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

Krebs: Clavier-Übung III

Krebs: Clavier-Übung III
Jan von Busch, organ
MDG Audiomax 706 1888-2. 78’34

Six Sonatinas Krebs-WV 801-806, Six Sonatas Krebs-WV 832-837  

This CD produces an interesting meeting of minds between the composer Johann Ludwig Krebs and the organ builder Johann Georg Stein, both born a few miles from each other (near Weimar) and at about the same time (1712/13). Both absorbed local influences in their craft, before stylistically moving into a new style. Krebs, of course, was the favourite pupil of JS Bach, leading to Bach’s comment about him being the “best crayfish (Krebs) in the brook (Bach)”. It is to Krebs that we owe the preservation of much of Bach’s organ music. His own organ compositions are often based on recognisable Bach pieces, often extended to quite extraordinary lengths and developed into the early Classical style. So it something of a relief to hear him composing in miniature form. Continue reading