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Book: The Work-List of Henry Erben, Organ Builder in Nineteenth-Century New York by Stephen Pinel - [BookERBEN] $150.00

Henry Erben (1800-1884) was America's most prolific and most famous organbuilder through most of the 19th century. Author Stephen L. Pinel, former archivist of the Organ Historical Society for longer than two decades, has devoted 35 years of research to Erben and his organs, culminating in this copiously annotated and documented book with detailed information on hundreds of the 1,734 organs Erben's obituary states that he built, including stoplists, contemporary accounts in newspapers, musical media, church documents and minutes, correspondence, and a world of unexpected sources as well. The 674-page hardbound book with 8-1/2" x 11" pages, 300 photographs and illustrations, is printed by traditional methods on fine, matte-coated paper by the Organ Historical Society and weighs about 6-1/2 pounds. The press run was limited and each copy is numbered and signed by the author.

In December, 1881, three years before Erben's death, The American Art Journal published Erben's portrait and these words, "Our portrait gallery this week is graced by the likeness of a man not only universally known and respected, but one who may be truly said to have contributed more to the proper solemnity and excellence of instrumental church music than any other man in the United States. We need scarcely say that his name is Henry Erben, an unrivaled artist in the construction of that noble and sublime instrument the organ . . . Henry Erben has, perhaps, built more organs than any other man in the world. There is scarcely a church of any size or importance in this country which cannot boast of possessing one of his admirable instruments . . . Mr. Erben's record for 57 years in business is both straightforward and remarkable. . . The organs built by him during the past half century are to be found in every State in the Union, the Canadas, Nova Scotia, Cuba, the West India Islands, Mexico, South and Central America."

The assertion of Erben's prominence and productivity are supported by the United States Census of Industry, compiled every five years for much of the 19th century and wherein the average number of organs reported as having been built annually is higher than any other builder in America: 40 organs per year 1846-50, 50 per year 1851-55, 60 per year 1856-60, etc., as related by Stephen Pinel in an entertaining and superb essay that begins the book in Chapter 1 and introduces the lists of organs published and/or compiled by Erben ("work-lists") throughout his firm's existence. Before Chapter 1, some 50 pages of frontmatter establish sources, the Erben family tree 1724-2021, an eight-page annuary 1609-2021 establishing important events bearing on Erben, his organs, and his family.

Book: <I><B><font color=\"#005600\">The Work-List of Henry Erben, Organ Builder in Nineteenth-Century New York</I></B></font> by Stephen Pinel
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