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Improvisation über ein Polnisches Kirchenlied

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (11/14/22)
Composer: Surzyński, Mieczysław
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: Utrecht - Dom, Bätz Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Mieczysław Surzyński (1866-1924) came from a musical family from the west of Poland. He studied in Berlin and Leipzig before returning to Poznan. He then undertook further study and enrolled at Regensburg School of Church Music.

During the 1890s he held various church organist posts at Libawa, Kiev, St Petersburg and Saratov. He shows influences of Dvorák and Franck, as well as Mendelssohn.

Of the pieces for solo organ the most substantial is the "Sonata in D Minor." His output is quite large and well varied. His style shows his gift for direct melody, and his appeal is more than merely academic.

Surzyński has sometimes been compared to Guilmant in terms of style and smoothness.

"Improvisation über ein Polnisches Kirchenlied" is a rather grand set of variations based upon a Polish church melody. The tune is attractive, but not identified, and not known to me.

After the introduction, there are several variations, the longest and grandest of these is a solemn and somber funeral march. The trio section of this brings brightness and relief, but the march itself returns, and the work concludes in D minor, despite the bright start in D major.

I felt that there was a strong influence of Mendelssohn in much of the writing.

I'm not exactly sure that this works as I've done it. I wanted to make it sound "different" (meaning different from an English organ), and I thought the Utrecht Bätz in the massive acoustic immediately came to mind.

While the overall effect is impressive, the huge acoustic seems to "cover" everything in the funeral march. The full organ, plus the low-placed double pedal and trills really "fill up" in sound, so, the listener may find the sound overwhelming or impressive, depending upon the individual's point of view.

I'm contemplating doing the composer's "Sonata in D Minor" in the near future.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Mieczysław Surzyński and one of his grave, where the headstone proclaims a virtuoso organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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