Joseph Melchior Dreyer was born 1747 in Röttingen, Bavaria (Lower Franconia). In 1767 he became schoolmaster in Ellwangen near Stuttgart, 1779 organist at a monastery, 1790 choirmaster. In 1803 the monastery was closed in the course of secularization and he became city organist and conductor in Ellwangen, where he died in 1824.
He composed about 50 Masses, 12 symphonies and instrumental music. His 24 organ sonatas were published 1800 and 1803 in 4 volumes of 6. This one is the first sonata from volume 1.
His music could be compared with Joseph Haydn’s brother Michael: catchy melodies, simple harmonies, easy structure, brilliant upper voices and light-heartedness are characteristic for his style.
Dreyer‘s music, esp. his sacred music was well-known and estimated up to the middle of the 19th century and disappeared then, probably due to the backward-looking Cecilian movement.
There is a selection of 8 sonatas published by Strube. I played from Dreyer’s original edition which is available on imslp.org. The position of the notes is a bit unusual for today’s players (crotchets being centered under 4 semiquavers), but you get accustomed to that rather quickly.