|About this Recording
8.550791 - ORGAN MEDITATION
Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Padre Giovanni Battista Martini (1706 - 1784)
Alessandro Marcello (1684 - 1750)
Christoph Willibald von Gluck (1714 - 1787)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)
João de Sousa Carvalho (1745 - 1798)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907)
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921)
Marco Enrico Bossi (1861 - 1925)
Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886)
Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934)
Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)
Johan Helmich Roman (1694 - 1758)
Organ Meditation offers a series of organ transcriptions and pieces. These open with the familiar Trtiumerei, Dreaming, from Robert Schumann's set of piano pieces, Scenes of Childhood, as much an evocation of a child's day- dreaming as a piece for children. There follows a Gavotte, a simple and attractive dance, by one of the most respected figures in the musical world of the eighteenth century, the priest Padre Martini, whose pupils included Mozart and the youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Christian, among some hundred or so more.
The D minor Oboe Concerto of Alessandro Marcello, a Venetian nobleman, was wrongly attributed to a number of others, including his younger brother Benedetto. It was transcribed for harpsichord by Bach, and here the moving slow movement is given in organ transcription.
Christoph Willibald von Gluck, ennobled for his services to music in Vienna in the third quarter of the eighteenth century, is an important figure in the development of opera, responsible for a move towards greater dramatic realism, after a period in which the art had become stylized. His Gavotte has a characteristic charm, even separated from its dramatic context and in organ transcription.
Bach, in common with other musicians of his time, was adept at the arrangement of music by other composers, any such work serving as a model for his own work and as a tribute to the composer of the work so transcribed. The Siciliano, BWV 596, is the slow movement of an arrangement by Bach for organ of a concerto by the Venetian priest, violinist, impresario and composer Antonio Vivaldi, a significant figure in the development of the solo concerto. The pattern of the original shepherd's dance is preserved in the slow dotted rhythms of the movement.
The name of João de Sousa Carvalho may be less generally known, although he occupied an important place in the music of Portugal in the later eighteenth century, as director of music at the Patriarchal Seminary and then as music- master to the royal family. His G minor Toccata is one of his few remaining keyboard works, his reputation resting rather on his operas.
The form of the toccata, a piece designed to be played on the keyboard and replete, therefore, with apt figuration for the fingers, was one used and developed by Bach in his organ compositions. His Pastorale, a composition of a less ostentatious kind, was written during his time as court organist at Weimar, where he spent the years from 1708 until 1717.
The later nineteenth century brought even more changes to music than the earlier romantic spirit had engendered. Politically and aesthetically there was a mood of growing national consciousness, expressed in Norwegian music above all by Edvard Grieg. His Suite from the Time of Holberg honours, in much more than a pastiche, the great eighteenth century Norwegian playwright Holberg, the so-called Molière of the North, with music originally for string orchestra and in the outward form of a Baroque dance suite.
The French composer Camille Saint-Saëns was born eight years before Grieg and outlived him by fourteen. Originally hailed as the French Mendelssohn and enthusiastic in his support of contemporary composers, by the time of his death in 1921 he had come to seem a reactionary .His very approachable style and his gift for apt melody is immediately apparent in The Swan, from the light- hearted Carnival of the Animals, a work originally designed as a private and satirical entertainment for friends.
Marco Enrico Bossi, the son of an organist, was himself one of the best known organists of his time. Among his many organ pieces the best known is his G minor Scherzo, which remains a standard item in international repertoire. The Pastorale is a further example of his style of composition, a reflection of his own eminence as a performer.
Franz Liszt caused an early sensation by his ability as a performer, a virtuoso of the pianoforte. He was equally adept as an organist and made a number of organ transcriptions of his own compositions and of the works of others. The well known Consolations, in true romantic spirit, were written in 1849 and 1850 for piano and include some of his best known melodies.
Edward Elgar's charming Chanson de Nuit and Chanson de Matin are carefully crafted miniatures, written originally for violin and piano in 1897, the year before the famous Enigma Variations that at last brought him some recognition in London. He himself later orchestrated both pieces, which exist in a multitude of other arrangements by other hands.
Morgen, by Richard Strauss, was originally a setting, made in 1894, of words by the Scottish radical poet J. H. Mackay, and was later orchestrated by the composer for solo violin, three horns and harp. It is a work of great beauty , part of the great romantic tradition of German Lieder, to which Strauss so notably contributed until the very end of his life.
A pupil of Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré is noted most particularly for his enrichment of the repertoire of French song, in which he reflects the nostalgic mood of the turn of the century in a musical language immediately identifiable as his own. Après un reve (After a Dream) exists in many instrumental transcriptions, but was originally a vocal setting of a French translation of an anonymous Italian original. Fauré's Pieces brèves were written for piano and were published in 1903 with titles supplied by the publisher against the composer's wish. The seventh of these short pieces was given the name Allegresse.
Johan Helmich Roman, master of music in the royal chapel of Sweden, wrote his Drottningholm Music in 1744 for the wedding of the Crown Prince Adolphus Frederik and Lovisa Ulrika of Prussia.
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