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Now thank we all our God (Erntedankfest)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/29/13)
Composer: Palme, Rudolf
Sample Producer: OrganART Media
Sample Set: F. Ladegast, Non-Surround (1885)
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Rudolf Palme (1834-1909) studied organ A.G. Ritter. He was royal music director and organist of the Heiliger Geist church at Magdeburg. "Nun danket alle Gott" is the second "Vier durchgefurte Festchorale zum Gebrauch beim Gottesdienste wie im Konzert, Op. 75" which were composed in 1904, five years before Palme's death.

This work, entitled "Erntedanfest" (Lob und Dank), "Harvest Thanksgiving" (Praise and Thanks) is based upon the famous chorale, "Nun danket alle Gott", "Now thank we all our God", and is given a very festive and ceremonial treatment.' More of a "mini-chorale fantasia" than just a "prelude", the work features jaunty dotted rhythms with the chorale appearing in the pedal and then in the left hand, against a tricky, syncopated accompaniment. Palme directs that the melody be played on reeds, with the other parts played on "full organ" without reeds or couplers. I've done two versions for comparison: the Ladegast version is brighter and more "mixture dominated" while the Sauer is "louder" with more prominence in the "quinty" sounds of the Cornett. The Pedal reed is certainly larger on the Sauer, so this version feels grander. The Ladegast sounds almost "Baroque" with bright and transparent mixtures. At the end the Ladgeast is pretty much full out, but I did not add the pedal coupler. I didn't because there was no "place" to add it, and while I certainly could have gotten it on, it seemed more "stylistic" to leave it off. On the Sauer, built the same year that the piece was composed, I used the Rollschweller to come up to the full organ, although it was already pretty close to being full when I engaged it.
I tried everything I could to "energize" the work, trying to make it sound as "mighty" as I could. When I listen to the recording of the Ladgeast, it just doesn't seem powerful enough, although I do like the sound of the instrument. The Sauer is fuller, but also "lacking" the sense of a "mighty" presence.

Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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