This book is a selection of more than 250 photographs of the churches and pipe organs in the regions of Germany and Denmark where Dieterich Buxtehude and J.S. Bach lived and worked. Both were church musicians who were responsible for regularly composing and performing music for church events and the local community.
Our focus is on the pipe organ, which was the pre-eminent instrument of the period. The usual settings of the pipe organs were churches, and many of Buxtehude's and Bach's compositions were produced for these instruments and church settings. We document these Sacred Spaces to gain an aesthetic appreciation of the settings and instruments that played a role in their creative work.
The major part of Buxtehude's career was in Lübeck, where his innovations won renown throughout Europe. They attracted the young J.S. Bach to take leave from his position and walk 250 miles to visit the master. Thus, their paths crossed and Bach was energized to carry forward the musical heritage he received. Bach developed the musical state-of-the-art to a new level through his creativity and scholarship, though his accomplishments were not fully appreciated until after his death.
Today the artifacts of these musicians remain, not only in their compositions, but also in the churches that provided the inspiration and beautiful artistic devotional objects and acoustical environments, as well as the great musical technology of the period, the pipe organs that so powerfully delivered their musical creations.
• Janice Fehér is organist at First Presbyterian Church of San Diego, CA, where she plays a 101 rank Casavant Frères pipe organ. She is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute (piano), Michigan State University (BM), and University of MIchigan (MM). Her organ mentors include Corliss Arnold, Leslie Spelman, Don Sutherland, Robert Noehren, and Marilyn Mason. • Béla Fehér has pursued a life-long avocation of photography. Visiting these historic organs provided the opportunity to combine Jan's musical endeavors and Béla's photographic interests to document these historic churches and organs. • Together Janice and Béla create multimedia concerts using photographs and accompanying commentary to supplement the musical experience.
Sacred Spaces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Published September 25, 2010