Gerald Near (b. 1942) was born in Chicago studied composition at the American Conservatory of Music Leo Sowerby . He studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at Leslie Bassett (composition), Robert Glasgow (organ) and Elizabeth AH Green (conducting) and continued his composition studies at the University of Minnesota at Dominick Argento continued.
After working as a choirmaster at the Calvary Church in Rochester / Minnesota Near from 1983 was musical director and organist at the St. Matthew's Cathedral in Dallas / Texas and composer in residence at the Cathedral of St. John in Denver / Colorado. Eventually he became choir director and cantor at Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Santa Fe / New Mexico. He composes mostly sacred music, including masses, motets and hymns and organ works.
The "Ten Chorale Preludes, Set II" were published by Aureole Editions in 1995. They comprise a collection of mostly small (but not all easy!), well-crafted and appealing preludes based upon well-known hymn melodies.
The tenth and last one, "Puer nobis nascitur", the great melody by Michael Praetorious. It's particularly "useful" as there are a number of texts in common use that are joined with this melody. It is a brilliant work, full of bustling passage work (hands and feet), and the harmonies move quickly in an energetic manner. It's a piece indicated to be played ff from start to finish, but I have dome "shading," eventually finishing on the full organ.
The piece is dedicated to Dake Adelmann.
A photo of Gerald Near is attached below.
These little miniatures have what it takes to stand "on their own," so, this is how I've chosen to upload them.
This completes the set of ten. I really enjoyed learning these, so, perhaps I'll do the other set at some point!