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Karg-Elert, Sigfrid

German composer, strong-minded enough to stand up to his publishers and insist on writing for the art harmonium. Good thing too, as he had a fine ear for the timbres of the new instrument. Modified his name, though, to sound more artistic ...

Thanks once again to Diarmuid, this time for encouraging me to consider the works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert. I must have heard some of his organ pieces during my three years at Ushaw, but the harmonium music came as a revelation: a loving precision in writing for a particular instrument that up till then I had only found in Telemann.

His output, which ranges from serious to salon, is well beyond my feeble powers of execution. All the more thanks, then, to the people whose recordings have let me discover the special Klang und Farbe of this rich music:

Karg-Elert was also a teacher, which I choose to see as demonstrating the opposite of Shaw's dismissive dictum: them as can, teach so that others can.

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