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Day 1 of the Pipedreams Tour of Organs in Hamburg, Germany

Day 1 –  Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today was the first day of the Pipedreams tour led by Michael Barone.  It started at the Hamburg airport, though we had was some concerns, as a number of people had missed their connections, but by the end of the day everyone gotten here safe and sound.

To get a greater understanding of the importance of Hamburg from the Middle Ages to modern times, we visited the Hamburg City Historical Museum. There, I found a painting I had only seen in books (Musical Party, painted in 1674 by Johannes Voorhout). It features the only known image of Dietrich Buxtehude.  Johann Adam Reinken is seated next to him! Because Hamburg was such an important trade center, there was lots of money for pipe organs and they hired the best organists to play them.

After this we walked to the Michaeliskirche to hear 3 of the church’s 5 pipe organs…the maing 1962 Steinmeyer (85 stops), the 1914 Marcussen (38 stops), and the 2009 Freiberger ‘Fernwerk’ (up in the ceiling; 16 stops).  Christoph Schoener played a wonderful short recital for us, first using each of the 3 organs separately and then all of them together. My favorite was the 1914 Marcussen that was recently beautifully, restored by Spaeth and Klais. I don’t know what the Marcussen sounded like originally, but it seems like Klais must have respected the original voicing.

Now we are back the the hotel and about to have dinner. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.  We are all expected on the bus at 7:45am ,ready to roll and drive all the way to Schwerin to hear the Ladegast organ the on to Luebeck. We will not be back until very late at night.

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