Woman at the Organ in Luther’s Shadow

University Organist Annette Richards will play a recital dedicated to the historical and imaginary female organists of 17th-century Lutheran Germany, on Saturday October 14th at 5pm in Anabel Taylor Chapel. Taking as its point of departure Dieterich Buxtehude’s unfortunate daughter, marriage to whom was a condition of succeeding to the post of organist at St. Mary’s Church, Lübeck (with the result that G. F. Handel, among others, decided not to be considered for the job), the concert explores music written for, or about, women, and shows how women might have made music at the organ in 17th- and early 18th-century Germany.

Title page, Johann Kuhnau, Musikalische Vorstellung einiger Biblischer Historien (1700)

Running from flamboyant improvisation in the stylus fantasticus  (courtesy of Dieterich Buxtehude), through N. A. Strungk’s extraordinary lament for his mother, to J. Kuhnau’s musical retelling of the scurrilous story of Jacob’s Wedding, it is a varied program that foregrounds the great variety of characters and timbres of this wonderful organ, while engaging in a little historical re-imagining. The concert is free and open to the public.