Otto Valdemar Malling (1 June 1848 – 5 October 1915) was a Danish composer, from 1900 the cathedral organist in Copenhagen and from 1889 professor, then from 1899 Director of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. He was born in Copenhagen, and became a pupil of Niels Gade and Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann. in his later career he mainly composed organ works and vocal music, but he also wrote a significant amount of orchestral music, as well a substantial cantata "Der hellige Land", and a symphony in D minor. He was a co-founder and vice-conductor of The Concert Society, Copenhagen (1874), supporting himself as organist at various Copenhagen churches. His scores of organ music brought Malling some reputation abroad, but after his death he was soon forgotten in his native country.
I don't play many pieces by Malling, but I enjoy and admire all that I do know, and this one is no exception. However, it's a highly "unusual" Palm Sunday offering!
Published by Hansen in 1897, it is based upon the following Gospel verses:
St. Matthew 21, 8-9: And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. - and St. Luke 19. 41-42: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
The "opening procession" doesn't have much of the "ceremonial grandeur" that we expect. Instead, it is most harp-like rolled chords, which are suddenly broken by some rather "frightening measures," before returning the strumming harps. A syncopated melodic section follows, before a more foreboding climactic part, return to the opening material, reworked, and finally melting away - and all of this in less than 4 minutes time!
The score (starts p. 36) is attached below, as well as a photo of Otto Malling.