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Actus Tragicus (Six Religious Preludes, No. 5)

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The Gió Riverside

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/06/20)
Composer: Weinberger, Jaromir
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
Jaromir Weinberger (1896-1967) was born in Prague, from a family of Jewish origin. He heard Czech folksongs from time spent at his grandparents' farm as a youth. He started to play the piano at age 5, and was composing and conducting by age 10. He began musical studies with Jaroslav Kricka. He became a student at the Prague Conservatory at age 14, as a second-year student. Later, at Leipzig, he studied with Max Reger and assumed into his own technique Reger's immense grasp of counterpoint. In 1922 Weinberger moved to the United States where he took up a position as an instructor at Cornell University. Between 1922 and 1926 he was professor of composition at the Ithaca Conservatory, New York. When he returned to Czechoslovakia he was appointed director of the National Theater in Bratislava. In 1926 Weinberger completed Švanda Dudák (Schwanda the Bagpiper) which became one of the most popular operatic works between the wars. He was a versatile composer, making use of the widest variety of materials and approaches.

In 1939, after extensive travels to the United States, Bratislava, and Vienna, he fled his native country to escape the Nazis and settled in New York State, teaching there and in Ohio. He wrote a number of works on commission from American orchestras. He became an American citizen in 1948.

During the 1950s, Weinberger moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. In later life, he developed cancer of the brain. This, together with money worries and the neglect of his music, prompted him to take a lethal drug overdose in August 1967.

His catalogue of compostions for organ includes the following works:Bible Poems (1939), Sonata (1941), 6 Religious Preludes (1946), Meditations, 3 Preludes (1953), and Dedications, 5 Preludes (1954). His organ works are very hard to find, and are essentially "unavailable".

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Weinberger.

For musical notes and the Biblical verse depicted, please see the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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