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Showing posts from July, 2009

Fritz Heitmann playing excerpts from J. S. Bach “Clavierübung Dritter Teil”

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Here is another great release from The European Archive (http://europarchive.org/).

This time it’s Fritz Heitmann playing excerpts from J. S. Bach “Dritter Teil” at the Arp-Schnitger organ in Eosander Chapel at Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin. One very interesting thing is that this organ was destroyed during the Second World War in 1944, so this is the only sound document of this organ.
I’ve searched for some information on Heitmann and found a little on the German Wiki:

Fritz Heitmann (1891-1953) war ein deutscher Organist.

Erste Ausbildung bei seinem Vater, der ebenfalls Organist war. Dann besuchte Heitmann das Hamburger Konservatorium für Musik und von 1909 - 1911 war er am Leipziger Konservatorium Schüler von Karl Straube, Max Reger und Josef Pembaur. Als Organist von 1912 bis 1914 am Dom in Schleswig tätig, dann von 1918 bis 1932 an der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche und seit 1919 zugleich an der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, schließlich von 1932 bis zu seinem Tode Domorganist am Berlin…

Edouard Mignan, Marcel Dupré and Jeanne Demessieux

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Now it’s time for the next release with the recordings of Marcel Dupré and Jeanne Demessieux in Saint Mark’s Church, London. However, first we start with a recording with Edouard Mignan playing the first movement of Mendelssohns 6th sonata.


Edouard Mignan (1884-1969) was a French organist and composer. He was born in Orléans and 14 years old he became the organist of église Saint Paterne. He studied organ in Paris with Alexandre Guilmant and Louis Vierne and won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1912. He was organist at Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin from 1917 to 1935. He succeeded Henri Dallier as organist of la Madeleine in 1935 and held that post until 1962.
(From Wiki)

Edouard Mignan was succeded by Jeanne Demessieux in La Madeleine.
The technical quality of this recording is very poor and everything sounds very chaotic and distant. Also there were some difficulties transferring the second 78rpm side, so there is a big pitch problem there. I’ll try to get it fixed.

I know I’ve published the exact sa…

Fernando Germani from Saint Ignazio, Rome (part 2)

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Now it’s time for the second release with Fernando Germani at the organ in Saint Ignazio in Rome. These recordings are interesting in many ways. First of all they again show Germani as one of the greatest organists. His beautifully formed musical lines coupled with a fine sense of touch and a great technical ability is a general thread in all his performances. I recommend listening to all of the recordings, but especially the Schumann, his own arrangement of the Frescobaldi Toccata, and Liszt's BACH are simply amazing.

Concerning the arrangement of the Frescobaldi Toccata, the sheet music can be found at The Petrucci Library (http://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/10811).

Collecting information about these old recordings is often very difficult, since the documentation on the records themselves are often very limited. Michael Gartz and I weren’t able to find the composer for the “In dulci jubilo” and I couldn't find any information on track 8 whatsoever. So if you have an…

André Marchal playing Johann Sebastian Bach in St. Eustache, Paris

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André Marchal (1894-1980)


With great thanks to The European Archive (http://europarchive.org) I’ve got permission to use their collection of public domain organ recordings. I haven’t altered anything beside cutting the sound into tracks and renaming them.
The first item from EA is an LP released in France around 1945-1950 with André Marchal playing works by Johann Sebastian Bach in his church Saint Eustache in Paris.

André Marchal (1894-1980) was a French organist and organ teacher. He was one of the great initiators of the organ revival in France.
Marchal was born blind. He studied the organ under Eugène Gigout at the Paris Conservatoire where in 1913 he won their premier prix. He also won the prix d' excellence for fugue and counterpoint in Caussade's class (his counterpoint teacher) in 1917.
He taught organ at Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles in Paris, and was titular organist of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés (1915-1945) and Saint-Eustache (1945-1963), his resignation in 1963 …