Biografie di Artisti (P)

Peeters, Flor
Persichetti, Vincent
Johann Christoph Pezel
Anthony Plog

Flor Peeters (1903 - 1986)
Flor Peeters was born on July 4th, 1903 in Tielen (near Turnhout, in the Antwerp Kempen region) and died on July 4th, 1986 in Antwerp.
He studied at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and received highest honours: the Prix Lemmens-Tinel, in 1923. He was the youngest laureate of this distinction in the history of the school.
In 1923 he was appointed second organist at the cathedral and second teacher at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen, both tasks as assistant for his organ teacher Oscar Depuydt, who, together with Lodewijk Mortelmans, can be seen as his most important teacher. After Depuydt died in 1925, Flor Peeters became first organist at the cathedral and head teacher of organ at the Lemmens Institute. In 1931 he was appointed teacher of organ at the Royal Conservatory of Gent and in 1935 teacher of organ and improvisation at the Roman Catholic College in Tilburg (Netherlands). He taught at the Lemmens Institute from 1923 to 1952; at the Conservatory of Gent from 1931 until 1948. In 1948 he became teacher of organ at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp; from 1952 until 1968 he was also director of the Flemish Conservatory. He retired in 1968 and was given the assignment of an International Masterclass in the cathedral of Mechelen by the Ministry of Flemish Culture. He fulfilled this task until his death.
Flor Peeters was a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium and an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. With Olivier Messiaen he was nominated adviser for the Vatican Council II, but neither of them was ever consulted.
Flor Peeters was made doctor honoris causa in music by the Catholic University in Washington (1962) and by the Catholic University of Louvain (1971).Also in 1971 King Baudouin of the Belgians gave him the title of baron. A few weeks before his death he received the State Award for an artistic career from the Belgian Government.

His first assignment was that of church organist (1923-1986). He was a genuine liturgical improvisator, who could skilfully embellish the liturgical action with short pre- and postludes with rich tone colouring put into short patterns. He published a Practical Method for the Accompaniment of Gregorian Chant 1942). Each Sunday after High Mass, between 1968 and 1986, he performed a short recital for friends and tourists. He kept his large repertoire in good condition and this playing was a necessity for him
as a mean of communicating beauty to others. After 1978 he could not undertake any travels due to his deteriorated physical condition (osteoporosis).
Very early in his career he was attracted to the concert life. He started in 1924 in Belgium and in 1928 in the Netherlands; in 1929 Denmark followed and in 1934 Germany and Italy; in 1935 Paris. After the Second World War his concert career was widely extended outside Western Europe: the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines. He gave ca. 1200 organ recitals in churches of all denominations and in concert halls.
With regard to his concert career he wrote the following:
“The personality of the performing-organist should manifest itself in a horizontal expression of the music, in a personal dedication to the intimate ideas of the composer. The interpreter should be the enthusiastic mediator between the creator and the public. It is important though to know how far he can go in his personal approach to the composer he plays. He has to get all the possibilities out of the organ, so that he can identify with the instrument. His programme should be in the organ and the organ in its programme. He has to possess the music as if he were the composer himself. The starting point of this entire exiting adventure is a truthful rendering of the written text down to the last dot...”

Flor Peeters was a prolific composer He wrote for himself and accepted commissions from publishers. Composing was a necessity for him. His compositions have influenced his organ playing and the concert life his compositions. He mainly composed for his instrument and for choir. His compositions are characterised by a fluent invention, strongly leaning towards the Gregorian melos and the modal harmony, a preference for classical forms, the use of polyrhythm and polytonality and after 1966 also of atonality and seriality.
The esthetical evolution of his work started as late Franckian virtuosity, and went via vitalistic neo-classicism, to an introvert and sober vitality, strongly moving rhythms, contrasting in colours and with an intense lyricism. The major seventh and the minor second are the corner stones of his compositions. His spiritual choir music (a.o. 10 Masses and numerous motets) is to be seen as a personal assimilation of the Motu Proprio of Pope Pius IX of 1903. It is adapted to the possibilities of amateur choirs in the thirties. He also wrote many songs (Lieder), piano and chamber music, and concerti for organ and other instruments.
Flor Peeters is author of the largest published chorale work ever undertaken: opus 100 Hymn Preludes for the Liturgical Year (1959-1964); it contains no less than 213 chorale preludes on ecumenical church hymns for the complete Liturgical Year. Raymond Schroyens will dedicate two lectures to the chorale oeuvre of Flor Peeters. We will also have a lecture on some important organ works of the master.
Flor Peeters on composing:
“I do not compose at an instrument, do not improvise to get in the mood but I write at my desk. A composition grows from within. When an idea or musical theme has sufficiently ripened in myself, then inevitably comes the moment that I have to write it down, where and whenever it may be: at home, on a journey, in a train, boat, aeroplane. The craftsmanship is very important, but should be subordinated to the creative process, to the living invention. When one is dedicated enough to his work, the invention will come. This invention provides for the living craftsmanship and both can give the composer the higher spiritual strength he needs to reach the highest regions of creation...”

Flor Peeters was also a teacher highly in demand between 1930 and 1980. He has educated hundreds of organists in his own country and again hundreds during his yearly master classes in the United States. He published an extensive organ method Ars Organi (1952) in three volumes and in four languages, besides the Little Organ Book (1957 with examples played by himself on his studio organ). He edited various volumes of Old Netherlands Masters for organ (1938, 1945, and 1948) and Alte Orgelmusik aus England und Frankreich, Altniederländische Meister (1958).
He brought the art of the organ to a larger public and published with others The Organ and its Music in the Netherlands 1500-1800; this lavish book was also available in Dutch, French and German versions ( Mercatorfonds Antwerp; 1970); it treated the organ building (Dr.M.A.Vente), organ music (Flor Peeters) and the social position of the organist (Piet Visser), all these aspects put into a broad cultural and historical view (Guido Peeters). Through its colour pictures, charts, maps and music examples and with the two LP’s Flor Peeters made to accompany the book, it remains a unicum in the world of the organ art.).

Flor Peeters was a cultivated man. He spoke and read four languages fluently. He was a devoted reader of literature (mostly during holidays) in the Dutch and French languages (with a preference for G. Simenon and Marnix Gijsen). He had no special hobbies, except for his daily walks in the park adjacent to his home. He had several friends amongst his colleagues of the visual arts, painters and sculptors (A. van Dyck, Pr. de Troyer, and M. Mendelson, F. de Boeck, J. Minne, R. Poot).
He found in his partner and wife Marieke Peeters (1901-1981) an ideal companion in life who advised him daily in all matters of his career and who raised and educated their three children, Guido, Lieva and Frieda.Flor Peeters was a very hard worker who undertook everything very methodically. When at home he studied on his instrument for more than six hours daily and this until he reached his eighties. He was physically strong, though already early in his career (in his fifties) he had to deal with backache, a common plague for all organists. He later got osteoporosis and had to cancel travelling and giving concerts abroad. He liked the good things in life and was no ascet; he liked a good cigar, a glass of good wine and refined cooking.
Flor Peeters is a characteristic and successful exponent of the emancipation of the Flemish culture, in search of identity and recognition, as this took place between the thirties and the seventies of this century. This culture escaped the narrow bounds of clerical small-bourgeoisie, from wich Flor Peeters came, to move with self-assurance and ease in the highest circles and on the important podia between San Francisco and Moscow, Stockholm and Cape Town.

Sito ufficiale:

Vincent Persichetti (1915 - 1987)
Vincent Persichetti nacque a Philadelphia il 6 giugno 1915. Cominciò presto a studiare musica, suonando il pianoforte all'età di cinque anni. Più tardi ebbe lezioni di Tuba, Contrabbasso, Organo, Teoria e Composizione. Suonava il pianoforte nelle orchestre locali, accompagnando e alla radio già all'età di 11 anni. Divenne organista e direttore del coro della Arch Street Presbyterian Church di Philadelphia all'età di 16 anni rimase in quell'incarico vent'anni. Studiò composizione al Combs College of Music con Russell King Miller, direzione d'orchestra al Curtis Institute con Fritz Reiner e pianoforte al Philadelphia Conservatory of Music con Olga Samaroff. Insegnò teoria e composizione a Philadelphia e divenne capo del Dipartimento nel 1941. Nel 1947 divenne docente di Composizione alla Julliard School of Music di New York. Divenne presidente del Dipartimento nel 1963. È stato anche direttore della casa editrice Elkan-Vogel dal 1952 alla sua morte. Ha ricevuto molti riconoscimenti, premi e lauree onorarie e più di settanta commissioni da varie orchestre e organizzazioni. È stato un compositore prolifico in un ambito ampio di stili. Le sue composizioni includono nove sinfonie, dodici sonate per pianoforte, quattro quartetti d'archi, cantate, il settimino King Lear, Twentieth Century Harmony, 1961 e Hymns and Responses for the Church Year, 1956.

Johann Christoph Pezel (Glatz 1639 - Bautzen 1694)
Il nome è anche stato scritto come Pezelius, Betzel, Betzeld, Petzold, Petzel e Bässel. Compositore tedesco. Pezel è ricordato principalmente per dei brani, scritti per cinque ottoni, che vengono eseguiti due volte al giorno dalla Torre del Municipio di Lipsia. Una delle sue pubblicazioni è una collezione di 76 pezzi, principalmente Intrade ed esempi di varie danze, come Sarabande, Correnti, Allemande e Gighe. Raggiunse grande fama come violinista a Lipsia, (dal 1664 al 1681) ma fu anche trombettista, compositore ed editore di suite e altri brani per archi. Successivamente ebbe l'incarico di Ratmusiker, musicista municipale, a Bautzen, lavoro che rappresentava una carica invidiabile. Fu poi promosso al rango di Stadtpfeifer (una sorta di araldo, un pubblico ufficiale con mansioni di maestro delle cerimonie e di rappresentante). Era quindi tenuto a suonare in tutte le cerimonie ufficiali e alle feste civili e religiose. Lo Stadtpfeifer doveva essere un eccellente musicista, capace di suonare sia gli strumenti ad ottone che gli strumenti ad arco. Scrisse opere teoriche (Musica politico-pratica, Osservazioni sulla musica) e molta musica in stile barocco, specialmente per strumenti a fiato, oltre ad un brano vocale, l'Anno secondo i Vangeli.

Anthony Plog (1947)
Anthony Plog ha avuto una carriera molteplice, come trombettista d'orchestra, solista, compositore, direttore d'orchestra e insegnante. Ha ricoperti ruoli in orchestre degli Stati Uniti ed in Europa, ed è un membro fondatore dei Summit Brass Ensemble. Ha insegnato in varie istituzioni nel mondo e ha composto centinaia di brani per ottoni.
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