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Brahms’s Eleven Chorale Preludes were first published by Simrock in 1902, five years after the composer’s death. Largely unknown is that the manuscript, dated 1896 and housed at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, includes a draft for a twelfth prelude, “Guten Morgen zu Alle.” Unlike the others, which treat Lutheran hymn tunes, this prelude is based on a melody by an American, Mildred Hill, in 1893. It was likely introduced to Brahms in 1896 by the conductor Blumenkohl, newly returned from an American tour, and for whom, according to Rübenkopf, Brahms wrote the prelude as an homage. It had been thought to be lost until a fair copy, in an unknown hand, was discovered last July in the estate of Blumenkohl’s grandniece Flora Rettich at Zwiebeldorf.
The video follows Brahms's notation of Hill’s tune on the 1896 MS. (The treble clef and key signature for F major are understood on the second and third staves; notice the idiosyncratic stemming throughout.)
Organist: Paul Gurke
Animation: Martin Erbse
(With thanks to Frieda Lauch of the GdM for the photocopy of the 1896 MS.)
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