The Genesis and Radiance of a Court Organ

Kerala J. Snyder

in The Organ as A Mirror of Its Time

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195144154
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849369 | DOI:
The Genesis and Radiance of a Court Organ

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This chapter provides an historical account of the origin and popularity of a variety of organs, particularly the Esaias Compenius organ which is in Frederiksborg Castle. This instrument belongs to a category of organs whose pipes are completely made of wood which was widespread in Italy. Its sound was particularly appreciated around 1600, and Claudio Monteverdi called for it in the score of Orfeo in 1607. The most significant wooden organ from the 16th century in northern Europe stands in Wilhelmsburg Palace in Schmalkalden, Thuringia. Compenius built his wooden organ at the court of Braunschweig-Lüneburg at Wolfenbüttel, where he served as the official organ builder and instrument maker to Duke Heinrich Julius. The Compenius organ and the organ aesthetic of Michael Praetorius have become very influential since the last quarter of the 20th century. One of the most important new instruments built according to the models of its various stops is Charles Fisk's wonderful chapel organ at Wellesley College.

Keywords: Esaias Compenius; Frederiksborg Castle; Italy; Wilhelmsburg Palace; Duke Heinrich Julius; wooden organ; court

Chapter.  4742 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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