£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

AVAILABILITY DE Versluis

Inventio
Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
Toccata in d minor, BuxWV 155 [7.46]
Matthias Weckmann (ca 1616-1674)
Gelobest seystu Jesu Christ
[10:50]
Johann Adam Reincken (1643-1722)
Fugue in g minor [4.23]
Dietrich Buxtehude
Two Variations on Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV 220, 221[4:31]
Georg Böhm (1661-1733)
Vater unser im Himmelreich
[5.57]
Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780)
Toccata in E [3.49]; Fugue in E [4.00]
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr
, BWV 662 (1708-17, with later revisions) [8.51]; Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657 (1708-17, revised) [3.57]; Trio Sonata No.3, BWV 527 (c.1727) [16:48]; Prelude in a minor, BWV 543 (?1708-17) [3.27]; Fugue in a minor, BWV 543 (?1708-17) [6.43]
Eric Quist (Hinsz organ, a' = 448, equal temperament)
rec. 24 April 2006, Bovenkerk, Kampen, Holland. DDD
Notes in English, German and Dutch
DE VERSLUIS dev-eq1016 [80:53]


I hadn’t encountered either Eric Quist or Versluis before. D E Versluis founded this independent Dutch label in 2000, primarily to record choral and organ music; all of his recordings reflect his Christian identity. Information on the label may be found at the home-page. Each artist appears to have his/her own subdivision, distinguished by that artist’s initials, hence the EQ for ‘Eric Quist’ in the catalogue number above. Nico Blom, who also offers a predominantly Baroque recital on the same Bovenkerk organ at Kampen, appears on DEV-NB 1017. Sample MP3 tracks from both recitals are available online; these offer some idea of the quality of the playing but, as the site points out, can only hint at the quality of the recording. The Dutch version of the web-page serves as a reminder – to my mind, a sad reminder – of the world-wide corruption of other languages by English on the internet: Een sample van de muziek is te downloaden en te beluisteren in MP3 formaat ...
 
The title of the recording is explained in the excellent booklet: inventio was the first of the four phases of rhetoric and music, inventio, dispositio, elaboratio and actio. (Will someone please develop a spell-checker which recognises Latin and doesn’t convert it to its English equivalent when I’m not looking). In fact, the booklet sells the process of inventio (literally, ‘finding, discovery’) a little short: it involves not only the finding of material but the power to stimulate the listener’s sense of imaginative discovery, as in the Prologue to Shakespeare’s Henry V:

O for a Muse of Fire that would ascend
The brightest Heaven of Invention! ...
And let us, Cyphers to this great Accompt,
On your imaginarie Forces worke. (author's italics)

The organ of St Nicholas’ Church, Kampen, known as the Bovenkerk, presumably because it is at the upper end of the town, dates back to 1524, with radical changes in 1626-30, 1676, 1741 and 1788. In 1972-5 a series of 19th-century alterations was reversed, thus rendering the instrument ideal for the kind of music recorded here. A complete specification is given in the booklet, together with full details of the registration chosen for each work, with registration of separate sections of the Buxtehude Toccata and several other pieces specified.
 
The tuning is stated to be equal temperament (gelijkswevend) without specifying whether this is modern equal temperament or one of the many eighteenth-century systems; otherwise the booklet is a model of its kind. We are even given the name of the stop assistant. The English translation in the booklet is a trifle stilted in places, but much better than is often the case with non-native translators. “Each singe [sic] line is preceded by anticipations which are consistently worked into all the accompanying voices” (p.6) is not exactly what I should call idiomatic.
 
Eric Quist, born in 1977, is resident organist of the Reformed Church at Tholen, on which he has made an earlier recording. He has also recorded two of Vierne’s organ symphonies for D E Versluis, part of a complete set with other organists, DEV-VI 1010. No details are given in the booklet but the Vierne is listed on the Versluis website and details of the other recordings are available on Quist’s own website: the Tholen disc consists of works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Reger and Quist himself.
 
There is a danger that organists and other performers who cast their performance net as wide as Quist has done end up as Jacks of all trades and masters of none. I am pleased to report that his performances on the current CD show him to be no Jack but a master of the Baroque repertoire. Abetted by an appropriate instrument and a very good recording, this is a thoroughly recommendable disc.
 
These are ‘plain’ performances in the best possible sense of that word, that is to say without the agogic distortions to which some organists resort in order to make Baroque music more ‘exciting’. I have in mind particularly my own reservations about Ton Koopman’s playing on a CD of Baroque Christmas music, Puer nobis nascitur, (Challenge Classics CC72234) which I recently reviewed, where I felt that he pulled some of the music about.
 
I yield to none in my admiration for Koopman at his best – which he almost always is – and I have to admit that I seem to be in a minority of one in respect of Puer nobis nascitur: I am amazed that other reviewers have been able to praise both Koopman’s performances of Daquin on that CD and those of Christopher Herrick on the Hyperion Helios reissue of all the Daquin Noëls, when the two approaches are as different as chalk and cheese. Actually, I am not quite in a minority of one in questioning the way in which Koopman sometimes pulls the music about: my fellow Musicweb reviewer Chris Bragg also complained of Koopman’s dissident, macho eccentricity in his review of Volumes I and II of the complete organ works of Buxtehude (CC72242 and CC72243). Specifically, CB complained of fast tempi and violently over-active touch, leading to a lack of Affekt in the music.
 
If Koopman and Herrick represent extremes in their interpretation of the Daquin Noëls, Quist definitely falls into the Herrick camp, allowing the music to speak for itself without trying to dress it up, yet never allowing their playing to seem lacking in expression. Well-chosen registration is part of the secret, as is arrangement of the music in such a way as to allow the differences between the pieces to be apparent. The charm of the quieter music and the power of the larger-scale works are both made apparent here.
 
In general the programme is arranged so that a quieter piece is followed by one in which all the stops are pulled out. (Pun intended, I’m afraid.) Thus Böhm’s Vater unser receives an ethereal performance with effective use of the tremulant, immediately followed by the Krebs Toccata and Fugue, a larger-scale work which provides excellent contrast with the Böhm. The Bach setting of Allein Gott which follows returns to a quieter mood.
 
The tremulant in the Böhm is never allowed to sound kitsch and the registration in the Krebs is never so heavy that the listener loses track of the underlying melody. The Kampen organ does not possess anything larger than 16' stops, so there is no temptation to overload the music with the use of 32' tone – a generally unsuitable practice in Baroque music which some organists nevertheless indulge in – but I doubt whether Quist would have been tempted anyway.
 
Eighteenth-century Lutherans would, of course, have recognised the cantus firmus of the liturgical settings which underlie Vater unser and Allein Gott in der Höh, the Lord’s Prayer and Gloria in excelsis respectively. Modern listeners are much less well placed to pick out the underying tunes, but the fault cannot be laid at Quist’s door: he neither sinks them under heavy registration nor brings them out artificially.
 
The excellent, light-fingered performance of the opening Buxtehude Toccata sets the tone for the whole recording. In Buxtehude’s anniversary year it is appropriate that three of the tracks on this CD offer music by him, but it is for the concluding Bach pieces that many will want this disc. In a very real sense the music of the preceding century leads inexorably to Bach and the four pieces here represent a fair cross-section of his organ music: two ‘Leipzig’ Chorale Preludes, a Trio Sonata and a Prelude and Fugue, all probably dating originally from his time at Weimar, though the Preludes seem to have been revised several times thereafter.
 
The fade at the end of each piece provides an indication of the ambience of the Bovenkerk but neither the reverberation nor the recording in general ever intrudes on my enjoyment of the music, allowing me to imagine that I am in the church listening to the recital. As usual when I am unaware of the recording for good or ill, I am very pleased with the result.
 
All in all, the title of the recording is very apt: Eric Quist is a real Inventio, a true find. I look forward to hearing him again soon – I hope that Herr Versluis will make that possible.
 
Brian Wilson
 



 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.