Rudolf Löw, Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort

in #classical-music9 months ago

The Sächsische Landes- und Universitätsbibliothek in Dresden posesses a manuscript of 12 organ compositions by the hand of Rudolf Löw (1832 - 1898), a Swiss organist and composer. It is his opus 1, which he dedicated to his teacher Carl Ferdinand Becker.

The prelude to "Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort" is a straightforward chorale prelude. The chorale melody is played in the upper voice, and the prelude is no longer then the chorale melody lasts. No intro and no extro or coda. It moves in elegant triple meter and is again, apart from some more modern harmonies, thoroughly Baroque in conception and realisation.

Nevertheless, the triple meter and the g minor tonality, make it suitable to play it far more romantically than one should with a true Baroque composition. Therefore, I used the new sample set by Augustine, of the Aeolian Skinner organ, formerly situated in the Redeemer Church in New Haven. It's lush strings of the swell section were just the sound I imagined for the accompaniment in this chorale prelude.

Though the manuscript does not indicate it as such, I play it on two manuals, with a solo registration for the choral melody. There is one spot in bar 4 where my hands are too small to properly play the alto and tenor voice. As they form a hidden paralel octave here, I think it defendable to play just the tenor voice.

The recording was done on the sampleset, made by Augustine, of the Aeolian-Skinner Organ (Op 1132) of the Redeemer Church from New Haven (

@contrabourdon: you might want to check this sample set out; it is only a few days old, it is free, and suitable for anyone who is into the English Cathedral style.



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