Gustav (Adolf) Merkel (November 12, 1827 in Oberoderwitz, near Zittau – October 30, 1885 in Dresden) was a German organist and composer. Having been given some lessons by Schumann in his youth, Merkel spent most of his career in Dresden, concentrating on organ-playing from 1858. A Lutheran himself, he nevertheless held an appointment at one of Dresden's main Catholic churches from 1864 until his death. During the same period he taught the organ at Dresden's Conservatorium. His compositions include nine solo sonatas (which have been recorded several times, as well as occurring quite often in organ recitals), plus a separate sonata for two organists (his Opus 30), and several dozen miniatures (some of them based on Protestant chorale melodies). In these works his style is broadly conservative, very much influenced by Mendelssohn, and with similarities to the output of his younger contemporary Josef Rheinberger. He also produced choral and piano pieces.
These two brief pieces by Merkel are offered in the ongoing quest to find the perfect Peterborough sound.
Some years ago, English organist, Adrian Partington, recorded the complete works of Merkel on the Peterborough Hill. Hopefully these two small pieces will show another "personality" of this venerable instrument, making it an excellent vehicle for German romantic literature.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Gustav Merkel, and several of Peterborough Cathedral.