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Ostern (Easter), Op. 73, No. 5

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/02/18)
Composer: Gulbins, Max
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: The Armley Schulze
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Late Romantic
Max Gulbins (born July 18, 1862 in Kummetschen , East Prussia , † February 19, 1932 in Breslau ) was a German organist , cantor and composer. He studied at the Berlin Conservatory (from 1882) with Heinrich von Herzogenberg and Friedrich Kiel . This was followed by positions as music director in Stallupönen (1888), Insterburg (1896), then as cantor in Elbing (1900), and finally the appointment as cantor and senior organist at St. Elisabeth in Wroclaw (1908). In 1917 he was appointed professor there.

I was very struck by the quality of his music, and the rather unique way that he sets his material.

"Ostern" is found in his Biblishce Bilder (Biblical Images), Book 1. It was published by H. Oppenheimer in 1911, and is dedicated to the concert organist, Otto Burkert-Brunn.

For its scriptural "inspiration," Gulbins selects Mark 1:1-8, which depicts the women coming to the tomb early on the morn of the first Easter. They find that the tomb is empty, and see a young man dressed in white who tells them that Jesus has arisen, and that he has gone on to Galilee, where they shall see him, as he told them that they would.

The work begins in utter gloom. Not much is heard but a rumbling in the pedal, and a few plodding chords on the manuals. Slowly, the work begins to transform and brighten. The harmonies change and within measures, full organ has been reached with a triumphant joy!

The heart of the piece now begins, and Gulbins sets the chorale, "Jesus, meine Zuversicht" in a way that is so "wonderfully period correct," that I immediately loved the piece! The melody appears in long phrases, and the underlying parts continue moving forwards, not quickly, but with growing confidence. Finally the chorale has been stated, and the full organ with triumphant conclusion has been reached.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Gulbins, as well as photos of the Church of St. Elisabeth in Wroclaw.

The text of the chorale is given in the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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