French Crescendo and German Diminuendo: Character and Context in 19th-Century European Organ Art October 19-23, 2015

Masterclasses and Repertoire

The organ academy will feature masterclasses on:
– 19th-century French organ music with Joris Verdin
– 19th-century German organ music with Ludger Lohmann

This year, there are no parallel masterclasses, so everyone can participate in all eight classes.

The repertoire includes:
– Lefébure-Wély: Meditaciones religiosas, 1858; Offertoires opus 34 & 35; L’Organiste Moderne
– Lemmens: Four Pieces in the Free Style, 1866
– Franck: Pièces posthumes; Six Pièces; Trois Pièces; Trois Chorals
– Widor: Symphonie Gothique
– Mendelssohn: Sonata I (Göteborg), all Sonatas (Gammalkil)
– Ritter: Sonata III
– Brahms: Fugue in a-flat minor, and Chorale Prelude “Herzlich tut mich verlangen” (6/4)
– Reger: Phantasie und Fuge in d minor op. 135b
– Schumann: Canon nr. 4 (a-flat major), and the last B-A-C-H fugue
– Liszt: Praeludium und Fuge über B-A-C-H
– Rheinberger: Sonata III
– Karg-Elert: Chorale Prelude “Jesu, meine Freude”

Active participants are kindly requested to list which piece(s) they will prepare on the registration form. You may use any of the available music editions.

French Crescendo and German Diminuendo: Character and Context in 19th-Century European Organ Art

The theme of this year’s Academy enables you to explore the very different soundscapes of the French and German organ culture in the nineteenth century, both with respect to instruments and repertoire.

Thematically grouped, various elements of expression will be studied in the master class sessions taught by Joris Verdin and Ludger Lohmann, and devoted to either French or German repertoire:

– Slurs in Mendelssohn’s organ music
– Dynamics & Phrasing: in works by Franck, Widor, Liszt, Brahms, and Schumann
– Touch & Phrasing before and after 1870: in works by Lefébure-Wely, and Franck

Other topics will be:
– German organ schools and performance practice in the early 19th century
– A world of ideas behind 19th-century organ music: focusing on works by Lemmens, Franck, Widor, Reger and Karg-Elert

Some of the master classes will start with an introduction or lecture-demonstration and continue with a case study of related pieces or composer(s).

A very important means of expression in nineteenth-century organs is the swell box. Whereas the French focus on the fortissimo features of the swell, the Germans choose to focus on its diminuendo and echo possibilities. These contrasting functions of the swell boxes (leaving their remaining resources unhampered), the different tone colors of the flue stops, the free reeds of the German instruments, are all elements that you can explore and enjoy through the available organs: the “Rune Wåhlberg Organ” at Artisten (a French Symphonic instrument, built by Verschueren, 1998), the 1861 Marcussen cone valve chest organ in Haga Church, and the 1909 Eskil Lundén organ in the Vasa Church, inspired by Wilhelm Sauer’s fin de siècle sound concept.

Hymn Singing Festival in Östergötland, 17 & 18 October, an Excursion Preceding the 2015 Organ Academy

– Organs made by the Swedish builder Pehr Schiörlin (1736–1815)
– Mendelssohn’s Organ Sonatas (master class with Hans Davidsson)
– Hymn Singing (workshops with Per Högberg)

Sixteen of the seventy organs made by Pehr Schiörlin have been preserved. They are very colorful instruments, of outstanding quality and voicing, and with key actions that enable the player to control the tone onset and release in a remarkable way. The Schiörlin instruments are forgotten treasures but they are a spectacular resource for 19th-century hymn singing.

The 1806 instrument in Gammalkil (II/P/28) is the largest and the most renowned of them, and it is the best preserved early 19th-century organ in Sweden. The instrument was Albert Schweitzer’s favorite organ in Sweden. The colorful sound qualities of this instrument, firmly rooted in an 18th-century sound concept, but also inspired by new ideas for expressivity (like the “Windschweller”), make the organ an ideal instrument for Mendelssohn’s organ works. Mendelssohn grew up with 18th-century organs by Joachim Wagner; when performing his Sonatas on the European continent, he chose 18th-century instruments, not least because of their tonal qualities.

Schiörlin’s teacher, Jonas Wistenius, founded the so-called Linköping organ building tradition, when, in 1738, he started out as an independent organ builder after 12 years of study in Ostpreussen, especially in the Königsberg region, with organ builder masters like Johann Josua Mosengel and Georg Sigismund Caspari.


This weekend is organized in collaboration with the Gammalkil Parish and the committee coordinating the activities of the 2015 “Schiörlin” year. Participation in the weekend is free for participants of the Göteborg International Organ Academy. Lodging can be booked through the Academy. Food is not included. We plan to organize travel from Göteborg to Gammalkil and back, but you may also organize your own travel arrangements (including a transfer to Östra Skrukeby on Saturday evening and the excursion on Sunday afternoon).

A detailed program can be found here and you can register for the weekend on the registration forms.

Masterclasses and Repertoire

Two (out of three) sessions of the masterclasses by Annette Richards and Ulrika Davidsson & Joel Speerstra will be given at the same times. Participants should select either the organ or the three keyboard instrument’s masterclass. The third masterclass session is combined. For the registration forms, please klick here.

Masterclass IA, Annette Richards (organ)
Repertoire: Music Ancient and Modern in Mid-Century Berlin
J. S. Bach, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue (BWV 564)
– Schübler Chorales (BWV 645-650)

C. P. E. Bach, Sonata in G minor
– Sonata in B-flat major
– Fugue in D minor

G. Böhm, Nun komm’ der heiden Heiland
D. Buxtehude, Toccata in F major (BuxWV 156)
J. L. Krebs, chorale preludes:
– Freu dich sehr, O liebe Seele
– Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, O Herr

G. A. Homilius, chorale preludes: Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott
– Der am Kreuz ist meine Liebe
– Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken
– Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, O Herr

Active participants are kindly requested to list which piece(s) they will prepare on the registration form. You may use any of the available music editions, except for C. P. E. Bach’s organ works, we ask to use C. P. E. Bach: Complete Works (I/9) ed. Annette Richards and David Yearsley (Packard Humanities Institute), available for order from

Masterclass IB: Ulrika Davidsson and Joel Speerstra (three keyboard instruments)
“Bach and His Sons at the Keyboard” (works by J. S. Bach, his sons and students) – clavichord-harpsichord-fortepiano

C. P. E. Bach: 18 Probestücke (clavichord idiomatic)
C. P. E. Bach: “Kenner und Liebhaber” Collections, book II (fortepiano idiomatic)
C. P. E. Bach: 6 Prussian Sonatas (harpsichord idiomatic)
J. G. Müthel: Duetto für 2 Claviere, 2 Flügel oder 2 Fortepianos, E-flat major
J. S. Bach: Trio Sonatas (either for pedal clavichord or as duett repertoire)

Active participants are kindly requested to list which piece(s) they will prepare on the registration form. You may use any of the available music editions.

On Friday, October 24, Hans Fagius will conduct a masterclass in Swedish on J. S. Bach’s “Leipziger Choräle”. This masterclass will take place in the Christinae Church in Göteborg, 9.30 a.m. -15.30 p.m.; for more information and the registration forms, please klick here.

Optimism, sorrow and brilliance

Optimism, sorrow, and brilliance: the expressive patterns and elegance of the late baroque flute in the Prussian court of Frederick the Great – lunch concert on Thursday 23 October.

The first lunch concert of this year’s Organ Academy will take place in the Christinae Church, Göteborg, on Thursday 23 October, 12.00.

Paulo Ghiglia (flute) and Camerata Promus will perform Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s concert for transverse flute, strings and basso continuo in G major (Wq. 169/H. 445).

Camerata Promus consists of:
Violin: Linda Tuominen, Vlad Campean, Bence Tóth, Borbála Brezovszky
Viola: Maria Jakobsson
Cello: Giacomo Torlontano
Harpsichord: Benedikt Melichar

The concerto in G major, Wq. 169 has been dated to 1755 in its first version for organ and orchestra. It opens with an energetic orchestral introduction, distinguished by its dotted rhythms and fast arpeggio patterns. As often, solo passages alternate between fast and melodic phrases, increasing in virtuosity as the relatively extended movement proceeds, leading to a solo cadenza at the end. The E minor Lento breathes an air of melancholy into the descending orchestral contours of its opening, a mood that the flute joins, adding a short fermata before the movement ends. The lively final presto dispels this sorrow with its bright optimism and brilliant solo writing.

Introducing the 2014 Academy: The Bach Circle: Keyboard Culture in the Eighteenth Century

This year’s artistic director in residence is Prof. Annette Richards, University organist at Cornell University and a leading scholar on Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The organ academy will feature masterclasses on the literature of JS Bach, his students and sons that explore the rich landscape of keyboard instruments of eighteenth-century central Europe.

Concerts will feature the North German Baroque Organ in Örgryte New Church, the Swedish classical Schiörlin organ from 1783 in Jonsered, forte pianos, harpsichords, clavichords and the Swedish premiere of the new duo clavichord built by Per Anders Terning and Joel Speerstra.

For more information please contact the Academy’s project leader: Paul Peeters at

Introducing the 2013 Academy

Kimberly MarshallThe twentieth century brought a spirit of innovation to organ building, and composers were inspired to seek out new approaches to the instrument. The most revolutionary new technology was sound recording. For the first time in history, the fleeting sounds produced by musicians could be fixed for future playback. Thus organs, improvisations and interpretations of repertoire became documents of performance practice traditions.

At the Göteborg International Organ Academy 2013, we will explore many facets of twentieth- and twenty-first-century organ music, with special emphasis on sound recordings. Concerts of modern repertoire will feature improvisations and the incorporation of recordings, including an experimental program by the duo Zeelab. Kimberly Marshall will present a concert demonstrating innovation in composing for the organ from the fifteenth to twenty-first centuries; Henrico Stewen will perform Reger, demonstrating his insights into this composer; Martin Herchenröder has devised a program of twentieth- and twenty-first-century music including Ligeti’s Volumina, to be performed on one of the organs where it was first presented; Ilona Kubiaczyk-Adler will demonstrate the cross influences between minimalism, jazz and the symphonic tradition; and Frédéric Blanc will recreate music from twentieth-century France through recording and improvisation.

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List of the Academy Concerts

We know that there are a few of you out there who wants to come to the concerts but not the academy itself. Here is a list of all the concerts that are open to everyone. Remember to bring a friend too, because these concerts are going to be wonderful.

Thursday, September 13th

Artisten – 13:00
Opening & Lunch Concert
– Joel Speerstra will be playing works by Georg Böhm on the clavichord, harpsichord and the Bjurum organ at Artisten. Free admission.

Örgryte New Church – 20:30
Organ Concert – Bine Katrine Bryndorf will be playing works by Heinrich Scheidemann, Dieterich Buxtehude and Nicolaus Bruhns on the North German Baroque Organ. Admission to this concert is 120 SEK for adults and 80 SEK for students and already included in your ticket if you have day pass for this day, or a full academy pass. 

Friday, September 14th

Haga Church – 13:30
Lunch Concert – Ulrike Heider will be playing works by Franz Tunder, Dieterich Buxtehude and Heinrich Scheidemann. Free admission.

Örgryte New Church – 18:00
Lüneburg Vespers – Under the direction of Magnus Kjellson, Göteborg Baroque will be performing Lüneburg Vespers aided by pastor Stefan Hiller with music selection and preparation done by Frederick K. Gable. Free admission.

Örgryte New Church – 21:00
Organ Concert – Pieter Dirksen

Saturday, September 15th

Örgryte New Church – 13:30
Lunch Concert – Karin Nelson. Free admission.

Örgryte New Church – 21:00
Georg Böhm & Choreography – Hans Davidsson playing select organ works by Georg Böhm together with choreography acted by dancers Stayce Camparo and Jonathan Davidsson.

We hope to see you at one or more of the concerts during the academy!

Video About the North German Baroque Organ

Gothic Catalog has made a video talking about the “Schnitger Organ” (which we simply refer to as the North German Baroque Organ) in Örgryte New Church. It has some nice facts and information about the organ, and as an added benefit the audio is Hans Davidsson playing Buxtehude’s Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren on the organ.

This music is part of Hans’ CD recording of the complete organ works of Buxtehude, made in Örgryte New Chruch.

Don’t Miss the List of Recommended Score Editions and the North German Chorale Fantasias

Did you register early and are an active masterclass participant? Make sure to have a look at our recommended score editions and the list of the North German Chorale Fantasias so that you don’t miss out on anything as an active participant. If you have a question, just leave a comment or contact us.

Score Editions: