The 50th Haarlem Improvisation Competition, to be held in July 2014, will be marked by the publication of The Haarlem Essays, a substantial collection of articles, interviews and portraits for organ lovers and, in particular, 'Haarlem' devotees. It is said that the very sight of the organ of St Bavo's - not to mention its glorious sound - may cause serious addiction. Fifty international organ improvisation competitions, and very nearly the same number of summer academies, have produced an abundance of material for this anniversary publication. The organ of St Bavo's is centre stage, and it is surrounded here by a wide range of colourful events and personalities, all making their own contribution to the Haarlem International Organ Festival. Not least the authors themselves, from distinguished international scholars to specialists in the nitty-gritty of Haarlem organ history. The fact that this volume has so much to say about 'Haarlem' is in itself indicative of the festival's significance in the international music world.
The many contributions to The Haarlem Essays by international authors cover the history and development of the ImprovisationCompetition and SummerAcademy, Haarlem organs and many aspects of organ improvisation and organ repertoire. The appendices include a complete overview of all competitions (including jury members and contestants) and all themes of the 49 final rounds up to 2012.
Contributors include Ton Koopman, Peter Planyavsky, Jan Raas, Hans Fidom, Peter Ouwerkerk, Jan Hage, Leo Samama, Roman Summereder, Joris Verdin, Christoph Wolff and Jean-Claude Zehnder. Festival celebrities including Piet Kee, Hans Haselböck and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini are interviewed, as well as competitors, festival visitors, stop pullers etc.
A CD with seven winning improvisations (including Piet Kee (1955), Hans Haselböck (1959), Jan Jongepier (1971) and Jan Raas (1977), and more recent winners from 2010) go to complete this anniversary edition. The CD, which is not available separately, is also a unique document of tonal alterations to the Müller organ in St Bavo’s in the second half of the twentieth century (also described in the book).
The Haarlem Essays is published by J. Butz Verlag (Bonn). It was edited by Paul Peeters and translated by Stephen Taylor. The volume comprises 480 pages and more than 150 black-and-white and colour illustrations.
Price: € 35,95