For all the time I’ve spent in the churches of Europe, looking at the stained glass windows and admiring the pipe organs I’d never actually heard one of the organs play until this most recent trip to Germany. The Marktkirche in Hannover has a concert series throughout the year and we happened to be in town on a Saturday where there was a performance scheduled. For the bargain price of 5 euro we got to hear performances on three different organs in the church and of works by three different composers: Girolamo Frescobaldi, J.S. Bach and Josef Gabriel Rheinberger.
The church itself is quite impressive, standing on the square with its 14th century Gothic edifice. The roof was damaged during 1943 air raids and, unlike the nearby St. Aegiden’s, it was rebuilt in the 1950s.
The main altar dates from the 15th century and had been removed to a museum so it survived the air raids. It sits back in the original location today, juxtaposed against a rather modern interior overall.
The main organ was installed in 1953 as part of the restoration and it keeps with the modern styling.
It still has the powerful, old-school organ sound going for it.
I don’t have the full hour of the concert recorded but the video clip above has some of the music in it. Alas, my lack of musical knowledge means I don’t actually know what I’m listening to in each of the segments, but that was less important to me than enjoying the performance in general.
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