TCHAIKOVSKY:  Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70.  Serenade for Strings, Op. 48.
|Concertgebouw Chamber Orch/Marco Boni, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 009 TT:  67:11  (5 channel)

"200 Years German Organ Music"
BACH:  Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.  Concerto in D Minor BWV 596.  HOMILIUS:  Two Choral Preludes.  KREBS:  Trio in E Flat. KELLNER:  Praeludium in C.  MENDELSSOHN:  Sonata in D, Op. 65 No. 6.  RHEINBERGER:  Cantilena.  REGER:  Toccata in D Minor, Op. 59, No. 5.
Bram Beekman, organist
PENTATONE PTC 5186 003 TT:  63:51 (5 channel)

Once again we have sterling performances by the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra under their director Marco Boni.  Joining their superb Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn (REVIEW) we now have Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings and the same composer's lesser-known but worthy Souvenir of Florence, written ten years later, in the composer's  version for chamber orchestra rather than the original string sextet.  It's a sunny work in four movements ending with a brilliant fiery coda.

The organ recording covers more than two centuries of German music beginning with two works of Bach, the familiar Toccata and Fugue in D Minor followed by the Concerto BWV 596 after Vivaldi.  Remaining works are lesser-known and welcome, all listed above.  The recording was made in October 2001 on the organ of Oostkerk, Middleburg Church in The Netherlands, not a huge instrument but large enough to provide impressive sounds, with low bass and rich reeds.  Job Maarse was the producer, Jean-Marie Geijsen the balance engineer and editor.  They have beautifully captured the rich sounds of Bram Beekman's fine performances.  The music is heard primarily from the front, with appropriate ambient sound from the rear.  Recommended.

R.E.B.  (May 2003)