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Macht hoch die Tür, die Tor macht weit

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/09/14)
Composer: Forchhammer, Theofil
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Description:
Theofil Forchhammer (1847-1923) was appointed organist of the Cathedral at Magdeburg in 1886, having succeeded the great August Ritter.

He was a highly regarded organist, and wrote over 1800 chorale preludes, of which only a small number where ever published. The bulk of his compositions were destroyed in World War II.

"Macht hoch die Tür, die Tor macht weit" is a HIGHLY unusual piece! When I decided to give it a try, I had NO idea what it was about or how it was supposed to sound. Initially, I thought that this was a work for Palm Sunday, as the text of "Lift high the gates" is one of the proper psalms for the Procession. I realize now that this is set as an Advent chorale - the other season where the text would properly appear.

The piece begins with a long pedal point of 34 bars on a soft F. The piece builds up a bit under figurations that sound (at least to me) like "alpine mountain horn calls." There is a feeling of "pageant" to the first build up.

On the second page, the chorale appears in chords in the left hand, and played upon the Solo Clarinet. Quick and light figurations in the right hand, and later in the pedal, are tricky to play, and alternate between groups of 2s and 3s. There are several quiet quotes from "Stille nacht," before the piece begins to reach it's climax. Once again, "Still nacht" appears in the left hand against the Full Swell. Massive chords and octaves in the pedal bring about the finals statement of the chorale. The piece ends with massive chords played above a double pedal point.

Despite the fact that this piece lasts only about 3 minutes, it is HARD to play - especially to make it smooth and effecient. I have NO idea if this is "correct," as I have NEVER heard any other performance of it... ;-)

This work is taken from the "Incognita Organo" series (Volume 37), which is still available from Harmonia.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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