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J.U.Steigleder Keyboard Music

Johann Ulrich Steigleder is the first South German organ master of the Baroque (W.Apel, 1972). He is comparable to his contemporaries in the north, Scheidt and Scheidemann. He was born in 1593 at Hall in Swabia. In 1613 he became organist in Lindau, and moved to Stuttgart abbey in 1617. He moved to the Wurttemburg court in Stuttgart in 1627. He died in 1635.

Those who play organ music of this period know that a lot of it is dull and written to a formula. This collection is different. Many of the chorale settings even work on the piano. They are original, restful, chromatic, and full of life and interest. They avoid conventional methods and fixed schemes, and very few of the pieces are similar to each other. They are different lengths, some are monothematic, some use double themes, and some use more. The subjects are novel and individual.

Steigleder's music is published in the CEKM series (Corpus of Early Keyboard Music). The Corpus has its own website. The volumes are not cheap. Borrow them from a library before deciding to purchase.

As a pianist, I don't have much more to say - but these pieces are definitely worth a look. They are way above average for the time they were written, and are very musical.

Here is a piano recording of one of Steigeider's pieces: Coral a Tenor; 3 voices.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website

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