(Benjamin) Robert Papperitz (1826-1903) was faculty at the Leipzig Conservatory and organist at the Nicolaikirche. His chromatic and unexpected harmony was highly influential in the development of the German romantic style, and clearly sets the stage for Reger and Brahms. Battison Haynes was an English organist who studied with Papperitz, and was strongly influenced by these harmonic developments: he deciated his epic Op 11 Organ Sonata to "Herrn Professor Dr. Robert Papperitz, verehrungsvoll gewidmet" Haynes returned with these ideas to England and his ongoing harmonic development was part of a lineage that ultimately led to Elgar's great organ sonata.
These Choral-studien Op 15 were written by Papperitz for the students at the Leipzig Conservatory and he envisioned that they would "prepare students for the creations of JS Bach (Orgelbuchlein and so on)" - these lovely works are quite the challenge to learn and interpret due to the oftentimes surprising harmonic progressions. Iain Quinn in his preface to this edition comments that in his preparation of the manuscript "there have been moments when it has been natural to question a pitch or indeed a harmonic progression but it soon became clear that Papperitz yields towards the unpredictable and that his relative waywardness is an intrinsic element of these pieces."
I have chosen to realize these Choral-studien on the wonderful 1885 Friedrich Ladegast sampleset, recorded by Prof. Maier of Organ Art Media. This instrument is of historic significance, being almost in its original state. Ladegast was known for distinctive foundation stops and he brought techniques he learned from Cavaille Coll to the German Romantic tradition. When Robert Papperitz was organist at the Nicolaikirche, the instrument there was an 1862 Ladegast. The wonderful warm colors of the Wernigerode organ really bring these works to life.