Max Filke (1855 - 1911) was the son of the teacher and
organist Benjamin Filke. His mother Amalie, was a
teacher's daughter, his grandfather teacher in Dürr
Kunz village in goats neck, Upper Silesia. More of his
relatives were also active as a teacher.
The organists and cantors that time were almost all
proficient in their subject, and Max Filke inherited a
considerable part of his musical talent from his
father, who taught him violin, organ and piano. After
the early death of his parents in 1864, he attended the
Matthias Gymnasium in Breslau. His music teacher was
dortiger Moritz Brosig, whose favorite he was soon.
Max Filke made his musical studies as
Domchorsänger Breslau, then at the School of Church
Music Regensburg. In the years 1878/79 he worked as a
cantor in Duderstadt. After further studies at the
Leipzig Conservatory, he worked from 1881 to 1890 in
Straubing as choir director at St. James and Director
of Music. He then went to Cologne, where he worked for
a short time as choirmaster of the male choir
In 1891, he was Director of Music in Wroclaw and
singing teacher at the seminary in 1893 and teacher at
Wroclaw Institute of Sacred Music. In 1899 he was
awarded the title of Royal Music Director and shortly
before his death in 1911 - after years of poor health -
he was still given the appointment as professor.
The ideas of the Enlightenment led to the beginning of
the 19th Century in the church of historical reform
movements that have then taken as lasting influence on
the church music of the time. Far-reaching
transformations of an ideal musical style, which had
clearly distinguished from the secular, "operatic"
music of the time, took on the Catholic side by the
representatives of the "Cecilian" and so was created on
1 Sept. 1868, the ACV (General Association of German
Speaking Countries Cecilia).
In his numerous compositions for church purposes
(measuring, Requiem, litanies, etc.), among which also
many simple for small choir conditions are, the
composer combines a productive talent with efficient
technology, so this works to this day a certain part of
church music forming practice. Is demonstrated by the
performances of his Paschal Mass "Missa in G major in
honorem Sancti Caroli Borromaei op 80". The importance
Filkes lies in its efforts to approximate the style of
the period with instrumental accompaniment church
music. In contrast, his secular choral songs are very
committed to the then prevailing taste.
Pentecost ("the fiftieth day") is the Greek name for
the Feast of Weeks, a prominent feast in the calendar
of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on
Sinai. This feast is still celebrated in Judaism as
Shavuot. Later, in the Christian liturgical year, it
became a feast commemorating the descent of the Holy
Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus
Christ, (120 in all) as described in the Acts of the
Apostles 2:131. For this reason, Pentecost is thought
of today as the "Birthday of the Church."
Although originally created for accompanied chorus, I
created this arrangement for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb
Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon) and Strings (Violins
(2), Viola, Cello & Bass).