Composer: Peter Piel (1835-1904), 1935
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|Peter Piel (1835-19°4)- The saintly composer
that was Peter Piel, has written "64 Pieces in the Eight Modes," besides his
No. 76, and another, Op. No. 85, for the harmonium. These three works,
published by Schwann of Dusseldorf, breathe a true love of the instrument,
as does all his religious music. Like everything else which he has written,
these have a special and appropriate character, not, necessarily, by reason
of being "dim religious," but by reason of their serenity of tone and color,
and their absolute freedom from all secular associations. They express the
awe and reverence of the Holy Place as do E. Gigout's Three Volumes. By
calming and simplifying the spirit, these works, in their proper rendition;
are like stained glass windows, predisposing the devotees to prayerful
attention to the things of God. It is rare to find in other works'. the
remarkable knowledge of the modality and function· of Gregorian composition.
|Piel, PETER, a pioneer in the movement for
reform of church music, b. at Kessewick, near Bonn, August 12, 1835; d. at
Boppard, on the Rhine, August 21, 1904. Educated in the seminary for
teachers at Kempen, he was instructed in music by Albert Michael Jopken
(1828-78), and became professor of music at the Seminary of Boppard in 1868,
a position which he held until his death. During all the years of his
incumbency Piel displayed extraordinary activity as composer, teacher, and
critic. He wrote a number of masses, both for equal and mixed voices,
numerous motets, antiphons in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary for four and
eight voices, Magnificats in the eight Gregorian modes, and a Te Deum, all
of which have enjoyed great vogue. Piel's compositions reveal the
resourceful contrapuntist, and are of classic purity of style. His trios,
preludes, and postludes for the organ are models of finish and smoothness.
It is as a teacher, however, and through the large number of distinguished
musicians whom he formed that Piel exerted the greatest influence. His "Harmonie-lehre"
has passed through a number of editions and is a standard book of
instruction in liturgical music. In 1887 he received from the German
Government the title of Royal Director of Music. JOSEPH OTTEN
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Page last modified:
March 08, 2013
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