Max Reger and Other Influences on Finnish Organ Art

Susanne Kujala
Crown Center Sheraton Hotel - FREMONT

Finland declares its independence on December 6, 1917. The end of World War I is still ahead as well as the civil war of Finland January 27 – May 18, 1918. The beginning of the 20th century is a time of fundamental changes not only in politics but also in music. It is still the time of late romantic organ music by composers like Max Reger. In Finland Oskar Merikanto, composer and organist of the Walcker-organ (1891) at the St. John’s Church in Helsinki and the greatest rival of Jean Sibelius, sends his son Aarre Merikanto to study with Max Reger. Aarre Merikanto has later as a professor of composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki a great influence on the development of Finnish music. Among his students are names like Einojuhani Rautavaara. After World War I Organ revival starts to get major influence on organ music and organ building. The organ reform in Finland results first in the organs in the 1920s and 1930s built by Kangasala Organ-building factory with interesting specifications: electro-pneumatic actions are combined with a large number of Cavaillé-Coll-influenced stops on the swell, colorful stops on the second manual and a few, but very intensive stops on the great.

Friday, July 6
10:00 – 10:45am