Wilhelm Middelschulte (1863–1943) studied church music in Berlin and headed the organ department at the American Conservatory in Chicago and the Wisconsin Conservatory in Milwaukee from 1891 onwards. As a virtuoso organist he had a formative impact on American organ music: even Ferruccio Busoni called him a “master of counterpoint” and the greatest contrapuntist since J. S. Bach.
Middelschulte’s œuvre consists entirely of organ works. He was a “modern classicist” firmly rooted in the 19th century tradition, yet strongly attached to baroque contrapuntal forms, and especially the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, with which he sought to rise above the compositional norm of his time. The result was a combination of romantic virtuosity with a vision of music that was anything but antiquarian, despite its historical models.
The D minor Passacaglia works on the same formal level as Bach’s famous Passacaglia in C minor. The Canons and Fugue on “ Vater unser im Himmelreich ” demonstrate the formal rigour that typifies Middelschulte’s music as a whole.
- First Urtext edition of Middelschulte’s music
- Every volume has a detailed preface and critical report (German / English)
- Scheduled to include six volumes