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Vincent Lübeck - Prelude & Fugue in E major

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There has been some discussion recently on a German-speaking forum about this piece.

[see http://hauptwerk.seeyoo.net/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=1279.]

Specifically, the question was raised whether a transposed version in C, F or G is available.

Some contributors found this piece almost impossible to play, or listen to, on Lübeck's own organ in Stade, with its original tuning.

Surely he would have written it for that organ? Or am I missing something?

 

 

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I know nothing, but perhaps the following may help. I have culled it mostly from Siegbert Rampe's extensive commentary to his excellent edition of Lübeck's keyboard works published by Bärenreiter.

Lübeck was organist at Stade 1674-1702 and then at St Nicholas, Hamburg 1702-1740. Therefore one cannot assume that he wrote all his organ works at Stade. Wolfram Syré thinks he wrote the E major P&F in Hamburg, This cannot be proved, though its sole source was probably written in Hamburg in the early eighteenth century. It makes little difference, since both the Stade and St Nicholas organs were Schnitgers and Schnitger always used the same mean-tone tuning. There is no evidence of anything approaching equal temperament in Hamburg in Lübeck's time.

 

It has been suggested that this work and others in E major by Buxtehude and Bach were originally written in C major, but this view seems to have little support. The case for BWV 566 is inconclusive, since the E major version survives only in late, unreliable sources, but the prevailing view, based on internal evidence, is that Bach probably initiated the work in E major, though the C major version may also be his. Beckmann and Belotti have apparently discounted transposition in the case of Buxtehude, but i have not read their arguments. Syré does not think Lübeck's E major P&F has been transposed, because its sole source is, he considers, directly traceable to St Nicholas, Hamburg, and because transposition to C major would put the piece beyond the range of the keyboards, especially the pedals.

 

Is the Stade organ tuned to the same temperament used by Schnitger? Again I know nothing, but Rampe refers to some "at times quite heated debate" about the compass and tunings of the organs Lübeck played.

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There has been some discussion recently on a German-speaking forum about this piece.

[see http://hauptwerk.seeyoo.net/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=1279.]

Specifically, the question was raised whether a transposed version in C, F or G is available.

Some contributors found this piece almost impossible to play, or listen to, on Lübeck's own organ in Stade, with its original tuning.

Surely he would have written it for that organ? Or am I missing something?

 

 

 

I can add little to the post written by Vox. However, is it perhaps as simple as the contributors' perception of the sound of the piece - and how they approached hearing it? (i.e., from a standpoint of being used to so-called equal temperament tuning, and with a fixed idea - or 'remembrance' - of the present-day pitch of a particular note or key.)

 

(Since my ability to speak and read German is roughly commensurate with my competence in the field of quantum physics, I am unable to ascertain whether my suggestion is in fact based on a false premise.)

 

 

 

 

[Did that make any sense at all....?]

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