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

Church, Armley, Leeds)


Dr Martin Neary

(Late President, Royal College of Organists)

Anthony Caldicott

Membership Secretary
Richard Walker

General Enquiries
Contact the Archive

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

© The Karg-Elert Archive. Updated 4 June 2014


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The 25th Anniversary Booklet


JUNE 2014

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: Ein feste Burg, no 47 and Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, no 13. They provided a memorable introduction to an istru­ment which successfully combines  two former organs by Binns, now the work of the London organ builders, BC Shepherd and Sons. Between nos 47 and 13 came the tranquil An wasserflüssen Babylon no 12, 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 Sonata Eroica. 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: The Mirrored Moon from opus 96, its myriad tonal changes achieved with the utmost smoothness. This was followed by Valse Mignonne op 142[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 op 59 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
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

Mid May to Mid October daily at 2.30pm
Tuesdays and Saturdays)
Augustinian Abbey of
St Florian, Upper Austria
Klaus Sonnleitner (organ)
The famous ‘Bruckner’ organ,
originally built by Franz Krismann 1770-1774.
Adagio from Orchestral Suite in D
J.S. Bach BWV 1068 arranged by Karg-Elert

August 30 from 1.10pm-2pm
Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England

James Wilson (flute) and
Heriberto Cruz (piano)
Sonata in B flat op 121,
Suite Pointillistique op 135

September 2 from 1pm-1.45pm
Wakefield Cathedral,
Yorkshire, England

James Wilson (flute) and
Heriberto Cruz (piano)
Suite Pointillistique op 135

September 23 from 1.15pm-2pm
Sheffield Cathedral, Yorkshire, England
Details as previous entry