The grand Arp Schnitger organ in St. Jacobi (Church of St James) in Hamburg is remarkable in several respects. This instrument with four manuals boasts of the largest extant inventory of original pipes from thensixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the Trompete 16’ in the great organ is the very oldest of its kind.
Harald Vogel, the Nestor of the Northern German organ tradition and the recent recipient of the Buxtehude Prize of the Hansa City of Lübeck, presents this magnificently restored organ in conjunction with an unusual Hamburg “family reunion”.
This recording features compositions by Hieronymus and Jacob Praetorius, Joachim Decker, Matthias Weckmann, Heinrich Scheidemann, and Dietrich Buxtehude - they all were closely associated with St. Jacobi and its organ and stood for the towering significance of Hamburg’s music culture over several generations.
As luck would have it, Arp Schnitger, certainly the most important organ builder of the Northern German school, refrained from renovating some qualitatively superb stops by his predecessors Scherer and Fritzsche.
Consequently, the development of the Northern German style can also be traced with special authenticity in the sound dimension