A Gorgeous Performance on a Beautifully Restored Apfelregal Bellowed Reed Organ

Musician Peter Waldner flawlessly performed several classical pieces on an Apfelregal, a gorgeous wind reed instrument that combines the keys of an organ with beautiful gold resonators for the pipes and a bellow operated by a second person. The instrument was built for Emperor Maximilian I in 1506 for his court organist. It has since been lovingly restored.

The instrument that can be seen and heard in this video, called “Apfelregal”, was meticulously and lovingly reconstructed by master organ builder Christian Kögler from St. Florian near Linz (Austria). A woodcut by Hans Weiditz from 1518 which showed the Emperor Maximilian I. with his court chapel and his court organist Paul Hofhaimer at the Apfelregal, served as a model.

Explaining the Unique Sound of the Apfelregal

The choir-like Apfelregal with its gold plated apple wood bell, which act as resonators for the reed pipes, and its characteristic sound, which is reminiscent of a mixture of shawm, zinc, Renaissance trombone, bassoon and sordun, has the typical Gothic key range F – a“ and enables the interpreter to convey the characteristically colorful soundscape of the early Renaissance to his audience in an authentic way, fresh, lively and immediately, and thus to carry them away musically into this fascinating, distant epoch.

via Kraftfuttermischwerk

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.