SWEELINCK: Complete Organ Works (Vol. II)
SAXER, ANDREAS DÜBEN, GUSTAV DÜBEN, MARTIN DÜBEN,
GOTTLIEB NITTAUFF, EWALD HINTZ, JOHANN CHRIUSTIAN SCHIEFERDECKER and
AHO: Three Interludes for Organ (1993). "Alles Vergängliche" Symphony
for Organ (2007)
Lovers of Baroque organ music will wish to investigate the first two SACDs listed above. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) was a major figure in the Netherlands during the Renaissance and early Baroque period, known for his many vocal and instrumental works, He was a famous teacher, his students including Hasse, Scheidt and Praetorius, all major figures of the pre-Bach era. This well-filled disk (75:44) contains a selection of toccatas, fantasias and chorale preludes performed by Joseph Kelemen on the Van Hagerbeer Organ, Pieterskerk in Leiden,, a period instrument that apparently produces sounds appropriate for Sweelinck's music. Kelemen also wrote the informative CD notes.
The other SACD is Volume X in CPO's fine series of organ works of the North German Baroque, featuring Friedrich Flamme performing on the Lorentz-Frietzsch organ of St. Mary's Church in Elsinore, Denmark. This historic instrument also seems perfect for the repertory, composed by virtually unknown 17th century composers, a series of preludes and chorales. Excellent audio as usual for this series.
This site recently mentioned a remarkable recording of Finnish composer Kalevi Aho's Symphony No. 1 (REVIEW). This fine new disk features organ music beginning with three interludes for organ which are based on the important organ part in Aho's Symphony No. 8 8 (1993). Soloist in the premiere of that symphony, Hans-Ola Ericsson suggested the composer write extended organ solos, and we now have the result, three magnificent organ works that explore the massive sonorities of the instrument t. This also applies to the 52-minute organ symphony, four movements including two massive fugues. This was composed at the suggestion of organist Jan Lehtola after he played the organ part in a performance of Symphony 8 in 2005. It is in the general style of organ symphonies by Widor and Vierne, with Aho's unique sonorities. Apparently the work is incredibly difficult to perform, a challenge well met by Lehtola in this stunning performance. The subtitle, Alles Verg¨¥angliche (All that is Perishable) comes from the ending of Goethe's Faust, alluding to the work's Faustian character—reaching for the heavens, with the music fading away into inaudibility. 1-All of this music was written to be performed on a huge cathedral organ, here the 1907/2008 Akerman & Lund organ of St. Johannes kyrka, Melmo, Sweden. Audiophiles will delight in what is heard here.