With the Yuletide season fast approaching, the steady flow of CD's dedicated to this universal celebration start to appear in earnest. This very interesting MD&G issue has many positives going for it, not least the 26 tracks which make up the programme including popular (and not so popular) Christmas and Advent carols and hymns such as "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" or "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen".
Another attractive feature is that some items are heard not only in their choral garb, but their magnificent melodies are the subject of much improvisation on the organ, with the listener ushered in and out of this experience to the sound of the famous 17th century bells of St. James Church in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which houses a grand new organ built in its Gothic interior in 1968. This monster of an instrument was assembled by the Rieger Organ Company of Schwarzavh and has more than 5000 pipes and over 60 speaking stops.
The Würzburg Bach Choir (founded in 1961) has been under the direction of Christian Kobitz since 1979, and their performances are as loving as they are devotional. The singing is also imbued with much reverence and spiritual joy. Wachowski and the Rieger Organ have been constant companions since the formers schoolboy days, and this wonderful acquaintance shows in playing of eloquence and when warranted, gentle sweetness.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech