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Paul preaches the Gospel and suffers persecution (Paulus), Op. 78, No. 4

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (01/23/20)
Composer: Malling, Otto
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
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. His scores of organ music brought Malling some reputation abroad, but after his death he was soon forgotten in his native country.

"Paulus" was published by Hansen in 1903. It is a supremely dramatic and emotional work, and quite technically demanding.

The fourth movement, "Paul preaches the Gospel and suffers persecution" is based upon the passage from Acts, as found in the First Comment.

This is a movement of contrasts in terms of volumes, textures, tensions and triumphs.

It begins with strong, crisp passagework in mostly minor tonality, that reminded me quite a bit of some of the works of Josef Rheinberger. After concluding the first "chapter," a quiet "chorale-like" theme appears as a contrast and in the major.

This is followed by a dramatic and rapid increase of turmoil and tension, ending with some bold "recitatives," first played in octaves in the hands, and then repeated in the pedal. It is almost like Paul needs to SHOUT his Gospel proclamations!

The ideas of the opening return, but this time, both passagework and chorale are in the major, and the work ends heroically.

In terms of registration, I relied more on a "plenum" realization of the "full organ," with less reliance on the wonderfully "dark" reeds heard in many of the other movements.

The next section is a WILD one!

The score is attached below, as well as art depicting the conversion, and several new photos of Malling.

The scriptural reference is given in the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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