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1721 Thielemann organ

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  • 1721 Thielemann organ

    Last week I had the pleasure to play an organ that was built in 1721 - and suffered tremendously over the years. Especially during and after the second world war, the pedalboard and also some pipes were used as fire wood and coal was kept inside the organ.
    But there was enough substance left to save the instrument and it was rebuilt and since 2017 is playable again.
    The organ builder was Christoph Thielemann in Thuringia (Germany) and quite a few of his instruments have survived.

    The instrument I played is located in the chapel of castle Tenneberg and has one manual and a 25 note pedalboard (C2-C4). The manual has four octaves from C2-C6, so you have to choose your repertoire well :-B

    The stop list:
    Grobgedackt 8'
    Quintatön 8'
    Principal 4'
    Kleingedackt 4'
    Octave 2'
    Quinta 1 1/2'
    Mixtur 3f.

    Principalbass 8'
    Subbass 16'


    And there's an additional feature that's very interesting. You can see the golden sun in the middle of the facade with a few golden pipes making up the sun beams: there's a switch underneath the keyboard which makes the sun rotate and a hidden glockenspiel plays a few bars of a morning hymn.
    Click image for larger version

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    I didn't make any recordings of the sound, but the museum director and I are currently chatting about me playing a recital next year and if we can make this happen, I will try to make a few recordings then. But you can listen to the organ here on youtube:

    Still debating with myself whether I will count this instrument as the oldest organ I ever played or whether the fact that so many parts of it are new, that the 1731 Hinsz organ in Leens still gets that title. B-)

  • #2
    Thank you for this post, Andijah. What a beautiful case. I also enjoyed hearing the YouTube recording. I look forward to hearing about your recital if it occurs.

    My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk


    • #3
      So, yesterday the museum director said that he wants to go ahead with my recital this year. I'm planning a pandemic-friendly setup, and will play 70 minutes of music, split in three parts with 25 minutes max and then a break to get fresh air into the building. Of course, this all depends on whether the restrictions will be eased enough to have "live" concerts at all, but one has to be optimistic.
      My programme will have music from the 18th century and from the 20th and 21st century.
      I just need to find a suitable date now. The overall planning in the museum isn't done yet so I can choose when I want to play.
      Will keep you updated.


      • SchnarrHorn
        SchnarrHorn commented
        Editing a comment
        What a wonderful instrument! Looking forward to your recital. Consider livestreaming to youtube, if possible.


      • andijah
        andijah commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't have the necessary equipment for livestreaming, and I doubt that the museum does. Don't even know about bandwidth there... it's not that it's located somewhere in a big city ;-) But it might be possible to record parts of the recital and share the videos afterwards.

    • #4
      Congrats on the upcoming concert, Andijah!

      I wanted to like your post, but when I logged-in (I usually quickly scan the posts anonymously during lunch), I couldn't--because I already liked it months ago! Consider this Reply another Like.

      Do post the list of pieces for the program once you decide.



      • #5

        This organ would be a nice candidate for some of the Haydn Flute Clock pieces. I can't wait to hear what the organ sounds like. I'm sure you'll do it justice.

        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos


        • #6
          I would've liked to include a sonata by C.P.E. Bach, for example, but none in my repertoire fit this organ. That the keyboard ends on c6 makes finding suitable pieces an interesting adventure B-)


          • #7
            Originally posted by andijah View Post
            I would've liked to include a sonata by C.P.E. Bach, for example, but none in my repertoire fit this organ. That the keyboard ends on c6 makes finding suitable pieces an interesting adventure B-)
            This is indeed an interesting challenge. I wonder if you could play something an octave lower than written on the manual and use the pedal for the lowest octave. For example the 4' Principal on the manual could be extended by the 8' Principalbass in the pedal. I don't know how practical this would be but it might work for some pieces.

            One piece that is usually played on two manuals, but sounds good on one manual and would not exceed the manual compass is Bach's Erbarm dich mein, BWV 721. There are probably things in the Orgelbuchlein that would also work.

            I look forward to hearing how this project progresses. Best wishes to you.
            Last edited by voet; 02-05-2021, 02:25 PM.

            My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk


            • #8
              A short update: we have set a date for the recital (9th of October, pandemic situation permitting). Streaming won't be possible as there's no fast Internet connection at the museum, but I will try to make a few recordings.
              The recital will have three parts, first part will be music from the 18th century, second part will be music from the 20th and 21st century (you can see that I like a challenge) and the third part will have music from the 18th and the 21st century.
              I will post the list of pieces later.


              • #9
                Time to give a short update. 😊
                The recital on Saturday went really well and the audience liked the pieces and the museum director invited me to come again next year.
                I haven't made as many videos as I thought I would, and I need to do a lot more editing in the coming days, but here's a short "Rondeau" by Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre:

                The recital had the motto "Baroque meets Today" and I was playing pieces by female composers from the 18th, 20th and 21st century, plus a concerto by an unknown composer.
                Will post the "set list" shortly.


                • j reimer
                  j reimer commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Very enjoyable. A lovely, clear sound. Thank you very much.

              • #10
                And here's a list of the pieces I played (in the order I played them):
                • Concerto in g minor (unknown composer)
                  • Allegro - Affetuoso - Allegro. Fuga
                • Minuetto with Variations (Elizabeth Turner, 1730-1756)
                • Sonata per cembalo o organo (Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini, 1720-1795)
                • Allegro - Andante - Vivace scherzando
                • Rondeau (Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, 1665-1729)
                • In dir ist Freude (Maja Bösch-Schildknecht, *1978)
                • Celebration: Juba (Sharon J. Willis, *1949)
                • Tu es Petrus (Jeanne Demessieux, 1921-1968)
                • Meditation IV (Erna Woll, 1917-2005)
                • Meditation (Betty Jackson King, 1928-1994)
                • Meditation I (Erna Woll)
                • Englar á sveimi (Bára Grímsdóttir, *1960)
                • Undir verndarvæng - Ég krýp - Engladans
                • Giga (Elisabetta di Gambarini, 1730-1765)
                • Danze all'antica (Carlotta Ferrai, *1975)
                  • Saltarello - Contraddanza - Estampie - Furlana - Bassadanza - Tarantella
                • Sonata in C major (Anna Bon di Venezia, 1738-?)
                  • Allegro - Andante - Minuetto con Variazioni
                • Greensleeves Tango(Carlotta Ferrari)
                Last edited by myorgan; 10-11-2021, 06:48 PM. Reason: Increase font size & add formatting.


                • #11
                  Was it difficult playing those pre-AGO pedals?
                  Hammond RT-3, Boston studio upright piano, Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 stage piano.


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by ChristopherDB113 View Post
                    Was it difficult playing those pre-AGO pedals?
                    It took a while getting used to them and it was a bit uncomfortable in the lower octave, but overall it wasn't too bad.

                    That one and later 3 keys got stuck regularly was more annoying. 😉