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Der 23. Psalm (The 23 Psalm), Op. 89, No. 1

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/14/20)
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 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.

"Nachklänge aus Davids Psalmen" (Echos from David's Psalms) was published in 1911 by William Hansen. The psalms set are the 23rd and 33rd psalms.

The 23 is pastorale in nature, as you would expect, but Malling takes the "minor tonality" approach, blending romantic harmony with what I've been calling his own language of "Danish modality."

The first section, which centers around the key of D minor, is flowing and quiet, with a touch of sadness about it. I've given the Solo Concert Flute a chance, and the beautiful, liquid colors add a lush and comforting aspect.

The middle section begins very quietly on the Solo Unda maris, but soon we hear the "thumping footsteps" as we pass through the "valley of the shadow of death."

The music builds in confidence, although there is no really joyful climax achieved, although we can tell when we've safely passed through upon our journey, as the music melts back into the opening material, ending sweetly in F major, high upon the wonderful Solo Unda maris, which fades away and disappears at the very end.

The score is attached below, as well as art depicting the Presentation, and several photos of Otto Malling, as seen in portraits of various ages.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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