Weimar, Erfurt, Arnstadt and Leipzig: Churches, organs, recitals, concerts

Today I begin this blog filled with so much joy and thanks for a wonder-filled trip!!  More than once, I had the privilege of visiting each of the cites listed above, and both Weimar and Erfurt four times! My experiences in Germany have propelled my appreciation for a simpler life, rich in worship and music. 

Weimar hosted a Bach Festival last week with recitals performed by students and faculty members of the Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT. Visiting professors and area organists performed as well to the delight of house filled audiences.

The Bach Church in Arnstadt was the site of Bach’s first official post as a church musician. A magnificent organ in the original case with parts of original pipe work is still heard here in recitals and weekly worship services. The “young Bach” statue in the square portrays what some say, an arrogant Bach filled with a youthful confidence; others simply describe it as a thoughtful pose. Lastly, in a museum, is the authentic organ console which was played by Bach himself!!!

The Dom churches in Erfurt provide a breathtaking view from the square.  The church to the right is a thirteen century sanctuary, the one to the left, built in the eighteenth century — both beautiful Roman Catholic cathedrals.  The organs following, are located in these two churches respectively.   The final picture is the organ from the Prediger church from where the following recording which allows you to hear this fine instrument. 

Jena, just east of Weimar, is a town through which Bach walked with frequency on local journeys.  It is believed that he played in this beautiful cathedral but on an organ which was destroyed by allied forces in the 1940s.  The present organ is an attempted replica.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to play it!!  Sorry the picture is recorded “on the side”. 

There will be one more posting after I’m back home and after some time to process this most amazing trip. My blogs would not be complete without sharing details of Altenbeichlingen, the little heaven I found in Germany.  I continue to be so thankful to all of you who have supported me in prayer and I look forward to seeing you soon! 

Blessings, thanks and love,

Looking forward to seeing this sweet nose much later today!!

Suzanne Riehl