Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Choral "Jesu meine Freude" (Cantata 147)
Bohuslav CERNOHORSKY (1684 - 1742) Toccata in C minor
Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637 - 1707) - In Dulci Jubilo
Johann PACHELBEL (1653 - 1706) Von Himmel Hoch
Domenico ZIPOLO (1688 - 1726) Pastorale
Louis DAQUIN (1694 - 1772) Noel
Louis VIERNE (1870 - 1937) Carillon de Westminster
Alexandre GUILMANT (1837 - 1911) Pastorale
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897) – Es is ein Ros’entsprungen
César FRANCK (1822 - 1890) - Pastorale Opus 19

Ferdinand Klinda (organ)
OPUS 99435 [45.07]


In many ways this is a frustrating CD, particularly for organ enthusiasts. Ferdinand Klinda is a Slovakian organist who is a professor at the Bratislava Academy of Music. He has previously released a disc devoted to historic organs in Slovakia. Unfortunately this release gives no details of the organ used for the recording, so listeners must make their own guesses as to its provenance. Certainly the recital sounds as if it was all recorded on the same, probably historic, organ.

It starts with a rather vivid performance of the "Jesu, meine Freude". Klinda is certainly fond of using the rather striking reeds on the organ. It is unfortunate that the pedals come over as rather fuzzy and lacking in focus.

Bohuslav Cernohorsky is a name that is new to me. He was an organist who was born in Bohemia, studied in Prague and then entered the Franciscan Order. He was sent to Italy to complete his theological studies and his double choir anthem, Regina Coeli which was written in Assisi, dates from this time. On his return to Prague he taught organ to Gluck for a time. His Toccata is bright, attractive work. Buxtehude's brief fantasy on 'In Dulci Jubilo" is one of his best known works.

As a leading performer on the instrument, Pachelbel wrote a considerable amount of organ music, including a series of organ chorales, based on well known Lutheran hymn-tunes. Other organ music includes works in forms later used by Bach, fugues, toccatas, fantasias and a set of six chaconnes. This choral prelude on "Von Himmel Hoch" was published in 1693.

Domenico Zipoli trained in Naples with Alessandro Scarlatti, joined the Domenican order in Seville then moved to Argentina where he continued to play the organ until his death. This "Pastorale" his is most well known piece. Both this and the next piece,. Daquin’s "Noel", contain some remarkable evocations of pfiferari, the Italian bagpipers. Daquin is well known for the harpsichord piece "The Cuckoo", but he worked at the Chapelle Royale and Notre Dame, Paris, and was well known as an improviser. In France during the eighteenth century, organ variations on well-known Christmas noëls were a prominent feature at Midnight Mass and Louis-Claude Daquin was considered the greatest master of the genre.

This group of baroque pieces could perhaps have done with rather more variety and differentiation. Klinda uses only a limited variety of registrations, perhaps he was limited by the instrument. But these pieces also are lacking in élan, something of the joy of the Christmas spirit. They are effective enough, but don’t make you smile as they should.

In 1926-27 Louis Vierne composed four suites entitled 'Pieces de Fantasies', planned as concert pieces for an American tour. The pieces were a great hit and he was recalled to the platform ten times at the Chicago performance. "Carillon de Westminster" is from the "Pieces de Fantasies" and is an atmospheric evocation of the Westminster Chimes. Guilmant was organist at the Trinite in Paris, his "Pastorale" is a charming, if rambling piece.

With the move to these French romantic pieces, I started to feel the limitations of Klinda’s organ. Whilst his registrations are never less than effective, the pieces do feel the lack of the rich romantic registrations of Cavaillé Coll’s instruments. This is, I am afraid, also true of the final two pieces on the disc.

Robert Hugill


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