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The First Printed Organ Music: Arnolt Schlick

Schlick / Marshall / Hart
Release Date: 09/25/2012 
Label:  Loft Recordings   Catalog #: 1124   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Arnolt SchlickHans KotterPaul HofhaimerConrad Paumann,   ... 
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE FIRST PRINTED ORGAN MUSIC Kimberly Marshall (org); Skye Hart (ten) LOFT 1124 (53:38)


Works by SCHLICK, BUCHNER, HOFHAIMER, ISAAC, KLEBER, KOTTER, PAUMANN


In 1512 there appeared the first volume of printed organ music: the Tabulatur etlicher Lobgesang und lidlein (Tablature of Some Hymns of Praise and Little Songs) by Arnolt Schlick (c.1453–c.1521). This appeared one year after Schlick had Read more published his Spiegel der Organisten und Orgelmacher (Mirror of Organists and Organ-Builders). One of the earliest and consequently most important sources of information on pre-baroque organ construction, registration, and performance practice, this work has enjoyed several modern facsimile reprints as well as published translations into modern German and English. The Tabulatur contains 10 organ pieces for liturgical use, 12 songs for voice and lute, and three lute pieces. Schlick’s compositions are notable for multiple features, including composition for four voices instead of three, as was previously the norm; the introduction of two voices in the pedal part; use of imitation, sequence, and fragmentation of thematic motives; and (a Benedictus) the earliest example of the organ ricercar.


In addition to including nine tracks of works by Schlick (one track combines multiple settings of the Da pacem ), the disc contents are filled out with three pieces by Conrad Paumann (c.1410–1473), two by Paul Hofhaimer (1459–1537), and one apiece by Hans Buchner (1483–1538)—not to be confused with the later and better known Philipp Friedrich Buchner (1614–1669)—Heinrich Isaac (c.1450–1517), Leonhard Kleber (c.1495–1556), and Hans Kotter (1480–1541). Since all of these but Isaac are extremely obscure figures, a modest biographical introduction for each would seem to be in order. Since several of these composers have variant spellings of their names—some duly listed separately on that account in the Fanfare Archive—I will indicate those after giving the most common version.


Organist and lutenist Conrad Paumann, the earliest figure represented here, is also possibly the first member of what was to become a distinguished historical lineage of blind organists. Born in Nuremberg, he was appointed the town organist in 1447, by which time he was reputed to be the most famous organist in the Germanic lands. Breaking a clause in his contract, he secretly left there for Munich in 1450 for the more prestigious and remunerative service of Duke Albrecht III of Bavaria, who later smoothed matters over by buying out Paumann’s Nuremberg contract. Paumann remained in Munich for the rest of his life, being employed by Albrecht’s successors Sigismund and Albrecht IV, though he also concertized widely (he visited Italy in 1470, where he received handsome offers for positions in Milan and Naples). As his blindness meant that he had to dictate his compositions to a scribe, very few of them survive—a handful of organ pieces and a single three-voice polyphonic song.


Like Paumann, Arnolt Schlick was also blind from birth or an early age. As with his dates, his places of birth and death are uncertain, but are believed to have been in or near Heidelberg. He is known to have met Hofhaimer, to have played at the election of Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I, and to have received a lifetime appointment in 1509 to the imperial court in the Palatinate, where he had served since 1482. He may also have met Paumann, and most likely Pierre de la Rue and Alexander Agricola in 1503, when Philip I of Castille visited Heidelberg with those two composers as members of his entourage.


Paul Hofhaimer [also spelled Hoffhaimer, Hoffheimer, Hofhaymer, and Hofhamer] inherited Paumann’s mantle as the greatest German organist of his day. Born in Radstadt near Salzburg, by 1478 he was employed at the court in Innsbruck of Archduke Sigismund of Tyrol. While the duke remained his primary employer for years to come, Hofhaimer periodically served Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I beginning in 1489, and subsequently moved to Passau in 1498 and Augsburg in 1507. He was knighted in 1515, and in 1519 was appointed organist to the cathedral church in Salzburg, in which city he ended his days.


Hans [or Johannes] Buchner, sometimes called Hans von Constanz, was born in Ravensburg, in southern Germany near Konstanz, to a family of organ builders. He studied with Hofhaimer and may have spent several years as organist to the Habsburg court in Passau. Possibly on the basis of an imperial recommendation, he held the post of organist at the cathedral church in Konstanz from 1506 to 1526. When the Reformation took hold there and forced the resident Catholic bishop into exile in Meersburg, Buchner was among other Catholics who also relocated, in his case to nearby Überlingen, where he lived in considerably reduced economic circumstances. He is best remembered today for his 1520 Fundamentbuch , the earliest published volume dedicated solely to liturgical organ music.


Heinrich Isaac [also spelled Ysaak, Ysac, and Yzac] was born in either Flanders or Brabant, and is primarily known as one of the great masters from that region of polyphonic sacred vocal music. He was astonishingly prolific, leaving to posterity 36 surviving complete Mass cycles for the liturgical year. Little is known of his early life, though he was apparently in Innsbruck in the later 1470s. By 1484 he was in the employ of the fabled Lorenzo de’ Medici of Florence, and both his time in Florence and fortunes rose and fell with those of that banking family dynasty. He is known to have married in 1490, and to have left Florence with the overthrow of the Medici in 1494, arriving at the court of Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I in Vienna by 1496. There he was appointed court composer, a position he officially held until his death. Since the imperial court made regular peregrinations throughout the Holy Roman Empire, Isaac became well traveled as a member of its entourage. By 1509, however, he returned to Florence, where he remained until his death, with the restoration of the Medici to power there in 1512 providing a boon to his fortunes in his final years.


Leonhard Kleber was born in Göppingen near Stuttgart and died in Pforzheim, where he was employed as an organist from 1521 until his death. Between 1521 and 1524 he assembled an important 332-page manuscript tablature of 112 works by contemporary organists and arrangements for organ of polyphonic works by leading Flemish masters.


Hans [or Johannes] Kotter [also spelled Cotter, Kotterer, and Kotther] was born in Strasbourg and died in Berne. From 1498-1500 he was a pupil of Hofhaimer. Surviving evidence places him in Torgau in 1508, followed by time in Basel to 1514, after which he relocated to Fribourg. Expelled from the latter city in 1530 for his Protestant leanings, he settled in Berne around 1534 and became a schoolteacher. His most important legacy is a set of three organ tablatures he compiled for the Basel lawyer and humanist Bonifacius Amerbach (1495–1562).


The present performances were recorded on the Paul Fritts organ at Arizona State University in Tempe, where Kimberley Marshall is a professor of organ. Marshall earned her Ph.D. in organ at Oxford University in 1986, with a dissertation on late-medieval and early-Renaissance organ music. While one dearly wishes that she had been able to record these works on an actual Renaissance organ (her detailed booklet notes explain in passing why this was not practical), in her skillful hands this modern instrument comes as close in sound to a Renaissance instrument as one could reasonably hope for, and is well recorded. The interpretations display her obvious deep knowledge of, and love for, this repertoire. As I cannot locate any previous recording on LP or CD of Schlick’s organ works from the Tabulatur (a few others survive in a later manuscript), this disc would be an essential acquisition for devotees of this repertoire in any case; but the high quality of these performances makes for an unqualified recommendation.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Salve Regina, antiphon for voice & organ by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 10 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Salve Regina, for organ by Hans Kotter
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
Pete quid vis by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4.
Hoe losteleck, devotional for organ by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
5.
Was ich durch Glück, for organ by Paul Hofhaimer
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6.
Zucht, eer und lob by Paul Hofhaimer
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7.
Benedictus, motet by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
Primi Toni, for organ by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
9.
Incipit Fundamentum: [Excerpt] by Conrad Paumann
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
10.
Sequuntur Redeuntes, for organ by Conrad Paumann
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 0 Minutes 59 Secs. 
11.
In idem Reduentes by Conrad Paumann
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
12.
Maria zart von edler Art by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
13.
Maria zart, for organ by Leonhard Kleber
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
14.
Christe, for organ by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
15.
Da pacem by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 0 Minutes 32 Secs. 
16.
Agnus Dei primum, ad festum trium regum, for organ by Hans Buchner
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
17.
Agnus dei, for organ by Hans Buchner
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 0 Minutes 29 Secs. 
18.
Agnus dei secundum, for organ by Hans Buchner
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
19.
Ascendo ad patrem meum by Arnolt Schlick
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
20.
Work(s): Benedictus by Isaac Albéniz
Performer:  Kimberly Marshall (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 

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