Arnolt Schlick (July 18, c. 1455–1460 – after 1521) was a German organist, lutenist and composer of the Renaissance. He is grouped among the composers known as the Colorists. He was most probably born in Heidelberg and by 1482 established himself as court organist for the Electorate of the Palatinate. Highly regarded by his superiors and colleagues alike, Schlick played at important historical events, such as the election of Maximilian I as King of the Romans, and was widely sought after as organ consultant throughout his career. The last known references to him are from 1521; the circumstances of his death are unknown.
Schlick was blind for much of his life, possibly from birth. However, that did not stop him from publishing his work. He is best known for Spiegel der Orgelmacher und Organisten (1511), the first German treatise on building and playing organs. His surviving compositions include Tabulaturen etlicher lobgesang (1512), a collection of organ and lute music, and a few pieces in manuscript. His organ music is very sophisticated, and features cantus firmus techniques, multiple truly independent lines (up to five—and, in one case, ten—voices), and extensive use of imitation. Thus, it predates the advances of Baroque music by about a hundred years, making Schlick one of the most important composers in the history of keyboard music.
Throughout his life, Schlick was in high demand as an organ consultant. The earliest record of his activity in this field is from 1491, when he inspected the instrument of the Strasbourg Cathedral. The last reference to Schlick is from 1521, after which he passes into history.
"Maria zart, von Edler art" is his most well-known piece. This performace features the sharp and singing "Cornet" of the Rugwerk, played against the Principals 8' & 4' of the Hoofdwerk. Perhaps it would be historically correct to omit the 16' pedal, but I have used it.
The score & picture of a painting of Schlick are attached below.