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Published on Dec 24, 2015
Franz Poenitz (1850-1912) was a German harpist, composer and painter. He played the harp in the Royal Orchestra of Berlin for nearly fifity years, and was also renowned as a harmonium virtuoso. He began composing for the harmonium in his forties, and organized concerts to promote the instrument. He wrote many works for harmonium, as a solo instrument and chamber music. Among these is this charming Christmas piece called “Bethlehem,” his Opus 47, part of the “Normal-harmonium Litteratur” presented by Paul Koeppen in Berlin. The instrument is a five-rank chapel-model reed organ made by the Mason & Hamlin firm of Boston in 1915. All the stop registrations and changes are indicated in the score, including the ethereal 2-rank 2’ Eolian Harp in the bass half of the keyboard, heard alone after the Full Organ passage. Performed by Michael Hendron; recorded 24 December 2015. Happy Christmas to all!