Würzburger, Siegfried

The prayer Kol Nidre forms the basis of Siegfried Würzburger's best-known work Passacaglia and Fugue on Kol Nidre for organ solo, which Würzburger premiered in April 1934 in the main synagogue in Wiesbaden. From 1911 until the Reichskristallnacht in November 1938, the composer, who had previously been trained in piano and music theory at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt as well as on the organ by Karl Breidenstein, worked as an organist in the Westend Synagogue in Frankfurt this period. He also directed a private music school at this time with his wife Gertrude, a pianist and teacher. While the three older sons of Würzburger were taken abroad in advance of the outbreak of World War II and thus saved, Würzburger was deported to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto in 1941 together with his wife and son Hans, who was suffering from asthma, where he died in 1942. His wife was transferred to the Chelmno/Kulmhof concentration camp, where she was murdered in 1942; his son is believed to be missing. Würzburger created numerous works for keyboard instruments. Some pieces vary Jewish themes, such as the prayer Kol Nidre and the song Maos Zur. Much of them have been lost, including the piano pieces Variations and Fugue on Kol Nidre and Paraphrases after Kol Nidre and Moaus Zur, as well as the organ
work Variations on "Moaus Zur. The scores of the Passacaglia on Moaus Zur from approximately 1933 and the Passacaglia and Fugue on Kol Nidre have been handed down.

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