Berlin [Johann Crüger]
The musicological project Elisabeth-Musiquen was founded by Gerhard Oppelt in 1998. The intention is to investigate music in the Berlin-Brandenburg region in the period between the Reformation and the start of Frederick the Great's rule in 1740. The main focus is on 17th century sacred music. To date, two extensive collections of works by the Berlin church musician and composer Johann Crueger (1598 - 1662) have been published: In 1999 the German magnificat "Meditationum Musicarum Paradisus secundus oder Ander Musicalisches Lust-Gaertlein" (1626) was published. In 2003 the Latin magnificat "Laudes Die Vespertinae" (1645) followed.
In the year 2001, the 300th anniversary of the first Prussian coronation, "La fede ne'tradimenti" which was the first opera composed in Berlin, was published. The work's composer was Attilio Ariosti (1666 - 1729) who was Sophie Charlotte's senior court musician. A two-volume edition of Bartholomaeus Gesius' (ca. 1560 - 1613) "Opus plane novum cantionum ecclesiasticarum" (1613) is currently in preparation. Gesius was the choirmaster at St. Marien in Frankfurt (Oder). With their research work Akademie fuer historische Auffuehrungspraxis hopes to refute the widespread opinion that the region Berlin-Brandenburg was culturally unproductive in the aforementioned period. Grand organs constructed by famous organ builders such as Scherer, Schnitger and Wagner show that there must have been a widespread interest in high quality sacred music. Nonetheless, little or no research has been done to discover which works were performed on these wonderful instruments.
It is irrefutable that the rediscovered composer Johannes Crueger, who worked at the highly respected church school "Zum Grauen Kloster" in Berlin and was also the choirmaster at the Nikolai church, compares most favourably with his famous contemporary in Dresden Heinrich Schuetz (1585 - 1672). To assist us in our aim to reappraise the musical history of the Berlin-Brandenburg region Akademie fuer historische Auffuehrungspraxis has been given free access to numerous archives and libraries in the area. These include institutions in: Berlin, Brandenburg (Havel), Frankfurt (Oder), Krakow, Warsaw and Breslau. Due to our success to date it seems to be a realistic hope that further works will be found which will throw light on the music history of Berlin-Brandenburg in the 17th and 18th century.