The Organ As a Mirror of Its Time: North European Reflections, 1610-2000 Text & CDby Kerala J. Snyder
Because it has always represented a rich collaboration of the music, art, architecture, handicraft, and science of its day, the organ, more than any other instrument, continues to reflect the spirit of the age in which it was built. The Organ as a Mirror of Its Time, the first book to consider this instrument's historical and cultural significance, chronicles the history of six organs in Scandinavia and North Germany, at least one specimen for every century from 1600 to the present: the cabinet organ of Esaias Compenius at Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark, built in 1610; the massive Arp Schnitger organ for Hamburg's St. Jacobi Church, from 1693; the 1728 Johan Niclas Cahman organ at Leufsta Bruk, Sweden; Aristide Cavaille-Coll's 1890 organ for the Jesus Church in Copenhagen; the 1949 Werkprinzip Marcussen organ for Oscar's Church in Stockholm; and a brand-new (2000) instrument crafted in Arp Schnitger's style for Orgryte New Church, Goteborg. A CD with appropriate repertoire played on each of the six instruments accompanies the book.
- Oxford University Press, USA
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- BOOK & CD
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- Product dimensions:
- 9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Kerala J. Snyder is Professor Emerita of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, and a Senior Researcher at the Goteborg Organ Art Center in Goteborg, Sweden
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Do the names Cavaille-Coll, Cahman, Compenius, Marcussen, and Arp Schnitger sound familiar? If not, this book, most likely, is not for you. If you do recognize them, and are appreciative of their work, you will really enjoy The Organ as a Mirror Of Its Time, which is a collection of articles skillfully edited and arranged by Kerala J. Snyder. These prominent and historic European pipe organ builders, along with some of their more famous instruments, comprise the theme around which the contributors collectively construct an intriguing historical, cultural, political, and artistic context. The scope of the book spans four centuries, and concentrates on six specific representative instruments in Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. While the composite of all the articles achieves the intended overview, each article has a life of its own and can be enjoyed outside the surrounding framework of the book. After reading this book, you will have an insatiable desire to hear the instruments that you have just learned so much about. Fortunately, the book comes with a CD, which has performances on each of the six subject organs. One piece by Bengt Hambraeus, called Riflessioni (played on the Marcussen in Oscar¿s Church, Stockholm, Sweden) will blow you away. Obviously, this book is for real devotees of classical European pipe organs and their milieu. If you fit in that category, I highly recommend this book to you. However, you will find that a couple of the articles were written BY academics FOR academics (bless them¿¿they can¿t help it), but the effect is softened by their being intermingled with articles written for the rest of the human race. The only other disappointment involves the last of the six instruments, the North German organ in Orgryte New Church, Goteborg, which was built with the combined efforts of several university research and development teams, scientists in the fields of Metallurgy, Fluid Dynamics, and Applied Acoustics, and all of it coordinated by an international team of organ designers, builders, and voicing specialists. The instrument was conceived as a composite of several Arp Schnitger organs in Hamburg, Zwolle, Lubeck, and Alkmaar. It was completed and subsequently inaugurated in August of 2000. From the picture of it on page 343, it looks magnificent. After such a build-up, you really want to hear what it sounds like, which you can do by listening to the last cut on the CD. However, due to the selection of a particularly dreary piece (a Chorale by Weckmann), and the organist¿s choice of some uninspired registration, the organ comes across sounding like what it really is ¿¿.an organ built by a committee.