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CD Review

Petr Eben

Organ Music - Volume 3

  • Hommage à Henry Purcell
  • 10 Chorale Préludes
  • Momenti d'Organo
  • Kleine Choralpartita
  • Versetti
  • Due preludi festivi
  • Mutationes
Halgeir Schiager, organ
The organ of Oslo Cathedral, Norway
Hyperion CDA67196 76m DDD
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This is the third volume in Hyperion's ongoing series of organ music by Petr Eben, a monumental undertaking that demonstrates this composer's sheer capacity for invention.

The opening Hommage à Henry Purcell is a gargantuan effort, full of seemingly meaningless notes yet the peroration that concludes the work is suitably earth shattering on any account. The Ten Chorale Préludes are also extremely forbidding pieces, each has its own particular pitfalls yet Halger Schiager is a classy interpreter and also demonstrates his unbridled technical skill.

'Momenti d' Organo' is another grandiloquent essay in virtuosity that also shows the heinous side of Eben's grotesque fantasy. 'Kleine Choralpartita' and 'Versetti' are similar in structure yet very different in outcome with the latter quite ravishing in its final moments. After two short festival Préludes, Schiager concludes the CD with a monumental Mediationes for One or Two Organs in which he is joined by Klare Nordstoga for a memorable performance.

The CD is properly annotated and superbly recorded and for those who are collecting this series, or anyone interested in contemporary organ music, this is essential listening.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech