excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences Past and Present' pp. 7-8 (324 words)

excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences Past and Present' pp. 7-8 (324 words)

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Musical Reminiscences Past and Present

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Professor Haupt was true to his appointment at 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning, July 5th, at the parish church, of which, with the exception of a single mutual friend, and the inevitable bellows-blowers, we were the sole occupants. To my great surprise, this noted organist politely but firmly insisted upon my trying the qualities of the instrument before he himself displayed them. This unusual proceeding was afterwards explained to me as being his usual plan for testing a man, for finding that his time had been too often wasted upon men whose acquaintance with music and organs was very limited, and who generally mistook enthusiasm for knowledge, the Professor was compelled to adopt some scheme, whereby he might be enabled to judge of his visitors’ musical capabilities. After complying with his request and playing for a short time, the rightful owner of the organist’s seat took his place, and for one hour greatly delighted me with his performance on the instrument. The selection comprised Bach’s grand Prelude and Fugue in B minor ; Louis Thiele’s air and elaborate variations in A flat; some variations of his own on a chorale ; and a short improvisation. The salient features of his playing were more especially exhibited in the Fugue of Bach’s, played as it was with remarkable dignity and grandeur of style—at a speed too, considerably slower than that usually adopted by the majority of modern English organists. Never, indeed, much of Sebastian Bach’s organ music as I have heard played by the most noted English organists, did I enjoy the music of the grand old Leipzig cantor so thoroughly ; never did I hear this stupendous creation of his fertile brain developed with a more masterly appreciation of its varied beauties, subtle harmonies, and erudite counterpoint. It was a treat to me of the highest order, and it will never leave my memory. 

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excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences Past and Present' pp. 7-8 (324 words)


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