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Gethsemane, Op. 54, No. 1

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/04/15)
Composer: Malling, Otto
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Romantic
Otto Valdemar Malling (1 June 1848 – 5 October 1915) was a Danish composer, from 1900 the cathedral organist in Copenhagen and from 1889 professor, then from 1899 Director of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. He was born in Copenhagen, and became a pupil of Niels Gade and Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann. in his later career he mainly composed organ works and vocal music, but he also wrote a significant amount of orchestral music, as well a substantial cantata "Der hellige Land", and a symphony in D minor. He was a co-founder and vice-conductor of The Concert Society, Copenhagen (1874), supporting himself as organist at various Copenhagen churches. His scores of organ music brought Malling some reputation abroad, but after his death he was soon forgotten in his native country, as musical tastes changed. In the late 20th century, several of his concert works were recorded.

The three movements of "Der Tod und die Auferstehung Christi", Op.54 make up a sort of "Holy Week Suite", as they begin with the events in the garden of Gethsemane, move (in a most agonizing manner) to the journey and arrival at Golgatha, and the innocent and still-unknown events that were to take place on Easter Morning.

The first movement, "Gethsemane" (Modertato - F Minor) begins in the stillness of the garden with Jesus in prayer. The tone is sad, solemn, and very dark. A second theme, played upon the Solo clarinet, is more lyrical, but still sorrowful. The uneasy stillness is broken with the arrival of the soldiers as they come to arrest Jesus. The mood intensifies as all is in confusion and turmoil, and everyone is running away. (Behold who the run, and flee away, and I alone go forth to die.) The agitation gradually subsides, and the mournful, funereal mood and colors of the opening return, until the movement ends with a long F minor chord, played with dark reeds.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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