinctive sound and remarkably broad range have been captured fully on this CD for the very first time.