Peuerl [Bäuerl, Peyerl], Paul
- Othmar Wessely
- , revised by Dorothea Schröder
(b ?Stuttgart, bap. June 13, 1570; d after 1624). German composer, organist and organ builder. From 1602 onwards he was an organist at Horn, Lower Austria, and, from 1 November 1609 at the latest, at the church of the Protestant school at Steyr, Upper Austria, though he was not definitely appointed there until mid-February 1614. He built or renovated, among others, organs for churches at Steyr (1613), Enns (1615) and Horn (1606 and 1615) and a two-manual instrument for the church of the Cistercian Wilhering Abbey, Upper Austria (1619). None of these instruments has survived, though from our knowledge of the specification of the last-named we can conclude that his organs were of the werkprinzip type. In 1625 he had to flee from Steyr as a religious refugee, after which nothing more is heard of him.
Peuerl published four collections of his own compositions while he was at Steyr. His name is linked above all with the creation of the variation suite. There is still research to be done on the antecedents of this form, which possibly include early 16th-century Italian lute music and the variations of the English virginalists; the form was soon taken up by Schein, Posch and others. Peuerl’s suites consist of four dances: paduana, intrada, ‘dance’ and galliard. The ‘dance’ (‘Däntz’) is the basic theme; the other three are variations of it, the paduana being the closest to it and the intrada and galliard more distant. Peuerl, like H.L. Hassler, Aichinger, Schein and others, was one of the few German composers of the early Baroque period to compose italianate instrumental canzonas. He was also the first German composer to write (in his 1625 volume) for the Italian texture of two melody instruments and continuo. To some extent his songs (...