Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Walaciński, Adam

(b Kraków, 18 Sept 1928). Polish composer and critic. He studied the violin with Eugenia Umińska at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków (1947–51) and took private composition lessons with Kisielewski (1952–5). Until 1956 he was a violinist with the Polish radio orchestra in Kraków. Thereafter he divided his time between composing and writing articles and criticism for the Polish musical press, in particular Ruch muzyczny, Forum musicum, Studio and Dziennik polski. From 1971 to 1987 he was chairman of the Kraków section of the Polish Composers’ Union. He is a contributor to the Encyklopedia muzyczna, of which he became an editor in 1984, and in 1979 he was appointed lecturer in theory at the Kraków Academy (formerly the State Higher School of Music); he was made full professor in 1992. His music to the film Faraon was awarded the State Prize in 1966.


(selective list)

Str Qt, 1959; Introspekcje, cl, 2 perc, 1961, rev. 1967; Rotazione, pf, 1961; Canto tricolore, fl, vn, vib, 1962, rev. 1991; Horizons, chbr orch, 1962; Liryka sprzed zaśnięcia [A Lyric before Falling Asleep] (M. Białoszewski), S, fl, 2 pf, 1963; Sequenze, fl, orch, 1963; Canzona, vc, pf, tape, 1966; Dichromia, fl, pf, 1967; Allaloa, pf, live elecs ad lib., 1970; Torso, orch, 1971; On peut écouter, fl, ob, bn, 1971, rev. 1998; Divertimento interroto, 13 players, 1974; Mirophonies (Białoszewski), S, actor, cl, va, vc, hp, perc, 1974; A travers le miroir, 2 fl, str, 1980; Moments musicaux, 2 pf, 1987; Dramma e burla, orch, 1988; Pastorale, fl, ob, vn, 1992; Fantasia sopra, Ave Maris Stella, vc, 1997; La vida es sueño, fl, gui, va, 1998; Aria, orch, 1998

Over 100 film scores, incl. Mère Jeanne des Anges, Faraon, The Death of a President; incid music for theatre and TV

Principal publisher: PWM


T. Malecka, ed.: Krakowska szkoła kompozytorska 1888–1988 (Kraków, 1992), 165–82

Walcha, Helmut

(b Leipzig, 27 Oct 1907; d Frankfurt, 11 Aug 1991). German organist. He studied with Ramin at the Leipzig Conservatory (1922–7), specializing in the organ, and worked as Ramin’s assistant at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig (making his début in the city in 1924), before moving to Frankfurt in 1929. There he was organist at the Friedenskirche and, from 1946, at the Dreikönigskirche. His fame as a player quickly spread through international recitals (including those at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in the late 1960s), broadcasts and recordings. His blindness, far from being a handicap, enabled him to penetrate an inner world of sound to which Bach is the key, and he was one of the greatest European interpreters of Bach. Walcha’s extraordinary technical powers were matched by a prodigious memory; his interpretations, marked by their objectivity and contrapuntal clarity, had absolute fidelity to the spirit as well as the letter of the composer’s design (a quality for which they were criticized). He also adopted the maxims of the Orgelbewegung (Organ Revival) and rejected the overly mechanized Romantic organ. Yet his insistence on organs with mechanically controlled Schleifladen (slider chests) did not preclude a virtuoso element in his playing. He recorded all Bach’s organ music: the toccatas, preludes and fugues, fantasias and trio sonatas partly at the St Laurenskerk, Alkmaar (organ by Schnitger), and partly at St Pierre-le-Jeune, Strasbourg (restored organ originally by J.A. Silbermann); and all the liturgically based works (chorale preludes and chorale variations) on the Strasbourg organ. He also recorded Bach’s six sonatas for violin and harpsichord (with Henryk Szeryng), composed three volumes of chorale preludes, published organ versions of the Art of Fugue (including his own completion of the quadruple fugue) and the ricercare from the Musical Offering and edited Handel’s 12 organ concertos. Walcha was a professor at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt from 1938 to 1972, leading the church music department and conducting the Frankfurter Bach-Stunden.



German family of organ builders. The firm was founded in 1780 in Cannstadt by Johann Eberhard Walcker (1756–1843). His son Eberhard Friedrich Walcker (b Cannstadt, 3 July 1794; d Ludwigsburg, 2 Oct 1872) moved the business to Ludwigsburg (Württemberg) in 1820; he built a large new organ for the Paulskirche in Frankfurt (1829–33); and he gave the organ of the Stiftskirche in Stuttgart two pedal-boards, as part of his rebuilding of that instrument in 1834–45. He also built instruments for Ulm Minster (1841–56), the Music Hall, Boston (1863), and St Etienne, Mulhouse, Alsace (1865; highly esteemed by Albert Schweitzer). He introduced the Kegellade in 1842 (see Organ, §II, 8). After Eberhard Friedrich’s death, the firm was run by his sons Heinrich, Fritz, Paul and Karl Walcker, and organs were built for the Saalbau, Frankfurt (1873), Riga Cathedral (from 1881), the Petrikirche, Hamburg (1884), the Neues Gewandhaus, Leipzig (1884), and the Stephansdom, Vienna (1886). The firm began using pneumatic action in 1889 and electro-pneumatic in 1899. In 1910 Paul Walcker took over the firm of Wilhelm Sauer in Frankfurt an der Oder; his most notable organ, made in 1913 for the Jahrhunderthalle, Breslau (now Wrocław), is now in Wrocław Cathedral.

Oscar Walcker (b Ludwigsburg, 1 Jan 1869; d Ludwigsburg, 4 Sept 1948), a grandson of Eberhard Friedrich, though interested in architectonic aspects of the organ, devoted himself primarily to representing the firm’s business interests. Organs built under his direction include those at Reinoldikirche, Dortmund (1907–9), Michaeliskirche, Hamburg (1909–12), the musicology institute of the University of Freiburg (the ‘Praetorius’ organ, 1921, with Willibald Gurlitt), City Hall, Stockholm (1924–5), the Exposición Internacional Barcelona (1929), and the Kongresshalle, Nuremberg (1936). In 1916 Oscar succeeded Paul as manager of Wilhelm Sauer. He took an eager interest in the Alsatian Orgelbewegung, which advocated mixtures and mutations on all keyboards, and Spanish–French–English Swell boxes in preference to Venetian. He was made honorary DPhil for his work on the ‘Praetorius’ organ.

In 1948 Oscar’s grandson Werner Walcker-Mayer (b Ludwigsburg, 1 Feb 1923) began running the firm. Under his management about 3200 organs had been built by the early 1980s, among them those for Ulm Minster; Zagreb Concert Hall; the Mozarteum, Salzburg; the concert hall for the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna; the Stiftskirche, Stuttgart; the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest; the Bogotá concert hall; Trinitatiskirche, Berlin; Göttweig Abbey; Zagreb Cathedral; Methodist Temple, Evansville, Kentucky; First Baptist Church, Toccoa, Georgia; and the Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw.

In 1965 Walcker-Mayer founded the Walcker-Stiftung für Orgelwissenschaftliche Forschung. He received the honorary doctorate from the Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, in 1980. The firm moved from Ludwigsburg to Murrhardt in 1974 and again in 1986 to Hanweiler, Saarland. Large organ-building projects are carried out in collaboration with an independent sister-company based in Guntramsdorf, near Vienna. The Wilhelm Sauer Orgelbau was nationalized in 1972, but was returned to the Walcker firm in 1990, and a new workshop built in Müllrose. Four sons of Werner Walcker-Mayer, Klaus, Gerhard, Michael and Helmut, are working in the company.


MGG1 (H. Klotz)

H. Walcker: Das Geschlecht der Walcker in sechs Jahrhunderten (Belser, 1925, 2/1940)

W. Gurlitt: ‘Die Paulskirchenorgel zu Frankfurt am Main’, ZI, lx (1939–1940), 89–90, 102–3

O. Walcker: Erinnerungen eines Orgelbaumeisters (Kassel, 1948)

J. Fischer: Das Orgelbauergeschlecht Walcker in Ludwigsburg (Kassel, 1966)

H.H. Eggebrecht, ed.: Orgelwissenschaft und Orgelpraxis: Festschrift zum zweihundertjährigen Bestehen des Hauses Walcker (Murrhardt-Hausen, 1980) [incl. H. Fischer and T. Wohnhaas, ‘Eberhard Friedrich Walcker (1794–1872)’, pp.160–97]

H. Fischer and T. Wohnhaas: Lexikon süddeutscher Orgelbauer (Wilhelmshaven, 1994)

F. Moosmann and R. Schäfer: Eberhard Friedrich Walcker (1794–1872) (Kleinblittersdorf, 1994)


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