Andreas Willscher (b. 1955) — Cinq poèmes à la memoire de Selma Merbaum (2018) for organ
1) Herbstgeigen (Autumn Violins)
2) Dur und Moll und Dur (Major and Minor and Major)
3) Schalmei (Shawm)
4) Tausendschlittenglöckleinklang (Thousand Little Sleigh Bell Sounds)
5) 1000 Flöten (1000 Flutes)
“Cinq poèmes à la memoire de Selma Merbaum” (Five Poems in Memory of Selma Merbaum) is written in memory of Selma Merbaum-Eisinger (1924–1942), a Romanian lyrical impressionist poet of Jewish descent who died during the Holocaust at age 18 in a labor camp in Ukraine. Merbaum’s poetic output (written in German) consisted of both her own original work as well as translations from French, Yiddish, and Romanian. Her poems were re-discovered and published in the late 1970s. Willscher’s musical poems are titled after images from Merbaum’s writing.
German composer and organist Andreas Willscher (b. 1955) studied composition, theory, and organ in his native Hamburg. In 1971 he was appointed organist of the St. Francis Church in Hamburg and in 2000 of the church of St. Joseph-Wandsbek. In addition, he has been keyboardist for several jazz and rock ensembles. Willscher has received many awards and commissions for his compositions, which range widely in form: from symphonic music and oratorios to cabaret and rock scores. His organ works are very diverse, ranging from large-scale post-tonal pieces to some that blend elements of the traditional repertoire with contemporary jazz and pop influences. In addition to his own composition and performing activities, Willscher has published a number of literary and scientific articles in journals and encyclopedias and has been very active in collecting and preserving lost and forgotten music from earlier eras. In 2015, in honor of his 60th birthday and life’s work as a musician, he was awarded the Johann Wenzel Stamitz Prize from the Arts Guild of Esslingen.