More enigmas in Seger's music | Josef Ferdinand Norbert Seger, Præambulum D Dur (L 3)

3 months ago
2 Min Read
445 Words

The third composition from manuscript Becker III.8.63, a prelude in D major, gives rise to another question concerning the organ music of Josef Ferdinand Norbert Seger. This prelude is one of a lot of the preludes in this manuscript that have some sort of introduction in long static chords. And the question is what to do with those chords?


Is one supposed to play them as notated and have a long (possibly boring) series of chords? Or is one supposed to elaborate on them and create some sort of improvisation with the chords as the harmonic lay out? Or are they there as some sort of 'ad libitum' and can they be omitted if you don't feel like playing them?

The last possibility is not as far fetched as it may seem. There are several examples of the preludes from this manuscript that appear in other sources as well and have no introducing chords, or just another series of them. In other preludes in this manuscript the series of chords is interspersed with elaborate figurations, as if they are written out examples of what to do with series of those long chords.

I lean to the supposition that those introductions can be omitted, are inter changeable, and if you do play them, are best elaborated at least a bit and not played as just a series of chords. There are not many examples of recordings to go by. By far the most recordings of Seger's music available on spotify or youtube are of the preludes without those chord introductions. I'm probably not the only one that does not really know what to do with them.

In this performance elaborate a bit on the chords, just not too much. And I use the pedals for most of the bass notes. Which is perhaps a bit too much. I had the idea that whenever to texture is in four parts the bass voice should be played with the pedals. In this particular prelude that leads to a challenging pedal part in bars 81 - 85. Nice to show of ones pedal technique but probably not quite authentic.

The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Sonus Paradisi, of the Janke organ in the Stadtkirche of Bückeburg (

Score available here:

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