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Christian Ludwig Boxberg's "Ausfuhrliche Beschreibung der Grossen Neuen Orgel in der Kirchen zu St. Petri und Pauli allhie zu Gorlitz": An English translation with commentary

Mary Murrell Faulkner, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

In the year 1704, the year following the dedication of the new organ built by Eugenio Casparini for the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Görlitz, Christian Ludwig Boxberg published a detailed description of the organ. The organ attracted immediate attention because of its large size, and because of the remarkably imaginative design of its case. But the organ's reputation as something extraordinary was a direct result of Boxberg's booklet, which enjoyed a relatively wide circulation and spread a favorable impression of the organ far beyond its immediate locale. Through his effusive praise of the organ, Boxberg aroused interest in an instrument that in many respects may not have been as distinguished as Boxberg's description suggests. Numerous reports of the organ's deficiencies offer evidence of its tonal and technical shortcomings. Nonetheless, the organ was influential in middle Germany and Silesia during the eighteenth century. The Unda Maris, a principal celeste rank with roots in the Italian Fiffaro, began to appear in large organs after Casparini introduced the stop to this area in the organ at Görlitz. A tonal design, similar to the one used by Casparini, with a markedly different scaling for the principal chorus in each division of the organ was adopted by two of the century's most prominent organbuilders in middle Germany, Gottfried Silbermann and Zacharias Hildebrandt. Although the organ at Görlitz continued to attract interest throughout the eighteenth century, it seems unlikely that the organ itself provided sufficient impetus for its continuing fame, given its history of mechanical and tonal deficiencies. It seems probable that, without the publication of Boxberg's description, the organ might never have enjoyed the reputation, nor exerted the influence it did on organbuilding in middle Germany throughout the eighteenth century^

Subject Area

Music

Recommended Citation

Faulkner, Mary Murrell, "Christian Ludwig Boxberg's "Ausfuhrliche Beschreibung der Grossen Neuen Orgel in der Kirchen zu St. Petri und Pauli allhie zu Gorlitz": An English translation with commentary" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9991987.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9991987

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