Monday, June 02, 2014

A Mendelssohn organ sonata (#2 in C MInor), looking back to Bach, ahead to Liszt


Lawrence P. Schreiber played two movements from the powerful Organ Sonata #2 in C Minor. Op/ 65 #2, by Felix Mendelssohn for Communion Sunday June 1 at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC.

Dr. Schreiber the Introduction (Grave) and Adagio as the Prelude, and then the whimsical “Allegro Maestoso Vivace” (effectively the second movement, a kind of scherzo) as the Postlude. The movement often pivots on subdominant chords.  The complete work, about 11 minutes, then follows with a deliberative Fugue (Allegro Moderato) which concludes with in C Major in massive fashion which anticipates the effects that Franz Liszt would achieve with his “ad nos” variations and fugue.  Since the work is relatively short, it might have been nice to play the entire work as a prelude, announced, and starting it at 10:45. 
   
   
Music students learn of Mendelssohn’s work as being “happy” compared to a lot of other composers.  One of his most glorious conclusions is the end of the Scotch Symphony, #3.   Mendelssohn Mendelssohn is generally credited with having made the works of J.S. Bach (both choral and organ) “popular” in his day, as in the Library of Congress article here

The service also offered Max Reger’s “Wondrous King, All Glorious”. 


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