Traditionally, organs have only been documented through mechanical measurements such as size and overall wind pressure. But this static data can’t communicate the dynamic behavior of the wind system and how an organ actually sounds. So Carl Johan Bergsten, a research engineer with the Gothenburg Organ Art Center (GOArt) at the University of Göteborg, Sweden, … Continue reading “Measuring the Organ, Part II: The Good, the Bad, and the Fingerprinted”
Carl Johan Bergsten, a research engineer with the Gothenburg Organ Art Center (GOArt) at the University of Göteborg, Sweden, spent the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday studying the wind system and acoustics of Cornell’s baroque organ. The measurements are part of a larger GOArt study exploring the interactions between bellows, wind chest, and pedals to determine an … Continue reading “Measuring the Organ, Part I: Nervous Breathing and Sensitive Pipes”
Throughout history, organ builders have striven for a steadier sound and to silence the noise of the key action. Modern organs have achieved this goal to a fault, according to designer Munetaka Yokota. “Modern organs are easy to play and consistent,” he says. “No matter what you do it sounds good. But they’re missing the … Continue reading “The True Value of Noise”
No, those aren’t bullet holes, though the round black dots found on some tin organ pipes look like Al Capone’s been using them for target practice. The holes are signs of a far greater danger to organs than a gangster’s gun: corrosion. The problem of corrosion in organ pipes is not new, explained GoArt engineer … Continue reading “Has Someone Been Shooting at Europe’s Organs?”
Belgian organist Jean Ferrard visited Cornell University last March as one of the featured soloists for Keyboard Culture in Eighteenth-Century Berlin, the conference and festival inaugurating the new baroque organ in Anabel Taylor Chapel. He will return to Ithaca to perform a solo organ recital on Tuesday, November 8, at 8:00 PM. Ferrard’s program features … Continue reading “Jean Ferrard: “Teachers and Pupils of the North German Baroque, from Sweelinck to Bach””
8:00 PM: Guest Artist Jean Ferrard (Belgium) will present a concert entitled “Teachers and Pupils of the North European Baroque, from Sweelinck to Bach,” on Cornell’s new baroque organ in Anabel Taylor Chapel.
8:00 pm: Acting University Organist Randall Harlow will perform old sounds and new impressions; an innovative, thought provoking program featuring contemporary organ works by Berio, Ligeti, and Cage on on Cornell’s new baroque organ in Anabel Taylor Chapel.
The Cornell Baroque Organ will be featured in six concerts this Fall, with performances by guest artists from around the U.S., Germany and Belgium, in addition to Cornell’s Acting University Organist Randall Harlow. Highlights include a program of North German Baroque repertoire from Sweelinck to Bach by renowned international organist and scholar Jean Ferrard and … Continue reading “Cornell’s Fall 2011 Organ Recital Series Spotlights Baroque Organ”
Three months after the tsunami and earthquake hit Japan, tens of thousands of people still live in temporary shelters. A benefit concert for Japanese relief efforts, featuring Cornell’s new baroque organ, will be held on Saturday, July 2nd, 7:30-9:30 pm at Cornell’s Anabel Taylor Chapel. Cornell?s baroque organ owes a special debt to Japan: its … Continue reading “Benefit Concert for Japanese Relief Features Organ”
Munetaka Yokata, organ designer, explains why Cornell’s organ is the size it is.
Choosing paint colors for Cornell’s baroque organ required detective work, a keen eye, and a willingness to experiment. Researchers knew from the documentation that the Charlottenburg organ had blue labels for all of the names of the stops, but they didn’t know which blue, or why they were blue in the first place. It was … Continue reading “The Story Behind the Colors on Cornell’s Baroque Organ”
Munetaka Yokata, organ designer, and David Yearsley, Cornell University organist and professor of music, demonstrate the stops on Cornell’s majestic new organ at the inaugural conference in March.
Cornell’s baroque pipe organ is a masterpiece of successful research and craftsmanship, but despite its stunning beauty the project is not quite complete. Some components that remain unfinished include: Sculptures – All the great baroque organs had figural sculptures on them. Todd McGrain, an artist and professor here at Cornell, has already imagined some beautiful … Continue reading “Giving to the Organ Project”
Guest organist Gerald Wolfe performs a Midday Music concert in Anabel Taylor Chapel on Wednesday, April 6, at 12:30 PM. The concert features music of Buxtehude, Böhm, and Bach performed on the new baroque organ.
Organ designer Munetaka Yokota reveals how a small design choice made a huge impact on the voice of Cornell’s new pipe organ.
The sounds of 18th-century Berlin came alive during the inaugural conference and concert festival celebrating Cornell’s new $2 million baroque organ, March 8-13. The handcrafted organ in Anabel Taylor Chapel re-creates the tonal design of an instrument built by Arp Schnitger in 1706 at the Charlottenburg palace chapel in Berlin – “one of the high … Continue reading “Organ Conference & Festival Showcases Music of Berlin, Research and a Rich Sound”
On Saturday, April 2 at 8:00 pm guest organist William Porter, Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the Eastman School of Music, will perform works by Vincent Lubeck, Georg Bohm, and J. S. Bach in Anabel Taylor Chapel. William Porter is Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New … Continue reading “Concert With Guest Organist William Porter”
Leslie Adelson, director of Cornell’s Institute for German Cultural Studies, offered words of welcome at the beginning of “Keyboard Culture in 18th-Century Berlin and the German Sense of History,” a conference and concert festival held March 10-13 to inaugurate Cornell’s new baroque organ. This organ, said Adelson, is “both an extraordinary instrument for musical performance … Continue reading “Inaugural Conference Opens With Words of Welcome”
Award-winning electronic music composer Kevin Ernste, professor of music and director of the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center, will open the organ dedication’s keynote concert on Saturday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. with a special inaugural composition. “It’s an exciting opportunity to showcase the organ as a vehicle for new music,” says Annette Richards, professor of … Continue reading “Baroque Organ Enters 21st Century With Electronic Music”
Jean Ferrard is one of “the most energetic, expert, and wide-ranging musicians of our time – an indefatigable teacher and performer,” wrote David Yearsley, professor of music, in a 2009 article in CounterPunch. Ferrard will perform music by Bull, Titelouze, Scheidt and Luython during the festival to inaugurate Cornell’s new baroque organ on Saturday, March … Continue reading “Jean Ferrard and the Roaring Twenties of the 1600s”
Annette Richards, university organist and professor of music, talks about the numerous opportunities for students to play, study, and enjoy Cornell’s new baroque organ.
Professor of music David Yearsley has been testing the new baroque pipe organ in Anabel Taylor Chapel with Midday Music performances of J.S. Bach’s Trio Sonatas. Yearsley will reprise some of the sonatas in a program March 8 at 8 p.m. with professor of music Annette Richards, to kick off a six-day organ inaugural and … Continue reading “Yearsley Plays Bach Sonatas as Prelude to Inaugural Celebration”
Cornell doctoral candidate Zachary Wadsworth has composed music for other organs, but he says Cornell’s organ, is an extraordinary instrument and it’s going to be around for a very long time, and that’s something really magical, to be there right when it?s being created. The piece he has composed for the March 11 concert at … Continue reading “Composer of New Music for Concert Festival Calls Organ “Magical””
Shefford Baker, associate professor of materials science and engineering, discusses scientific questions raised by Cornell’s new baroque organ.
Harald Vogel is a name instantly familiar to those conversant with baroque organ music: he is a leading authority on the interpretation of German organ music from the eighteenth century and earlier. No surprise, then that he will be the keynote performer at the concert festival and conference inaugurating Cornell’s new baroque organ, to be … Continue reading “Pioneering Figure to Play Keynote Concert”
12:30 p.m. Jean Ferrard, professor at the Royal Conservatory, Brussels, presents “The Roaring Twenties of the 1600s: Music by Bull, Correa, and Luython” in Anabel Taylor Chapel.
Martin Davids will not be participating in the pre-conference concert on Tuesday, March 8 at 8:00 p.m. Instead, Cornell professors of music Annette Richards and David Yearsley will present music by Buxtehude, Schildt and J.S.Bach, in Anabel Taylor Chapel. Jacques van Oortmerssen’s first concert, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, has been cancelled. Oortmerssen … Continue reading “Concert Schedule Changes for March Festival”
Peter Lepage, Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, discusses the cultural significance of the new baroque organ in Cornell’s Anabel Taylor Chapel.
“An organ like Cornell’s is so rare, it’s almost unbelievable in a place like Ithaca,” says Heather Lardin ’06, artistic director of NYS Baroque. “I would expect to have to go to Germany to hear something like this.” NYS Baroque performs music on period instruments and is the only large period-instrument ensemble based outside a … Continue reading “Rare Organ Wows NYS Baroque Artistic Director”
Randall Harlow, visiting lecturer, will present Hyperorgan, featuring new innovative works by Cornell and Eastman composers, including works for organ with live electronics and other instruments. The concert will begin in Sage Chapel, then move to Anabel Taylor Chapel at intermission.
“One of the things that’s always left out with new organs is the sculpture,” says Todd McGrain, Cornell associate professor of art. But McGrain has been considering sculpture designs for Cornell’s baroque organ since early in the project, with the encouragement of organ designer Munetaka Yokota. One of McGrain’s ideas, to use cherubs as a … Continue reading “Sculpture: The Finishing Touch for Cornell’s Organ”
The March 10-13 celebration of Cornell’s new baroque pipe organ includes an academic conference, entitled “Keyboard Culture in 18th-Century Berlin and the German Sense of History.” The conference will explore music and culture in 18th-century Berlin, as well as the background and history associated with the Arp Schnitger organ on which Cornell’s new instrument is … Continue reading “Conference: Keyboard Culture in 18th-Century Berlin and the German Sense of History”
Historic and modern organs share a common enemy: corrosion. In a surprise turnaround, scientists have discovered that the primary source of pipe corrosion is not industrial pollution, as was long thought, but the organs themselves. Or more precisely, the acid contained in organ wood. As Catherine Oertel, assistant professor of chemistry at Oberlin College, explains, … Continue reading “A Corrosive Enemy”
How many towers does Cornell’s baroque organ have, and why? Designer Munetaka Yokota reveals the symbolism behind the organ case.
8:00 p.m. Pre-conference organ recital with Annette Richards and David Yearsley, Cornell professors of music. Music by Buxtehude, Schildt and J.S.Bach, in Anabel Taylor Chapel.
From March 10 – 13, Cornell University will celebrate its new baroque pipe organ with a series of concerts and lectures that explore music and culture in 18th-century Berlin, as well as the background and history associated with the Arp Schnitger organ on which Cornell’s new instrument is modeled. The concert festival and conference is … Continue reading “March 10-13: Organ Inauguration and Dedication Concert Festival and Conference”
The schedule of concerts for the March Concert Festival and Conference to inaugurate Cornell’s new baroque organ has just been released! The keynote concert will feature Harald Vogel, professor of organ at the University of the Arts Bremen and founder of the North German Organ Academy, performing music by Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Bruhns, and the Bachs … Continue reading “Concert Schedule Announced”
In the 1970s, efforts were made to reproduce the baroque organ sound by making pipes that were pure lead, just the way it was done in the early baroque period – or so it was thought. Turns out 18th-century “pure” lead was a lot less pure than 1970 pure lead, so the modern pipes came … Continue reading “Purer Is Not Always Better”
Building Cornell’s baroque organ has been a huge international project, made possible by email, scanners, cell phones and fax machines. Yet at the same time the project has followed a 17th-century organizational style. Organ building in Germany originated in the guild system, according to Anette Schwartz, chair of German Studies. Master builders such as Arp … Continue reading “An Old Model for a New Organ”
Until the middle of the eighteenth century, many organs were designed with the console and organist hidden away. “One of the reasons for the very elaborate beauty of many organ cases is that what the listener is looking at is not the performer but the case,” explains Annette Richards, professor of music and university organist. … Continue reading “A Different Way of Listening”
“Cornell is known not to be afraid to engage in research experiments,” says Anette Schwartz, chair of German Studies, “and this organ is a great success. This experiment has worked.” “It was initiated by our wonderful organist Annette Richards,” adds Schwartz. “But it’s not just Annette Richards alone, it’s the university that supports these international … Continue reading “A Research Experiment that Worked”
Part 2 of University Organist David Yearsley’s profile of Munetaka Yokota and the Cornell organ. The shining apogee of technological advance in the pre-industrial world, the organ, was more often likened to the human form than to a “Wondrous Machine,” as it is styled in Henry Purcell’s Ode for St. Cecila’s Day. In such anthropomorphized … Continue reading “The Charlottenburg Organ Reborn”
A new video produced by the College of Arts and Sciences and Cornell’s Video Production Group gives a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the organ project, from conception to completion.
University Organist David Yearsley looks back on the history of the organ and on Munetaka Yokota’s organ-building career: The history of the organ in broadest outline has it that the instrument, in a form much smaller than that of so many of the massive models found in churches, was invented in the Mediterranean world of … Continue reading “The Organ-Building of Munetaka Yokota”
“I’m a pipe organ nut,” says Maureen Chapman, a semi-retired technician in Cornell’s Food Science Lab. Working on the organ has fulfilled a lifelong dream. “My experience has been nothing short of fantastic,” she said. Chapman helped paint the sizing on the pipe hooks and “beards,” metal protrusions around some of the pipe mouths. She … Continue reading “Focus on Volunteers”
8:00 p.m. A repeat of the organ festival keynote concert performed by Harald Vogel, professor of organ at the University of the Arts Bremen and founder of the North German Organ Academy, with music by Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Bruhns, and the Bachs, at Anabel Taylor Chapel. All festival events are free and open to the public, … Continue reading “Organ Festival and Conference Keynote Concert, Repeated”
5:30 p.m. The organ festival keynote concert will feature Harald Vogel, professor of organ at the University of the Arts Bremen and founder of the North German Organ Academy, performing music by Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Bruhns, and the Bachs, at Anabel Taylor Chapel. One of the highlights of the concert will be Vogel’s interpretation of the … Continue reading “Organ Festival and Conference Keynote Concert”
8:30 p.m. Jacques van Oortmerssen, professor of organ at the Amsterdam Conservatory, performs an all-J. S. Bach program at Anabel Taylor Chapel. All festival events are free and open to the public, but concerts require tickets. Please call the music department (607-255-4097) to reserve.
12:30 p.m. Annette Richards, Cornell professor of music, presents “The Princess Anna Amalia at the Organ: Music by Bruhns, C.P.E. Bach and J.S. Bach.” 6:30 p.m. Steven Zohn, baroque flute, professor of music at Temple University, and Kristen Dubenion-Smith, mezzo-soprano, join David Yearsley, Cornell professor of music, to offer music of Telemann, C.P.E. Bach, Graun … Continue reading “Organ Festival and Conference, Three Concerts”
Most of the organ’s wood is quarter-sawn domestic white oak, from the Ohio River Valley. But Chris Lowe, case builder, couldn’t find quarter sawn white oak domestically that was long enough for the 18-foot long petal tower frames or for the main big timbers by the keyboard. He finally found the right oak from a … Continue reading “Sustainable Wood”