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Georg Friedrich KAUFFMANN (1679-1735)
Komm, heiliger Geist - vivace [1'46]; Alio modo a 4 [1'50]; Alio modo - allegro [2'40]
Herr Christ, der einig Gottssohn - andante [2'19]
Gottes Sohn ist kommen - allegro [2'05]
Gelobet Seist du, Jesu Christ - andante [1'49]
Wie schon leuchtet der morgenstern - andante [2'07]; Alio modo - vivace - Zymbelstern [3'02]
Jesus Christus unser Heiland, der vor uns - andante [4'25]
Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir -largo [2'22]
Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei ehr - u poco vivace [1'46]
Ein feste Burg - Fuga, un poco vivace [2'30]; Alio modo - Choral im Pedal allegro [2'02]
Johann Ludwig KREBS (1713-1780)

Ach Gott, erhor mein Seufzen [3'57]
Trio in C - lento [2'57]
Warum betrubst du dich, mein Hertz - cantabile [5'09]
Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785)
Trio in G - allegretto [2'43]
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ [3'52]
Ach Herr, mich arnem Sunder [3'18]
Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ [3'21]
Jesus Martin Moro, organ
Marc Ecochard, oboe
Rec: November 1999, Saint Etienne de Baignory, France DDD


This is an attractive collection of mostly chorale-based pieces, in the first instance from the Harmonische Seelenlust of Kauffmann, and, from a generation later, galant works by Krebs and Homilius. The selections from Kauffman's collection include some of the compositions with obbligato oboe and the whole CD is sensitively played by both performers.

The new organ in the Basque village of Baignorry was built by the relatively unknown Remy Mahler in the style of an 18th century South German instrument such as those of Hasenmeyer, Seuffert etc. The emphasis is on the variety of charming 8' colour. Piffaro, Salicional, Viola de Gamba are all present in addition to various flutes and the Principal of the Hauptwerk. This is clearly an organ of a high artistic quality - Mahler is a name to look out for. As far as 'speaking the right language' the organ is perfect for the repertoire. However, it must be said that despite the charm of Kauffman's offerings, the primary interesting factor in the Harmonische Seelenlust remains the composer's registration instructions for a number of the pieces; in fact this is the primary registrational source from the time and area of Bach. Kauffmann was organist of the Thayssner/Wender organ in Merseburg Cathedral. One of the most obvious aspects of this instrument was its large number of manual 16' stops, a feature reflected in Kauffmann's indications. Unfortunately Baignory has no manual 16 stops, and even where Kauffmann's instructions are possible, Moro doesn't always choose to follow them. The registration for the alio modo setting of Wie Schon leuchtet der Morgenstern, with the oboe, (upperwork plus Zymbelstern - Kauffmann writes Principal 8 against Vox Humana 8), could only work with a microphone on the oboe and not in an acoustic situation, I believe!

Musicological questions aside, this remains a thoroughly enjoyable release. It is a shame, especially given the stingy TPT that the opportunity wasn't taken to record some of Krebs' pieces for organ and oboe as well. Shame also that the lengthy notes about the organ and the music are only in French and that nothing is written about the players.

Chris Bragg

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