Flor Peeters (born 4 July 1903, died 4 July 1986)
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 798
    Join me in thanking God for the life and music of Flor Peeters.

    More than the music of anyone else, his liturgical music has shaped my heart. I was forever changed by the opportunity to direct my fellow seminarians in his Mass to honor Our Lady Queen of Peace when I was just fifteen years old. If I had to choose just one piece to hint at what I am trying to say, it would be the Agnus Dei of this Mass.

    Perhaps those who love his music will contribute to this discussion.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,042
    I love his music and still use it often. When I was a teenager - I have told this story before - he was friends with a local Episcopal organist/choirmaster and would visit my city from time to time. When he was here, he held master classes open to all who were interested. I didn't realize at the time his stature as a composer but have been grateful for those classes ever since.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,079
    He and Charles Tournemire were great friends. Tournemire gave him Cesar Franck's console from Ste. Clotilde before his death. The organ console now sits in Liege. You can see it.
    Tournemire dedicated some of l'Orgue Mystique to Peeters. Peeters recorded some of LOM and one can find these recordings on YouTube.
    Peeters was a marvelous musician and by all accounts from those who knew him, a gracious soul. Tournemire spoke rather highly of him, which was unusual for Tournemire to speak of anyone very highly. I have some copies of letters exchanged by them.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,723
    We used the SATB Mass in Honor of St Joseph and SATB Mass in Honor of St John the Baptist. We also used his Ave Maria and I--as the organist/director--would often pull out his "Miniatures for Organ'.

    First off: all these are well within the capacity of a typical church choir. You do not need a flock of trained vocalists to pull these off. They are also well within the capacity of a reasonably-good organist, high-school age or up.

    Secondly, Peeter's ability to illuminate the text with the music is amazing. You can sing (and I have) the music of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Durufle, (etc.) and not find better in that regard than Peeters. (Perhaps Britten's War Requiem is better--but he got to use a full orchestra, too...) His music is a sort of musico-theological Master's course for the musicians.

    Given the chance, I'd train ANY choir, ANY day, in those pieces again.
  • Wow, Flor Peeters ... where to start ? In 1979 I began as chorister at the Antwerp Cathedral Boyschoir. The choirmaster was reverend Jan Schrooten, a former pupil of Flor Peeters. We sang his music regularly at the cathedral and on tour. His 'ego sum panis vivus' is astonishing ! Of course we sang his masses as well. I love his Missa Festiva. I had the honour of singing that mass at the Cathedral in Mechelen with Flor Peeters himself at the organ. Afterwards, I asked him to sign my score. He first wrote Peeters, saying 'this is the Prelude' and then he wrote Flor, saying 'and this the Fugue'. I still treasure this score. I am happy to see choirs abroad singing his music. Alas, a new choirmaster at the Cathedral hasn't programmed any of his music since 2000.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,110
    Yes, I am a fan...let's not forget all those wonderful organ works....I have played dozens of his wonderful hymn preludes, and I especially love his "Prelude and Fugue" on Ave Maris Stella"
    Let us be thankful.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,443
    Paul: Do you know if that Mass (Reginae Pacis) is still in print, and if so where it is available? I'd love to see the whole thing.
  • Salieri: I've got a copy in my library. I could scan it if you want.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,559
    I'd like a scan too, if possible.
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 798
    I have already scanned it. Send your email address to me at paulfford (at) stjohnsem.edu
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 798
    Flor Peeters (born 4 July 1903, died 4 July 1986).
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,034
    His Little Organ Book is always on my music stand.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • cesarfranck
    Posts: 94
    I am extremely fond of his many chorale preludes, the melancholy-inducing "Aria," and his simple but majestic "Postludium.". The "Postludium" is hidden in some random Oxford collection of music for manuals only. It is a perfect closing voluntary, particularly in a smaller space as it lasts about a minute!!
  • advocatusadvocatus
    Posts: 85
    We just did his Missa Laudis in honorem Sancti Joannis Baptistae at a Solemn Mass on June 24.


    All the music was by Flor Peeters:

    Chorale Prelude on "Ut quaeant laxis," Op. 76, No. 9

    Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei from Missa Laudis

    Aria, Op. 51

    Trumpet Tune, Op. 116, No. 6

    St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Leawood, Kansas
    Fr. Shawn Tunink, celebrant
    Capella Vocalis Michaeliensis, choir
    Dr. Kevin Vogt, organist-choirmaster
  • advocatusadvocatus
    Posts: 85
    A bonus to the preceding experience was that after Mass I spoke with a local woman attending who was in Flor Peeter's organ class as a Fulbright student along with Fr. Gerard Farrell, OSB.

    Reminded me of the time I organized a concert in the mid-1990s at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, MN, featuring the Vierne Messe Solennelle (Richard Proulx, guest conductor). A gentleman approached me after the concert and asked if I was familiar with Alexander Schreiner's arrangement of the Vierne Kyrie as a "Maestoso in C-sharp minor." I replied that I was, and that Schreiner's recording of the same was the very first LP recording of organ music that I owned. He paused, and appearing pleased that I had appreciated the Schreiner recording, replied, "Alexander Schreiner was my father."

    I'm off the Flor Peeters topic, I know. Very grateful for your post, Dr. Ford. I join you in thanking God.
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 798
    I'd love to see the score of the Postludium!
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,110
    Dear Advocatus: We would all be enriched here should you tell us about your experiences with R. Proulx.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,723
    My choir regularly used his Mass in Honor of St Joseph, and pulled out the St John/Baptist for Easter and Christmas.

    Responsible for wedding music? Have a good female singer? Look at his "Wedding Song" with lyrics from Esther (Whither thou goest, I shall also....) Marvelous Peeters melody and accompaniment scheme, as usual.