St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer 2015

St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer 2015
Manfred Novak, Pieter van Dijk, Peter Planyavsky organ
Ad Artem Musicae AAM 002-2015. 78’23

As well as the CD demonstrating the 2003 Westenfelder organ in the Abbey of Sankt Lambrecht, Austria (reviewed here), Ad Artem Musicae has also issued a CD of live recordings from four of the concerts in the 2015 St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer. Each concert features some contemporary music, and three of the four also have pieces for, or with, another instrument or a choir. The first and last recitals feature the Abbey organist, Manfred Novak. In the first he combines with Wolfgand Fleischhacker, playing saxophone and clarinet. In the final sequence of pieces, he is joined by Hansgeorg Schmeiser playing flute.

The opening piece is the Fugue from the Praeludium and Fuge in C (BWV547). This is one of the few Bach Prelude and Fugue pairs that were clearly intended to be performed together (most are found separately in the sources, and were put together, sometimes rather arbitrately, by much later editors), so the fugue played Continue reading

Farbklange: Zehn Jahre Westenfelder-Orgel in St. Lambrecht

Zehn Jahre Westenfelder-Orgel in St. Lambrecht
Manfred Novak
Ad Artem Musicae AAM 001-2012. 61’28

Music by Scheidemann, Bach, Frescobaldi, Boëlly, Arauxo, Ximénez, Brahms, Froberger, Buxtehude.

The design of modern organs is something of a minefield, with views ranging from entirely eclectic instruments, supposedly intended to play the entire historic repertoire; entirely modern instruments aiming to encourage present and future composers but bearing little attention to the existing organ repertoire; through to carefully researched reconstructions of key organs of yesteryear, ideal for a particular repertoire, but limited for other repertoires – together with all the many variations between these extremes.  Added to this are the complexities of the acoustics of the space and the space available for the organ, which is often in an historically and architecturally important environment.

This CD demonstrates the 2003 Westenfelder organ in the Abbey of Sankt Lambrecht, in the southern part of central Austria, ten years after its construction. Continue reading

The Organ Tablature from Klagenfurt

The Organ Tablature from Klagenfurt
Manfred Novak, organ
1558 Ebert organ, Innsbruck Hofkirche
MDG 606 1701-2. 54’03+49’42

Anonymous: Exercitatio bona, Petre amas me; Josquin Desprez: In principio erat verbum, Agnus Dei, Mille regretz, Miserere mei, Pater noster, Stabat mater dolorosa; Jean Mouton: Tua est potentia a 5; Pierre de la Rue?: Patrem omnipotentem; Ludwig Senfl; De profundis a 5, Nisi Dominus, Preambulum a 6; Claudin de Sermisy: Le content; Philippe Verdelot; Infirmitatem a 5.

There cannot be a more appropriate merging of organ and music than is found on this CD. Although there is no specific evidence, the Klagenfurter Orgeltabulatur seems to have been written around 1560 and was possibly written for a Carinthian monastery in central Austria. It is now in the state archives of the state of Carinthia (as Klagl. 4/3). It is the earliest known collection of keyboard music in Austria, and one of the first to use the ‘New German Organ Tablature’ letter notation. At the same time as it was being prepared, Jörg Ebert was making a bit of a meal of building the organ commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I for the Court Church in Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol. He had been appointed in 1555, but progress was slow and, as a result, he nearly lost the contract. But by 1558 the organ was substantially complete, and was inspected and approved in 1561. A seminal restoration in the 1970s (by Ahrend) produced an excellent, and rare, example of a Renaissance organ, with only three stops having to be reconstructed from new. I gave a recital on it last year, and it is an absolute joy to play. Continue reading