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, and a symphony in D minor. His scores of organ music brought Malling some reputation abroad, but after his death he was soon forgotten in his native country.
"Paulus" was published by Hansen in 1903. It is a supremely dramatic and emotional work, and quite technically demanding.
The fifth movement, "The people think Paul is a god and sacrifice to him" is based upon the passage from Acts, as found in the First Comment.
As I mentioned in my notes yesterday, this is surely the WILDEST one of the entire group!
It begins with a stately, rather somber processional, with phrases the echo and modulate. I attempted to be quite "orchestral" here, and you'll hear quite a few solo voices, which are perfect for this music.
After this opening section ends on a dominant chord, the action begins! First we hear a stylized dance as the sacrifices are brought forth. It's not too hard to picture the silken girls in the procession. :-)
The atmosphere begins wild and pagan, and passages of great drama and weight are hear. Suddenly, after a tremendous climax, it all stops...
After a beautiful passage of calming modulations, the opening ideas return, this time in the major, and the echos are heard, as in the opening passages.
One by one, all settles down, dissolving into an ending of perfect peace and holiness.
Tomorrow, the grand conclusion.
The score is attached below, as well as art depicting the conversion, and several new photos of Malling.
The scriptural reference is given in the First Comment.