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THE TÝN CHURCH ORGAN, PRAGUE 1673
PETER VAN DIJK

 

F10112   [8595017411229]   released 3/2002

play album The Týn Church Organ, Prague 1673 - Peter van Dijk 58:09 149Kč
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1. Calcant Bell 0:10 15Kč
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2. Toccata prima 6:24 15Kč
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3. Variationes super Cantilenam "Gegrust seyst du,o Jesulein" 5:56 15Kč
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4. Praeludium (Partie II.) 3:20 15Kč
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5. Toccata secunda 4:20 15Kč
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6. Suonata prima - Das Pochen und Trotzen des Goliaths 2:03 15Kč
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7. Suonata prima - Das Zittern der Israeliten und ihrt Gebet zu Gott 1:28 15Kč
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8. Suonata prima - Die Herzhafftigkeit Davids dessen Begierde dem Riesen 1:13 15Kč
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9. Suonata prima - Die zwishen David und Goliath... 1:40 15Kč
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10. Suonata prima - Die Flucht des Philister ingleichen... 1:10 15Kč
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11. Suonata prima - Das Frolocken der Israeliten... 1:26 15Kč
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12. Suonata prima - Das uber dem Lobe Davids... 1:51 15Kč
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13. Suonata prima - Und endlich die allgemeine ... 1:42 15Kč
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14. Fuga D moll - Andante 3:14 15Kč
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15. Toccata sexta 4:21 15Kč
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16. Praeludium (Partie VI.) 3:59 15Kč
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17. Gaillarde Natalizantis 5:42 15Kč
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18. Toccata duodecima et ultima 8:07 15Kč
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Peter van Dijk - organ by Johann Heinrich Mundt from 1673 (restored in 2000 by Johannes Klais Orgelbau, Bonn)

Peter van Dijk (born 1952, Groningen) studied church music and organ in Utrecht, harpsichord at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam, and musicology at Utrecht University. He currently performs throughout Europe, preferring historic organs built in the period from the Renaissance to the Late Romantic period, and he appears annually in important European festivals. He also devotes himself intensively, as an interpreter, conductor and producer, to recording organ music, and has collaborated with several Netherlands radio stations and recording companies. He has, in addition, prepared radio series and CD sets, using historic organs of Alsace, north Italy, Austria and Bohemia. In 1992 he established his own Tsjilp Studio for recording music.
     In 1977-83 van Dijk wrote about music for the Netherlands monthly het ORGEL [The Organ], and now writes for it on topics of organ construction and renovation. He has also written a number of articles for other magazines and also books, on musical rhetoric, the place of the organ in church music, and organ-building. In addition, van Dijk runs seminars and master classes organized by universities and other institutions of higher learning in the Netherlands and abroad.He is the organist at Tuindorpkerk, Utrecht, and is an expert on the organs of the Protestant church. Many historic instruments in the Netherlands have been restored under his supervision, in collaboration with the Netherlands Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Historic Buildings. In this capacity he worked with the Johannes Klais Orgelbau company on the restoration of the Tyn Church organ, Prague.
     The vigorous development of church music in the seventeenth century led to greater interest in organ building. Whereas in the early part of the century many institutions, particularly some monasteries (and monastic Orders), continued to reject the instrument, by the end of the century all the important churches in Czech lands were equipped with high-quality organs. This period could well be called the dawn of the golden age of Habsburg organ-building. Yet, owing to the destruction caused by the Thirty Years' War, few seventeenth-century instruments survived to the present day. The organ of the Tyn Church in Prague is therefore all the more special, for it is preserved in almost its original condition.
     The builder of the organ of the Tyn Church was Johann Heinrich Mundt (1632-1690). Mundt, originally from Cologne, was one of many foreigners who made Prague their home and helped to shape the vibrant cultural life of this distinctive Bohemian metropolis in the north part of the Habsburg Monarchy. (Two other were the outstanding Italian organist and composer Vincenzo Albrici and the influential Westphalian organ-builder Peter Dotte.)
     Apart from its being one of the most important churches in Prague and its also serving the university, the Tyn Church played a primary role in the musical life of the town, and the local musicians who gathered there were among the recognized musical authorities of Bohemia and, indeed, all Austria. The organist and scholar Tomas Baltazar Janovka (1669-1741), for example, wrote the renowned music dictionary Clavis ad thesaurum magnae artis musicae (1701). One of the basic theoretical works of the High Baroque in Europe, it contains much valuable information on contemporary music and influential figures on the Bohemian music scene c.1700. Janovka was probably in touch with many important musicians of central Europe, including some of those whose works are presented in this recording.
     Perhaps the most important of these musicians was the Leipzig Kantor and predecessor of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722), whose family originally came from Bohemia. Apart from music, Kuhnau studied law and philosophy; in fact, before taking up the post of Kantor at the church of St Thomas, Leipzig, he earned his living in the legal profession, and maintained a keen interest in mathematics. Kuhnau is sometimes held to be the originator of the sonata for keyboard instruments, having made his mark with the set Biblical Sonatas (Musikalische vorstellung Einiger Biblischer Historien) for organ, and, alternatively, harpsichord. The first of them comprise "programme" sonatas (still an unusual form at the time), which depict the battle between David and Goliath. All the compositions include an extensive introduction and precise descriptions of the action. By comparison with the "Doctrine of the Affections" (Affektenlehre, a Baroque theory that music followed precise rules to move the emotions of the listener), we were able to find a suitable method of interpretation. It should be noted that on this recording the part called "Awe of the Jews" is an arrangement of the well-known Protestant chorale "Aus tiefer Not" (Psalm 130, Out of the depths I have cried unto thee, O Lord).
     Two preludes and fugues, which belong to the second part of the composer's suite for harpsichord, were - probably on the basis of a mistaken attribution in the sets Museum fur Orgelspieler (1832) - long considered the work of Bohuslav Cernohorsky and Josef Seger. The pieces may well have been copied by the organists as study material, and later, in the nineteenth century, adopted for this collection. In any case, this is clear evidence of Kuhnau's influence on the Bohemian school of organ playing. It is also noteworthy that the Kuhnau dedicated the set of seven keyboard sonatas, Frische Clavier Fruchte (Leipzig, 1696), to a well-known patron of music, Count Lossy, in Prague.
     Another such musical personality was Johann Speth (1664-c.1720) who, according to Janovka, was a renowned composer of toccatas for organ. Born in Upper Pfalz, he was, from 1692 till his death, the organist of the House of Augsburg. He was probably in touch with musicians in Bohemia, because he was an avid promoter of the work of Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer. Janovka considered Speth's set Ars magna consoni et dissoni (Augsburg, 1693) the best to have ever been composed in this field, and it is therefore safe to assume that Speth's music was often heard on Mundt's organ in the Tyn Church.
     Speth wrote his toccatas partly under the influence of similar, albeit longer, compositions by Georg Muffat (1653-1704), the author of the first and last pieces on the present recording. Though Janovka does not mention the work, Muffat's famous set Apparatus Musico-organisticus is part of the collections of the Music Department of the National Museum in Prague. Muffat, who became a prominent, world-class musician, came from Savoy, and in his youth knew Lully and the music of the French court and, later, Rome and Corelli. He studied under the Jesuits at Molsheim, and developed his greatest musical work at Salzburg and Passau. In 1677, shortly after the Tyn Church organ had been built, he sojourned in Prague, where he wrote his renowned violin sonata in D major, the autograph of which is preserved in the music library of the Archbishop of Kromìøíž (Kremsier), Moravia. Muffat composed instrumental music in various national styles - French suites and Italian concerti grossi; his sacred music is reminiscent of the work of Biber and Vejvanovsky. Muffat said that in the collection of toccatas he had combined German, French and Italian styles. In the next century this "mixed style" became the starting point for the "gallant style" and then late eighteenth-century music.
     The selection of compositions here is supplemented with a fugue in D minor (generally considered the work of another Tyn Church organist, Leopold Stecher) and two variations. These pieces demonstrate well the vast range of timbre of the Tyn Church organ. The first of them is the work of the Munich organist Franz Xaver Anton Murschhauser (1663-1738). A student of Kerll, he worked his whole life in the parish church of St Mary. His two well-known collections of organ music, Octi-tonium novum organicum and Prototypon longo-breve organicum are among the most characteristic examples of early eighteenth-century south German music. Murschhauser also published traditional theoretical works, which gained renown owing to harsh criticism of them by Johann Mattheson, a renowned music theorist, composer and friend of Handel's. Only a few Vespers psalms from a collection of his church music have been preserved.
     The practically unknown composer Anton Estendorffer (1670-1711) was a monk in the Benedictine abbey of Ottobeuren. Twenty-one of his compositions are preserved in the archive there, possibly constituting his complete works. They were written for keyboard instruments and demonstrate the influence of the French music popular at the time, making frequent use of variation and cyclical forms (such as the aria with variations and the ciaccona). Though even the more comprehensive music dictionaries make no reference to Estendorffer, it would be a pity if his small but pleasing work were to fall into oblivion.
     When Mundt signed the contract for the construction of the Tyn Church organ he claimed that this instrument would have no equal in the kingdom. The present recording is persuasive evidence of the correctness of his words.

Robert Hugo

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