Magazine article The American Organist

Johann Gottlob Schneider: 40 Choralvorspiele Aus Op. 8

Magazine article The American Organist

Johann Gottlob Schneider: 40 Choralvorspiele Aus Op. 8

Article excerpt

MUSIC

JOHANN GOTTLOB SCHNEIDER: 40 CHORALVORSPIELE AUS OP. 8, ed. Klaus Jürgen Thies. Bonn: Dr. J. Butz Musikverlag, 2006. Johann Gottlob Schneider (1789-1864) was an organ virtuoso known as the "Orgelkönig" (organ king), especially admired for his pedal technique. His many students included Mendelssohn and Schumann. In this volume, editor Klaus Jürgen Thies has culled from the composer's original collection, Evangelisches Kirchenpräludienbuch (Op. 8, 1849), 40 chorale preludes, chosen to go with hymns found in current German Lutheran (Evangelisches Gesangbuch) and Catholic (Gotteslob) hymnals. In fact, this selection comprises many of the core hymns of the Lutheran Church, so it will work with American hymnals as well. For example, it includes settings of "Christ ist erstanden," "Lobe den Herren," "Nun danket alle Gott," "Vater unser," "Wachet auf," and "Wie schön leuchtet," to name a few well-known chorales. It is especially good to have a setting of "Herzliebster Jesu," a chorale of Johann Cmger that had widespread popularity in 18th-century hymnals (it served for up to 40 texts in several hymnals), but lacks for worthy organ settings in current publications. Schneider is a very good composer, and most of these pieces are solidly in the north German, Bachian tradition. Thies likens Schneider's collection to the Orgelbüchlein, which Bach designed to show a beginning organist how to "work out a chorale in every kind of way and to train himself in pedal playing" (auff allerhand Arth einen Choral durchzufiihren, anbey auch sich im Pedal studio zu habilitiren). …

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