Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Hermann Schroeder, "Six Preludes and Intermezzi"




Sunday, August 4, 2019, guest organist Kevin Biggins Jr. played three of the “Six Preludes and Intermezzi” for Organ, Op. 9 (1931) by German organist and composer Hermann Schroeder (1904-1984).

The six movements are (1) Maestoso, C (2) Andante Sostenuto, b min (3) Allegro moderato, d min (4) Allegretto, G (5) Andantino, c min (6) Poco vivace, C..  Biggins played (1) as the prelude  (4) as the offertory, and the finale after the postlude.   The entire suite, which sounds coherent if played in entirety, takes about eleven minutes.


Stylistically, the pieces are like Bach inventions, with harmonies generated by the polyphony that generate a lot of chromaticism with adventures into adjacent tonalities (sometimes sounding modal, more French than German). There is effective use of time signature changes to create odd rhythmic compression effects.  The Allegretto is the one piece that may sound familiar.
  
The composer would have lived through WWII in Germany and it is not clear what he did then.

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