The Organ

This Heaving Ocean of Tones

Nineteenth-Century Organ Registration Practice at St Marien, Lübeck
Joachim Walter
GOArt Publications

This book is a development of the author's doctoral dissertation. It concentrates on 19th century organ registration practice with special reference to the Schulze organ in the Marien Church in Lübeck and the influence of Hermann Jimmerthal, a friend and colleague of Mendelssohn. The book charts the development and usage of the Schulze organ and, alas its eventual destruction in World War II before concentrating on registration practices of the time. These include not just studies of 19th century music, but of Bach's work also. The apogee of the study is the project to reconstruct these registrations on the 1871 Ladegast organ at Schwerin Cathedral seen as being the nearest 'match' to the long-gone Schulze organ (though interestingly some of the English Schulze organs were considered, but not thought to be sufficiently authentic).

For me the real gem of this work is the CD recording of music on the Ladegast - it is a real ear-opener, not only in terms of the playing of Bach and Mendelssohn, but also with regard to the performance of transcriptions. I really do recommend this study and the accompanying CD - you will hear and appreciate 19th century German organs and music in a new way. As always with these GOArt publications, the scholarship is of the very highest quality, and much valuable primary source material is used as the basis of the research - as evinced by the final result.

David Baker