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CD Review

Ladegast Orgel

Uraufführungen im Dom zu Merzeburg

  • Franz Liszt: Prelude & Fugue on B-A-C-H, S. 260
  • Julius Reubke: Organ Sonata on the 94th Psalm
  • Max Reger: Organ Sonata #2, Op. 60
Michael Schönheit, organ
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6061427-2 66m DDD
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This organ disc is not just one to make up the numbers but a very eventful issue of great musical value. Why, may one ask? The reason is simple; all three works recorded here were premièred on the Ladegast Organ at Merseburg Cathedral and all three compositions are primarily concert works, characterized in places by extremely dense orchestral writing. There are also strong similarities in the form of thematic metamorphoses and a productive approach of established genres.

The Liszt and Reubke (Liszt's contemporary who died when just aged 24) works are moreover subject to pianistic techniques like arpeggios, trills, and octave passages. The music is consistently dramatic, exciting and often very moving.

Michael Schönheit plays the historically brilliant instrument like a man possessed bringing out all the stops and registers across its thunderous range. All is recorded in what can only be termed as apocalyptic sound throughout, something that we have come to expect from this rather special German label. Annotations are also of the highest order providing some interesting technical information on the organ itself. Self recommending then, especially for those who like their music loud and bombastic.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech