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In Memoriam, Op. 142, No. 9

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (11/02/21)
Composer: Karg-Elert, Sigfrid
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Today, November 2nd, is All Soul' Day.

Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) was born Siegfried Theodor Karg in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany, the youngest of twelve children. The family finally settled in Leipzig in 1882, where he received his first musical training and private piano instruction. At a gathering of composers in Leipzig, he presented his first attempts at composition to the composer Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek, who arranged a three-year tuition-free scholarship at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied with Jadassohn, Reinecke, Reisenauer and Teichmüller.

Having returned to Leipzig, he started devoting himself to composition, primarily for the piano.

Shunned and neglected in Germany, he accepted an invitation for an organ concert tour of America in the spring of 1932. The tour proved to be a disastrous mistake. He was suffering from the diabetes which would soon kill him, and his limited powers as an organist compared unfavorably to the virtuoso standard of organ performance to which American audiences had grown accustomed.

After his return to Leipzig, his health started deteriorating rapidly. He died there in April 1933, only 55 years old.

"In Memoriam" is found in Book Two of the composer's Op. 142. It is the ninth of twelve miniatures, and was published by Paxton & Co. Ltd. in 1932. It is dedicated: "To my dear friend, Lynnwood Farnam." It is intense and massive march, sort of like a cosmic requiem for all of mankind.

Farnam (1885-1930) was a famous Canadian organist performer and teacher, who died shortly before the publication of this collection.

Many of these works are dedicated to the English organist, J. Stuart Archer (1866-1954), and I'm sure that the registrations given in the score come from Archer, and not Karg-Elert.

Karg-Elert calls this collection, "Sempre Semplice," but while they are all quite brief, I don't think all of them could be called simple.

The score and photos of Sigfrid Karg-Elert and of Lynnwood Farnam are attached.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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