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THE SILBERBAUER ORGAN IN VRANOV NAD DYJÍ
Kateřina Málková

 

F10271   [8595017427121]   released 12/2021
play all Silberbauer Organ 75:42
1.
Toccata Prima 6:57
2.
Aria Prima 9:57
3.
Phantasia in d 7:04
4.
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein P.1 2:11
5.
Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein P.2 6:33
6.
Toccata in F 3:05
7.
Fuga in F 2:40
8.
Toccata VI “Da sonarsi alla Levatione” FbWV 106 6:18
9.
Ciaconna in f 9:17
10.
Mad Rush 21:36

Georg Muffat (1653–1704) : Toccata Prima (Apparatus Musico-Organisticus) 
Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706) : Aria Prima (Hexachordum Apollinis) P. 193 
Josef Seger (1716–1782) : Phantasia in d   
Johann Pachelbel : Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein P. 1
Johann Pachelbel : Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein P. 2
Johann Pachelbel : Toccata in F P. 464
Johann Pachelbel : Fuga in F  P. 156      
Johann Jacob Froberger (1616–1667) : Toccata VI „Da sonarsi alla Levatione“ FbWV 106 
Johann Pachelbel : Ciaconna in f P. 43    
Philip Glass (*1937) : Mad Rush   



The Silberbauer Organ in Vranov nad Dyjí” by the organist Kateřina Málková is the first in the CD cycle-to-be entitled “The Organ in Podyjí”. It aims to map this region’s important historical organs on both Czech and Austrian side of the border. The first organ in this cycle is located in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Vranov nad Dyjí and, as should be pointed out, it has retained its original sound character. According to the label affixed to the instrument, the organ made by Josef Silberbauer (1734-1807) dates back to 1778. Silbauer, an organ builder active both in Znojmo and Lower Austria, had his workshop situated in Znojmo. He built high-quality instruments appreciated to this day. The organ builder Dalibor Michek successfully restored the organ in Vranov nad Dyjí in 2010 which, now in excellent condition, serves for liturgic and concert purposes alike.
     Georg Muffat (1653-1704), an organist and composer, came from the Savoy Voivodeship, yet travelled over a number of areas during his life. Let us mention his studies in Paris and following activities in Alsace, Ingolstadt, Vienna, and the Czech lands. Some documents confirm that he stayed in Prague too. He also applied for a position in the famous Kroměříž band whose member then was Pavel Josef Vejvanovský. Muffat spent the key years of his life in Salzburg and later moved to Passau where he died. It should be noted that it is the instrumental pieces that stand out from his work; twelve Toccatas from the collection Apparatus Musico-Organisticus (brought out in 1690) have come to the foreground. The opening piece of the collection and this CD alike is Toccata prima, an example of organ work from the so-called South German region in which, much like in the other Toccatas, chord extracts are often followed by virtuoso passages. In South German region, the organ characteristically has a limited range of manual and pedal keyboards (the so-called short octave in which some tones from the large octave are missing). On the contrary, the organs from the so-called North German region used to have fully (or almost fully) chromatized ranges. However, let us stress that a smaller tonal range does not mean a work of lower quality. It is precisely this collection by Muffat that is appreciated and known for its extraordinary value. 
Speaking of the so-called South German region, one cannot omit its leading representative Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706). It is no coincidence that several pieces of his work have been included in this CD. Although the organ in Vranov nad Dyjí was built after Pachelbel's death, it seems to be perfectly fitting for an interpretation of his legacy. Pachelbel is most often associated with Nuremberg as he was born and died there and worked there for many years. Yet he did not limit to this town, as he spent some time in Stuttgart, Vienna, Regensburg, Eisenach, and Erfurt. In his extensive work he has left not only instrumental compositions but also vocal pieces. Pachelbel was an excellent organist, so it is no surprise a considerable number of compositions for this very instrument have been preserved. His collection Hexachordum Apollinis was published in Nuremberg, 1699 and contains six parts referred to as "Aria". These are termed in numerical order:  Aria Prima, Aria Seconda, Aria Tertia etc., except for the final part Pachelbel called Aria Sebaldina. He is probably referring to the church of St. Sebaldus in Nuremberg where he worked. All arias offer a simple theme with several variations. The opening Aria Prima is in D minor and consists of an eight-stroke simple theme divided into two repetitions followed by a total of six variations in which the composer variously modifies the main theme. As this recording successfully presents, these variations and those alike enable to show organ’s sound variability in a small space. A popular organ composition theme is a chorale in which Pachelbel too found inspiration. The chorale Oh Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein with the lyrics by Martin Luther was first published in 1524. Many famous Baroque artists such as Heinrich Schütz and Johann Sebastian Bach have set Luther’s words to music. Pachelbel created two versions, both of them imitations inspired by this chorale. The rest of Pachelbel’s compositions selected for this CD show the breadth of his organ works. His works include variations and choral compositions just like other forms and genres. Toccata in F is a typical example of his “toccatas”. After a short introduction formed by a decomposed chord in F major, he exposes virtuoso motifs in parallel tierces or sixths. The most characteristic feature of his toccatas are long delays in the pedal bass tones. Also, the fugue is inextricably linked with the organ work of Baroque masters.  Pachelbel's Fugue in F major is a subsidiary and amusing example of this musical form whereas Ciaconna in F is a much more serious piece of music. Variation as a form of composing has been mentioned in connection with Hexachordum Apollinis. In Ciaconna's case, the variations are also important, but the individual changes appear without a break or any interruption. The main theme in this case is the four-stroke motif of descending seconds in bass which were frequent in baroque, used especially and foremostly in variations.
     It is crucial to mention that the Czech lands were part of the so-called South German region. Josef Seger (1716-1782), an 18th century organist active in the Church of Our Lady before Týn, Prague, was then a noticeable figure in the organ world. Being also a teacher, he has raised a number of composers including such names as Jan Antonín Koželuh, Jan Křtitel Kuchař, or Josef Mysliveček. His Phantasia in D represents an extensive organ work which stands out especially for its elaborate contrapuntal work.
     A century before Seger, Johann Jacob Froberger (1616-1667) significantly influenced the world of keyboard instruments.  A native of Stuttgart who died in France, Froberger is known mainly as a musician of the Viennese court. However, he travelled over a considerable part of Europe. He composed toccatas, suites, ricercars, fantasies, capriccios, and other pieces. Toccata VI “Da sonarsi alla Levatione” is one of many toccatas that he wrote. Just like those of Muffat, his toccatas are often defined by switchovers from chord parts to virtuoso passages and contrapuntal sections. Yet, Toccata VI is rather contemplative in terms of structure which lacks any major contrasts.
     The only contemporary piece on this recording is Mad Rush by an American composer Philip Glass (*1937). The author developed his own distinctive style based on repetitions and variations. He ranks among the key representatives of minimalism of which Mad Rush is a suitable example. There are basically a few chords in different variations and positions which alternate and repeat within a large period of time. The composition was created in 1979 during Dalai Lama’s visit to the United States of America.

Vít Havlíček, November 2021

Kateřina Málková is the founder, dramaturge, and director of the festival “Silberbauer's Musical Podyjí” that is followed up with the series of recordings. She is primarily interested in the instruments of the Organ Building School in Znojmo. The repertoire has been chosen with respect to the capabilities of the baroque organ and their short octave. It was also crucial to discover the less known pieces, and to promote Czech composers. The project focuses on interesting combinations of instruments and/or vocal ensembles with organs, as well as on the introduction of new compositions by contemporary composers written for a specific type of organ and orchestration. Kateřina Málková is above all a promoter of baroque works, yet she takes interest in the contemporary composers as well. She always tries to discover new places and lesser-known instruments, and she strives to promote them to the public. The greatest contribution to the musical field is the future restoration of valuable instruments by Josef Silberbauer. Málková organizes a number of concerts both in Moravia and Lower Austria. Next to her solo concerts, she is also a teacher. She has performed at festivals in Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. She cooperates with numerous orchestras, such as the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic, Atlantis Orchestra, Collegium magistrorum, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, Sedunum String Orchestra, and many others. She studied organ at the Brno Conservatory in the class led by Petr Kolař and went on with her master's studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague at Jaroslav Tůma. During her studies, she completed a one-year internship abroad in Lübeck, Germany at Arvid Gast.  

© Studio Svengali, December 2022
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