Matching Items (15)

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Organ culture in post-war Poland, 1945-2012

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Throughout the history of Western art music, political and religious institutions have exerted powerful influence through their patronage and censorship. This is especially relevant to the organ, an elaborate and expensive instrument which has always depended on institutional support. The

Throughout the history of Western art music, political and religious institutions have exerted powerful influence through their patronage and censorship. This is especially relevant to the organ, an elaborate and expensive instrument which has always depended on institutional support. The fascinating story of Polish organ culture, which has existed since the Middle Ages, reflects the dramatic changes in Polish politics throughout the centuries. An understanding of this country's history helps to construct a comprehensive view of how politics influenced the developments in organ building and organ playing. This paper describes the dynamics of the Church, government and art institutions in Poland during the years 1945-2012. A brief summary of the history of Polish organ culture sets the stage for the changes occurring after WWII. The constant struggle between the Church and the communist regime affected music making and organ culture in Poland from 1945-1989. The political détente that occurred after 1989 led to a flowering of new instruments, restorations and performance opportunities for organists. By exploring the relationship between Polish organ culture and prevailing agendas in the 20th century, the author demonstrates how a centuries-old tradition adapted to survive political and economic hardships.

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2012

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Synthesizing styles: international influence on organ music in Restoration England

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Following the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, musical culture gradually began to thrive under the support of royal patronage and the emerging middle class. The newly crowned Charles II brought with him a love of French music acquired

Following the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, musical culture gradually began to thrive under the support of royal patronage and the emerging middle class. The newly crowned Charles II brought with him a love of French music acquired during his time in exile at the court of his cousin, the young Louis XIV. Organ builders, most notably Bernard Smith and Renatus Harris, brought new life to the instrument, drawing from their experience on the Continent to build larger instruments with colorful solo stops, offering more possibilities for performers and composers. Although relatively few notated organ works survive from the Restoration period, composers generated a niche body of organ repertoire exploring compositional genres inspired by late 17th-century English instruments.

The primary organ composers of the Restoration period are Matthew Locke, John Blow, and Henry Purcell; these three musicians began to take advantage of new possibilities in organ composition, particularly the use of two-manuals with a solo register, and their writing displays the strong influence of French and Italian compositional styles. Each adapts Continental forms and techniques for the English organ, drawing from such forms as the French overture and récit pour le basse et dessus, and the Italian toccata and canzona. English organ composers from the Restoration period borrow form, stylistic techniques, ornamentation, and even direct musical quotations, to create a body of repertoire synthesizing both French and Italian styles.

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2014