Concerto for Organ and Orchestra “Symphonia Gregoriana” (1954)
Concerto for Organ and Orchestra
Bamberger Symphoniker · Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie
Gunther Rost, organ · Gabriel Feltz, conductor
Petr Eben (1929–2007) is considered to be one of the
Czech Republic’s leading contemporary composers.
He studied piano and composition at the Music
Academy in Prague. Due to his Jewish background,
he was imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration
camp for a short period in 1945. From 1955 to 1990,
he taught at the Charles University in Prague; from
1990 on, he was also a professor of composition at
the Academy of Arts in Prague and President of the
“Prague Spring” music festival.
Many of his works rely on Gregorian chant and
folk melodies. Petr Eben wrote nearly 200 compositions
in various genres, including masses and other
liturgical music, oratorios, cantatas, choruses, songs,
stage and orchestral works, chamber music and music
for solo instruments. His primary love, however, was
always reserved for the organ.
He wrote his Organ Concerto No. 1 in 1954, when
he was 24 years old. Subtitled “Symphonia Gregoriana”,
this work is a symphony with a concertante organ
part based on Gregorian chant.
Gunther Rost, born in 1974 in Würzburg, studied
with Günther Kaunzinger and Marie-Claire Alain.
He has won over a dozen international prizes, including
at the Leipzig Bach Competition, the Freiberg
Silbermann Competition and the Dallas International
Organ Competition. He is a professor for organ
at the Graz University of Music and Performing Arts.
Gunther Rost has occupied himself with Petr Eben’s
organ repertoire for much of his life and also released
a CD of Eben’s solo works for organ.