“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.)