Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘germany’

Wooster Enjoys Bach and Sons

We took our Bach and Sons organ and multi-media experience on the road to Wooster, Ohio in late October 2013.  Our performance was the first of the 2013-2014 Music on Market Concert Series hosted by the Wooster United Methodist Church.  

A wonderfully enthusiastic audience was thrilled with the various aspects of live telling of the story of Bach from

  • Jeannine’s performance of the great works of Bach on the Aeolian-Skinner organ
  • Multiple screens showcasing David’s amazing multi-media, which allowed the audience to experience the narration and organ performance in an up-close and personal manner. 

The multi-media utilized

     four live action cameras

  •           two showing Jeannine’s hands on the three keyboards
  •           one showing Jeannine’s feet on the pedal board
  •           one on Jeannine narrating the story as the women in Bach’s life

and included stunning visuals from Bach’s Germany in

  •           video
  •            and still photo formats


As always, it was a thrill to share the story of Bach with a community.

To learn how you can bring Bach and Sons, this unique, audience-engaging event
to your church,concert series, university, or community arts series,
please contact jeannine at





The Top Tunes of 1524!

Pro-Motion Music has joined in the decade-long celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The celebration, culminating in 2017 with a year of festivities,  is also being celebrated annually from 2007-2016 with a specific theme.  The 2012 theme was Music and the Reformation.

David and I were privileged to travel to the seat of the Reformation, Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Germany, last August (2012) where I performed organ concerts in historic Reformation churches:  the Schlosskirche where Luther famously nailed his 95 Theses to the door; and the Stadtkirche, Luther’s preaching church.  To celebrate the Luther Decade Year of Music, I performed organ settings of Luther chorales from the Renaissance to the present day on the historic Ladegast organ at the Schlosskirche and on the Sauer organ at Stadt Kirchethe Stadtkirche.

These concerts were enthusiastically received by not only the many tourists, but the local population as well.  One poignant comment by the sexton of the Stadtkirche stands out:  “It was wonderful to hear Luther’s chorales again here in Luther’s church.  Thank you for playing this glorious music.”

With that comment fresh in our minds, we decided to release a recording of the music performed in these concert, thus, adding to the celebration of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  The resulting CD is The Chorales of Martin Luther, otherwise known as the Top Tunes of 1524!

As Luther so eloquently wrote, “Music is a fair and lovely gift of God.”

Click here to start your new year with a new CD!

A Silbermann in Freiberg

The next stop on our 2012 performance tour found us in the town of Freiberg, Germany.  Founded in 1186 the town was heralded for its significance in the mining industry for many centuries.  Today the historic old town is a charming area of restored Renaissance and Baroque edifices, including the Dom Kirche and the St. Petrikirche.

It was at the St. Petrikirche on the recently restored Gottfried Silbermann organ where I played the final concert of our tour.  Performing on this historic organ, an instrument built by Silbermann in 1735, for my final program of the tour was a unique privilege and joy.   The organ is a superb example of the work of the master organ builder, Gottfried Silbermann. It is an amazing two manual and pedal instrument with 32 registers including a sonorous 16′ principal on the Hauptwerk and tremendous reeds in the pedal. The organ was restored to its original condition in 2007.

I decided to program pieces that could have been played on the Silbermann when it was new in 1735 — pieces by Scheidt, Bruhns, Telemann, and JS Bach.  Naturally, the music fit the instrument superbly.  In addition, the church had the perfect 7 second reverberation I have ever heard. The glorious sounds of the final E-Flat chord of Bach’s St. Anne fugue simply drifted into space, filling every inch of this awesome church.  Heavenly sounds in a heavenly place.

(Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and with David Jordan, creator and performer of the organ and media event, Bach and Sons.)


The Bach Wedding Church in Dornheim

On 17th October 1707 a wedding party made its way from Arnstadt (Germany) to Dornheim, three kilometres away.  The betrothed couple was none other than Johann Sebastian Bach and his second cousin Maria Barbara Bach.  Young Bach’s friendship with the pastor of Dornheim, Johann Lorenz Stauber, was doubtless the main reason for choosing the little village church for this happy occasion.  Despite numerous repairs Bach’s wedding church was by 1996 in such a desolate state that even demolition was considered.  At this point determined villagers got together with the aim of rescuing the building and providing for a comprehensive restoration.  Today thousands of visitors from Germany and all over the world come to see this now well known memorial to Bach.” (Juergen Frey of Dornheim.)

On August 20, 2012, I was privileged to present an organ concert in this lovely village church.  The program, “A Musical Tour of Bach’s Life”  included some of JS Bach’s best-known and well-loved compositions including the Toccata in d minor, various chorale preludes, several secular pieces, and the great St. Anne Fugue. The audience was delighted with this sampling of Bach’s great music while enjoying the lovely surroundings of this historic Bach wedding church.

The organ, in a lovely Baroque case, was built by Schoenefeld in 1996. It is a two manual and pedal tracker instrument of 19 stops.

Our hosts for our stay in the village of Dornheim were Rosemarie and Juergen Frey, two of those determined villagers who rescued this now famous and well-loved Bach landmark.

(Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and with David Jordan, creator and performer of the organ and media event, Bach and Sons.)


Who was that woman singing in the choir loft?

(Barbara Katherina, second cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach and elder sister of Maria Barbara, Bach’s future wife tells of her sister’s interest in Johann Sebastian Bach as her future husband.)

Maria Barbara were you in church yesterday?  Did you hear what our JS played?  I think it was an organ piece with our favorite chorale “How Brightly Shines the Morningstar” hidden in all those different sounding sections somewhere.  Our staid old congregation really did not like it did they?  I think our JS learned a lot from Herr Buxtehude and Herr Scheidt while he was in Lubeck don’t you?

Then to make matters worse, did you hear the hymn accompaniment he played on LOBT GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN?   Heavens, it was hard to sing that hymn with that wild accompaniment, if I say so myself.   Why I heard people complaining all around us.  They truly were confused.  Some even said they could not hear the melody.  I imagine all that new-fangled ornamentation, is not going to sit well with all those serious faced men.

Maria Barbara, please tell me you were not the woman someone heard singing to JS’s organ accompaniment in the church choir

The organ and loft of the Bachkirche in Arnstadt, Germany

loft the other day?  If it was you, you are in so much trouble!  First, you—a woman actually in the choir loft and second, horror of horrors, you were even heard singing in the choir loft!  Just think of the mess you have created now for our dear Johann Sebastian, and just when things were starting to settle down a bit.  What were you thinking?

Oh, so you have heard he is looking for another job?  And, why would our Johann need a different job?  So he can finally settle down and what?  Marry you, Maria Barbara?  Is that what you are thinking, my dear little sister?

(The story above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)

I hear that Johann Sebastian is off to Lubeck

(Barbara Katherina, second cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach and elder sister of Maria Barbara, Bach’s future wife recounts Bach’s trip to Lubeck)

Marienkirche in Lubeck, Germany

My dear sister, Maria Barbara, have you heard the news?  Our JS has just gotten permission to go to Lubeck to hear the celebrated organist, Dietrich Buxtehude at St. Mary’s.   He has been talking about this trip for so long and now the city council has given him four weeks right during Advent to go to Lubeck.  Of course, he has asked our cousin, Johann Ernst to substitute for him here at the Neukirche, so the music there will go on as usual.  JS tells me he is going to walk the 200 miles to hear the great Buxtehude and his Advent Abendmusik concerts.

Finally, just when I had nearly given up hope and had started thinking the rumor was true that Johann was going to marry Herr Buxtehude’s old daughter, Anna Margareta, so he could get the organist position at Lubeck, he has returned.  Did you realize he had been gone sixteen long weeks from his position at the Neukirche?  Let me tell you, the authorities knew just how long Johann Sebastian had been gone and they are mad.  They have argued and argued with JS but he is not apologizing for his behavior and the length of his absence.  And really why should he, our cousin Johann Ernst filled in quite nicely at the Neukirche while he was gone.

(The story above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)

JS Bach takes a job in Arnstadt

(Barbara Katharina Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s second cousin and elder sister of Maria Barbara Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s future wife recounts Johann Sebastian’s move to Arnstadt.)

Maria Barbara, did you hear who is coming to town? It is Johann Sebastian, our dear cousin Ambrosius’ son. He has been away from Eisenach so long I am not sure I would recognize him. When his parents died he was sent to live with his brother Christoph in Ohrdruf for a few years, then I believe he was sent all the way to Luneburg for school. Lately, though I heard that Johann Sebastian had been playing the violin for the Duke’s court in Weimar.

Arnstadt City Square

Now, Johann Sebastian has just been appointed the organist at the Neukirche right here in Arnstadt where that incredible new organ was just built! I was told that the concert Johann Sebastian gave when he came to try out the new organ was simply astounding and the committee just had to appoint him organist! I think I also heard, though, that he has to conduct the boy choir at the Neukirche. I wonder if he knows about that? I really do hope Johan Sebastian is up to the task of working with those ornery boys at the school. They sing so badly and can just be so awful!

However, the best news of all is that Sebastian is coming to visit his relatives next week when he gets to Arnstadt. That means us! We will be seeing our dear cousin Johann Sebastian very soon. You know he will be living at the Mayor’s house, don’t you? I can hardly wait to see him again!

(The anecdote above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by David Jordan, media artist with Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)

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