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Faure songs
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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett



J.S. BACH AND CONTEMPORARIES

Organ Works by:
Johann KRIEGER (1652-1735): 1.Toccata C-dur, 2. Fuga a. Fuga b., 3. Preludio-Ricercar-Fuga-Passacaglia,
Johann KUHNAU (1660-1722): 4. Präludium und Fuge B-dur, 5. Choralvorspiel ‘Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder’, 6. Präludium und Fuge G-dur, 7. Choralvorspiel ‘Auf meinen lieben Gott’, 8. Toccata A-dur,
J.S.BACH (1685-1750): Orgelchörale aus der Rudorff-Sammlung:9. Herzlich tut mich verlangen BWV Anh. II 47/Anh III 172 von Johann Peter Kellner, 10. Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensh und Gott, 11. Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensch und Gott, 12. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund, 13. Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, 14.Ach was ist doch unser Leben, BWV 743 (Variante): variatio 1-variatio 2, 15. Partita: Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen,
Johann Friedrich FASCH (1688-1758): Triosonate c-moll: 16. largo, 17. Allegro un poco, 18. Largo, 19. Allegro,
Johann Christoph ALTNICKOL (1719-1759): 20. Ricercar C-dur.
Luc Ponet, Organist
Organ by: Thomas, 1996, Abbey Church, Leffe, Belgium.
Recorded: 27-28 May 1997 at Abbey Church, Leffe, Belgium.
PAVANE ADW 7413 [72’35]


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The 1996 Thomas organ of the Abbey Church at Leffe was built under the influence of Gottfried Silbermann, the famous Saxon organ builder with whom J.S.Bach was in contact and collaboration. The result is an organ that sounds authentically like an historical German Baroque instrument. According to the builder, the acoustics of the Abbey help the good reverberation - especially the low frequencies. The action is mechanical and Ponet takes advantage of it by taking the melodic lines nicely and clearly.

The selected programme has a very good variety of different composers and pieces suitable for the Thomas organ. Johann Krieger was one of the most highly esteemed composers of the middle German pre-Bach generation. The Toccata in C is a very striking piece with virtuosic passages and very regular rhythmic patterns whereas the fugues published in 1960 by F.W. Riegel are actually a two-part composition. The Preludio-Ricercar-Fuga-Passacaglia harnesses the form of suite and sonata and because of this Krieger could possibly be ‘called a pioneer in the development of the later larger musical forms’.

Kuhnau was an organist at the Thomaskirche from 1684 to 1701. His organ pieces are very charming; especially the Toccata in A which is ‘an eloquent isolated composition in which the influence of Froberger is not difficult to uncover’.

The Rudolph collection of works of J.S. Bach was discovered in 1985. Stylistically they bear young Bach’s experimental ways of composition.

Fasch was a candidate together with Bach for the cantorate of St Thomas. The trio sonata in c-moll was originally written for two violins and continuo by Fasch and later transcribed for organ by Bach, assembled together in BWV 585. This piece is ‘important as an example of the ‘new art’ of the classical sonata and later symphony’.

Altnickol became organist in Niderwiesa and Naumburg and he married one of Bach’s daughters from his second marriage. The Ricercar is a complex composition based on the same theme of Bach’s Fugue in C, BWV 545.

The CD notes are well presented but they also carry typing mistakes.

Ponet’s playing is expertly efficient and musical with well-articulated phrasing and sparkling ornaments, as well as an excellent sense of rhythm. His selected registrations work very well all way through and capture all the beauty of the pieces. The virtuosic passages of Krieger’s and Kuhnau’s Toccatas are executed with accuracy, especially the pedal ones. In general Ponet succeeds in projecting this not very well-known music with appropriate mastery, majesty and sensitivity.

Christina Antoniadou



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