Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780). His significance for 18th-century organ music by Ulrich Matyl

by Ulrich Matyl | Het ORGEL | Year 109 | (2013) | Issue 5


Ulrich Matyl Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780). His significance for 18th-century organ music
Het ORGEL 109 (2013), nr. 5, 4-14 [summary]

Johann Ludwig Krebs was a pupil of Johann Sebastian Bach, but he stands completely in the shadow of his teacher. This is a result of the decline of organ playing in the second half of the 18th century. But it is a moot point whether all organ music from that period should be seen as an expression of that decline. Professional organists in particular, among them several pupils of J.S. Bach, wrote organ works that are worth the trouble. Krebs, who worked in Zwickau and Altenburg, was one of the most important. In his preludes and toccatas he followed Bach’s examples closely. In his trios he mixed the ancient polyphonic art with the empfindsame style, in which the upper voices are emphasized. The largest category in Krebs’s organ œuvre is the chorale settings, nearly ninety in number. But this category receives relatively little attention. In these works Krebs used all available stylistic means and enriched the music with theological dimensions. The setting ofWir glauben all an einen Gott is a good example of how Krebs interprets the chorale text by the use of rhetorical figures in the music.