Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘historic organs’

A Wedding in Dornheim

(The year in Muhlhausen as told by Maria Barbara Bach, JS Bach’s first wife)

Bach Wedding Church in Dornheim

Johann Sebastian Bach and I were married on October 17, 1707.  It was a lovely affair starting in Arnstadt and continuing in Dornheim four miles away.  We had such a grand time walking with all our family and friends to the little village church in Dornheim where a friend of the family married us.

After our celebration, we immediately moved to Muhlhausen where Johann had already begun his work several months earlier.  I will now be with Johann to support him, provide a home for him, and to encourage him in all his musical efforts.

Things are definitely looking up in Muhlhausen.  Students have started coming to Johann Sebastian asking for lessons.  If you are a genius, it is a gift to be taught by Johann Sebastian Bach.  If not…well things can be a little tough.

However, now that we are settled in Muhlhausen, we are finding that the congregation at St. Blaise’s is basically Pietist.   We now know that Pietists believe in extreme simplicity – simplicity in everything including their music.   I am told they are afraid of the excessive use of music and art in worship, with its temptations to worldliness.  Some church people even wanted a complete ban on instrumental music in the service.  This was not good, because what my Johann plays for them is his wonderful but complex contrapuntal music.

I have begun to wonder if St. Blaise’s in Muhlhausen is such a good place for us or not.  What were they thinking when they hired my Johann Sebastian Bach?

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

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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.)

Princess Eleonore d’Esmier and the Music of the Court at Celle

(Eleonore d’Esmier, Duchess of Wilhemsburg, French born wife of the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle describes the Court’s music.)

My husband is George Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg.  I recently married this great man and I now make my home here in Germany.   You see, I am originally from France.  In fact, I hail from the most famous of all courts in France, the court of Louis XIV.  This is not only one of the most magnificent of courts in all Europe, but it is the court that all lesser courts seek to copy.  All over Germany, counts, dukes, and other nobles are trying to recreate the lifestyle and grandeur of the Sun King’s Court

With that goal in mind, my husband has decided we will create our own little French court in Celle, just south of Luneburg.  Since I am French, however, we have a great advantage over other courts trying to become the Versailles of Germany because I really know what the Sun King’s court is like.  Therefore, we speak French at the court of Celle and we have even hired an orchestra of French musicians to make music for us.  We also play the great keyboard music by all the best and most fashionable French keyboard composers like Couperin and de Grigny.  My generous husband has created such a lovely French court that I feel like I am “at home.”

The castle in Celle, Germany

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

 

Zoblitz Silbermann added to tour

We just added the Silbermann of Zoblitz, Germany to our fall tour to the “Bach area of Germany.”  Another wonderful organ to play!  Exciting!

Silberamnn organ in Zoblitz, Germany

An Added Bonus – Three 19th Century Organs in Virginia City, NV

David and I had a free day following our workshop/concert weekend in Carson City, so with Harry Bennett as host we toured three different churches in Virginia City, Nevada.  Each of the three, the Episcopal, Catholic, and Presbyterian had unique 19th and early 20th-century instruments (an 1876 Mills organ, a Schuelke organ of 1898 and a Hinners of 1925). It was my pleasure to play each of these organs in three lovely historic churches.  Harry gave us a wonderful tour of the city, the churches and the organs.

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