Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck [Rink] (February 18, 1770 - Elgersburg, Saxe-Gotha (Thuringia) - August 7, 1846 - Darmstadt, Hesse) was a celebrated organist and composer for his instrument. His talent developed itself at an early period, and, like Johann Schneider, he had the advantage of a direct traditional reading of the works of J.S. Bach, having studied at Erfurt (in 1786-1789) under Johann Christian Kittel, one of the great composer's best pupils. Rinck, having sat at the feet of Forkel at the University of Göttingen, obtained in 1790 the organistship of Giessen, where he held several other musical appointments. In 1805 he became organist at Darmstadt, and 'professor' at its college; in 1813 was appointed court organist, and in 1817 chamber musician to the Grand Duke (Ludwig I). Rinck made several artistic tours in Germany, his playing always eliciting much admiration. At Treves, in 1827, he was greeted with special honour. He received various decorations - in 1831 membership of the Dutch Society for Encouragement of Music; in 1838 the cross of the first class from his Grand Duke; in 1840 'Doctor of Philosophy and Arts' from the University of Giessen.
The variations on "Nun ruhen alle Wälder" are taken from the "International Collection of Nineteenth Century Hymn tune Preludes" published by McAfee in 1982. The piece includes the chorale, the beautiful and well-known "Innsbruck" played quietly, and then 3 variations, concluding with a 5-pt. harmonization. The text for the first verse is as follows:
Now rest beneath night’s shadow
The woodland, field, and meadow,
The world in slumber lies;
But Thou, my heart, awake thee,
To prayer and song betake thee;
Let praise to thy Creator rise.
In this performance you are listening to the organ at the maximum distance from the instrument. The MIDI is attached. Please contact me if you would like a copy of this piece.