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Friday Night Organ: SHORT & SWEET!  

 

The Evil Genius
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01/11/2019 3:50 pm  

Wilhelm Karges (1613 – 1699), was a German organist and composer in the North German organ tradition. Much of Karges' life was spent in and around Berlin, where he was born, worked, and died. Karges came into contact with Sweelinck's pupil Andreas Duben, through his travels in North Germany and the Low Countries, and became his assistant at the German Church in Stockholm; an organ I featured last week. In January 1646 he was appointed chamber musician and composer at the court of the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg in Berlin, and subsequently became organist at the cathedral there. His eyesight gradually deteriorated, and by the 1680s he had several assistants and had been relieved of many of his responsibilities. Still, his organ playing was apparently still of such high quality that in 1683 his salary was nearly doubled. Only six of Karges' works have survived, all for organ. That is right---guy lived until he was 86 playing/composing etc and all we have left are six works. Well here are all six. Since there is little else to say about the composer or his music I will include a link to the Brandenburg Dom organ which is pretty interesting---especially the bit about the organ being struck by lightening---I think God was sending them a clue about getting a new instrument. Anyway here it is: https://www.dom-brandenburg.de/en/music/the-wagner-organ/

Fantasia

Fantasia primi toni

Praeludium quarti toni

Praeludium d moll

Fuga

Capriccio


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The Evil Genius
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01/11/2019 3:59 pm  

By the way you will notice the videos all begin with that odd looking script, well as I mentioned last week Steigleder's "Ricercar tabulatura" and Scheidt's "tabulatura Nova" were the first published works in Germany to adopt five-line music notation with notes instead of letter notation. The odd script at the beginning of the videos is an example of the letter notation. 


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GregBO
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01/11/2019 8:46 pm  

Given the turmoil and destruction Europe has seen since the 1600's, its amazing that anything of note survived.  Every nation went to war with each other, and then they banded together to go to war as members of leagues.

This does not account for any 20th century destruction.  Thank you for your continued efforts.

 

There were at least four "major" conflicts the year Karges was born and the Great Turkish War ended the year that he died. 

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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GregBO
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01/11/2019 8:47 pm  

@pistolpete

Very nice works, too bad that they are so short.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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The Evil Genius
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01/11/2019 9:33 pm  

Excellent point GregBo---so much has been lost to fire/bombs and stupidity. Even more tragic is the loss of art, literature and music through simple neglect. Now I'm going to speculate a bit. Most of these composers owe their fame not only to their genius and ability but to the gratuity of a powerful patron. Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg was Karges patron from 1646 until the death of Friedrich in 1688, a mere 11 years before his own death. Brandenburg at the time was part of the Duchy of Prussia and upon Freidrich's death Fredrick I (paternal grandfather of Fredrick the Great) took over and there in lies the rough my friend! Fredrick I hated Louis XIV BUT was a BIG BIG fan of French culture and styled his court in Koingsburg after that of Louis and what does THAT mean? Well we've spent the past few months DEEPLY enmeshed in the French Music of Louis XIV---therefore I suspect Fredrick favored the French musical style of Louis's court over what he doubtlessly regarded as an aging old fuddy-duddy and hence Karges music probably ended up being used to wrap fish in a mart somewhere. 


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GregBO
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04/11/2019 6:28 pm  

So in addition to little/no knowledge on conservation efforts nationally, there was also the probability that documents/available resources for artists changed with each familial generation.  Chaos in a nut shell.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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