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450th Anniversary of the Death of Paul Hofhaymer

Date of issue: September 11, 1987
Face value: AS 4
Commemorative stamp

The musician and organist Paul Hofhaymer was born on January 25, 1459 into a well-to-do family. In 1480 he was called to Innsbruck by Duke Sigmund to serve as court organist where he succeeded Niclas Krondorfer. After a short probationary period Hofhaymer was granted a lifelong position there. In those days an organist's tasks were different from what one might imagine today. Called for was proficiency with not only large church organs and small reed organs, but also with all other conventional keyboard instruments of the day, such as clavichords and regals. Even the lute and harp were required. When Emperor Maximilian took over Tyrol's legislature in the year 1490, he allowed Hofhaymer to keep his position. Maximilian's frequent travel very often forced the great organist to follow his lord. Eventually Hofhaymer was also consulted in the construction of new organs: case in point, the organ in Innsbruck which he built in 1491. Maximilian's death in the year 1519 was a crucial time in Hofhaymer's life, for his secure existence was now in danger. It is certain that he stayed in Salzburg as of 1524. He remained there until his death in 1537. Only a fraction of his works have remained, thus this musician who was so famous in his day gradually slipped into oblivion. Of his numerous liturgical organ works, only two have been handed down, a "Recordare" and a "Salve Regina".

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