“Nebulosa – The Organ’s Cosmic Sound Scapes” with particular focus on the Renaissance and Modern Eras 12-21 October, 2018

Monthly Archives: June 2015

Masterclasses and Repertoire 2015

The organ academy will feature masterclasses on:
– 19th-century French organ music with Joris Verdin
– 19th-century German organ music with Ludger Lohmann

This year, there are no parallel masterclasses, so everyone can participate in all eight classes.

The repertoire includes:
– Lefébure-Wély: Meditaciones religiosas, 1858; Offertoires opus 34 & 35; L’Organiste Moderne
– Lemmens: Four Pieces in the Free Style, 1866
– Franck: Pièces posthumes; Six Pièces; Trois Pièces; Trois Chorals
– Widor: Symphonie Gothique
– Mendelssohn: Sonata I (Göteborg), all Sonatas (Gammalkil)
– Ritter: Sonata III
– Brahms: Fugue in a-flat minor, and Chorale Prelude “Herzlich tut mich verlangen” (6/4)
– Reger: Phantasie und Fuge in d minor op. 135b
– Schumann: Canon nr. 4 (a-flat major), and the last B-A-C-H fugue
– Liszt: Praeludium und Fuge über B-A-C-H
– Rheinberger: Sonata III
– Karg-Elert: Chorale Prelude “Jesu, meine Freude”

Active participants are kindly requested to list which piece(s) they will prepare on the registration form. You may use any of the available music editions.

French Crescendo and German Diminuendo: Character and Context in 19th-Century European Organ Art

The theme of this year’s Academy enables you to explore the very different soundscapes of the French and German organ culture in the nineteenth century, both with respect to instruments and repertoire.

Thematically grouped, various elements of expression will be studied in the master class sessions taught by Joris Verdin and Ludger Lohmann, and devoted to either French or German repertoire:

– Slurs in Mendelssohn’s organ music
– Dynamics & Phrasing: in works by Franck, Widor, Liszt, Brahms, and Schumann
– Touch & Phrasing before and after 1870: in works by Lefébure-Wely, and Franck

Other topics will be:
– German organ schools and performance practice in the early 19th century
– A world of ideas behind 19th-century organ music: focusing on works by Lemmens, Franck, Widor, Reger and Karg-Elert

Some of the master classes will start with an introduction or lecture-demonstration and continue with a case study of related pieces or composer(s).

A very important means of expression in nineteenth-century organs is the swell box. Whereas the French focus on the fortissimo features of the swell, the Germans choose to focus on its diminuendo and echo possibilities. These contrasting functions of the swell boxes (leaving their remaining resources unhampered), the different tone colors of the flue stops, the free reeds of the German instruments, are all elements that you can explore and enjoy through the available organs: the “Rune Wåhlberg Organ” at Artisten (a French Symphonic instrument, built by Verschueren, 1998), the 1861 Marcussen cone valve chest organ in Haga Church, and the 1909 Eskil Lundén organ in the Vasa Church, inspired by Wilhelm Sauer’s fin de siècle sound concept.

Hymn Singing Festival in Östergötland, 17 & 18 October, an Excursion Preceding the 2015 Organ Academy

– Organs made by the Swedish builder Pehr Schiörlin (1736–1815)
– Mendelssohn’s Organ Sonatas (master class with Hans Davidsson)
– Hymn Singing (workshops with Per Högberg)

Sixteen of the seventy organs made by Pehr Schiörlin have been preserved. They are very colorful instruments, of outstanding quality and voicing, and with key actions that enable the player to control the tone onset and release in a remarkable way. The Schiörlin instruments are forgotten treasures but they are a spectacular resource for 19th-century hymn singing.

The 1806 instrument in Gammalkil (II/P/28) is the largest and the most renowned of them, and it is the best preserved early 19th-century organ in Sweden. The instrument was Albert Schweitzer’s favorite organ in Sweden. The colorful sound qualities of this instrument, firmly rooted in an 18th-century sound concept, but also inspired by new ideas for expressivity (like the “Windschweller”), make the organ an ideal instrument for Mendelssohn’s organ works. Mendelssohn grew up with 18th-century organs by Joachim Wagner; when performing his Sonatas on the European continent, he chose 18th-century instruments, not least because of their tonal qualities.

Schiörlin’s teacher, Jonas Wistenius, founded the so-called Linköping organ building tradition, when, in 1738, he started out as an independent organ builder after 12 years of study in Ostpreussen, especially in the Königsberg region, with organ builder masters like Johann Josua Mosengel and Georg Sigismund Caspari.


This weekend is organized in collaboration with the Gammalkil Parish and the committee coordinating the activities of the 2015 “Schiörlin” year. Participation in the weekend is free for participants of the Göteborg International Organ Academy. Lodging can be booked through the Academy. Food is not included. We plan to organize travel from Göteborg to Gammalkil and back, but you may also organize your own travel arrangements (including a transfer to Östra Skrukeby on Saturday evening and the excursion on Sunday afternoon).

A detailed program can be found here and you can register for the weekend on the registration forms.