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SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape - Part 1

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Supported by Kulturfond Bayern Kunst und das Bayrisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst

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SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
Würzburg Cathedral, Johannes Klais organ
Built in 1968 by the Klais company, the main organ of Würzburg Cathedral has 87 stops over five manuals and pedal, and is one of the most important large organs of the Neo-Baroque period. The instrument was a prestige project of the company at the time and even today, after more than 50 years, still has an outstanding status in the German organ landscape. The facade impressively frames the great clock and displays the organ’s construction: At the very top the Hauptwerk (II) is enthroned in an opening, below it in the middle, the Rückpositiv (I), flanked by the Trompeteria (V). Again, next to it on both sides is the Positiv (III) and on the very outside the large 32′ pedal towers. The Schwellwerk (IV) is hidden behind the great clock!
The main organ of Regensburg Cathedral, built in 2009 by the Rieger company, is also the largest dovetail organ in the world, with 79 stops over four manuals and pedal. The four manuals are arranged one above the other: At the very top under the vault is the Swell (III), below it the Hauptwerk (I). Below the console are the Swell Positive (II), below that the Solo (IV) and on either side the Pedal. A unique feature of the organ is the integrated lift, which allows the organist to reach his workplace halfway up the organ and which can be moved out of the side of the case for this purpose.
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
Regensburg, Rieger organ© Michael Vogt
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
Bayreuth, Holy Trinity City church, Steinmeyer organ © Johannes Bayer
The organ of the Protestant Stadtkirche Bayreuth was built in 1961 by the Steinmeyer company from Oettingen and has 70 stops over four manuals and pedal. The traditional organ construction can be seen in the facade, which consists of flat case boxes, as was usual for the time of construction: In the parapet is the Rückpositiv (I) with copper pipes in the prospect. In the middle is the Hauptwerk (II), the tonal backbone of the organ. Below it in the lower case is the swellable Brustwerk (IV). Finally, the blinds of the large Schwellwerk (III) peek out from above behind the front pipes. This superimposed arrangement of manuals is flanked by the pedal towers.
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
Steffen Schmidt © Martin Mahlmeister
Steffen Schmidt, organist at St. Kilian’s Cathedral in Würzburg, had the idea during the pandemic to combine the silent film “”Faust. A German Folk Saga”” from 1926 with 100 minutes of live improvisation and has thus certainly provided many people with a completely new cinematic and listening experience in the cathedral. Schmidt, who trained with Daniel Roth among others, has been cathedral organist in Würzburg since 2005. In Düsseldorf, he leads an organ class as an honorary professor and also introduces young musicians to the high art of improvisation.
For a quarter of a century, Franz Josef Stoiber has been the cathedral organist in Regensburg, where he had already received lessons as a pupil from his predecessor E. Kraus. Other important teachers for him were G. Kaunzinger, G. Weinberger, J. Laukvik and P. Planyavsky. He learned composition with Z. Gárdonyi and published his own works for choir and organ. Stoiber loves the art of improvisation and has written textbooks not only about it. Since 2003 he has been a professor at the Hochschule für kath. Kirchenmusik und Musikpädagogik Regensburg, but also teaches as a guest lecturer in other European countries and Japan.
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
FRANZ JOSEF STOIBER
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
Michael Dorn © Foto Mauer
Michael Dorn directs the church music at the Stadtkirche Bayreuth. Born and raised in Middle Franconia, he received his training in Protestant church music, organ and choral conducting at the Munich Academy of Music. As city and deanery cantor, church music director Dorn is responsible for the whole wealth of church music practice, from directing the various vocal ensembles, the trombone choir and chamber orchestra, to organising festive church services and concerts.
The church musician and organist at St Martin’s in Landshut is Jeni Böhm, who comes from South Korea. She first studied composition in Seoul and continued her education by studying Catholic church music at the Musikhochschule München. In 2011, she took her A exam there and has been working in Landshut since 2017, where she conducts various choirs and is also the artistic director of the series of Saturday organ matinées.
SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape – Part 1
Jeni Böhm © LZ

SPECIAL: The Bavarian organ landscape - Part 1

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