Why did Hannes Meyer make this recording? Primarily for the sheer joy of playing the organ. And also because it was important to familiarize an ever larger audience with the organ’s wondrous diversity and range of expression.
Hannes, has your concept for popularizing the organ undergone any changes during the past few years? Has your musical credo changed in any way?
- No, my aim is still to break down the rather arbitrary categorization of music into sacred, classical, popular and folk music. Such a classification must invariably lead to a segregation of the audience into different classes. It may be recalled that classical music, for example, was once turned into a status symbol by an ambitious bourgeoisie. Or that even today some people still refuse to consider jazz as “serious” music. Is folk music really only musical entertainment for the simple folk? Isn’t it much more the musical expression of a people? I believe that music should essentially nourish both the body and the soul, which in no way implies that it cannot also fulfill other functions.
Has your goal been reached, or is there still a long way to go?
- Of course my goal has not been achieved. However, I have noted with satisfaction that increasingly larger and more varied audiences are coming to hear my organ concerts, no longer with a felling of shy acquiescence, but rather with a kind of creative curiosity and with a genuine interest and pleasure in this music. By the way, another aspect of my work is to make young people realize that in every town and village there is at least one instrument which belongs to everyone and is available to all, the church organ. The amazingly large number of requests I have received from non-professional organists for some of my manuscripts, such as the “Schanfigger Bauernhochzeit” (The Schanfigg Valley Farmer’s Wedding) have strengthened my belief that here and there the interest for village music is undergoing a revival – that is, if it were ever really neglected.