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Gottfried Muller: Motetten Und Orgelwerke

Muller / Windsbacher Knabenchor / Beringer
Release Date: 08/28/2012 
Label:  Rondeau Productions   Catalog #: 1028   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MÜLLER Pfingstpartita. Und kam gen Nazareth. Passionpartita. Jesus vor Pilatus. In derselbigen Nacht. Es ist das Heil uns kommen her. Wer will uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes. Gott sei Dank durch alle Welt. Kündlich groß. Meine Zeit steht in deinen Händen. O Licht, geboren aus dem Lichte. Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld. Aus tiefer Not schrei zu Dir. Vater unser Windsbacher Boys’ Ch; Karl-Friedrich Beringer, cond; Michael Lochner (org) RONDEAU 1028 (72:31 Read more class="EXTRAS12">& German only)


Believe it or not, there’s another Gottfried Müller—born in exactly the same year, 1914—who founded the Brotherhood of SALEM, a human rights organization that helped the homeless by creating shelters in Stuttgart, Berlin, Nuremberg, Munich, Karlsruhe, and Frankfurt, and there’s also a Georg Gottfried Müller who was an early 19th-century American composer. This one is actually Joachim Gottfried Müller who wrote the Deutsches Heldenrequiem, dedicated to the victims of World War I. Rondeau does not indicate whether or not these recordings are reissues, although the last page of the booklet indicates that they were recorded between 1981 and 1989. It is, of course, possible that they were issued on LP in Germany, but I couldn’t find a thing online to verify that.


At any rate, this Gottfried Müller had a questionable past in his earliest years as a composer. His first works appeared in 1932 when he was only 18, the year before the Nazis came to power, and both Karl Elmendorff and Fritz Busch proclaimed him a great genius about to come into his own. During the 1930s he wrote the Deutsches Heldenrequiem but also, it turns out, a political piece entitled Words of the Führer. Although the book Music and Nazism names Müller as a composer with close ties to the regime, Müller himself disowned the work fairly soon after “Der Führer” was gone from this earth, and was incensed to find this piece of youthful effluvium mentioned in Fred K. Prieberg’s book. Michael Lochner, the organist and music director of the Protestant Church in Bavaria, knew Müller from his later years. He first met him in 1969 when Müller was professor of music theory and harmony at the Nuremberg Conservatory, and of all his pupils Müller only kept in touch with Lochner and cellist Karlheinz Busch after their graduation. Müller even attended concerts that Lochner gave of his music, and according to the organist “was as delighted and grateful as a child at Christmas.”


Thus we begin this disc under a cloud, but it should be remembered that in the 1930s Nazis were the legal government of Germany. They did away with free elections that might have removed them from office, and there was no way a 25-year-old composer working in his own country could have guessed that they would be gone in a few years (although hundreds of thousands of Germans wished it so). If Strauss is not castigated for writing the Japanische Festmusik at the express wish of Hitler, neither can we blame Müller for doing such work on commission. To refuse may have meant imprisonment or death, and he knew it.


Later in the notes, Lochner says, “What Gottfried Müller conveyed to his students was the musical spirituality underlying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. At the heart of both his philosophy and his musical thinking was the importance of balancing polyphony and homophony and the horizontal and vertical dimensions of a given composition. His music was a product of his piety . . . he did not wantonly set out to break with tradition, but instead carved out a path for himself within that tradition.” Thus we are led to expect a fairly conservative modern composer.


This is immediately evident in his Pfingstpartita, which opens with an extended organ partita that, although borrowing some atonal dissonances, stays primarily within the bounds of tonality. Yet this tonal quality does not mean that Müller wrote easy or populist melodies; on the contrary, there are moments where, because of the dissonance, his music somewhat resembles the work of Messiaen. The Bach influence, however, is immediately felt in Und kam gen Nazareth, a sacred motet for choir, although one also feels the influence (in modern garb) of Palestrina. This is, quite simply, an exceptional piece. In the Passionspartita, the harmonic language is modern but the form is strictly Baroque, with a great deal of counterpoint and canon. At about the five-minute mark, Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” is quoted in the bass line, then developed with bitonal harmonies.


The remainder of the CD alternates this way: organ pieces in either chorale or partita form and choral pieces in motet form. The Windsbacher Boys’ Choir is especially superb on this disc, and from what I can judge, Lochner is an excellent organist. There is, indeed, a spiritual beauty to Müller’s work, but unless one is in a particularly pious mood, 72 minutes’ worth of spirituality may be a bit much, particularly since there is a certain sameness to the choral works. Nevertheless, they are played and sung in an outstanding manner, and I have no hesitation to recommend this to listeners who are so inclined.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Pfingstpartita for organ by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 10 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2. Und kam gen Nazareth, motet for chorus by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 8 Minutes 14 Secs. 
3. Passionspartita for organ by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 13 Minutes 31 Secs. 
4. Jesus vor Pilatus, motet for chorus by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5. In derselbigen Nacht, motet for chorus by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
6. Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, chorale for organ by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7. Wer will uns scheiden, motet for chorus by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
8. Gott sei dank durch alle Welt, chorale for organ by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
9. Kündlich groß ist das Gottselige geheimnis, motet for chorus by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
10. Meine Zeit steht in deinen Händen, motet for 4 voices by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
11. O Licht, geboren aus dem Lichte, motet for 4 voices by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
12. Ein lämmlein geht, chorale for organ by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
13. Aus tiefer not, chorale for organ by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
14. Vater unser, motet for chorus by Gottfried Müller
Performer:  Michael Lochner (Organ)
Conductor:  Karl-Friedrich Beringer
Date of Recording: 1981-89 
Venue:  Sender Freies Berlin 
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Pfingstpartita
Und kam gen Nazareth
Passionspartita
Jesus vor Pilatus
In derselbigen Nacht
Es ist das Heil uns kommen her
Wer will uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes
Gott sei Dank durch alle Welt
Kundlich gross
Meine Zeit steht in deinen Handen
O Licht, geboren aus dem Lichte
Ein Lammlein geht und tragt die Schuld
Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu Dir
Vater unser

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