Liturgical Organ Music and Liturgical Organ Playing in the Long 19th Century

January 20–22, 2016

Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland

INVITATION

The Department of Church Music and the DocMus Doctoral School at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, invite organists, researchers, and students to take part in the conference ”Liturgical Organ Music and Liturgical Organ Playing in the Long 19th Century”, a period extending approximately from the French Revolution to the First World War.

The long 19th century was an era of transition, paradoxes, and conflict in the area of church music. While suffering from the continuing decline in the position of the church and the organ in musical life – a process well under way already in the latter half of the previous century – it also saw the birth of several reform movements relating to liturgy, organ and church music, movements that not only shaped much of the developments in the following century but also have had significant repercussions on present-day practices.

Since the long 19th century has been, until recently, largely neglected in liturgical-musical studies, probably because of its lingering association with “decadence” -inherited from 20th century reformists – we feel that it is now time for a thorough reassessment. It is our hope that the conference ”Liturgical Organ Music and Liturgical Organ Playing in the Long 19th Century” will significantly contribute to this purpose.

The conference offers a varied programme, with presentations in words and music in different formats, in addition to, among other things, reconstructed historical services and a concert with Scandinavian congregational hymns.

Invited keynote speakers include:

Prof. Dr. Michael Heinemann, Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden

Dr. Kurt Lueders, Paris

 

The conference language is English.

Organizing Committee:

Professor Peter Peitsalo (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

Professor Sverker Jullander (Luleå University of Technology)

Professor Karin Nelson (Norwegian Academy of Music)

Lecturer Pekka Suikkanen (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

Dr Per Högberg (University of Gothenburg)

Coordinator of Doctoral Studies Markus Kuikka (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

MA, MMus Martti Laitinen (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

 

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Proposals are invited for papers (20 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion), lecture-recitals (40 minutes + 15 minutes discussion) and panel sessions (50 minutes). Topics as they relate to the main themes of the conference include, but will not be limited to:

  • purposes of organ playing in liturgy
  • dissemination of repertoire and stylistic ideals through printed collections of liturgical organ music
  • transnational and interdenominational influences
  • liturgical organ music as expression of national identity
  • folk music influences
  • liturgical organ playing as expression of power
  • performance practice issues: hymn playing, plainchant accompaniment, the impact of different organ types
  • forms, functions and models of liturgical organ improvisation
  • church music reform movements, the Bach revival, historical models, changes in liturgical ideals
  • echoes of liturgical organ practice in non-liturgical music
  • comments on liturgical organ playing in the writings of philosophers, theologians, and ecclesiastical authorities as well as in fiction
  • musical representations of aesthetic concepts such as transcendence and the sublime
  • implications of 19th century practices for today’s liturgy and liturgical organ playing.

Proposal writers are encouraged to focus on continuities, transitional phases, and processes of change in Protestant and Roman Catholic church music, as well as Nordic aspects.

Presentations will be held in the Organo Hall of the Helsinki Music Centre (www.musiikkitalo.fi/en/spaces/organo), which has three organs (www2.siba.fi/organo): one by Forster & Andrews from 1892 (III+P/29); one by Verschueren from 1994, built along the lines of North German and Dutch baroque tradition (II+P/26); and one by an unknown Italian builder from the 18th century (I/9). In addition, historical organs in nearby churches will be used during the conference, e.g., the main organ of the St. John’s Church (Johanneksenkirkko, Johanneskyrkan), built by E. F. Walcker & Co in 1891 and restored by Christian Scheffler in 2005 (III+P/66).

All proposals must include the following:

  1. an abstract of maximum 500 words, including information on the type of presentation proposed
  2. a short CV with contact information (for panel sessions, CVs for all panel members, and for lecture-recitals, CVs for all participating musicians, are required
  3. In addition, proposals for lecture-recitals must include: a detailed programme for the music to be performed (composers, work titles, composition years, opus numbers or equivalent)

Please, fill in the online submission form at the conference website and submit it as instructed. The submission time is April 10 – June 5, 2015.

All who submit proposals will be notified of the committee’s decision on acceptance by July 1, 2015.

For further information, please contact:

Peter Peitsalo, DMus, Professor, peter.peitsalo(at)uniarts.fi

Markus Kuikka, DMus, Coordinator, markus.kuikka(at)uniarts.fi

website: http://sites.siba.fi/en/web/organ-and-mass-communication/home

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