The Spring Meeting

As we reported in the last Newsletter, 3/22, next year’s Spring Meeting will be held in Germany once more, this time in the East, in the State of Thuringia, home turf of Johann Sebastian Bach and, along with East Frisia, perhaps the area of Germany offering the highest concentration of truly spectacular organs of all epochs up to 1939. Nearly all stations of the Bach biography until his move to Köthen lie within its borders, from his birthplace in Eisenach to the place of his ducal service in Weimar, including Ohrdruf, where he was sent to live with his oldest brother Johann Christoph after the death of their father (he was 11); Arnstadt, where he obtained his first appointment, Mühlhausen and Weimar. Erfurt, the exceptionally pleasant state capital which will be our base for the week, was also home to a branch of the Bach family; Johann Bach was the Organist of the Predigerkirche for nearly 40 years and together with his brother Christoph he was in control of the musicians guild in the city; Johann Sebastian’s father Ambrosius was a member of the town band from 1667 until he moved to Eisenach.

Important information

as mentioned above, this will be a full Spring Meeting as we used to know it. We will begin with the opening dinner on Monday, 10th April at 7.00 pm. The meeting continues until the evening of Friday, 15th April with the closing dinner that evening, departure on Saturday after breakfast.

Accomodation etc:
The Corona pandemic has changed many things in the world, including the hotel landscape. Erfurt has quite a number and variety of hotels, but only two of them were prepared to offer us a contingent of rooms on a “book it yourself” basis, as we have always done, and neither of them offered a price which was lower than the rates available on the internet. Both also offered contracts which penalised us if we did not actually use all the assigned rooms. We have therefore decided to ask everybody to go online and choose a hotel in an appropriate price category. Our “centre” will nevertheless be the Hotel Radisson Blu.
You can still get quite a good rate for this on the web, but a word of caution:

There appears to be a problem with the Radisson’s own booking engine. If you are using a portal which leads back to the in-house system, you will be quoted an absurd rate of around € 1500. There is no need to pay that amount! Via the rate is about € 500, depending on whether you choose to have breakfast and whether you opt for cancellability.

Obviously it would be useful and pleasant to have people more or less centrally accommodated. There are a number of options in central Erfurt; the IBIS, Dorint, and many others. You could also try the historic “Augustinerkloster”, though this is usually filled with church events. If you need any advice, please ask me! The bus will leave from a central point, however, and not make a city tour to pick up people.

Registration and costs:
CHAPTER MEMBERS: Registration will be informal, as usual. Once you have definitely decided to join the meeting, find yourself a place to stay and then write a mail to us to say that you have done so. We would ask you to finalise your decision by the last day of February, as we obviously need numbers for restaurant bookings, buses etc. Please use the Email address for this.
NON-MEMBERS may join us for the meeting on payment of a supplement equivalent to the dues of a Chapter friend, provided that we have spare places. An application must be approved by the Board and must be lodged with us between 15th February and 10th March 2023. Approval will be given by the 15th March. Only then should hotel arrangements be made.
Unfortunately it is too early to make a serious estimate of the costs involved; they depend on the number of communal meals, the prices for the buses and for the demonstrations etc. There will of course be a Chapter subsidy, as always. This information should be available towards the end of this year.


Provisional itinerary, subject to change!:

Monday: Opening dinner

Tuesday: Erfurt - (all walking distance, public transport is available)
St. Severi (Klais 1930, III/34)
Dom (Schuke 1993 III/63) – only demonstration and visit to the church, no playing (it is right next to St Severi)
St Crucis (Volckland, c. 1737, II/29)
Predigerkirche (Schuke 1977, III/60; Gehäuse H. Compenius d.Ä 1572)
Augustinerkirche (Walcker 1938, III/61)

Gräfenhain: Thielemann 1728 II/22
Waltershausen: Trost 1724 - 1755, III/47
Mechterstädt: Carl Christian Hoffmann, 1770. II/25
Eisenach: Georgenkirche (Bachs Taufkirche) Besichtigung: Bachhaus – Wartburg

Büßleben: Stertzing, 1702, II/28
Suhl, Kreuzkirche: Eilert Köhler, 1738 - 1740, II/39
Arnstadt, Bachkirche: Rekonstruktion der Wender-Orgel von 1703 durch Otto Hoffmann (1999), II / 21; Steinmeyer / Hoffmann, III/55. Besichtigung der Bachstätten, Original console of Bach’s organ in the museum

Triptis: Trampeli 1785 II/29
(Southern Saxony-Anhalt):
Naumburg, St Wenzel: Hildebrandt 1743, III/52
Weißenfels, St. Marien: Ladegast 1856 III/41
maybe visit the Schütz-Museum, Ladegast museum or the castle
Closing dinner

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