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The Organs of J. S. Bach

The Organs of J. S. Bach: A Handbook

Introduction by CHRISTOPH WOLFF
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 240
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    The Organs of J. S. Bach
    Book Description:

    The Organs of J. S. Bach is a comprehensive and fascinating guide to the organs encountered by Bach throughout Germany in his roles as organist, concert artist, examiner, teacher, and visitor. Newly revised and updated, the book's entries are listed alphabetically by geographical location, from Arnstadt to Zschortau, providing an easy-to-reference overview. _x000B__x000B_Includes detailed organ-specific information: _x000B__x000B_--High-quality color photographs_x000B_--Each instrument's history, its connection to Bach, and its disposition as Bach would have known it _x000B_--Architectural histories of the churches housing the instruments_x000B_--Identification of church organists_x000B__x000B_Lynn Edwards Butler's graceful translation of Christoph Wolff and Markus Zepf's volume incorporates new research and many corrections and updates to the original German edition. Bibliographical references are updated to include English-language sources, and the translation includes an expanded essay by Christoph Wolff on Bach as organist, organ composer, and organ expert. _x000B__x000B_The volume includes maps, a timeline of organ-related events, transcriptions of Bach's organ reports, a guide to examining organs attributed to Saxony's most famous organ builder Gottfried Silbermann, and biographical information on organ builders. _x000B__x000B_Publication of this volume is supported by the American Bach Society.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09391-3
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    George B. Stauffer

    It is with pride and delight that the American Bach Society, in conjunction with the University of Illinois Press, issues this English translation of Die Orgeln J. S. Bachs: Ein Handbuch by Christoph Wolff and Markus Zepf. For some time now the society has wanted to expand its printing ventures beyond its well-established hardcover series Bach Perspectives. The present volume, which addresses one of the most important aspects of Bach’s musical life in a comprehensive yet accessible manner, offers a perfect opportunity to place a German publication of great interest before a new, English-speaking audience.

    In compiling their new handbook,...

  4. Preface to the English Edition
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Christoph Wolff
  5. Bach—Organist, Composer, Organ Expert: An Introductory Sketch
    (pp. xv-xx)
  6. Timeline of Organ-Related Dates in Bach’s Life
    (pp. xxi-xxv)
  7. Maps
    (pp. xxvi-xxx)
  8. PART ONE The Organs of J. S. Bach

    • [PART ONE Introduction]
      (pp. 1-4)

      Churches. Historical information concerning the churches in which the organs are situated is meant to provide a basic orientation, since the size, disposition, care, and use of an organ depends on external conditions such as the architecture of the space and who is in charge of the organ (e.g., the court or the city). Details of the history of the church are provided only when they are of importance to the organ itself (e.g., Hamburg/St. Jacobi, 1714, collapse of the vault over the organ; destruction of the building in 1944 [the organ was in storage]).

      Organs. Organ descriptions are specific...

    • SECTION A Organs with a Proven Connection to Bach
      (pp. 5-100)

      There is evidence that Johann Sebastian Bach visited Altenburg at the beginning of September 1739, probably for an informal examination of the just-completed court organ, as well as to play the organ during a church service. According to the court record of September 7, 1739, “the well-known kapellmeister Bach, of Leipzig, was heard at the organ, and, in passing, judged that the organ’s construction was very durable, and that the organ builder had succeeded in giving to each stop its particular nature and proper sweetness” (BDOK II, no. 453). Bach’s participation in what was a successful examination and acceptance of...

    • SECTION B Reference Organs from Bach’s World
      (pp. 101-132)

      There is no evidence that Johann Sebastian Bach knew and played the organs cited in the following section. For the majority of these instruments, however, it is highly likely that he did. Beyond that, many of the instruments are particularly important to the history of organ building and provide an essential guide toward an understanding of Bach’s instruments.

      After his visit to Potsdam in 1747, Johann Sebastian Bach proceeded to Berlin. He had previously been in Berlin in 1742, when he had visited his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, who at the time was in the service of Frederick the Great,...

    • SECTION C Overview An Inventory of the Organs and Their Parts, Including Their State of Preservation
      (pp. 133-136)

      The instruments described in Parts A and B are listed here according to their state of preservation and the survival of historical elements from the period. Manual and pedal compasses, when cited, likewise refer to the Bach period. For partially preserved instruments, the third column lists the parts that still exist: C = case; K = key desk, preserved separately; A = action; P = individual pipes; R = register(s); W = wind chest(s). Missing information is noted by —, reference instruments (from Part B) by (B)....

  9. PART TWO Organ Tests and Examinations

    • SECTION A Johann Sebastian Bach’s Organ Reports
      (pp. 139-148)

      Of the numerous reports written or co-written by Bach in the course of four and a half decades, only seven have been preserved. As the following overview shows, Bach’s documented role as adviser and examiner of new and renovated instruments extends to more than twenty instruments. It is certain that he had a hand in many more.

      Bach’s very first inspection, of the organ in Arnstadt’s New Church, took place in 1703 and resulted in Bach being offered an appointment. His last documented examination is dated November 1746. Nevertheless, as late as June 1749, the Thomascantor—a consultant sought after...

    • SECTION B Instructions for Examining Organs
      (pp. 149-154)

      At the beginning of the last century, a manuscript was uncovered during repairs to an organ in a church in Saxony that, according to its title, was based on an oral transmission of the organ builder to the electoral Saxon court, Gottfried Silbermann, who died in 1753. The manuscript, privately owned, comprises sixteen numbered paragraphs and a postscript written on eight pages in small quarto format. Even though the attribution to Silbermann remains doubtful, the instructions nevertheless provide a concise and illuminating enumeration of the main points of an organ test in the middle of the eighteenth century.

      This translation...

  10. PART THREE Organ Builders

    • SECTION A Organ Builders with a Personal Connection to Bach
      (pp. 157-164)

      (d. January 22, 1719, in Coburg)

      Presumably journeyman with Christoph Junge, whose organ in Erfurt’s Merchants’ Church he completed after Junge’s death in 1687. Moved his workshop to Coburg. His best-known student was Johann Sebastian Ehrhardt, with whom he built the organ in Langewiesen.

      Organs: Part I. A: Langewiesen (new organ, 1706).— Coburg, St. Moritz (rebuild).

      Literature: BDOK II, no. 18; Fischer/Wohnhaas 1994, 14.

      (b. before 1700)

      Son-in-law of Johann Friedrich Wender, who presumably trained him to be an organ builder. Becker appears also to have had a close association with Johann Friedrich Stertzing, whose successor he became; in 1724...

    • SECTION B Organ Builders from the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries Associated with Bach’s Organs
      (pp. 165-173)

      Eugenio (b. February 14, 1623, in Sorau, buried September 17, 1706, in Niederwiesa/Silesia)

      Baptized Johann Caspar, he changed his name while working in Italy. He returned to Germany in 1697 to build, with his son, the “sun organ” in Görlitz.

      Organs: Part I. B: Görlitz, Church of St. Peter and Paul’s (new organ, 1703).

      Literature: Boxberg 1704; Flade 1952; Reichling/Janka 2000.

      Adam Horatio (b. 1676 in Padua, d. August 11, 1745, in Breslau)

      Son of Eugenio. After completion of the Görlitz organ, in 1703 he settled in Breslau.

      Brought Italian influences into German organ building.

      Literature: BDOK I, commentary to...

    • SECTION C Other Organ Builders and Organ-Building Firms
      (pp. 174-178)

      Ahrend, Jürgen (b. 1930), Leer-Loga. Firm founded 1954 with Gerhard Brunzema; single proprietorship from 1972; in 2005, direction taken over by Hendrik Ahrend.

      Beckerath, Hamburg. Founded 1949 by Rudolf von Beckerath (1907–1976).

      Besser, Johann Friedrich (ca. 1655–1693), Braunschweig.

      Böhm, Gerhard, proprietor of organ-building firm Rudolf Böhm. Founded 1888; in Gotha since 1900.

      Brunner, Heinrich, Sandersleben. Second half of seventeenth century.

      Damm (Thamm), Frankfurt/Oder. Middle of eighteenth century.

      Decker, David, Jr., Görlitz. First half of eighteenth century.

      Eule Orgelbau, Bautzen. Founded 1872 by Hermann Eule (1972–1990, VEB Eule-Orgelbau Bautzen).

      Flentrop Orgelbouw, Zaandam. Founded 1903. Since 2009, directed by...

  11. Sources and Literature Cited
    (pp. 179-192)
  12. Photograph Credits
    (pp. 193-194)
  13. Translator’s Note
    (pp. 195-196)
  14. Index
    (pp. 197-208)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 209-211)