Johann Nepomuk David (1895–1977) was an Austrian composer. He was professor of composition and theory in Leipzig (1934–1945), professor of music at the Mozarteum in Salzburg (1945–1947), and finally, from 1948 to 1963, professor of theory and counterpoint (practically: composition) in Stuttgart.
David wrote a number of orchestral works including eight symphonies, several concertos including an organ concerto and three violin concertos, instrumental works including many for or with organ, and many choral works. His "Choralwerk für Orgel" consists of 21 volumes with hymn-based organ music, written between 1932 and 1973.
David's little partita about two Christmas songs (Choralwerk vol. 2) shows his mastership in counterpoint:
The first movement is a three-part canon in the lower fifth and octave derived from "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen".
The second movement is a two-part canon in the lower fourth derived from "Vom Himmel hoch" with a third voice in the pedals based on 4' stops, also derived from the melody.
The third movement combines both hymns in a five-part setting with double pedal: "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" appears in the Tenor (right foot) above a free bass line (left foot). "Vom Himmel hoch" appears slightly ornamented in the Soprano (right hand). Two additional voices for the left hand are also derived from "Vom Himmel hoch".
This music looks and sounds rather innocent - but especially the last movement has its intricacies and the recording took quite some time...