Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘promotionmusic’

To Quote Dame Julie Andrews

I recently read Julie Andrews’ autobiography, Home– A Memoir of My Early Years and  came across this intriguing practice tip!

“My coach, Madame Stiles-Allen had taught me how to work on a problematic note in a song by strengthening the note before it.  I was amazed and humbled to discover that this technique can be applied to many aspects of theater:  drama, comedy, song, or dance.  It seems to me that if a moment in one’s performance feels lost, it pays to take a look at the moment before it–to help set up and strengthen the troubling area.”

Am looking forward to putting this concept into practice.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist


Was that JS Bach who drew his sword?

(Barbara Katharina Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s second cousin and elder sister of Maria Barbara Bach describes life in Arnstadt.)

Bach sculpture by Bernd Gobel in Arnstadt

Maria Barbara, have you heard? Johann Sebastian was just in a fight. I happened to be walking down the street near the Neukirche when this brawl erupted and that awful bassoonist Gegenbach and our dear JS had come to blows. I think our cousin Johann got the best of that little bassoon player, though, as Johann drew his sword and just cut to tatters Gegenbach’s clothing! I was there! I saw it! And more than that, I am going to testify to the city authorities that the fight was not Johann Sebastian’s fault! Poor Johann Sebastian is just so bothered by those awful no-count untalented boys at that school. It is too bad he can’t just compose his beautiful organ music and be left alone.

The organ music dear Johann is composing now is so interesting. He tells me a wonderful composer named Georg Bohm that he met while he lived in Luneburg influenced him greatly. He just loves to compose variations on our wonderful hymns. Why sometimes just to be different, he puts the melody in the pedal in many of the pieces he is composing right now. He really is a genius that cousin of mine.

(This anecdote is one of a dozen vignettes from the organ and media event, “Bach and Sons” performed 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.)

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.)


How Did a Sister-in-law Assist in JS Bach’s Musical Development?

(Christoph Bach’s wife tells of taking Johann Sebastian Bach into their home in Ohrdruf.)

I am happy to have these two foundlings, Johann Sebastian and Jacob Bach in our home.  It gives my husband, Christoph, a chance to get to know his little brothers and teach them how to play the clavier.  The boys have settled into life here with us here in Ohrdruf since the sudden death of their parents a few months ago. Thankfully, Johann Sebastian is able to help support our family with his beautiful voice.  He sings for all sorts of occasions around Ohrdruf.

Johann Sebastian is also really interested in Christoph’s collection of music scores and is always asking to see the books of music Herr Johannes Pachelbel gave to Christoph.  In fact, the other night I caught Johann Sebastian copying by moonlight some of the organ music Christoph had expressly forbidden him to use.  I know he is going to ruin his eyesight staring at that music in the near darkness.

After five years, having Johann Sebastian still living with us has started to become a problem.  You see, our little home is getting a bit too crowded with our first two babies now walking and our third on the way.  I think Christoph and I are going to have to send Johann Sebastian away.   We just do not have room anymore and with one less 15-year-old-mouth to feed, it will make life a bit more manageable for us.  We think it is time Johann Sebastian learns to live on his own.

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

Happy 326th Birthday Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach and Sons

326 years ago today Johann Sebastian Bach was born to Elisabeth and Ambrosious Bach in the small village of Eisenach, Germany.  It was Johann Sebastian’s destiny to become a musician.  After all, his great-grandfatherVitus started the musical Bach tradition when he took up the lute to while away the time at his grist mill.   His father Ambrosious was a stadtpfeifer, or wind player, well-known in the city and the court of Eisenstadt.  So it was that Ambrosious was dedicated to educating his son in the finer points of music.  He envisioned a life in the court as a violinist for his young son.

However, Ambrosious and Elisabeth died shortly after their young son turned ten years old leaving the young boy an orphan.  Fortunately, though, Ambrosious had trained his older son Christoph in music as well.  With Ambrosious’ death it was decided that the precocious and amazingly talented Johann Sebastian be sent to live with Christoph where he would continue his music studies.  And continue he did, studying scores of other composers and being tutored in theory and keyboard skills as well by his older brother.  With this background Johann Sebastian Bach started to compose.  What a musical legacy he left for the world!

Join us as we celebrate the life of this great composer and his family in our organ and media event, Bach and Sons in Salem, Oregon on Sunday April 3 at 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1444 Liberty Street SE.  You will not want to miss this event where I play the greatest music ever composed for the organ!

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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