articles

artykuły naukowe, articles scientifiques, wissenschaftliche Artikel

  1. Szostak Michał, "A 157-stop organ in the Basilika of Our Lady of Licheń",
    in: "The Diapason", One Hundred Tenth Year: No. 8, Whole No. 1317, August 2019, Scranton Gillette Communications Inc., Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA, ISSN 0012-2378, pp. 16-19.

  2. Szostak Michał, "An appreciation of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on the 120th anniversary of his death",
    in: "The Organ”, No 387, February-April (Winter) 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 6-21.

  3. Szostak Michał, "Evolution of Cavaillé-Coll’s symphonic organs”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 384, May-July 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-23.

  4. Szostak Michał, "Frédéric Chopin and the organ", 
    in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 30-49.

  5. Szostak Michał, „Implementation of the Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s Vatican project in Poland”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 383, February-April 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 33-47.

  6. Szostak Michał, "Instrument as a source of inspiration for the performer”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 386, Fall 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 6-27.

  7. Szostak Michał, "Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély - a sesquicentenary assessment", 
    in: "The Organ”, No 388, May-July 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-488, pp. 4-21.

  8. Szostak Michał, "Romantic tendencies in 19th-century organ building in Europe”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 385, Summer 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 10-27.

  9. Szostak Michał, "The largest pipe organs in the world”,
    in: "The Vox Humana”, An affiliate of the American Guild of Organists, September 30, 2018. https://www.voxhumanajournal.com/szostak

  10. Szostak Michał, "The Organ of Notre Dame, Paris”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

  11. Szostak Michał, "The World’s Largest Organs”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 382, November 2017 - January 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

"A 157-stop organ in the Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń", "The Diapason" (No 1317)

Sierpniowy numer najstarszego (założonego w 1909 r.) amerykańskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Diapason" (August 2019, One Hundred Tenth Year: No. 8, Whole No. 1317, August 2019, Scranton Gillette Communications Inc., Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA, ISSN 0012-2378, pp. 16-19) opublikował mój artykuł "A 157-stop organ in the Basilika of Our Lady of Licheń" jako główny artykuł wydania.

 

Abstract:

At the beginning of the 21st century, in the years 2002-2007, in the small village of Lichen Stary, located in the geographical center of Poland (Europe), in the largest Catholic temple of the country, Polish company „Zaklady Organowe Zych” according to the concept of prof. Andrzej Chorosinski build a monumental symphonic instrumentarium with 157 stops managed by a six-manual console. It was suppose to be the largest organ in Poland and one of the finest in the world.

This article describes in detail the organ of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen in Poland.

Lichen Stary is a small village with a community of around 1,500. After the World War II Marian Priests developed there the cult to Holy Mary, Mother of God, thanks to the small oil painting from XVIII century. The permanently increasing amount of pilgrims visiting the village could not fit in the small local church containing the picture. Marian Priests decided to build great Basilica to worship Mary and fit all pilgrims there. The idea of building the great Basilica have been materialized between 1992-2002: the capacity of the Basilica is 300,700 m3; the usable area is 23,000 m2, the length of the nave is approx. 139 m, the width of the transept with uneven shoulder lengths is approx. 144 m. After this step there was a need to equip the interior with liturgical elements, including pipe organ.

"The World's Largest Organs", "The Organ" (No 382)

Zimowy numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (November 2017 - January 2018, Number 382, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 12-28) opublikował mój artykuł "The World's Largest Organs" jako główny artykuł wydania.

 

Abstract:

"The first part of this paper attempts to address this gap in the literature of the subject by providing the most objective criterion on which to base a reliable classification of organs in terms of size can be made. In the second part, on the basis of this criterion, classifications of the largest organs in Europe and the world were made on this basis.

The research area of the largest organs leads naturally to the issue of their comparison and classification in terms of size. The bibliography of the subject and the various classifications present the rankings of selected instruments on the basis of various criteria, often inaccurate or not accurately verified. There is no comprehensive approach to this subject in international literature of the subject[1]. Until now, the below described methodology was published in Polish literature of the subject only."

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"Implementation of the Aristide Cavaille-Coll's Vatican project in Poland", "The Organ" (No 383)

Zimowy numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (February-March 2018, Number 383, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 33-47) opublikował mój drugi artykuł; tym razem "Implementation of the Aristide Cavaille-Coll's Vatican project in Poland".

 

Abstract:

"Particular attention should be pay on the project from 1875 of monumental organ for the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome made by the great French visionary of the symphonic organ, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899). This 124-stops colossus was to crown the work of Cavaillé-Coll and was “to complement the artistic achievements of the greatest masters of architecture, sculpture and painting, because music, the most religious of fine arts, did not have a worthy monument in this place”. Unfortunately, this project has never been implemented at its destination. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, around 130 years after the idea came into being, in the small village of Lichen Stary, located in the geographical center of Poland, in the largest Catholic temple of the country, the vision of Cavaillé-Coll materialized. In the years 2002-2007, the Polish company „Zaklady Organowe Zych” according to the concept of prof. Andrzej Chorosinski reproduced the sound of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's organ in a monumental instrumentarium with 157 stops managed by a six-manual console.

This article describes in detail the design of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's organ for the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome, completed organ of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen in Poland and a comparative analysis of these two sound concepts."

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"Evolution of Cavaille-Coll's symphonic organ", "The Organ" (No 384)

Wiosenny numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (Spring 2018, Number 384, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 8-23) opublikował mój trzeci artykuł; tym razem "Evolution of Cavaille-Coll's symphonic organ".

 

Abstract:

"In the history of musical culture, romantic organs created in France in the 19th century are commonly called symphonic instruments. For French Baroque organs, called Classical organs –  which to this day occupy a significant card in the history of organ building – symphonic instruments constituted an opposition pattern of construction, educated in the spirit of the aesthetics of the Romantic era. These instruments, being predominantly the works of one artist, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899), combine a repetitive structure of elements whose mutual relations influenced their individual tone. This structure of elements paved the way for many 19th-century organ composers and improvisers, and then created perspectives on 20th-century music. The legacy of French composers-improvisers associated with this particular type of organbuilding is a direct reflection of the features of these instruments.

The literature on Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s organist and organist is very rich. France has well-preserved archives, and the 19th century has already been a time of comprehensive use of permanent methods of recording both text and image (initially figures and then photographs). In addition, Cavaillé-Coll left many written materials – notes, scientific articles and other publications including illustrations; many non-existent instruments were sketched or photographed. First of all, many instruments have survived to this day, which are tangible proof of the features and skills of their author. The uniqueness of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s instruments and their influence on many phenomena of organ art caused and cause the development of many scientific studies.

In this article I would like to show the evolution process of Cavaille-Coll’s symphonic organ throughout the whole life of this visionary organbuilder."

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"Romantic tendencies in 19th-century organ building in Europe”, "The Organ” (No 385)

Letni numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (Summer 2018, Number 385, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 10-27) opublikował mój artykuł „Romantic tendencies in 19th-century organ building in Europe” jako główny artykuł wydania.

 

Abstract:

The nineteenth century is extremely diverse in its phenomena and tendencies, often marked by the coexistence of opposing currents. The Great French Revolution (1789-1799) and the so-called "Coalition Wars" (1799-1815) conducted against France under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) plowed the social order of Europe and have received wide echoes in all aspects of life not only of the inhabitants of the country on the Loire. The Congress of Vienna, convened in 1814-1815 to revise the territorial and political changes, was to develop new principles of continental order. After a period of temporary restoration of the old order and the presence of significant conservative forces, subsequent social revolutions in France in 1848 (the Spring of Nations) followed by general democratization. In economic and social terms, especially in France and England, it was a period of industrialization (use of a steam engine, the development of railroads, use of natural gas, inventing electricity) and deepening of social differences (massification and increase of poverty, isolation and loneliness of an individual in anonymous society with rising fortunes of industrialists). France was the largest country in Europe in the 19th century, both in terms of area and population.

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"Instrument as a source of inspiration for the performer”, "The Organ” (No 386)

Jesienny numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (Fall 2018, Number 386, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 6-27) opublikował mój artykuł pt. "Instrument as a source of inspiration for the performer".

 

Abstract:

From the point of view of aesthetics, as a science dealing with the so-called aesthetic situation, inspiration is an inseparable element of the initial phase of the aesthetic situation, which includes the artist (creator), creative process, work of art, the recipient, the process of art perception and aesthetic values. Inspiration (from Latin noun 'inspiratio' = inspiration and Latin verb 'inspirare' = blow in) is an encouragement to action, especially in man's creative work. It involves stimulating the creative process of the artist to perform a specific work of art. The opposite of inspiration is discouragement, demotivation, weakening the spirit. The phenomenon of inspiration (and “deinspiration”) can be considered as an ephemeral temporary situation (coincidence) and as a long-term process (e.g. an inspiring place).

From the point of view of the performer, sources (factors) that can be an inspiration I divide into external (objective) to the performer and internal (subjective) to the performer.

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"The largest pipe organs in the world”, "The Vox Humana” (Sept. 30, 2018)

„The largest pipe organs in the world”, w: „The Vox Humana”, An affiliate of the American Guild of Organists, September 30, 2018.

 

Abstract:

Considering which organs are the largest leads to a major issue of their comparison: objectively, what makes one organ larger than another? The existing literature on the subject and the various classifications present the rankings of selected instruments on the basis of various criteria are often inaccurate, and there is no comprehensive approach to this subject in literature of the subject.

There are many methods of classifying organs in terms of size, and each has some degree of imperfection, because each instrument is unique in its own way. The following is a summary of the most common criteria for classification of organs in terms of size.

The most common criterion for classification of organs in terms of size is the number of stops. However, stops are extremely diverse in terms of material and construction (wood/metal, labial/reed), the amount of material used (a 2' flue stop versus the same kinds of pipes at 16ʹ), and the degree of complexity (one rank versus many ranks). In addition, some organs have stops in which each key plays only one pipe of the scale; some use combined voices — using pipes of other real stops to create an imitation (e.g. an acoustic stop Subcontrabass 32' achieved with a combination of real stops Subbass 16' + Quintbass 10 2/3'); extensions — adding a missing octave (or more or less) to the top or bottom of a rank of pipes to give a higher or lower pitch for a specific interval (e.g. adding an additional low octave to an 8’ principal could result in a 16’ principal stop in electric action instruments); and transmission — voices that use a single row of pipes to obtain a given sound in two or more sections (one rank of pipes could result in a 4’ principal and a 3’ principal).

The second criterion for comparing size is the number of pipes. This is problematic because practically, verifying the actual number of pipes in each instrument can be nearly impossible (some instruments have tens of thousands of individual pipes). In addition (though to a much lesser extent), there is the issue of the distinction of playing pipes from muted/dummy pipes (those placed in organ façades only for aesthetic reasons).

You can read the whole article here: 

https://www.voxhumanajournal.com/szostak

"An appreciation of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on the 120th anniversary of his death”, "The Organ” (No 387)

Zimowy numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (February-April - Winter - 2019, Number 387, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 6-21) opublikował mój artykuł „An appreciation of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on the 120th anniversary of his death” jako główny okładkowy artykuł wydania.

 

Abstract:

2019 marks the 120th anniversary of the death of the father of symphonic organs, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. On this occasion, it is worth recalling this monumental figure, which in the 19th century changed the image of French instruments, and thus influenced the then organ building in Europe and in many corners of the world, radiating in a unique way to present day.

Reading the source materials about Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (his publications, scientific articles, notes, correspondence) and the literature of the subject allows to thoroughly follow the entire life story of this character. Below I present the silhouette of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, first of all as a man, emphasizing important moments in his life, which he experienced in parallel with the idea of ​​symphonic organs evolving in his mind.

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"Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély - a sesquicentenary assessment", "The Organ” (No 388)

Wiosenny numer najstarszego brytyjskiego magazynu nt. organów "The Organ" (May-July 2019, Number 388, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, ss. 4-21) opublikował mój artykuł "Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély - a sesquicentenary assessment", jako główny okładkowy artykuł wydania.

 

Abstract:

2019 is the round 150th anniversary of the death of an interesting and important figure for the French organ and organ music world of the 19th century, Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817-1869). He was called by his contemporaries the “prince of organists”, “notability”, ”dandy”, “Auber of organ” and even – this is the very word of Alexandre Guilmant – ”the most significant, the greatest and timeless organist of France”[1].

Round anniversaries are a good opportunity to recall characters who – although forgotten today – played an important role in their field in their time. This article presents facts from the life of this musician, and sheds light on the realities in which he lived.

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"Frédéric Chopin and the organ", "The Organ” (No 389)

Szostak Michał, "Frédéric Chopin and the organ", 
in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 30-49.

 

Abstract:

19th-century Paris was a place where all important musicians wanted to perform, to be performed, to be seen and noticed. As we know, Parisian organ world – thanks to Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s instruments and symphonic-school organ performers – kept this trend perfectly. This pattern also became a 20-year-old Chopin, who arrived in the city in 1830.

This article – written for the 170th anniversary of Chopin’s death – is a collection of reflections from a contemporary walks a) along the streets of Warsaw, b) around the church at the village Obory (Polish lands) and c) around the church of Notre-Dame-du-Mont, Marseille, France. There are a lot of studies on this great artist, which is why our walks will concern organ matters only – both historical and contemporary ones. For us, organ performers and lovers, Chopin is an unusual inspiration. However it is worth to stimulate our imagination by looking for not popular but still interesting facts.

We know without any doubt, that organ was generally unfamiliar instrument for Chopin. He did not arouse any artistic interest in it, which can be explained by two facts. Firstly, that organ of that time were not able to realize the performance ideas (subtle dynamic changes, moodiness, intimacy) that Chopin was interested in. Secondly, he never showed any interest in religious life; even on his deathbed, he did not want to accept the last ministry of a friendly priest, Aleksander Jełowicki.

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"The Organ of Notre Dame, Paris”, "The Organ” (No 389)

Szostak Michał, "The Organ of Notre Dame, Paris”,
in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

 

Abstract:

The majestic Parisian Notre-Dame cathedral is one of the indisputable symbols of the civilizational and cultural achievements of mankind. Although it is located in the centre of Paris – and for every Frenchman is an undeniable proof of the greatness of the French nation – it is also a reference point for humanity throughout the world, which occupies an important place in the heart of every person sensitive to the eternal beauty.

For us, the organists, the instrument of the cathedral is also one of the most important works of organ-master art, with which there were and still is many great organ-makers and organists. This article – in reference to the fire of April 15, 2019 – aims to synthetically collect facts about the great organ of the Notre-Dame cathedral and to familiarize the reader with its rich history.

The origins of the Paris cathedral Notre-Dame date back to the 12th century; the building was erected in the years 1163-1345, as a masterpiece of early Gothic architecture, on the site of the Merovingian cathedral dedicated to Saint Stephen.

The history of stationary organs in this sacral space begins in the 13th century. Before that date, musicians like Léonin, Pérotin and others have been using small portable instruments only. The presence of the first instrument is attested from 1357. The historical sources called it was suspended in form of swallow's nest under the high eastern window of the nave, and had to be there probably since almost hundred years; it was finally sold for scrap in 1425. On October 25th, 1403, the new second organ – built by Frédéric Schambantz (Fredericus Schaubantzis, Schaubankes) on the high narrow tribune above the doors at the west end of the nave – was finished; it had 1M+P, scale b1-b4 and 600 tin pipes. Probably, this instrument served in this place for more than next 300 years.

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Copyrights (all texts, pictures and videos) Michał Szostak (R)