The website of the Karg-Elert Archive with news and comment from around the world
Sigfrid Karg-Elert, 1877-1933, was an important German composer of the late nineteenth
and the early twentieth centuries.
The Karg-Elert Archive was originally founded in 1987 with the objective of encouraging
the performance, recording and publication of the composer’s music. Growing in appreciation
by a widening circle of performers and discriminating audiences; it represents a
peak of late Romantic music in its emotional intensity, variety of styles and imaginative
use of resources, both instrumental and vocal.
The Karg-Elert Archive
Founded in 1987 as the Karg-Elert Society. The Archive is based in England.
Prof Graham Barber
(Professor Emeritus, Leeds University, and Organist of St Bartholomew’s
Patrons of the Archive David Hill (BBC); John Scott Whiteley (Assist. Organist,
York Minster); Dr Harry Bramma (Former Organist, Southwark Cathedral, London); Simon
Lindley (Leeds Parish Church and Leeds City Organist, Yorkshire); John Scott (Organist,
St Thomas’ Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, USA) Richard Walker (Former Director of
Music, Harrow School, Greater London); Nicolas Kynaston (Concert Organist, London)
Honorary Members Prof Wolfgang Stockmeier; Heinrich Schwaab; Prof Stefan Engels;
Dr Harold Fabrikant; Staffan Thuringer; Terry Truman; Elke Völker
Fellows Frank Conley; Dr Harold Fabrikant Life Members Barry Doe; Michael Jones;
Tony Luker; Ronald Smith; Dr Craig Scott Symons; Dr Richard Webb Marko Heese; Richard
Crane; Frank Conley
Foundation Member Dr Brian Parsons Corporate Membership The Royal College of Music,
London; Göteborg Organ Art Center, Sweden
This is an area where exclusive items can be viewed which are of particular interest
to members of the Archive.
Archive members who wish to view the content should contact the Chairman, who will
provide a private password.
The 25th Anniversary Booklet
CONCERTS & RECITALS
A comprehensive and detailed record of the Archive’s achievements since 1987 in publications, recordings and performances. It includes an informative article on Karg-Elert’s harmonium music, and accounts of the two Karg-Elert festivals in London of 1930 and 1990. Fully illustrated, it also comprises useful information about the present Karg-Elert Archive.
The booklet is now available from the Archive Chairman: UK price £2 + £3 postage (stamps or cheque made out to Anthony Caldicott); overseas £4 including postage; payment by Paypal is recommended.
The monthly recitals at the Central Baptist Church, Bloomsbury, London always involve first rate players, the series being organised by the enthusiastic and very welcoming Director of Music at the church, Archive Member Philip Luke. It was fortuitous that the programme on October 27 was given by Richard Walker, the Archive’s Hon. Treasurer and Membership Secretary, who has also been a Patron for many years. His long standing advocacy of Karg-Elert’s music has resulted in many major works being performed not only in London and the provinces but also abroad: performances notable for his insights into the composer’s very varied stylistic qualities, from the early Chorale-Improvisations to the late Three New Impressions. Two of the most striking (and difficult!) of the entire 66 pieces in opus 65 began the programme: Einfeste Burg, no47 and Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, no13. They provided a memorable introduction to an instrument which successfully combines two former organs by Binns, now the work of the London organ builders, BCShepherd and Sons. Between nos 47 and 13 came the tranquil An wasserflüssen Babylon no12, demonstrating the organ’s more refined registers.
An agreeable contrast was then provided by the two sinuously contrapuntal Bach duos from his Clavierübung before the major work in the programme: Joseph Jongen’s SonataEroica. Here, the soloist exploited fully the many colourful chorus and solo voices which this instrument possesses, making light of its formidable technical challenges. Then followed two of Karg-Elert’s later and most impressionistic compositions: TheMirrored Moon from opus 96, its myriad tonal changes achieved with the utmost smoothness. This was followed by Valse Mignonne op142[II], the epitome of 1930s lush decadence, given a reading totally at one with the composer’s intentions, in its leisurely pace and discreet use of the tremulant. Edwin Lemare’s Toccata di Concerto op59 concluded the recital in the composer’s characteristically showy idiom, further enhanced by the organ’s very telling Tuba stop; it brought to a close a most fitting celebration of the Archive’s 25th anniversary, provided by a player of distinction, for whom our grateful thanks are due. The following reception comprised the church’s customary excellent buffet, enabling the Archive’s guests (including our Patron, Dr Harry Bramma) and church members to meet one another. This was followed by a presentation to Richard Walker, in recognition of his invaluable work for the Archive as well as of that day’s performance. We were also pleased to present Philip Luke with a small token of appreciation for his kind assistance in making possible this most significent event in the Archive’s history.
Anthony Caldicott ●
25th Anniversary Recital
Sunday, March 16, 2014 St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, USA Dr Richard Webb (organ) Works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert Wed, June 25 to Thurs, June 26 at 4pm St Joseph’s Church, Boston, MA, United States Rosalind Mohnsen (organ) Abstraction (alla Schönberg) op 101/32 For National Convention of the American Guild of Organists October 4, 2015 Richard Webb presents a recital of music by Karg-Elert in The Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York, USA