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On This Day… 29 September

One of the problems that I expected going into this is that some days it might be hard to find something or someone to write about. Today I could have looked at Shostakovich’s 14th symphony, which premiered today in 1969, but I wasn’t able to find the entire work available on Youtube. Instead, I decided to take a look at some of the Organ music of Vincent Lübeck.

The website I reference to find out about dates lists Lübeck’s birthdate at the 29th of September 1654, however, Grove does not list an actual date of birth, listing instead c. September 1654. But it’s close enough for me. A German Organist, composer and teacher, Lübeck became the organist of St Cosmae et Damiani, Stade, towards the end of 1674. He remained there until 1702, where his fine reputation won him a position at Nikolaikirche, Hamburg, which he would hold until his death in 1740.

Despite having had plenty of opportunities to show off his compositional skills, especially at the Saturday Vespers service, there are only 9 surviving works for organ. However these works still show his command of the instrument and demonstrate the dominant position he held with the likes of Buxtehude and Bruhns. In general, his style derives from Buxtehude, especially in his polyphonic writing.

I’m going to give you two of his Praeludium, the E major and the d minor. The E major praeludium is in the 5-section format favoured by Buxtehude. It opens with a brilliant toccata-like prelude, a 4/4 fugue, a middle section which can be free or fugal, a 3/4 or 4/4 fugue, and a closing toccata. The d minor is in three sections, a toccata, a fugue and a closing toccata and is suggested to be a later work.

Unfortunately, the E major praeludium has disabled embedding, so instead I share with you the link. however, come back to watch the d minor praeludium as well!

I hope you enjoyed this little foray into the Baroque. I’d love to hear what you think of these two pieces, either in the comments or in your own blog. Link back here to get a link below!

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