The Danish Music Review
The Danish Music Review
Arp Schnitger is the name of one of the greatest organ-builders of the 17th century. In this article Niels Friis throws ligth upon his career. Arp Schnitger, who was born, in 1648 as the son of a joiner in the county of Oldenburg was, apprenticed to Bernt Huess, a remote relation, but after the death of his master he established himself as an organ-builder of his own. He became one of the greatest organ-builders of his time, and he is still a fine model of the present day organ-building. For Danes a special interest is attached to Arp Schnitger not only because he became the privileged organ-builder of Christian V. and Frederic IV., the Danish kings, in the provinces of northern Germany which at that time belonged to the Danish crown, but especially because Lambert Daniel Kastens, perhaps his most capable pupil, for a generation worked as an organ-builder in Denmark at a time when the construetion of many organs were being planned in this country. The fame of Arp Schnitger soon spread, and in 1682 he was entrusted with the task of building the new organ of the Nicolai-Church in Hamburg, a huge instrument with 67 voices in four manuals and pedal. The construction of this organ took five years. It was destroyed by a fire in 1842. (See the plan on page 152 column 1). The following plans are those of the organs in the »Steinkirche« in Hamburg (page 152 column 2), the St. Stephani-Church in Bremen (page 153 column 2) and from Schnitger's last years the »Hauptkirche« in Hamburg (page 158 column 2). The last-mentioned work was finished accordingr to Schnitger's plan by his first journeyman, the later Danish organ-builder. Schnitger had about four or five assistants for his works, and he was, an excellent artist in his field who only used the finest material. for his organs so that they were perfect in all details. Of the few organs preserved the most important is the organ in the Eosander-Chapel in Charlottenburg, known from the unique grammoplione recordings by Fritz Heitmann.
Gustav Fock, the well-known connoisseur of the organ-history of Hamburg has justly said that in the same way as the classical organ music culminated with Joh. Seb. Bach, the art of organ-building in the baroque reached its climax with Arp Schnitger.
Art and Ethics
Povl Hamburger opens this article with the following question: "Is the effect of art of a merely æsthetical character or has it an ethical aspect as well? Is a work of art only a "form" or has it "contents", too?" This question, the author continues, might seem, to be of no importance, as art is most commonly regarded as being æsthetical, only, and that any conception of an ethical. effect, as well, ought to be refused. This question is more thoroughly dealt. with in the following passages, and Hamburger shares the opinion of Arthur Arnholtz, a Danish music author who says: "The æsthetical conception - understood in the right manner - does not concern our ability of enjoying external aspects but our ability of developing our taste for quality and genuineness. Without this sense our best efforts in another direction will be worthless and stagnate - On the other hand pure æstheties will in some way lead its devotees to negativisni ... As a matter of faet our expressions, our artistic expressions, too, (at any rate those of sane people) neither can nor must be sufficient in themselves, but they must. serve a living purpose". Through the entire artiele Povl Hamburger opposes the rationalistic to the non-rationalistie point of view clearly showing that he wants to step into the breach. for the ethical value of musie, and he resumes his refleetions thus: »But who, is, after all, nearest to truth, the pure æsthetie, who in no branch. of art wants to see anything but "form" or at any rate in case that conerete contents are obvious does not want to attach any positive importance to these - or he who takes the ethical function into consideration, too? As no evidence can be given for the correctness of any of the theories, the question is still to be answered. This problem will ever remain unsolved as no palpable "proofs" of any kind can decide the matter; the whole question is a matter of conception. It may be compared with the problem of mind and matter, soul and body, the solution of which must be based upon personal experience, as it is in fact a matter of life and view of the world.
Bibliography of Music for the Year 1944
In this issue Sigurd Berg concludes his music-literary bibliography for the year 1944. A similar survey of Danish books, papers, and periodicals on music will be given every year in the Dansk Musiktidsskrift. Previous surveys are to be found on pages 81-84, and 141-144.
Scandinavian Music-Festival in Stockholm
From September 25th til! October lst a Scandinavian music, festival will be held in Stockholm, including three orchestral coneerts, two chamber-music concerts, and two opera performances. At these concerts only Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish music will be played, and Denmark will be represented by Vagn Holmboe's chamber concert, for viola and orehestra, Leif Kayser's variations for orchestra over an ancient Danish ballad, Niels Viggo Bentzon's sonata. nr. 2 for piano, Otto Mortensen's quintet for wind instruments, and songs by Knud Jeppesen and Poul Schierbeck.