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Hugo Distler was born on June 24th 1908, and died on November 1st 1942 so he lived a very short life but he did a lot in the time on earth that he did have.
He was born in Nuremberg Germany. He attended Leipzig conservatory from 1927-1931, first as a conducting student, and secondary class was piano. So this was how he got into music, by taking the classes and learning more about it and becoming more interested. He wasn’t just a composer he took up being an accompanist as an organ player and had composing as a side job at the time.
In 1937 he was appointed a lecturer at the Württemberg Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, where he also directed its two choirs. Hugo enjoyed his first success in 1935 at the official Kassel music days, but his greatest public success in 1939 at the German Choral Music festival in Graz. He took piano but his teacher later told him to try organ and he had much more success with that.
The first choral piece I chose is called War Requiem written by Benjamin Britten. I chose this piece because it is a rather smooth piece and I love the crescendos and decrescendos along with the whole feeling of the song, it really makes you feel like you’re in battle if that makes any sense. It’s calm for a while then it gets more intense like you are going into battle. It is written for Soprano, Tenor and Baritone soloists. The instruments played in this piece are the violin, cello, trombone, flutes, oboes, English horn, clarinets, bassoons, 4 trumpets in c, tuba, and percussion. This piece is in German and performed in Coventry Cathedral. This piece was written after the WW ll bombings for the soldiers.
The second piece that I chose is called “Vorspruch” by Hugo Distler. I chose this piece because it is a nice and smooth song that is really pretty and i just like it a lot. This piece stands out for me because it sounds kind of like a church choir and it’s just a really pretty, smooth, and inspiring piece that I really connected with. It makes me think about a church choir but more of a women’s church choir, I like the sounds of the women singing. The voice parts for this song are SATB which is one of the reasons I like it so much because I like those voice ranges. The instruments in this song are and arrangement of a full orchestra and band, piano, keyboard and a few others. This piece is more of a slow song going into a fast one and sounds rather exciting because of all of the tempo changes and crescendos and decrescendos. The language of this piece is German which makes sense because he is a German guy.
The final piece that I chose to write about is called “Der Feuerreiter” by Hugo Distler. I chose this final piece because it was one of the shortest names because all of his songs are in German and are very long. But then I actually listened to the song and I like it. It is a more up-tempo song and speaks in a more charismatic way and a happy and joyful way. It stands out for me because it’s a fast and kind of fun song that I connected with. This piece makes me think about a chase or someone trying to get away from something because of the tempo and the notes that they sing/play. It also makes me think about falling down from the sky because it is elegant yet exciting. The song is a SATB song and that is yet again my favorite because of all the vocal ranges and how you can get the high noted from the sopranos and the tenors and then the lower notes for girls from the altos and the lower notes from the guys with the bases. This piece has a big assortment of instruments such as an orchestra and a whole band along with a piano. This is a fast song as I stated earlier which caught my attention because I like faster songs more than slow ones and it can get kind of fun to listen to because you’re always expecting it to drop back down to a slower tempo but it just builds and builds until it finally hits that climax and then drops back down to start it all over again and you feel the same things this time as you did last time.
All of these songs I chose to write about were all special in their own ways and I liked every one of them differently. If I had to choose a favorite of the three it would be the second one I chose because it sounded the coolest and had the best message. Hugo Distler’s music does definitely not sound all the same, other than the fact that it is in German and I do not understand German at all, but what I do understand is the tempo and stuff of the music and you can tell it’s getting exciting even if you do not know the words to it. It was hard to find websites for this stuff, one problem was that it was in German and I couldn’t read the stuff underneath to see what I was clicking on, and a bunch of the sites that looked good for information were blocked sadly. It would have made the paper much easier if the stuff was not blocked.
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