It lives on! Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Gdansk composer, organist, and ensemble director Andrzej Szadejko, the lavishly reconstructed organ in Gdansk’s Trinity Church experienced its rededication last year. This opulent instrument by the Wegschneider Company in Dresden has forty-one stops on three manuals and a double pedal unit and represents the state of development that it had reached around the middle of the eighteenth century. In addition, the meticulous registration of works by Theophil Andreas Volckmar and Daniel Magnus Gronau lends special authenticity to the revival of the Late Baroque Baltic-Hanseatic tonal splendor.
Volckmar himself worked for many years at Trinity Church in Gdansk. His efforts to obtain the much more prestigious organist’s post at St. Mary’s Church remained without success; this virtuoso in quest of recognition was too innovative for the Protestant city council members. His spectacular sonatas dauntlessly entrusting the pedal with breathtaking solos quickly convey the message that here we have somebody who could only with difficulty be integrated into the pious devotion of Lutheran religious services. The fact that the self-aware Volckmar dedicated the sonatas directly to the Polish king, bypassing the required participation of the city council, shows that he was an uncompromising artistic personality who was far ahead of his times – in more ways that just musical ones.
Daniel Magnus Gronau’s organ works are in several respects a discovery. The detailed instructions for registration are particularly unique for the eighteenth century and form the most extensive source of this kind in Europe. On the new/old Gdansk organ the result is a colorful organ sound questioning traditional ideas in Northern German Baroque church music.
This Super Audio CD is a top-quality threedimensional production offering listeners the opportunity to experience the magnificent acoustics of Gdansk’s mighty Trinity Church as if they too were there. While performing with two hands simultaneously on three manuals and employing the large and small pedals in keeping with historical prescriptions, Szadejko breathtakingly reveals a neglected chapter of music history.