Max Drischner (1891–1971) — Praeludium in D minor (1916) for organ
German-Silesian composer and church musician Max Drischner (1891–1971) was born in Prieborn and educated at the universities in Leipzig and Breslau. In addition to his composition and general studies, Drischner also studied the harpsichord with Wanda Landowska and the organ with Albert Schweitzer, who became a close friend. Beginning in the 1920s Drischner was very active with the promotion and performance of early music, including many works that were just being re-discovered; throughout his life he maintained a large repertoire of early music. From 1924 until 1945 (when the church was destroyed in World War II), he was organist at St. Nicholas Church in Brieg. Drischner was a pioneer of the organ reform movement and oversaw the restoration (rather than electrification) of the 1724 Michael Engler organ. After the war, Drischner lived in several cities, finally settling in Goslar from 1955 until his death. As a composer, Drischner published mostly choral/vocal and organ music. His musical style is largely traditional, drawing particularly on older models. However, his musical language also displays distinctive modal and melodic influences that come from his extensive study and research into Nordic folk music. In addition to free organ pieces and works based on traditional German chorales, he produced a number of works based on traditional Norwegian folk melodies and hymns. These pieces were very popular with organists in Norway, especially his series of folk tune partitas loosely modeled on those of the German baroque. A number of Drischner’s other works, even those not explicitly based on folk tunes, allude to a Nordic folk style and character, often combining this influence with traditional Germanic musical principles in interesting ways.