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Cornell Baroque Organ

Cornell Baroque Organ

Burning the rack to seal pipe from moisture

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Anne Laver in concert, Friday April 8th, 8pm: Color and Variation in 17th-Century North German Organ Art.

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POSTPONED TO MARCH 23rd. 17th-Century Music from the Spanish Netherlands at Midday

 17th-century Iberian organ music might seem far distant, both geographically and aesthetically, from Netherlandish and North German music of the same period. And in many ways the shifting colors, impassioned rhetoric and strange bursts of dance rhythms in the music of Pablo Bruna and Francisco Correa de Arauxo seem to evoke a world utterly different to that of the great Amsterdam organist Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and his pupils. Yet Annette Richards's Midday Music recital on March 16th will trace some of the paths that linked these two realms. 

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Networking Keyboards, March 4-6: Liszt at the piano, Charles Burney’s Travels, and a visit to 17th-Century Italy

 This weekend, March 4-6, we welcome Keyboard Networks, the Westfield Center’s graduate-student organized conference running from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening (https://westfield.org/conferences/keyboardnetworks/).

As part of the conference, and around its edges, there’ll be chances to hear Scottish pianist and musicologist Kenneth Hamilton talk about and play music by Liszt and Chopin (Friday, 8pm, Barnes Hall) – and also two opportunities for organ aficionados: Annette Richards and David Yearsley performing music from 18th-century Europe for four hands and multiple keyboard instruments (organ, harpsichord and fortepiano) in Barnes Hall at 8pm on Saturday, and, on Sunday evening at 5pm, Jonathan Schakel with guest violinist David Sariti playing music from 17th-century Italy in Sage Chapel.

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Who are Cornell’s organ students? Part I Graduate student Matthew Hall: Home-made Clavichords, Grandma’s cookies, and the Cornell Baroque Organ

Matthew Hall

 This Friday evening, February 5th, two of Cornell’s advanced organ students, Matthew Hall and Jonathan Schakel, will give a clavichord recital in the salon-style environment of the A. D. White house. They’ll be playing music by Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach on a clavichord that Matthew himself has recently built. The evening promises to offer an intimate glimpse into 18th-century private music-making, on the instrument praised especially by members of the Bach family (and their followers) as the ultimate vehicle for musical expression. I asked Matthew recently about organs and clavichords, about combining performance with scholarship, and about why he chose Cornell as the place to work for a Ph. D. in musicology.

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Spring 2016 recital series begins: Bach (and others) on the Baroque Organ

organ

 The spring line-up of organ recitals and recitalists at Cornell is as wide-ranging as ever. The series begins on Saturday, January 30 at 8pm with University Organist Annette Richards on the Baroque organ in Anabel Taylor Chapel. Her program includes masterpieces by J.S. Bach alongside the works of the Dutch and German masters Bach himself admired and studied.

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"The Orchestral Organ": a recital by Matthew Hall

In the early 18th century, J. S. Bach and his contemporaries explored the way the organ, the "Instrument of Instruments" was a great ensemble unto itself, a one-man orchestra on which organists could play Vivaldi concertos, Corelli chamber sonatas, or verbatim transcriptions of cantata movements for solo voice with obbligato accompaniment. On Friday, October 2nd, at 8:00 PM organist, harpsichordist and Ph. D. candidate in musicology Matthew Hall will take his lead from those earlier organists and, inspired by the Anabel Taylor organ, will create a program largely made up of his own arrangements and transcriptions. Music-making of this kind, which involves knowledge, skill and nerve –a willingness to react to the instrument and to the audience, to improvise and, perhaps even, to bluff a little –is crucial to the organist's art. As Matthew writes in his program notes (read on!), the instrument itself is crucial, and the Cornell Baroque organ could provide no better tool, yet the organist, doing her job wherever it takes her, must be able to make music on much more humble machines;and what matters is that the music, even the works of those great (long-dead) Baroque composers be live, alive, lively: for Matthew "Their music is not the goal but a starting point for me to make music like them, to make music like theirs."

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