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Published on Jul 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 his Op. 41, “Erinnerungen an den Hardanger-Fjord” (Memories of the Hardanger Fjord), a set of four pieces published in 1896. The Hardanger fjord is the second-longest fjord in Norway, stretching from the Atlantic 180 kilometers into the Norwegian mountains, amidst gorgeous scenery. “Sommertag” (Summer Day) is the first piece in the set, a single page of sunshine and relaxation. Many thanks to Herr Andreas Fischer, great-grandson of the composer, for sharing this rare score. Performed by Michael Hendron on his Mason & Hamlin Liszt Organ, built in Boston in 1892. Recorded 24 July 2015.