Musical Contribution - June 2023
Final - Jacques Nicolas Lemmens (1823-1881)
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Lemmens’ birth. And although Jacques Nicolas was Belgian, we still refer to him as being part of the French organ school. Not least because he had such well-known students as Mailly, Guilmant and Widor.
He was born in Zoerle and received his first music lessons from his father. He later studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels. He had to interrupt his studies here for over a year due to his father’s illness. Once back, he graduated in the shortest possible time and received first prize for organ and for composition. His tutor, Fétis, advised him to study in Germany under Adolph Hesse. But he was dissatisfied and cancelled these lessons, returned to Brussels and was appointed at the above-mentioned Conservatorium as organ tutor. He produced his ‘Ecole ‘d Orgue’ (1862) in this capacity.
The Final, as we offer it this month, appears at the end of this method. A true finale: big, robust and with so much grandeur. The work is composed in a so-called A-B-A form. The outer movements are separated by a beautiful Hymn that deserves a tranquil performance with only a few string-like stops.