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NITRIANSKA STREDA 1787 / Iveta Zaťková

 

F10268   [8595017426827]   released 6/2022

Iveta Zaťková: organ by Johann Michael Heisserer, 1787; the Parish Church of St Philip and St James in Nitrianska Streda, Slovakia

Claudio Merulo (1533–1604)  Toccata terza del sesto tuono
Herbert Howells (1892–1983)  Lambert’s Clavichord Op. 41 (selection)
     No.3 Hughes’s Ballet
     No.5 Sargent’s Fantastic Sprite
Bernardo Pasquini (1637–1710)  Variazioni per il Paggio Todesco
Antonio de Cabezón (1510–1566)  Tiento VII del cuarto tono
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)  O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig BWV 1095 
Franz Danksagmüller (1969)  Estampie 
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583–1643)  Partite sopra ´La Monica´
Kurt Estermann (1960)  A Fansye 
Giovanni Andrea Cima (c.1580–1627)  Canzon 16 ´La novella´
Giovanni Paolo Cima (c.1570–1630)  Canzon 15 ´La scabrosa´
Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706)  Hexachordum Apollinis - Aria quarta
Jaroslav Tůma (1956)  Pocta nejstaršímu klávesovému anonymu
play all Nitrianska Streda 1787 79:25
1.
Toccata terza del sesto tuono 6:23
2.
Lambert’s Clavichord Op. 41 - No.3 Hughes’s Ballet 1:53
3.
Lambert’s Clavichord Op. 41 - No.5 Sargent’s Fantastic Sprite 2:34
4.
Variazioni per il Paggio Todesco 7:20
5.
Tiento VII del cuarto tono 4:54
6.
O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig BWV 1095 2:44
7.
Estampie 8:54
8.
Partite sopra ´La Monica´ 10:51
9.
A Fansye 5:38
10.
Canzon 16 ´La novella´ 2:56
11.
Canzon 15 ´La scabrosa´ 2:40
12.
Hexachordum Apollinis - Aria quarta 10:18
13.
Pocta nejstaršímu klávesovému anonymu 12:11
 
 
Nitrianska Streda with its 753 inhabitants is spread along the foothills of the Tríbeč Mountains in Slovakia’s Topoľčany District. The first written mention of the village from 1278 refers to the place by its Hungarian name Zerdahelyi and identifies it as belonging to the ruler Ladislaus IV. Among the most important owners of the village were members of the Zerdahelyi family. There are several cultural heritage sites in the little village. A manor house from 1537 has stylistic elements of the Renaissance and Baroque, and in the park there is a manor house in the Neoclassical style from the early 19th century. The Zerdahelyi brothers had different religious affiliations, so there were two churches in the village. Vavřinec Zerdahelyi had a Protestant articular church built in 1748. The Catholic Church of St Philip and St James was built between 1785 and 1790 in the spirit of Neoclassicism and with the coat-of-arms of the Zerdahelyi family on the façade. The person responsible for the construction of that church was Gabriel Zerdahelyi, who also rose to prominence as the Bishop of Banská Bystrica. The church’s altar is in the Neoclassical style of the late 18th century. The architectural design of columns and 
a tympanum encloses a depiction of St Philip and St James. The baptismal font and pulpit also date from that period. The organ, built in 1787, is set in the balustrade of the loft. The simple, flat prospect ends with a segmented shield with an urn and festoons. The pilasters on the sides are decorated by chain ornaments and rosettes. There are branches and leaves on the drapery. Until 2006, the instrument was attributed to Michal Podkonický, the son of Martin Podkonický, an organ builder from Banská Bystrica. However, overall repairs of the instrument in 2006 under the supervision of the organ builder Vladimír Gazdík revealed that the organ was actually built by Johann Michael Heisserer. This was shown by the discovery of the organ builder’s signature beneath the keyboard. Infrared light made the details of the faded writing legible. The Hungarian organ builder Johann Michael Heisserer was born in 1741 in Sibiu, Romania, and from 1771 to 1773 he led Martin Podkonický’s organ building workshop in Banská Bystrica. From the turn of the century, he lived in Banská Štiavnica, where he died in 1809. 
I feel a special closeness to the organ in Nitrianska Streda. When I was getting started as a student, it was the first historical instrument that I encountered with a short octave, and playing it I was able to discover specific features of early music. It is an extraordinary instrument and is now 235 years old. The instrument’s great historical value is enhanced by the fact that it is the only original, perfectly preserved organ made by Johann Michael Heisserer in Slovakia. The organ has eight registers, and one might think that would not be enough. In fact, not only each register separately, but also their various combinations provide us with plenty of amazing colours. In this case, it is the quality of the instrument’s registers that stands out rather than their quantity. In addition, the church in Nitrianska Streda has excellent acoustics, and that lends even greater sonic beauty to the registers. The lay listeners will certainly notice a strange tapping sound on the recording. That is the sound of the keys, but this is not the fault of the performer. It is a result of the technical design of organs built at that time, and the performer can take influence it only to a certain extent. Listeners simply must become accustomed to this phenomenon, and after a while, they will certainly cease to perceive it as a disruptive element. 
     The CD’s dramaturgy is conceived as a combination of two different periods. Music of the older literature of the 16th and 17th centuries alternates with works by contemporary composers. The idea of contrast resulted in a choice of repertoire that is interesting in terms of style and colour. Representing Italy are Claudio Merulo, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Bernardo Pasquini, and the brothers Giovanni Paolo Cima and Giovanni Andrea Cima. There is also more older music by the Spaniard Antonio de Cabezón and the German composers Johann Pachelbel and Johann Sebastian Bach, the latter being represented by chorale from the Neumeister Collection. Two of the contemporary works on the album were originally written for the clavichord by the Englishman Herbert Howells. Franz Danksagmüller composed Estampie in 2007 for precisely this kind of instrument, and the motif is based on Buxtehude’s passacaglia. The Austrian composer Kurt Estermann wrote a work titled A Fansye on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Van Covelens organ in Alkmaar. It was premiered on the Ebert organ in Innsbruck on the occasion of its 450th anniversary. In the work, Estermann combines the possibilities of a historical instrument with the use of contemporary compositional elements. The CD ends with a work by the Czech organist and teacher Jaroslav Tůma, whose composition from 1989/1994 was originally written for clavichord. The work has not appeared in a separate edition, but the score was published as a supplement to the international organ yearbook Folia organologica in 2021. Alterations were made with the composer’s consent to allow performance on a historical instrument with a limited range, and in any case the work was composed on the basis of an improvisation.
Organ v Nitrianskej Strede je mi obzvlášť blízky. Pri mojich študentských začiatkoch to bol prvý historický nástroj s krátkou oktávou, s ktorým som sa stretla a mohla na ňom objavovať špecifiká starej muziky. Jedná sa o výnimočný nástroj, ktorý má dnes 235 rokov. Veľkú historickú hodnotu nástroja umocňuje fakt, že sa jedná o jediný pôvodne a bezchybne zachovaný nástroj Johanna Michaela Heisserera na Slovensku. Nástroj disponuje ôsmymi registrami, čo by sa možno niekomu zdalo príliš málo. Pravdou je, že nielen každý register samostatne, ale i rôzne kombinácie registrov nám poskytujú množstvo úžasných farieb. V tomto prípade skutočne vyniká kvalita a nie kvantita dispozície nástroja. Kostol v Nitrianskej Strede má navyše výbornú akustiku, čo ešte viac dokresľuje zvukovú nádheru registrov. Bežný poslucháč si istotne všimne podivného zvuku klapania v nahrávkach. Ide o zvuk kláves, ktorý však nie je problémom interpretačným. Jedná sa o technickú danosť štýlu stavania organov vtedajšej doby a interpretačne sa dá ovplyvniť len do určitej miery. Poslucháč si musí na tento jav jednoducho zvyknúť a po chvíli ho istotne prestane vnímať ako rušivý element.
 
     Iveta Zaťková
 
Iveta Zaťková studied music drama at the Dezider Kardoš Private Conservatoire in Topoľčany under the guidance of the actor Marián Geišberg and of the director Jakub Nvota. In 2007 she completed her piano studies under Denisa Krajčovičová and graduated from the organ programme under Juraj Mičúnek. Then she studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Prof. Jaroslav Tůma and Pavel Černý and at the College of Catholic Church Music and Music Education in Regensburg under Prof. Stefan Baier. In 2021 she completed the bachelor’s harpsichord programme at the University of Ostrava under Vojtěch Spurný. Besides her studies, she has taken part at organ performance workshops and masterclasses under prominent teachers. She is a laureate of the 2005 Slovak National Young Organists’ Competition in Košice and the winner of the 2007 Humpolec-Polná Competition. She has presented herself in concert in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, and Ireland. At present she teaches organ and harpsichord at the Dezider Kardoš Private Conservatoire in Topoľčany and is the organist at the Church of St Ladislaus and St Gorazda in Topoľčany. She also serves as the organist for the choir at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. In 2019 she issued her debut CD: Kovarce 1768, Organ Ján Pažický. 
 

Another recording from the Historical organ in Slovakia by Iveta Zaťková:

© Studio Svengali, August 2022
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