Flor Peeters (1903–1986) — Kanon, op. 79, no. 3 (1954) for organ
Belgian composer and organist Flor Peeters (1903–1986) was born in the village of Tielen. Though trained in France (and a life-long love of French music, particularly Franck and Dupré, informed his own recital programming), his Flemish identity was always very important to him. He taught organ at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen, the Ghent Conservatory, the Tilburg Conservatory, and the Antwerp Conservatory. He was chief organist at St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen, a position he held until near the end of his life. As an organ recitalist, he toured Europe, the Philippines, South Africa, and the USA (10 transcontinental tours)—playing more than 1200 organ recitals in total. In 1971, he was elevated to the peerage, the third Belgian musician since 1830 to receive this honor. Peeters composed primarily music for organ, choir, voice, and piano, a few chamber works, and one substantial orchestra piece (an organ concerto). He was very prolific and wrote more than 32 hours of solo organ music—more than any other composer of the 20th century, and likely more than any other composer in history. Peeters’s musical style was influenced primarily by Gregorian chant, Flemish Renaissance polyphony, and Flemish folk music. He had a preference for classical forms and contrapuntal textures, and a particular love for imaginative uses of modality. Few composers in history have produced an output matching his sustained mastery with the sheer quantity of works.
Published by Musikverlag Schwann in “Manuale”