The Organ

Wolfgang Baumgratz - Organ Music from Four Centuries

on the new Fleiter organ in the Church of St Antonius, Essen-Freisenbruch.
Psalitte CD 60451
56' 29"

This disc is a real mixed bag of music. After Zachow's unmemorable Praeludium in C, we hear in turn Handel, Wolfgang Lindner (b1956), Albert de Klerk (1917-98), Guilmant and Bach - and still come in under an hour of music. I found the Lindner and de Klerk by far the most appealing items. The direct, powerful clat of the organ serves this type of music rather more successfully than the older items. The Fleiter organ of 2000 (see previous review for another instrument by them) might be described as 'classical eclectic' - no one style predominates. I particularly enjoyed the Lindner Meditation 'Laudes Organi'.

Albert de Klerk was a hugely important figure in Dutch organ culture through much of the 20th century. His Variations on Laudes Organi and Postludium in D are both very attractive and would be suitable concert or liturgical material. They are played with drive and conviction. The Guilmant Chorale Preludes and the same composer's arrangements of two Bach Cantata movements also help the disc stand out from the crowd. However, I still found the Zachow and Handel pieces out of place. The booklet contains full texts on the music, instrument and performer in German and the specification. GMS