Early Organ Composers’ Anniversaries in 2011

February 28, 2011

John Collins has been playing and researching early keyboard music for over 35 years, with special interests in the English, Italian, and Iberian repertoires. He has contributed many articles and reviews to several American and European journals, including The Diapason, and has been organist at St. George’s, Worthing, West Sussex, England for over 26 years.

In 2011 there are several composers whose anniversaries can be commemorated, including some less well-known names whose compositions are well worth exploring. This list makes no claims to completeness, but hopefully any omissions will be covered in future issues.

Simon Lohet (1550–1611). Organist at the court in Stuttgart, he left 20 short fugues, a canzona, two chorales, and transcriptions of a motet and a chanson, which were included in Woltz’s tablature of 1607; a few of these also appear in manuscript. All have been edited by Larry Peterson for American Institute of Musicology, CEKM vol. 25;

Cajus Schmiedecke (1555–1611). Included here, since he has been considered as possibly the author of the
Gdansk Tablature of 1591, which contains 42 pieces, including 16 fantasias, five chorale arrangements, a pavan, and 20 chanson intabulations. None require pedals; all are excellent examples of late Renaissance compositions. Edited by Jerzy Erdman for Polski Instytut
Muzyczny, Lodz; unfortunately I can find no trace of it being still in print, but well worth tracking down. An edition by
Kessler presents the pieces on three staves and also includes a few extra pieces by Volckmar, Gronau and Mohrheim. Available from www.saulbgroen.nl.

Pablo Bruna (1611–79). Organist in Daroca and most important Spanish composer for keyboard between Cabezón and Cabanilles, he left some 30 pieces in manuscript, including 19 tientos, many of them of considerable length and difficulty—comprising three falsas, four lenos (i.e., for non-divided registers), and 12 partidos (i.e., for divided keyboard [of which three have the solo in the treble, two in the bass, two for two trebles, one for two basses, one for one treble followed by two trebles, one for one bass followed by two basses, and one for one bass followed by ecos and two basses])— and one is a batalla. Further pieces include three sets of versos, an Ave Maris Stella, and seven Pange Linguas. The complete edition by Carlo Stella was published in 1993 by Institución Fernando el Católico and is available from www.trito.es.

Carl Van der Hoven (1580–1661), organist in Salzburg, left a few keyboard works in manuscript. Two toccatas, a ricercar, fugue and fantasia have been edited by Siegbert Rampe for Bärenreiter in Organ and Keyboard Music at the Salzburg Court (BA8499); <A HREF="http://www.baerenreiter.com">www.baerenreiter.com</A&gt;. A ricercar not included in this edition, together with the toccatas and ricercar, has been included by Clare Rayner for American Institute of Musicology, CEKM vol. 40, part 1, and a further toccata attributed to Van der Hoven is in part 3;

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