Today is Holy Saturday - the "in-between day" when the Church mourns the sorrowful death of the Savior, yet awaits his joyful Resurrection.
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.
This wonderfully joyful work comes from his "Kirkeaarets Festdage / Die Festtage des Kirchenjahres," which is a "liturgical tour of the main holy days in the Church year.
The seventh in the collection, "Erster Ostertag" is this work for Easter Sunday. It expresses the simple, almost childlike joy of the first Easter Day.
When I played through this, I was immediately struck by the fact that I thought it resembled a brass band playing some traditional Easter melody. So, I've played this mostly with the reeds, which are only supported by a few diapasons.
I think the effect is superb on this organ with its heroic reeds!
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Otto Malling.