Sheet music

Musical contribution - A. van Vliet - March 2011

Dear organist, Lent is once again upon us. Hence the choice for this beautiful choral. This month’s composer didn’t intend for this piece to be a passion choral. But – as the opening tells us – as a choral prelude during a funeral service.

In that context we can certainly understand his choice for such dark colours. He doesn’t use major until the melody appears.

August Grüters (1841-1911) was active, amongst other roles, as an organist and conductor.  He established a name for himself during the period when he conducted the “Offenbacher Oratorium Chor”.  He also built up his reputation by adapting Brahm’s Requiem for choir and 2 pianos.

Not many other compositions produced by him entered the history books.

You will see “Gravita, andante” at the top of the piece.  “Gravita” is not a frequently used music term.  However, we do come across it quite regularly in our general language use: “serious”.  Together with the andante, the composer wants to warn us to keep the momentum going.

We would recommend only using 8-foot stops in the registration.  There are obviously some exceptions to this rule.  Imagine you have the opportunity to play this piece on a large Walcker organ, then there would certainly be a great deal of other colours which could be included.  But generally we would recommend continuing with the registration instructions – providing we want to stick with the dark colours.

With musical greetings,

André van Vliet