Whilst staying at A4 size and 56 pages, the magazine has been completely redesigned with different fonts (more easy to read), bigger photopgraphs, more focus on things like specifications and more CD reviews of organ repertoire.
Explore By Topic
Winter 2021. 395
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck 1562-1621
In 2021 there are several composers whose anniversaries can be commemorated, although some of the dates are not known for certain; some of the names listed below will need no introduction but there are also quite a few lesser-known names listed here whose compositions are well worth exploring. No claim is made for completion, and there is no guarantee that every edition mentioned is in print – there may well also be editions by other publishers. Publishers’ websites have been given where known. Details of a small number of composers whose preserved output consists of only one or two pieces have been omitted.
Jan Śliwiński – Polish apprentice of Cavaillé-Coll
Dr Michał Szostak
The importance of the personal character and work of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899) for the organ world is well known and undeniable. His Parisian company hosted large numbers of apprentices from all over Europe who wanted to learn the secrets of the profession from the most significant master of his craft. In the last issue, I described one person who had been working at the Cavaillé-Coll company and then started his own professional activity in Prague – Emanuel Štěpán Petr (1853-1930). In this article, I will follow the same path of Cavaillé-Coll’s pupils but focusing on those from the Polish lands. This will be a story of Jan Śliwiński (1844-1903), one of the finest Polish organ builders of the 19th century who was active in the country in and around Galicia.
On the base of – very well described in the literature – Romantic tendencies in organ building in Western Europe, I described the different situations regarding the subject of our interest in Eastern Europe. All crucial factors referring to the Czech lands are similar to the Polish lands. WITH FULL SPECIFICATIONS
Chiesa del Convento di Azzio
Italy’s Campo Dei Fiori
Italy’s Campo Dei Fiori is where God might choose to go on holiday. Subtly tucked between the Italian alps, Switzerland, the Great Lakes and Milan, it lives up to its name. The field of flowers. Here, nature has ruled since the dawn of time.
In the village of Azzio, the camellias cautiously give way to thick forests alive with wolves and wild boar. And for nearly two centuries, a different ruler. In 1828, still in the shadow of Napoleon, two friars Pasquale and Antonio Mascioni set up their nephew Giacomo as an organ builder in what is now the church. WITH FULL SPECIFICATION
St Mary’s Portsea
Dr David Mason
Despite the difficulties brought about by Covid the restoration of the fine 1889 J.W. Walker & Sons pipe organ at St Mary’s Portsea got underway in the second half of 2020. Initially planned for a 50 stop Envoy 350 FV by good fortune a larger Regent 356 instrument was released early from hire at Edinburgh Episcopal Cathedral and so this instrument was installed from the beginning of the project.
With 3 manuals, a 32 note pedalboard, and 56 speaking stops delivered through 12 speakers plus a bass bin – the opportunities for an outstanding result in St Mary’s wonderful acoustic could be fully exploited. 3 days were set aside to install the organ (2 for the install/speaker setup and 1 for the voicing), but thanks to some excellent preparatory work from the Viscount team in Bicester and Mark Gatrell of South Coast Organs the work was completed in 2 days.
A Yorkshire Organ Builder’s contribution to President Biden’s Inauguration
The inauguration of a newly-elected President of the United States of America takes place every four years at noon on January 20 in Washington, D.C.
Few readers will need reminding of the dramatic events surrounding the election itself and the interregnum between polling day and the inauguration itself, but fewer still will be aware of the unique contributions made to the ceremonies marking the assumption of the presidency by Joseph Biden – in particular, for British readers of this journal, by a long-established Yorkshire firm specialising in the construction of organ pipes.
George Fowler cutting pipes out from 50/50 tin and lead sheet spotted metal. Picture: Tony Johnson
The Organ Music of Erkki Salmenhaara: radical avant-gardist to master of neo-classical style
The musical instrument of Erkki Salmenhaara (1941-2002) in his youthful years was the organ, which may explain the relatively large proportion of organ music in his output: between 1966 and 1985 he wrote eight pieces for organ. In addition to six for solo organ, they include an Adagio for oboe and organ and an Introduction and Chorale, which is a concerto for organ and symphony orchestra.
How was Salmenhaara the young Finnish modernist inspired by the organ, to the extent that he composed an hour’s worth of solo music for it, given that orchestral music, and symphonies in particular, was the mainstay of his output? The obvious answer is that organs have the same power and dynamic range as an orchestra.