Early Music Day 2021
21 March 2021
This time last year, I had planned to give four concerts for Early Music Day, with three Bach organ recitals (shared with baroque cellist Poppy Walshaw and flautist Annabel Knight) and a special evening concert combining Art Of Moog with the historic organ of St Giles-in-the-Fields. A year later, there is still no possibility of live events in the UK, so here is a far more modest contribution to Early Music Day 2021, with links to recordings of early organ music played on important European historic organs, either from my own recitals or more informal playing.
1. Estampie, from the Robertsbridge Codex, c1360. One of the oldest known pieces of keyboard music, here played during a recital on the famous 1558 Ebert organ in the Hofkirche, Innsbruck (https://www.echo-organs.org/ibk_organ_1_ebert-orgel.html). The recital started after the 1pm bell from the adjoining historic clock.
2. Paumann Gloria De Sancta Maria Vergine from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch, c1460, played on one of the oldest organs in the world, in the fortified Basilica of Valère, in Sion, Switzerland,1435. The Gloria has 8 verses and would have been performed with plainchant between each verse.
3. Upon la mi re, possibly by Thomas Preston (d. c1563), played during a recital on the 1558 Ebert organ in the Hofkirche, Innsbruck.
4. Felix Namque Anon. c1530 (in 5/4. British Library R.App.56). Played on the 1675 Bremser organ in the 15th-century Chapel of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekapel) in Elzenfeld, Antwerp.
5. Tallis: Alleluia Per Te Dei Genitrix. Played during a recital on the swallow’s nest organ (after 1517 Hans Tugi) in the Statdtkirche, Biel/Berne, Switzerland.
6. William Byrd: Will You Walke The Woods Soe Wylde, played during a recital on the 1668 chamber organ in the Baroque Hall of the Stari Grad fortress during the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival.
7. William Byrd: A Fancie, from a recital on the 1642 Freundt Festorgel in Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria.
8.Frescobaldi: Toccata IV, per l’organo alla levatione, from Toccate e partite d’intavolatura, Libro 2, from a recital on the 1642 Freundt Festorgel in Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria.
9. Scheidemann: Praeludium in d (WV33), played on the 2017 ‘Arp Schnitger’ organ in the Lutheran Church in Groningen, Netherlands.
10. Scheidemann: Christ lag in Todesbanden. Recorded during a recital on the Richards, Fowkes organ in St George’s, Hanover Square, London.
11. Samuel Scheidt: Modus pleno Organo pedaliter: Benedicamus à 6 Voc. (Tabulature Nova III), the final piece of a recital on the 1965 Frobenius organ in The Queen’s College Chapel, Oxford.
Last year’s concerts were to have been given in aid of the
Royal Society of Musicians.
The need for help for musicians is even greater in 2021.
If you are willing to support this important musical charity,
you can donate directly via this link https://www.rsmgb.org/fundraising/.
UK taxpayers can claim GiftAid.
Please mention “Andrew Benson-Wilson Early Music Day”
in the comments section of your donation.