Orrelregistrasieaanduidings in Kauffmann se Harmonische Seelenlust
Van Wyk, Theo
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The history of registration is intrinsically connected to the evolution of styles in the art of organ building. As developments continued throughout the entire Europe, the challenge of blending and combining registers became an art in itself. Detail regarding registration usually consisted of practical advice given by organ builders, and instructions from composers and/or theoreticians. Eighteenth-century sources on registration can be divided into three main categories of which Category 3 includes actual specific registration instructions that can be applied to specific pieces of organ music. Kauffmann’s Harmonische Seelenlust is by far the most detailed of this kind and certainly the most noteworthy example. In 1733 Kauffmann initiated the serial publication of this great work, but sadly passed away before it could be completed. Kauffmann’s works comprehensively abound with precise and compact phrase structure with brief polyphonic complexity. His style of writing is, in essence, still evidently Baroque, although overflowing with basic harmonic structure from which a type of pre-Classical aesthetic emerges. He therefore proved to be equally proficient and comfortable in both galant and stilo antico composition practices. Albeit that his compositional output is very meagre, Kauffmann can be regarded as one of the greatest of J.S. Bach’s German contemporaries and his reputation as a composer and organist reached far beyond his immediate Merseburg environment. Coupled with this, is his outstanding contribution with regard to Baroque organ registration indications, as indicated in the works forming part of his Harmonische Seelenlust.