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Johann Ignaz Egedacher


Pierre Lauwers
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Let us try with a very little historical stuff....

 

Johann Ignaz Egedacher (1675-1744), a member of the Egedacher dinasty of organ builders,

was born in Salzburg, Austria, but had his workshop in Passau, Germany.

A typical representative of the southern german baroque style, he was a friend of Andreas

Silbermann of Strassburg, Alsace.

Johannes Schnetzler was one of his pupils; later, Schnetzler came to Harlem, The Netherlands,

where he helped Müller with his very famous St-Bavo organ.

After that, we loose any trace of Johannes Schnetzler... B)

 

We still have two organs from J-I Egedacher, one of which in Zwettl, Austria:

 

http://www.edition-lade.com/b__cds/d__cd__...rgel_cd_026.htm

 

(There are pictures towards the bottom of the page. Click on "Disposition"= Specification)).

 

Pierre

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Guest Cynic
Let us try with a very little historical stuff....

 

Johann Ignaz Egedacher (1675-1744), a member of the Egedacher dinasty of organ builders,

was born in Salzburg, Austria, but had his workshop in Passau, Germany.

A typical representative of the southern german baroque style, he was a friend of Andreas

Silbermann of Strassburg, Alsace.

Johannes Schnetzler was one of his pupils; later, Schnetzler came to Harlem, The Netherlands,

where he helped Müller with his very famous St-Bavo organ.

After that, we loose any trace of Johannes Schnetzler... B)

 

We still have two organs from J-I Egedacher, one of which in Zwettl, Austria:

 

http://www.edition-lade.com/b__cds/d__cd__...rgel_cd_026.htm

 

(There are pictures towards the bottom of the page).

 

Pierre

 

Thanks, Pierre!

What a wonderful console (amongst other things)!

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....Do not miss the Specification with Gamba and celeste, the Mixtures, the italian style

stop controls, and, and, and...

 

===============================

 

Thank you Pierre for posting details of this fascinating instrument.

 

This is indeed a very interesting instrument; demonstrating as it does that admixture of things Italian with things Southern German, and hinting at a more colourful (rather than romantic) style of instrument.

 

In some ways, this is a bit of grey-area for me, because it is relatively easy to pick up the pieces of the historic thread, and see how the Italian style moved into the Austro-Hungarian empire, and how it spread throughout Hungary and into the former Czechoslovakia and Bohemia. However, with this instrument, there is a far greater integration of more regional tastes, which apart from the obvious links with Silbermann, must also include elements of the "school" of thinking which pervaded catholic Southern Germany and the organs of Gabler (Weingarten) and maybe (I'm not sure) the organs of Holzhay.

 

The specification is very curious and very regional, and I would personally love to hear what sort of a sound it makes.

 

Of course, mild string-tone was a feature of many southern instruments, and the undulating Italian "Voice Umana" paved the way for the Celeste ranks which followed them, but I think it would be a mistake to label this "romantic" in any way; though it did move the organ into the more emotional sphere of ethereal effect. It's a curious thing, but as early as the 17th century, Arp Schnitger had devised his own version of the "frein harmonique" patented by the French fair-organ builder, Gavioli in the 19th century; almost 200 years later! Thus, without realising it, all the technology existed for the production of keen string-tone even in the 17th century, but would they ever have chosen to include that? I think not!

 

Apparently, Schnitger had used the harmonic-bridge to lessen the "chiff" of his Rohrflutes.....a lesson in proper baroque voicing if ever there was one!

 

I have certain pieces of music (some written for Belgian carillons in the collection of de Gruyter, who was the carilloneur at Antwerp Cathedral). I can well imagine that the high-pitched solo effects possible on this organ would be absolutely perfect for this music.......they liked their bird-songs, cuckoos and bells in those days.

 

Quite a few things fascinate me about this instrument; not least the Mixtures, and presumably, the lack of original pedal reeds. Did the organ have pedal reeds which have been replaced, or did it not have them at all, as is the case with many organs following Italian models, and which are particularly prevalent in the former Czechslovakia? The pedal reeds, where they exist, are most often at 8ft pitch, and would have provided the Cantus, above which the organist would probably improvise.

 

The Mixtures are intruiging; blending much that is Silbermann and German, with the various Cornet registers; not just at 8ft Cornet putch, but at the octave as either chorus mixtures or colouring mixtures. I personally have a great fondness for tierces at the octave, which add richness rather than pure reediness. I think, in respect of this particular organ, the Tierces probably serve more a solo function or a solo foundation colouring function.

 

10 ranks of Mixtures on the Pedal organ is quite remarkable for an organ of this size, but I am puzzled by the "Horn" 2rks.

Was this, I wonder, a solo combinationstop which added reediness and power to the 8ft Cantus line, in much the same way that an 8ft reed might function? It wouldn't need much tuning, after all, whereas reeds are ofen quite troublesome.

 

What I cannot make sense of is the "Drittes Manual".......can someone enlighten me as to what it all about? It is obvioulsy some sort of Solo effect division, but if so, why are there no 8ft flues?

 

Lastly, I note the enormous scale of what looks like a Rohrflute, which is clearly shown in some of the photographs. This reminds me of the organ I play, where the pipes look more like buckets than organ pipes!

 

Perhaps most intruigingly, is the connection with Snetzler and Haarlem, because there is so much about the possible colours and the large-scale flutes, which are in abundance at Haarlem. Did Snetzler carry these ideas with him to Holland, I wonder? The Haarlem instrument actually predates this one, so presumably, Snetzler had long since made the journey north when he popped up at St.Bavo, Haarlem, which took SEVEN YEARS to build; presumably commencing around 1720.

 

MM

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The italian influence in central Europe (from Southern Germany to Poland and Lithuania) was

greatly accelerated by Eugen Casparini, when he came back in Silesia just before 1700.

And while building his Görlitz organ, he had as a pupil a certain....Andreas Silbermann!

 

As for the Tierce Mixtures, just two hints:

 

1)- The "Hörn" (further west: "Hörnle", "Hörnlei") can be drawn, or not,

with the (Quint and octaves only) Mixtures. This must be compared

with the british (and flemish) Sesquialtera (but higher pitched).

 

2)- See what Bach had as Mixtures........Yes, nearly the same, often

without possibility to avoid the Tierce.

(In Joachim Wagner's organ, the Tierce rank was in the "Scharff",

so we find that concept as north as the Brandenburg: Berlin, Potsdam...)

 

3)- Whether it was Schnetzler who introduced the italian-derived flue stops

with Müller we still do not sufficiently understand. This is a typical example

of historical stuff I would invest heavily in if I were british...

 

5)......Because we can take for granted John Snetzler was a splendid representative

of the southern german style in Britain, where he introduced the diversity

among the flue stops (a diversity which may sometimes happens to be

not fully understood today)

 

(later addenda) 6)- It follows from this the fact Snetzler's "strange" Mixtures are

actually quite closer to the ones Bach had than any neo-baroque

(pre)conception; though deprived of a "normal" Pedal, any Snetzler

organ may pretend to deliver a "right german baroque sound"...

 

Pierre

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The italian influence in central Europe (from Southern Germany to Poland and Lithuania) was

greatly accelerated by Eugen Casparini, when he came back in Silesia just before 1700.

And while building his Görlitz organ, he had as a pupil a certain....Andreas Silbermann!

 

As for the Tierce Mixtures, just two hints:

 

1)- The "Hörn" (further west: "Hörnle", "Hörnlei") can be drawn, or not,

with the (Quint and octaves only) Mixtures. This must be compared

with the british (and flemish) Sesquialtera (but higher pitched).

 

2)- See what Bach had as Mixtures........Yes, nearly the same, often

without possibility to avoid the Tierce.

(In Joachim Wagner's organ, the Tierce rank was in the "Scharff",

so we find that concept as north as the Brandenburg: Berlin, Potsdam...)

 

3)- Whether it was Schnetzler who introduced the italian-derived flue stops

with Müller we still do not sufficiently understand. This is a typical example

of historical stuff I would invest heavily in if I were british...

 

5)......Because we can take for granted John Snetzler was a splendid representative

of the southern german style in Britain, where he introduced the diversity

among the flue stops (a diversity which may sometimes happens to be

not fully understood today)

 

(later addenda) 6)- It follows from this the fact Snetzler's "strange" Mixtures are

actually quite closer to the ones Bach had than any neo-baroque

(pre)conception; though deprived of a "normal" Pedal, any Snetzler

organ may pretend to deliver a "right german baroque sound"...

 

Pierre

 

 

======================

 

 

I shall think about this a good bit more, because it is all so fascinating.

 

However, a thought sprang immediately to mind concerning the possible introduction, by Snetzler, of South German/Austrian ideas at Haarlem; and organ which is really quite like any other in Holland (apart from other Muller organs of course).

 

Haarlem is such an immensely expressive instrument, with warm solo registers as part of thr ensemble, in addition to the choice (that is the important thing) between Quint Mixtures and a full Terzchor ensemble, of immense richness.

 

I often make the link between Sydney TH and Haarlem, and there is a more than a hint of Haarlem at Sydney, even though the Muller organ would probably have been unknown to the Hill company. The common root may yet turn out to be Snetzler, and his contribution to old English organ-building.

 

I was listening to a magnificent recording of one of my favourite instruments this week, and a spectacular performance of the Bruhns G.major on the somewhat re-built, but tonally superlative organ of the Aa-kerk, Groningen. It could not be more different from the Bavo orgel, with its astonishing sonority and clarity of tone, speaking into a huge acoustic, in spite of the fact that the church is not all that big.

 

There is almost no comparison to be made between the two very different instruments, but my words, what a magnificent sound each make in their own way. The interesting thing is to compare the organ of the Aa-kerk to the Bavo instrument, because it is perfectly obvious that Haarlem belongs to a quite different school of thought.

 

MM

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Everyone can hear samples from the Aa-kerk organ here:

 

http://orgelconcerten.ncrv.nl/ncrv?nav=abxjsCsHtGAiBzBeBH

 

(Click on "beluister" and the magic begins)

....A FABULOUS organ I drove 280 kilometres on my moped to hear

it in the flesh.

I find it better than Alkmaar, despite not being fully original; I apologize

I called it "a baroque Worcester", that is, a not fully original organ, BUT...

 

I believe much of its charm might lie with its temperament, which must,

somewhere, have stayed somewhat original, and in accordance with

the pipes as they were build.

 

The St-Bavo organ belongs to a completely different style, already more

"southern" by far.

What did Snetzler really there ?

Will we ever know ?

 

In the meantime, I'd protect anything from him like crown's jewels. Snetzler's

are precious, like G....Euh.

 

Pierre

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Everyone can hear samples from the Aa-kerk organ here:

 

http://orgelconcerten.ncrv.nl/ncrv?nav=abxjsCsHtGAiBzBeBH

 

(Click on "beluister" and the magic begins)

....A FABULOUS organ I drove 280 kilometres on my moped to hear

it in the flesh.

I find it better than Alkmaar, despite not being fully original; I apologize

I called it "a baroque Worcester", that is, a not fully original organ, BUT...

 

I believe much of its charm might lie with its temperament, which must,

somewhere, have stayed somewhat original, and in accordance with

the pipes as they were build.

 

The St-Bavo organ belongs to a completely different style, already more

"southern" by far.

What did Snetzler really there ?

Will we ever know ?

 

In the meantime, I'd protect anything from him like crown's jewels. Snetzler's

are precious, like G....Euh.

 

Pierre

 

=============================

 

 

How wonderful that an organ....any organ....can inspire someone to travel so far in such discomfort. At least I catch a plane and a train!

 

A diversion from the main subject perhaps, but a worthy one, because the organ at the Aa-kerk is really quite exceptional; at least partly due to the extraordinary acoustic into which the organ speaks.

 

I almost agree with Pierre, but since the Alkmaar restoration, I think they are very equal in terms of musical quality; yet there is something overwhelmingly majestic about the sound of the Aa-kerk organ, which is rather more Arp Schnitger than

F C Schnitger.

 

Although altered, the Groningen area was very fortunate indeed, because the organ-builders who followed Schnitger in the Groningen area were builders of real quality, who whilst casting a glance at the modernity of the day, nevertheless knew tonal quality when they heard it. So a great deal of the original Arp Schnitger character has remained, I would suggest, and when it comes to those wonderful reeds, I know of no others quite like them. I haven't studied this organ in great detail, but by the sounds of the choruswork and those reeds, they are (to my ears) as original as one will ever hear. To hear a Bach Chorale Prelude played on just manual reeds, with the cantus-firmus played on the pedal reeds, is a quite extraordinary experience which I have never heard anywhere else to such effect.

 

It is all the more remarkable to consider that this was the organ which was very hurriedly dismantled and stored when the church-tower, built on sandy soil, threatened to collapse. It was put back un-restored, and is still just a tonal miracle.

 

I think this is the only instrument I have ever heard, when I could easily pick out each individual line in contrapuntal writing, and follow it with ease. As for the full pleno, it is utterly stupendous, and it is wonderful to consider how that same quality has been achieved in the very extensive restoration at the Martinikerk, half a kilometer away, where the organ underwent serious and radical change before it was brought back to something like the original.

 

As I've said before, the Dutch turn restoration into a fine-art, and we must hope that someday, the organ at the Aa-kerk will receive special attention.....but my words......that will involve a lot of turf-wars and endless committee meetings to decide which way is best. This is, I understand, the main reason why it has yet to be done.

 

In a country with so many wonderful old (and new) organs, the organ at the Aa-kerk is certainly top-drawer quality.

 

Make the pilgrimage....you will be thrilled by what you hear in Groningen!

 

MM

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Back to the Zwettl organ:

 

Perhaps some would be interested about the curious placement of the manual divisions. They are in the railing, all three of them. The Great is inside the towers on either side of the console, the Positiv is in the middle directly in front of the playdesk, and the solo is divided behind the flats on either side of the music rack. The large parts of the case back on either side of the window contain the pedal.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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"How wonderful that an organ....any organ....can inspire someone to travel so far in such discomfort"

(Quote)

 

There were *some* others as well. In absolutely all styles imaginable....

 

"we must hope that someday, the organ at the Aa-kerk will receive special attention....."

(Quote)

Though I agree the dutch can do splendid restoration work, this is the kind of

organ I would certainly leave alone...

 

Pierre

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===============================

 

Quite a few things fascinate me about this instrument; not least the Mixtures, and presumably, the lack of original pedal reeds. Did the organ have pedal reeds which have been replaced, or did it not have them at all, as is the case with many organs following Italian models, and which are particularly prevalent in the former Czechslovakia? The pedal reeds, where they exist, are most often at 8ft pitch, and would have provided the Cantus, above which the organist would probably improvise.

Dear MM, it is like with the Sieber Organ (1714, III/40) of St. Michael in Vienna, (occasionally played by Mozart then, and several years ago restored by Ahrend, too. And I think, this restoration made the way for restoring Zwettl a second time, now by him... Sieber is from the slovakian area, of course!) - the reeds were missing, but originally on the list. The Viennese ones are very loud and open, sort "a" resp. "ae" formant, usable only at full organ. THERE we have the common "austrian" pedal setup: 18 keys like in Zwettl, but just 11 sounding notes, repeating! (We loved to play Bachs Magnificat Fuga there with a registrant changing from 16' to 8' pedal reed for the bass cantus...!!) :mellow:

So, in general there was no cantus-playing in the pedal. The organists mostly did those Toccatas and Versets, small things, just to interrupt chant or tro provide some "entertainment" to the congregation while attending a service, where they did not understand, or even hear (if just whispered by the priest) anything at all!!!

The Pedal was for longer notes in the bass, like in Italy.

 

10 ranks of Mixtures on the Pedal organ is quite remarkable for an organ of this size, but I am puzzled by the "Horn" 2rks.

Was this, I wonder, a solo combinationstop which added reediness and power to the 8ft Cantus line, in much the same way that an 8ft reed might function? It wouldn't need much tuning, after all, whereas reeds are ofen quite troublesome.

 

As mentioned, no cantus playing normally, but the service friendly "flue reed" option was certainly the advantage intended...

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Dear MM, it is like with the Sieber Organ (1714, III/40) of St. Michael in Vienna, (occasionally played by Mozart then, and several years ago restored by Ahrend, too. And I think, this restoration made the way for restoring Zwettl a second time, now by him... Sieber is from the slovakian area, of course!) - the reeds were missing, but originally on the list. The Viennese ones are very loud and open, sort "a" resp. "ae" formant, usable only at full organ. THERE we have the common "austrian" pedal setup: 18 keys like in Zwettl, but just 11 sounding notes, repeating! (We loved to play Bachs Magnificat Fuga there with a registrant changing from 16' to 8' pedal reed for the bass cantus...!!) :lol:

So, in general there was no cantus-playing in the pedal. The organists mostly did those Toccatas and Versets, small things, just to interrupt chant or tro provide some "entertainment" to the congregation while attending a service, where they did not understand, or even hear (if just whispered by the priest) anything at all!!!

The Pedal was for longer notes in the bass, like in Italy.

As mentioned, no cantus playing normally, but the service friendly "flue reed" option was certainly the advantage intended...

 

 

====================================

 

 

This is all very interesting. I have been hoping that someone could fill in the "black hole" which is Austria from this period, and which had me puzzled when "Just a dad" (Board Member) asked me about it.

 

I had to confess that I didn't know too much, and now I can see why. These were very regional organs, sandwiched between South Germany and Italian style, and something which I really know very little about.

 

I'm still considering the stop-list, and trying to understand what it amounts to.

 

MM

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====================================

This is all very interesting. I have been hoping that someone could fill in the "black hole" which is Austria from this period, and which had me puzzled when "Just a dad" (Board Member) asked me about it.

 

I had to confess that I didn't know too much, and now I can see why. These were very regional organs, sandwiched between South Germany and Italian style, and something which I really know very little about.

 

I'm still considering the stop-list, and trying to understand what it amounts to.

 

MM

 

Then this page could be of interest to you, MM,

 

http://orgeln.musikland-tirol.at/

 

Click on "Ortsübersicht", you will get a series of places names,

each of which is a link to a picture with specification.

 

This one I find particularly interesting:

 

http://orgeln.musikland-tirol.at/t/i/innsbruck-ebert.html

 

Do not miss the detail pictures (link at the bottom of the page), with,

among others features, the stop handles after the italian manner.

 

Pierre

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The second J-I Egedacher organ we still have is in Vornbach, Bayern:

 

http://www.egedacherorgel-vornbach.de/

 

This invaluable treasure would still be in original condition....

But this site is very poor with information; we do not have the

specification, we know a restoration should have begun in May,

this year, but we do not know by whom.

Mr Kropf, maybe do you have a bit more information ?

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The second J-I Egedacher organ we still have is in Vornbach, Bayern:

 

http://www.egedacherorgel-vornbach.de/

 

This invaluable treasure would still be in original condition....

But this site is very poor with information; we do not have the

specification, we know a restoration should have begun in May,

this year, but we do not know by whom.

Mr Kropf, maybe do you have a bit more information ?

I have visited this organ many years ago. The church is most beautifully situated at the Inn river, just few kilometers away from Passau. Therefore, the challenge then (at least for some experts) was to avoid a restoration by the Passau firm Eisenbarth.

 

On the website, it says for 2006 "Our restorator, W. Rehn, introduces himself". This would mean, that the work will be done by Kuhn of Switzerland. On the Kuhn Website there is no information about it (yet).

Well, I have nearly no memory about the instrument, but the local friend who guided me through the region thought it was a very precious thing. Shure, there was a nice principal chorus, but I cannot even remember the temperament.... It was one of several instruments that day, and my knowledge about historic organs was quite thin in those days...

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