19th-Century Organ Music from Leipzig
edited by Anne Marlene Gurgel [org]
88 pages | 23 x 30,5 cm | 323 g | ISMN: 979-0-004-17976-5 | Softbound
One will look in vain here for big names such as Mendelssohn and Schumann. After all, their complete organ works are already published by Breitkopf & Härtel. This volume offers a panorama of Leipzig as an "organ city" depicted by 28 different works. The Schneider brothers and, above all, C. F. Becker put their stamp on church music in Leipzig long before the Conservatory was founded. Later, the newly built organs of the Nikolaikirche and the Thomaskirche resounded with works from the romantic era, which brilliantly blended Baroque models and new expressiveness.
|Becker, C. F.||Adagio in F minor|
|Becker, C. F.||Choral Jesu, meine Freude|
|Becker, C. F.||Postludium in G minor|
|Becker, C. F.||Trio Dir, dir Jehova will ich singen|
|Neuhoff, L.||Andante in Eb major|
|Papperitz, R.||Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen|
|Papperitz, R.||O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid|
|Papperitz, R.||Schmuecke dich, o liebe Seele|
|Papperitz, R.||Werde munter, mein Gemuete|
|Piutti, C.||Auf, auf, mein Herz, mit Freuden|
|Piutti, C.||Gott des Himmels und der Erden|
|Piutti, C.||Heut triumphieret Gottes Sohn|
|Richter, E. Fr.||Prelude and Fugue As major|
|Richter, E. Fr.||Prelude and Fugue in C minor|
|Richter, E. Fr.||Trio Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir|
|Richter, E. Fr.||Trio Jesu, meine Freude|
|Rust, W.||Fantasien Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend|
|Rust, W.||Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten|
|Schellenberg||Fantasia ueber den Namen B A C H b minor|
|Schellenberg||Pastorale in G major|
|Schneider, F.||Trio in E major|
|Schneider, F.||Trio in Eb major|
|Schneider, F.||Trio in F minor|
|Schneider, F.||Trio in G major|
|Schneider, J. G.||Adagio in E minor|
|Schneider, J. G.||Allegro con spirito in C major|
|Schneider, J. G.||Vivace in G major|
|Schneider, J. G.||Vorspiel fuer die Orgel in A minor|
In the 19th century, Leipzig was famed as one of the most attractive cities in Germany. Known for its important fairs, it boasted a celebrated university, major musical institutions, eminent book and music publishers and a great deal of cultural associations that enjoyed the active participation of many of the town’s citizens. Leipzig also provided some major impulses in the field of organ music at this time. The widespread stagnation of church music after 1800 was checked by a number of talented young musicians who made use of traditional forms while seeking new directions at the same time.
Today we have a completely different outlook on romantic organ music, and we are becoming increasingly aware of its effects on compositional style, organ construction and matters of interpretation. One of the avowed aims of this collection is to unearth some of the more obscure treasures of romantic organ music from Leipzig – much of this material is found only in libraries – and make them accessible once again to practicing organists.
What immediately comes to mind when we think of 19th-century organ music in Leipzig are Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Six Organ Sonatas Op. 65 (1844/45) and Robert Schumann’s Six Fugues on the Name BACH Op. 60 (1845). But we should also not forget the many young musicians who came to Leipzig because of its Conservatory. One of them, the Dane Niels W. Gade (1817–1890), had his Three Pieces for Organ Op. 22 published by Breitkopf & Härtel. And there is also Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843–1900), whose Six Chorales for Organ Op. 67 left their mark on Johannes Brahms’s 11 Chorale Preludes for Organ Op. 122. In addition to these composers, there were also a large number of less prominent musicians in Leipzig during the 19th century. As organists and cantors – the most prestigious of such posts being those at the Thomaskirche – they regarded it as their duty in the city’s churches to preserve traditions while assimilating and developing the newest musical currents.
The Bach tradition was still alive when the brothers Friedrich and Johann Gottlob Schneider left their native Oberlausitz region around 1805 or 1810 to study in Leipzig, and soon to teach there as well. One of their teachers, the Thomaskantor August Eberhard Müller (1767–1817), had been pupil of Bach’s son Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach in Bückeburg. Their second teacher, the Thomaskantor Johann Gottfried Schicht (1753–1823), distinguished himself as a caretaker of the Bach tradition by copying and performing Bach’s works.
After his studies with Schicht and Friedrich Schneider, Carl Ferdinand Becker cast his stamp for many years on Leipzig’s musical life as a brilliant interpreter of Bach’s organ works and as a music historian. As an impresario, he also established a concert tradition which was highlighted by Mendelssohn’s celebrated “organ recital”. This concert, whose profits were destined for the “erection of a memorial for ... Bach”, took place at the Thomaskirche on 6 August 1840. A milestone in Leipzig’s musical history was the founding in 1843 of the first music conservatory in Germany, which was instigated by Mendelssohn and carried through despite a good deal of opposition. From the very beginning, the teaching of church music was one of the mainstays of the curriculum. C. F. Becker was the first organ teacher there and the first in a long line of organists who divided their professional career between teaching and playing the organ in one of the city’s main churches. This tradition has continued without interruption to this day.
The composers represented in this collection entertained a wide variety of relations among each other: either as teacher-pupil or predecessor-successor in the church or the Conservatory, or simply as friends. The music presented here is thus obligated to a very precise tradition and can be used in various ways, as suggested for example by the title of Becker’s published collection CÆCILIA: ORGAN PIECES for Study, Concert, or Religious Services. A distinct emphasis was laid in Friedrich Schneider’s Advanced Organ Method (Nos. 1–4 of this edition) and Carl Piutti’s 200 Chorale Preludes (Nos. 25–27). These pieces are particularly well suited for practice purposes and to prepare oneself for the study of Bach’s works. In the preliminary remarks to his Chorale Etudes (Nos. 21–24), Robert Papperitz notes his pieces’ similarity with those in Bach’s Orgelbüchlein. These little pieces with a pedagogical aim are just as appropriate for religious services as the larger works. As suggested in Piutti’s opening words, the chorale preludes can be played independently of the congregational singing as preludes and postludes. Some of the larger works make striking recital pieces.
The Leipzig organ school of the 19th century boasted a conservative, academic tendency on the one hand, and a healthy historicism on the other. The form and contents of Baroque models were blended with the new harmonies and expressiveness of their time. This was the period of organ romanticism, in which, in Leipzig and elsewhere, the foundations for the “new tones” were laid down in theory and practice through the construction of new organs (at the Nikolaikirche in 1862, at the Thomaskirche in 1889). Typical examples of romantic sound sensitivity are the registration suggestions Rust provided for his Organ Fantasias (Nos. 19 and 20).
In this collection, we have arranged the composers in chronological order. Additions and alterations were made in order to adjust the musical orthography and the setting of accidentals to the rules in effect today. The chorale-based works were transposed to the keys of the “Evangelisches Gesangbuch” wherever this was possible without manipulating the substance of the pieces. Obvious printing errors were tacitly corrected (dots and fermatas added, slurs placed with greater precision). All added markings were placed in brackets; added slurs were designated as such by broken lines. The beaming generally follows the original prints. The fingerings contained in some of the first editions were omitted. Also omitted were the foot directions for the pedal occasionally found in the prints, since they no longer correspond to present-day practice. The few original articulations will help show the organist the direction he must take to achieve a differentiated performance. The suggested registrations were always borrowed from the first editions. Originally notated on two staves, the pieces by J. G. Schneider (Nos. 5–8) were reproduced here with an extra pedal stave.
We have taken as our sources primarily the respective first editions from the extensive collections of Leipzig’s Musikbibliothek. We wish to thank Herr Peter Krause for his valuable advice and for putting the original prints at our disposal. We also wish to thank Professor Dr. Hermann J. Busch of Siegen for his greatly appreciated suggestions, and the organist of the Thomaskirche, Herr Ullrich Böhme, for having allowed us to consult two sources from his private collection.
Friedrich Schneider (1786–1853) is remembered as the composer of the once famous oratorio Das Weltgericht. He enrolled at the University of Leipzig in 1805 and was musically furthered by the Thomaskantor A. E. Müller and J. G. Schicht in particular. He was the organist of the university church of St. Paul’s from 1807 to 1810, and at the Thomaskirche from 1813 to 1821. He subsequently became the music director of the ducal court in Dessau. There he founded a music school where he taught the organ to many students from a number of nations. Ultimately, however, his school could not weather the competition it faced from the Leipzig Conservatory, which began operating in 1843.
Johann Gottlob Schneider (1789–1864) began his law studies in Leipzig in 1810, but later succeeded his brother Friedrich as university organist. He found a post as organist in Görlitz in 1812, but kept returning to Leipzig in the course of his extensive travels as an organ virtuoso. He was appointed Royal Saxon Court Organist in Dresden in 1825. The vast scope of his talents – virtuoso, organ expert, teacher and composer – is reflected in the nickname he was given: “Saxony’s Organ Pope”.
Carl Ferdinand Becker (1804–1877) influenced the musical life of Leipzig through the organ recitals he regularly held as titular organist at the Peterskirche (1825–1837) and the Nikolaikirche (1837–1854). There he played above all the works of Bach and his contemporaries. Becker was one of the founding fathers of the Leipzig Conservatory in 1843. In addition to teaching the organ, he also gave lectures in music history. Becker has earned a place of honor both as a music scholar and as a collector and editor of organ literature, since he sought to preserve the music of the past while making the new trends accessible to a broad public. A clearly pedagogical intent underlies his instrumental works, especially the organ pieces.
Ernst Friedrich Richter (1808–1879) was one of the first teachers at the Leipzig Conservatory. As a student, Richter soon abandoned his theological studies to learn music. In 1843 he was appointed university music director at the Paulinerkirche. He then occupied several posts as an organist at various other major churches in Leipzig: the Peterskirche from 1851 to 1861, the Matthäikirche from 1861 to 1862, and the Nikolaikirche from 1862 to 1868. In 1868 he was appointed Thomaskantor. In addition to organ works, he wrote many choral pieces and a great deal of chamber music. His comprehensive theoretical and methodical writings – most of which were published by Breitkopf & Härtel – were widely read and translated into several languages.
After completing his studies in Leipzig and working at some of the smaller Leipzig churches, Hermann Schellenberg (1816–1862) twice succeeded his teacher C. F. Becker as an organist: at the Johanneskirche in 1846 and at the Nikolaikirche in 1854. His untimely death prevented him from attending the inauguration of the Ladegast organ (which he had planned and conceived) at the Nikolaikirche in November 1862. Schellenberg was held in high esteem as an organ virtuoso, committed teacher and innovative composer, even beyond the borders of Saxony.
Wilhelm Rust (1822–1892) belonged to Friedrich Schneider’s circle of pupils in Dessau from 1840 to 1843. To him the musical world owes the exemplary preparation of 26 volumes of the Bach Edition which he began in his Berlin years and continued in Leipzig. He was the organist at the Thomaskirche from 1870 to 1880 and also taught at the Conservatory. He succeeded E. F. Richter as Thomaskantor in 1880.
Robert Papperitz (1826–1903) first studied, then taught at the Leipzig Conservatory. He took over the post of organist at the Nikolaikirche from his teacher E. F. Richter in 1868 and held it until 1899. Papperitz wrote many distinctive organ works and looked after Richter’s estate.
Carl Piutti (1846–1902) also studied at the Leipzig Conservatory (where Carl Reinecke was one of his teachers) before becoming a teacher there in 1875. He was Straube’s predecessor as the organist at the Thomaskirche (1880–1902). It was during Piutti’s tenure there that the great Sauer organ was constructed. For its inauguration in 1889, he composed the Festive Hymn Op. 20. With his masterful improvisations, Piutti drew widespread attention to the Saturday motets at the Thomaskirche.
Ludwig Neuhoff (1859–1909) studied under Joseph Rheinberger in Munich from 1885 to 1889 before completing his composition studies at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1890/91. Neuhoff spent the last years of his life in Italy. His two Organ Sonatas Opp. 11 and 21 stand out from his multi-faceted Oeuvre.
Leipzig, Fall 1994