Johannes Worp was born on the 24 th of December 1821 in Broek in Waterland (a few miles north of Amsterdam). He died on the 21 st of April 1891 in Groningen. He was educated in Amsterdam, Leipzig (E.F. Richter) and Dresden. After having served as organist in Edam and Almelo he became titular organist in the Martini-church in Groningen. During his lifetime Worp became famous for music education. He also published collections of smaller organ works of himself and by others, with the aim of improving the organ playing in the churches.
Along side of the so called ‘koraalboeken’ (books with preludes and accompaniments) of the ‘Evangelical church songs’ (hymns) and the 150 Dutch Psalm tunes, he composed two Fantasias for the organ. The present Sonata in f minor is the original version of his Fantasia nr. 1.
The piece was written as an entry for the composition competition, organized in 1856 by the Maatschappij tot bevordering der Toonkunst (Society for stimulation of music), which included the category ‘Organ Sonata’. Out of the six entries, only that of Johannes Worp was honored with a ‘hoogst eervolle vermelding’ (most honorable mention). Part of this was an award of 40 guilders (a maximum of 60 guilders was offered). The other five entries were considered ‘unsatisfactory’.
Sometime later Worp re-baptized this Sonata into Fantasia (nr. 1). For that occasion he replaced the original Adagio with a newly composed slow movement, called ‘Canon’. In this form the piece was published in 1859 with Körner in Erfurt / Leipzig. It was gratefully dedicated to “dem Herrn Johann Schneider, Königl. Sächs. Hoforganist in Dresden”.