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The Organs Of Gottfried Silbermann Vol. 1
Freiberg/St. Petri:
1 Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750): Toccata d-Moll BWV 913a
2 Johann Bernhard BACH (1676-1749): Choralbearbeitung "Allein auf Gott setz dein Vertraun"
3 Choralbearbeitung "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" BWV 647 aus den "Schübler Chorälen"
4 Choralbearbeitung "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" BWV 709
5 Johann Christoph KELLNER (1736-1803): Fantasia g-Moll
Tiefenau:
Johann Sebastian BACH: Vier Choralbearbeitungen:
6 "Wir Christenleut" BWV 1090
7 "Nun freut euch, liebe Christen gmein" BWV 734
8 "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (Bach zugeschrieben) BWV deest
9 "Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf" BWV 1092
Niederschöna:
10 Johann Sebastian BACH: Fantasia ex C dis BWV 1121
11 Johann Rudolf AHLE (1625-1673): Choralbearbeitung "Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ"
Johann Sebastian BACH: Zwei Choralbearbeitungen:
12 "Von Gott will ich nicht lassen" (Bach zugeschrieben) BWV deest
13 "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" BWV 715
Großhartmannsdorf:
14 Partita diverse sopra "Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen?" BWV 770
Ewald Kooiman, organs
Rec: September 2000, Freiberg/St. Petri, Tiefenau, Niederschöna, Großhartmannsdorf.
QUERSTAND VKJK 0022 [69.41]



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The year 2003 marks the 250th anniversary of the death of Gottfried Silbermann, one of the greatest organ builders ever. Originally from Saxony, Silbermann is renowned for the quality of his organs. These instruments were especially appreciated by Johann Sebastian Bach. This recording, the first in a series of eight recordings published by Querstand, features works performed by Ewald Kooiman on four different Silbermann organs.

It is only fitting that the majority of these works are by Bach; opening with Bach's great Toccata in D minor, performed with an interesting variety of registrations, this disc features excellent recordings that truly show off the quality of the organs used. The Opening toccata displays the subtle tones and colours of the Freiberg/St. Petri organ, which has resounding bass notes and an aerien treble. Ewald Kooiman gives a fine performance of this long work, though at times he is a bit unyielding.

The Tiefenau organ has a vastly different sound: less resonance, less echo. The listener feels much closer to this smaller organ. The four chorales played on this small organ are ideally suited to its intimate sound, and Kooiman plays them with great restraint. It is almost as though he were playing them on a positive organ. While this is not a powerful instrument, it has beautiful colors that work very well with this type of music.

The Niederschöna organ is another instrument with a "small" sound, with little resonance in its church. It too is well suited to the chorales. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen works especially well here, with its haunting registration, and slow, subtle melody. Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf is much brighter and more powerful. The instrument sounds as though it needs a larger home to resonate more strongly.

Finally, the Großhartmannsdorf organ is perhaps the best sounding instrument on this disc. It has a level of resonance that is just right; neither too much nor too little. Kooiman's performance of Bach's great set of variations on Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen? is a bit restrained, but he runs the organ through a wide range of registrations in this work and shows of all of which it is capable. I especially appreciate how Kooiman, with this organ, as with the others, plays the music, not the instrument. He does not attempt to blow the listener away with the volume and scale of the organ but rather uses it to express as many different tones and emotions as possible.

This recording is a delight for lovers of organ music and especially those who appreciate the different sounds of such great instruments. Querstand have come up with a beautiful presentation for the disc. The case is a small "hardcover" book, with excellent notes and photos. Organ enthusiasts will want to snap this up, as well as the seven other discs due out in the series.

Kirk McElhearn



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