Becker, René L. (René Louis), 1882-1956

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Life

Born: 1882 Bischheim, Alsace, France

Died: 1956 Dearborn, Michigan

Biography Rene Louis Becker was born in 1882 to Edouard and Adele Becker, one of five children, 4 of whom would become professional musicians. Edouard was the organist at the Cathedral of Chartres and then at Strasbourg Cathedral. Rene studied at the Strasbourg conservatory where his teachers included Ernest Munch (father of the conductor Charles Munch) and Fritz Blumer (pupil of Liszt) in piano, Carl Somborn in composition and Adolphe Gessner in organ. In 1900, his brothers Lucien and Camille ,oved to St. Louis. Rene followed in 1904, and together they formed the Becker Conservatory of Music. By 1908, Rene left his brothers and taught organ and music at Saint Louis University and Gregorian Chant at Kendride Seminary.

In 1910 he married Angela Landzettel. composer, artist and poet. Their first child Catherine was born the next year, followed by Rene Claude (1913), Francis (1915), and Julius (Jay) (1929). They moved to Belleville IL in 1912, then to Alton IL by 1915, where he was organist at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. In 1930, Becker became the first organist of the new Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit, where he served until 1943, when he went to Saint Alphonsus Church in Dearborn, from which he retired at age 70 in 1952.

His published works include three major organ sonatas, 15 masses, 25 piano solos, and 35 motets. Further works are among his papers at the University of Michigan.

List of choral works

  • Ave Maria (unison, org) Ms.
  • Domine Jesu Christe op. 53 no. 1 (M voice or unison, org) Ms
  • Laetentur coeli ; tui sunt coeli (TTB) Ms.
  • Laetentur coeli (#2) (TTBB org) Detroit: Krieg Bros. Catholic Supply House, [1930s]
  • Laetentur coeli, III (unison, org) Ms
  • Mass in honor of St. Aloysius (SA, org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Alphonsus of Liguori (TTB org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of Saint Angela (unison, alto ad lib, org) JFB 1932
    • Mass in honor of Saint Angela (SATB, org) JFB 1932
    • Mass in honor of Saint Angela (TTB, org) JFB Ms
    • Mass in honor of Saint Angela (unison, alto ad lib, org) English version JFB 1965
  • Mass in honor of St. Anne (TTB org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Anthony of Padua (unison, org) JFB 1941
    • Mass in honor of St. Anthony of Padua (SATB, org) JFB 1947
    • Mass in honor of St. Anthony of Padua (TTB, org) Ms
  • Mass in honor of St. Barbara (SATB, org) JFB 1914
    • Mass in honor of St. Barbara (TTB, org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Catherine, op. 55a/b (SSA or TTB, org) JFB 1917
    • Mass in honor of St. Catherine, op. 55c (SAB, org) JFB
    • Mass in honor of St. Catherine, op. 55 (SATB, org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Edward (TTB org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Felix of Valois, op. 57 (2 part, org) MLR 1942
  • Mass in honor of St. Francis Xavier (unison org) MLR 1931
    • Mass in honor of St. Francis Xavier (SATB org) MLR 1932
  • Mass in honor of St. Irenaeus (ATB) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. John of the Cross : for four male voices Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. John Vianney (unison, org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Joseph, Op. 64a (TTBB org.) Ms.
    • Mass in honor of St. Joseph, (Unison, org.) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Lawrence (TB org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Nicholas op 72 (unison or SA) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Raphael (archangel) (TB, org) Ms
  • Mass in honor of St. Thomas of Aquin (unison, org) Ms.
    • Mass in honor of St. Thomas of Aquin (SATB, org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of St. Thomas of Vilanova (unison, org) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Op. 58 (SATB) Ms.
  • Mass in honor of The Blessed Sacrament (unison, org) NYC: Hamilton S. Gordon, 1933
    • Mass in honor of The Blessed Sacrament (SATB, org) Ms
    • Mass in honor of The Blessed Sacrament (TTB, org) Ms
  • Missa et absolutio pro defunctis, Op. 60 (SATB org) Ms.
  • Missa pro defunctis op. 56, no. 1 (TTBB org) Ms
  • Missa pro defunctis op. 56, no. 2 (TTBB org) Ms (Note: rev. version of Op56/1, transposed, new Gradual and Tract)
  • Missa Redemptor noster (adoro te, devote) Op 59 (TTB org with unison chorus/congregation) Ms.
  • Missa Salvator Noster, op. 54 (SATB org) JFB 1916
  • O bone Jesu and Tantum ergo (SSA) MLR 1942
  • O bone Jesu and Tribulationes cordis mei (SATB org) MLR 1934 in Caecilia v. 60/2 1934
  • Proper for Feast of Christ the King (SATB) Ms.
  • Requiem Mass with Libera, op. 61 (TTBB org) Ms.
  • Requiem with absolution and Libera, op. 65 (unison, alto ad lib, org) Ms (rev. of Op. 60)
  • Terra tremuit: offertory for Easter (SATB orch/org) JFB 1914
  • Terra tremuit (No. 2) (SATB, org.) JFB 1927
  • Terra tremuit (No. 3) (TTBB) Ms.
  • Terra tremuit (no. 4) (unison, org.) Ms.
  • Tui sunt coeli (SATB. Org) JFB 1914

Publications

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