Gustav Rebling (10 July 1821 — 9 January 1902) first received lessons from his father Friedrich, the cantor at the city church in Barby. After attending Friedrich Schneider's music school in Dessau from 1836 to 1839, he settled in Magdeburg as a teacher of singing and pianoforte playing. Until 1853 he was also an organist at the small French Reformed Church. In 1854 he became the successor of Johann Joachim Wachsmanns conductor of the cathedral choir and singing teacher at the Domgymnasium Magdeburg. He founded the Kirchengesang-Verein in 1846, and in 1862 he took over the men's choir Second Liedertafel. Both were soon among the more capable German choirs, which showed themselves growing in Magdeburg concerts, at music festivals and concert tours of any demanding composition.
Rebling was one of the most important choral teachers and conductors of his time. First, in conjunction with August Gottfried Ritter and Julius Mühling, after their death alone, Rebling was the musical authority determining the Magdeburg musical life of the second half of the 19th century. He worked in the Magdeburg Tonkünstler Association, was a member of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung and since 1861 was a board member of the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein. In 1856 he was appointed Royal Music Director and in 1896 professor.
"Christmas Fantasy (on a theme of J. S. Bach) is found in the collection, edited by William Carl (1865-1936), a leading American organist. (Page 19.)
The "theme" that this work is based upon is the first movement of Bach's "Pastorale in F," and the opening bars quote the work exactly, minus the trills. Soon after, the German Christmas melody, "O du fröhliche", which is taken from the hymn, "Sicilian Mariners", is combined "into" the Bach.
The combination of the two is successful, and the entire effect is calming and satisfying.
The score is attached below, & a drawing of Gustav Rebling.
Tomorrow's upload: Fantasy on old Christmas Carols - Hugh Blair