The Organ


Weiland Meinhold at the Compenius Organ of Michaeliskirche zu Erfurt

The University church in Erfurt, dedicated to St Michael, contains a splendid example of a relatively untouched organ by Ludwig Compenius. Installed here in 1652 it was restored recently (2000) by the firm of Ruehle although the notes do not say who may have worked on it in the intervening years. It has but 15 stops on two manuals but with all the brilliance we would expect of an organ of its age, without the shrillness of modern imitation baroque organs.

Appropriately, Wieland Meinhold presents a programme of music of the same age as the organ. He doesn't stay in Germany, but includes music from all round Europe: of these "foreigners" Frescobaldi's "Toccata cromatica per l'elevazione" works well, the French items (Clrambault & D'Aquin) are not as successful, but a Spanish item sounds quite at home here. Gentle tones predominate, full organ rarely coming to the fore, best used in D'Aquin's "Nol Suisse": mechanical noises are minimal, well done the restorer!

The notes are, surprisingly for this recording company, quite sparse with almost nothing about the music at all. As noted above, the history of this instrument is very sketchy - what happened between 1652 & 2000? Even so, this is a CD, which is well worth listening to.