The Improvisation of Franz Lehrndorfer

Gabriel Dessauer
Crown Center Sheraton Hotel - CHICAGO C

When he improvised in the Munich Cathedral where he had been organist for decades, the Cathedral was packed. Organists and all music lovers adored his way of treating the organ as not just purely an academic performance. His unique style of playing the organ could be easily enjoyed by all people. Although he professionally mastered all improvisational techniques such as trio and fugue, symphony and passacaglia, meditation and toccata, his primary goal was to create music which everybody could enjoy. He did not try to imitate any historic styles in his harmony but had his own tonal language, based on the Romantic period with influences of later periods. He became famous throughout all of Germany when two recordings in the late sixties were released (recorded in the Musikhochschule Munich). From church hymns to folk songs, he was a master of finding the most swinging variations with an always-recognizable melody. Many of his improvisations which then were live recordings are now released on CD. Some of his best music is now published as sheet music; wonderful examples with clear lively rhythm (sometimes with a Bavarian flavor). They reveal a joyful musicianship of highest quality which shows that in our century the Organ is still the most versatile instrument.

Wednesday, July 4
10:30 – 11:15am