Franz Lachner is not as famous a composer of organ works as one might imagine so this new disc by the always enterprising label MD&G is welcome in more ways than one. One of Lachner's first positions was that of organist at the Lutheran Church in Vienna, so it is really no surprise that all throughout his career, he was enamoured by the organ and sacred music in general. His compositions in the genre are few but they are indeed masterly, written when the composer was in his seventies and at the peak of his wisdom and maturity.
This album, apart from including two fugues and two Preludes and Fugues also has the 3 sonatas, Op. 175-177, deemed as Lachner's lifetime testament for the instrument which he loved so much. These three works date from 1877 and were in fact, his last compositions and in them, the composer displays all his inventive flair and knowledge of the instrument.
Rudolf Innig plays the monumental Walcker organ in the Ilmenau Town Church, a brilliant and breathtaking instrument which brings these works to life in sonorous and rather splendid sound. The organist's scholarly essay is also a true gold mine of information on Lachner and his works. Organ enthusiasts with a taste for the rare should not hesitate to snap up this fine collection.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech