Office: CM.G10
Phone: +44 131 451-3966
Fax: +44 131 451-3249
@: C•Saemann@hw•ac•uk

Department of Mathematics
Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS

Christian Saemann
Professor in Mathematical Physics


Without music, life would be a mistake.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Music is certainly one of the most important parts of my life. To live without listening to or playing really good music for more than a few days seems almost impossible. Music has really become a kind of food to me.


Together with Andrew Hallock, I recorded the CD A Day of Purcell back in Austin, which was a just-for-fun-project. Furthermore, there is a recording of me playing the Macht hoch die Tür by Max Reger, with which I used to shock the brave people of the little villages in whose churches I played the organ on Christmas.


Well, compositions is somehow an euphemism, but I honestly like the little cute pieces which sprang out of my mind over the years. First, there is a Fantasia for Flute (solo) written in Austin, which I unfortunately cannot play myself. Then there are three pieces from my time in Paris for piano: the Prelude et Fughette sur BEA, which has a name as its basic motive, the Perdu, which has loss as its essential subject and the strangely nice Fantaisie en La majeur. As a reminiscence of Paris, I wrote the Quatre petites musettes parisiennes and subsequently the calming Little Consoling Lullaby. In Hannover, I did no longer find as much time as in Paris for composing, but there is still the Valse triste, a slow waltz with a theme almost too simple to be nice, the Ground in d, a small experiment with rhythm and - one of my favorites - the Texas Variations, which really remind me of the Lone Star State. More recently, I wrote this Fantasie in d, which is probably the piece I respect the most myself.


During my time as an organist in various churches, I wrote a collection of realizations, preludes and meditations on all kinds of hymns, in particular on those in the ''Gotteslob'', the hymnal used in the German-speaking catholic parishes. They are intended as interesting alternatives to the ones in the ''official'' organ book to the Gotteslob, partly as pieces for the three times, an organist is a soloist: prelude, communion and postlude to the mass. So here is my very own Orgelbüchlein.


Since I actually had a request for one of them, here are the realizations I wrote for the Purcell project: The preludes for Fairest Isle and Ah, how pleasant, the really fun Ground in e-minor for keyboard solo and of course the so beloved The Sparrow and The Gentle Dove.

Some Links

In particular, I'd like to recommend the web-page of the Städtischer Konzertchor Winfridia, Fulda, where I grew up as a singer (and conductor) and had some of my greatest musical experiences. Furthermore, there is the Kirchenmusikinstitut Fulda, where I studied church music and graduated with the ''C-Examen''. If you want to learn how to play the tin whistle in an authentic style, have a look at Brother Steve's Tin-Whistle Pages. During my time in Paris, I took every opportunity to listen to organ music. A useful web-page for this is the one of the Cavaille-Coll Organ at St. Sulpice.