The two left for Africa later that year to establish a missionary hospital in Lambaréné (Gabon). In 1917 they came back to Europe for medical treatment. In 1919 their daughter Rhena was born. During World War I, the French made Schweitzer and his wife, both Germans, leave Africa. In 1924 Schweitzer returned a second time to Lambaréné, this time without his wife. He would remain there off and on for the rest of his life, returning frequently to Europe for speaking engagements. In 1931 he published his autobiography, Aus Meinem Leben und Denken ("Out Of My Life and Thought"). In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel peace prize for the year 1952. On November 5, 1961, at the age of 86, Schweitzer became an Unitarian-Universalist and adhered to the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
 Schweitzer died on September 4, 1965, aged 90, in his own hospital in Lambaréné. His death was attributed to circulatory trouble brought on by his advanced age.. Music Schweitzer rapidly gained prominence as a musical scholar and organist, dedicated also to the rescue, restoration and study of historic pipe organs. With theological insight, he interpreted the use of pictorial and symbolical representation in J. S.
Bach's religious music. In 1899 he astonished Widor by explaining figures and motifs in Bach's Chorale Preludes as painter-like tonal and rhythmic imagery illustrating themes from the words of the hymns on which they were based. They were works of devotional contemplation in which the musical design corresponded to literary ideas, conceived visually. (Widor had not grown up with knowledge of the old Lutheran hymns.) The exposition of these ideas, encouraged by Widor and Munch, became Schweitzer's next task, and appeared in the masterly study J.
S. Bach: Le Musicien-Poète, written in French and published in 1905. During its preparation he became a friend of Cosima Wagner (then in Strasbourg), with whom he had many theological and musical conversations, exploring his view of Bach's descriptive music, and playing the major Chorale Preludes for her at the Temple Neuf. There was a great demand for a German edition, but instead he rewrote it in two volumes (J. S.
Bach) in German, which were published in 1908, and in an English translation by Ernest Newman in 1911. Schweitzer's interpretative approach greatly influenced the modern understanding of Bach's music. He became a welcome guest at the Wagner's home, Wahnfried. The Choir Organ at St Thomas's Church, Strasbourg, designed in 1905 on principles defined by Albert Schweitzer. His pamphlet "The Art of Organ Building and Organ Playing in Germany and France" (1906, republished with an appendix on the state of the organ-building industry in 1927) effectively launched the twentieth-century Orgelbewegung, which turned away from romantic extremes and rediscovered baroque principles — although this sweeping reform movement in organ building eventually went further than Schweitzer himself had intended. In 1909 he addressed the Third Congress of the International Society of Music at Vienna on the subject. Having circulated a questionnaire among players and organ-builders in several European countries, he produced a very considered report. This provided the basis for the International Regulations for Organ Building.
He envisaged instruments in which the French late-romantic full-organ sound should work integrally with the English and German romantic reed pipes, and with the classical Alsace Silbermann organ resources and baroque flue pipes, all in registers regulated (by stops) to access distinct voices in fugue or counterpoint capable of combination without loss of distinctness: different voices singing together in the same music. In 1905 Widor and Schweitzer were among the six musicians who founded the Paris Bach Society, a choir dedicated to performing J.S. Bach's music, for whose concerts Schweitzer took the organ part regularly until 1913. He was also appointed organist for the Bach Concerts of the Orféo Català at Barcelona and often travelled there for the purpose. He and Widor collaborated on a new edition of Bach's organ works, with detailed analysis of each work in three languages (English, French, German). Schweitzer, who insisted that the score should show Bach's notation with no additional markings, wrote the commentaries for the Preludes and Fugues, and Widor those for the Sonatas and Concertos: six volumes were published in 1912-14.
Three more, to contain the Chorale Preludes with Schweitzer's analyses, were to be worked on in Africa: but these were never completed, perhaps because for him they were inseparable from his evolving theological thought. On departure for Lambaréné in 1913 he was presented with a piano with pedal attachments (to operate like an organ pedal-keyboard). Built especially for the tropics, it was delivered by river in a huge dug-out canoe to Lambaréné, packed in a zinc-lined case. At first he regarded his new life as a renunciation of his art, and fell out of practise: but after some time he resolved to study and learn by heart the works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor, César Franck, and Max Reger systematically. It became his custom to play during the lunch hour and on Sunday afternoons. Schweitzer's piano-organ was still in use at Lambaréné in 1946. Sir Donald Tovey dedicated his conjectural completion of Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge (Art of the Fugue) to Schweitzer. Read more on Last.fm.
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