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|Birth name||Montgomery Rufus Karl Siegfried Straube|
|Born||6 January 1873|
|Died||27 April 1950 77) (aged|
Montgomery Rufus Karl Siegfried Straube (6 January 1873 – 27 April 1950) was a German church musician, organist, and choral conductor, famous above all for championing the abundant organ music of Max Reger.
Church music is music written for performance in church, or any musical setting of ecclesiastical liturgy, or music set to words expressing propositions of a sacred nature, such as a hymn.
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists. In addition, an organist may accompany congregational hymn-singing and play liturgical music.
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.
Born in Berlin, Straube studied organ under Heinrich Reimann there from 1894 to 1897 and became a widely respected concert organist. In 1897 he was appointed organist at Willibrode Dom (Cathedral) in Wesel, but left in 1902 to take up the position of organist at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. He gave up his career as a performer relatively early in order to pursue teaching and publishing, particularly the music of Reger, though he still kept his position at the Thomaskirche. He was also appointed to the organ faculty of the Leipzig Conservatorium in 1907, receiving the title of "Royal Professor" in 1908. This most honorary title, which is seemingly astounding for a professor of only one year, reflects more on Straube's cleverness than his merit. Since he was offered a job in Berlin (that supposedly paid ℳ 6,000), he wrote a letter of requests to his superior. These subtle "demands" were cleverly wrought (so as not to come off poorly, as his tenure at this point was rather short). He, among other things, requested a raise from ℳ 1,000 to ℳ 5,000 and also requested that the Wilhelm Sauer organ of 1888 at the Thomaskirche be enlarged (not only in manual compass—an extension from f3-a3, but also in size—all done under his supervision by the firm of Wilhelm Sauer). He succeeded Gustav Schreck as cantor of the Thomasschule and director of the Thomanerchor in 1918 and held the post until 1939. His contribution to the history of organ performance was chiefly through his advocacy of the music of Max Reger and his many students, including Heinz Wunderlich.
Professor Dr. phil. Heinrich Reimann, was a German musicologist, organist, and composer.
The Goldmark was the currency used in the German Empire from 1873 to 1914. The Papiermark refers to the German currency from 4 August 1914 when the link between the Mark and gold was abandoned.
Wilhelm Carl Friedrich Sauer was a German pipe organ builder. One of the famous organ builders of the Romantic period, Sauer and his company W. Sauer Orgelbau built over 1,100 organs during his lifetime, amongst them the organs at Bremen Cathedral, Leipzig's St. Thomas Church, and Berlin Cathedral, which is considered to be "his final great masterpiece".
Having received the older tradition of organ playing from Reimann in Berlin, Straube revolutionized his technique in collaboration with the orchestral-style instruments of Sauer (and the encouragement from this mentor who spoke of the "unplayable" organ works of Reger). This allowed him to interpret music by using the full resources of Sauer's massive instruments, with their stop-change mechanisms and expressive divisions; however, he also performed on organs that contained no such devices as well and simply adapted the music accordingly (even Reger was played on purely mechanical instruments with no mechanisms to assist the player, though these were mid-period Romantic organs built by Haas, etc., i.e. not organs of the Orgelbewegung movement). Straube was a complicated man and changed opinions many times throughout his life, having always being the intellectual sort and considering himself more of a historian than a musician. He edited editions of works by "old masters" (Buxtehude, Bach, etc.) and also editions of works by Reger (the latter of which differed highly from the composer's autographs). However, Straube compiled these editions "with the approval of the composer," regarding his many "subjective" editorial markings (most of which completely change the architectural concept of Reger's music). This is exactly how he performed and advocated his editions—he stated that his editorial markings were not dry thoughts made at a desk, but rather inspirations that came to him at the instrument itself. Many reviews comment on his obsession with the clarity of contrapuntal voices and variety and color of his creative registrations.
Straube is a conundrum and the validity of his editions has been brought into question in most recent Reger scholarship. It has been presupposed by many[ who? ] that later in life he advocated the principles of the Orgelbewegung movement, which looked to an "historically pure" interpretation of old music (especially Bach) and also looked back to the organ building principles of the Baroque period (which were largely misinterpreted). Nevertheless, Straube never advocated for this movement, though he did move away from the ideals of the Romantic organ to what the Germans called a compromise [Komprimiß] organ (in America, this style of organ is referred to as "eclectic", i.e. one that plays almost all of the organ repertory, but not necessarily well). This is demonstrated by his being responsible for the rebuild of the Leipzig Conservatory Sauer organ in 1927. However, he went back and forth between supporting the "eclectic" organ and the Romantic organ and certainly did not want Reger to fall out of fashion during this extreme shift in the organ world (i.e. the Orgelbewegung movement). Reger's music was not like that of Wagner, as he looked back to Bach for his highly contrapuntal writing (despite his "modern" harmonic—highly chromatic—language). This is precisely why Straube stated that even Reger can be performed on an organ lacking orchestral colors and the ability to employ these subtle color changes (i.e. one with only the ability to realize dynamic changes in a terraced manner, referring to the "Neo-Baroque" organs of the Orgelbewegung movement). He made this statement in the preface (1938) to his final Reger edition of Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, op. 27 (not because he advocated this aesthetic change, but rather for the sake of his good friend and colleague's musical contributions).
Straube died in Leipzig.
Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger, commonly known as Max Reger, was a German composer, pianist, organist, conductor, and academic teacher. He worked as a concert pianist, as a musical director at the Leipzig University Church, as a professor at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig, and as a music director at the court of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen.
Sigfrid Karg-Elert was a German composer of considerable fame in the early twentieth century, best known for his compositions for organ and harmonium.
The organ repertoire is among the largest for any solo musical instrument. Because of the organ's prominence in worship in Western Europe from the Middle Ages on, a significant portion of organ repertoire is sacred in nature. The organ's suitability for improvisation by a single performer is well adapted to this liturgical role and has allowed many blind organists to achieve fame; it also accounts for the relatively late emergence of written compositions for the instrument in the Renaissance. Although instruments are still disallowed in most Eastern churches, organs have found their way into a few synagogues as well as secular venues where organ recitals take place.
St. Thomas Church is a Lutheran church in Leipzig, Germany. It is associated with a number of well-known composers such as Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, but mostly with Johann Sebastian Bach who worked here as a Kapellmeister from 1723 until his death in 1750. Today, the church also holds his remains. Martin Luther preached here in 1539.
Heinrich Fleischer (1912–2006) was an organist and pedagogue from Leipzig, Germany. A student of Karl Straube, Max Reger's close friend and acknowledged premier performer of his works, Fleischer was a member of the late romantic school of organ playing. Many of his students have become great performers and teachers worldwide. Fletcher's father acquiesced to his son's desire to attend the conservatory on the condition that he complete a PhD in musicology at the university, which would allow him to teach, should the performing career prove to provide too little as an income. Fleischer graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory in 1934. For organists, this was the finest school in Germany. Karl Straube invited him to come back as his teaching colleague and intended successor three years after Fleischer graduated. At the age of 25, Fleischer was the youngest professor at the Conservatory. Despite his position, Fleischer was called up for service in the German army in WW II. Serving in the signal corps of the German army in Russia, much of his time was spent at a typewriter, fortunate, given his lack of skill with a rifle. In December 1941 a transport vehicle in which he was riding overturned. Fleischer suffered injuries that required the complete amputation of the fourth finger and half of the fifth of his left hand. Although he maintained his church position, playing with right hand and pedal, he believed his career was over. However, in 1945 while reading proofs from C.F. Peters at the piano with Karl Straube for a new edition of Bach's organ works, Straube noticed that it might be possible for Fleischer to return to a performing career. He urged him to begin practicing again. After the war, Fleischer re-taught himself to play the organ with his remaining fingers. He played his first complete recital after the injury in July 1945. He was one of those instrumental in reestablishing the organ program in postwar DDR. Fleischer prepared a collection of pieces by a variety of composers, early and modern that were easy enough for amateurs to play in church services under the title, 73 leichte Choralvorspiele. The anthology was published by F.E.C. Leuckart, Munich. After Fleischer emigrated to the United States, at the instigation of Edward Klammer, he produced a version for American Lutherans under the title The Parish Organist, and published by Concordia Publishing House, St Louis, Mo. In the United States, first he was organist and professor of music at Valparaiso University. Subsequently, he was at the University of Chicago, and then at the University of Minnesota. While still a professor at the University of Minnesota, Fleischer took on the role of organist at The First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis. He stated that he was probably the only Unitarian, Marxist organist in the Twin Cities who was also a direct descendant of Martin Luther. While in Germany his careful preparation of scores for performance resulted in many carefully hand-copied editions ranging from Praetorius through the Bach Kunst der Fuge to the large works of Max Reger. Some of these performing editions were later published by Concordia Publishing House. This pains-taking attention to detail, when shared with students, allowed many to play works that would otherwise have been beyond their technical abilities. The majority of these scores and other papers are now in the library at Dr Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota and the library of the Hochschule für Musik at the University of Leipzig.
Wilhelm Rust was a German musicologist and composer. He is most noted today for his substantial contributions to the Bach Gesellschaft edition of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Käte van Tricht, was a German organist, pianist, harpsichordist, and pedagogue.
Günther Werner Hans Ramin was an influential German organist, conductor, composer and pedagogue in the first half of the 20th century.
Bálint Karosi is a Hungarian organist and composer.
Niels Otto Raasted was a Danish composer and organist at Copenhagen Cathedral. He was founder and leader of the Danish Bach Association from 1925-1945 and his choral works are strongly influenced by Bach, Reger and Renaissance music.
Der 100. Psalm, Op. 106, is a composition in four movements by Max Reger in D major for mixed choir and orchestra, a late Romantic setting of Psalm 100. Reger began composing the work in 1908 for the 350th anniversary of Jena University. The occasion was celebrated that year with the premiere of Part I, conducted by Fritz Stein on 31 July. Reger completed the composition in 1909. It was published that year and premiered simultaneously on 23 February 1910 in Chemnitz, conducted by the composer, and in Breslau, conducted by Georg Dohrn.
Johann Sebastian Bach's music has been performed by musicians of his own time, and in the second half of the eighteenth century by his sons and students, and by the next generations of musicians and composers such as the young Beethoven. Felix Mendelssohn renewed the attention for Bach's music by his performances in the 19th century. In the 20th century Bach's music was performed and recorded by artists specializing in the music of the composer, such as Albert Schweitzer, Helmut Walcha and Karl Richter. With the advent of the historically informed performance practice Bach's music was prominently featured by artists such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt and Sigiswald Kuijken.
Three chorale fantasias, Op. 52, are chorale fantasias for organ by Max Reger. He composed the fantasias on three chorales in September 1900: Phantasie über den Choral "Alle Menschen müssen sterben", Phantasie über den Choral "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" and Phantasie über den Choral "Halleluja! Gott zu loben bleibe meine Seelenfreud". They were all first performed individually by Reger's friend Karl Straube, and were first published by Breitkopf & Härtel.
Zwei Choralphantasien, Op. 40, are fantasias for organ by Max Reger. He composed the fantasias in 1899 on two chorales: "Wie schön leucht't uns der Morgenstern" and "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn!" They were published by Musikverlag Josef Aibl in Munich in May 1900.
Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott, Op. 27, is a chorale fantasia for organ by Max Reger. He composed it in 1898 on Luther's hymn "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott". The full title is Phantasie über den Choral "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott".
Martin Schmeding is a German church musician, concert organist and academic teacher, who has made recordings of the complete organ works by composers such as Brahms, Mendelssohn, Franz Schmidt, Max Reger and Tilo Medek.
Anton Nowakowski was a German organist, conductor and composer.
Heinz Wunderlich was a German organist, academic and composer. He was known for playing the organ works of Max Reger. He studied in Leipzig with Karl Straube, a friend of Reger. Wunderlich worked as both a church musician and academic in Halle until 1957, when he fled to West Germany and became church musician and academic in Hamburg. He toured internationally, and attracted students from many countries to study with him in Hamburg. After retiring from teaching, he went on to more compositions.
Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue in E minor, Op. 127, is an extended composition for organ by Max Reger, composed in 1913 and dedicated to Karl Straube who played the premiere in Breslau on 24 September. It was published in November that year in Berlin by Bote & Bock.