Michael Baumgartl (1950–2017) — Orgelpunkt (auf den Choral “Aus tiefer Not”) (1999) for organ
The title of “Orgelpunkt” (1999) refers to a “pedal point”—a sustained pitch (usually in the bass, but not necessarily) running throughout an extended section of music. In this piece, the pedal point (A) appears in both the bass and treble. As the chords change around it, the pitch is recontextualized within different harmonies. In between the “orgelpunkt” sections can be heard small allusions to Martin Luther’s chorale “Aus tiefer Not,” based on Psalm 130: “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord! Lord, hear my voice.” The composer saw this obsessive piece as a reflection on the verse, perhaps with the “orgelpunkt” symbolizing both the psalmist’s determination and God’s steady presence.
German composer Michael Baumgartl (1950–2017) was born in Klettwitz/Niederlausitz and was educated in Dresden and Berlin. He studied composition primarily with Rainer Kunad. From 1977–83 Baumgartl was the music director for the Landestheater Halle/Salle, from 1984–90 was the dramaturge and composer in residence for the Schwerin Philharmonic, and from 1985–92 was lecturer at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, Schwerin campus. From 1992 until his death in 2017, he worked as a freelance composer in Hamburg and Mecklenburg. Baumgartl’s output includes numerous compositions in many genres including opera, oratorio, orchestral music, chamber music, vocal music, and film/dramatic music.
Published by Verlag Neue Musik