release is significant in that it presents the first ever recording
of the complete organ works of Georg Dietrich Leyding.
Leyding was a contemporary of Bruhns, and a pupil of Reincken
and Buxtehude. Like Delphin Strunck, he was organist in Braunschweig,
and, like Strunck, his music is almost completely forgotten.
On the evidence of this CD I find the neglect of this music
a pity. Given my love of unknown 17th century North
German repertoire, I am determined to perform some of it at
the first opportunity!
festive Praeludium in C is especially attractive with
its virtuoso pedal writing and repeated-note fugue theme. The
pedal solo in the Praeludium in B flat is, if anything
even more virtuosic. Together with the downright weird fugue
subject it would combine to make a very attractive piece, but
for a slightly perfunctory conclusio. It is interesting
that none of the three Praeludia follow the typical Buxtehude
five-part pattern. That in C major is really a Prelude and Fugue,
the B flat major example follows the Tunder three-part pattern,
(Expositio, Narratio, Conclusio), but on a larger scale than
any of Tunder’s examples. The third example, in E flat, contains
no fugal material at all, and is the least interesting of the
pieces. Of the chorale-based pieces, Wie schön leuchtet der
Morgenstern is a short chorale fantasia, while Von Gott
will ich nicht lassen is a partita consisting of very short
variations. It reminds me rather of the piece on Nun komm
der Heiden Heiland by another all-but-forgotten composer
of the time, Andreas Kneller. Leyding however, is, as a result,
the only composer from this ‘school’ I can think of, from whom
both chorale fantasia and multi-verse settings of chorales survive.
Can anyone enlighten me further?
coupling, the far better known complete organ works of Nicolaus
Bruhns, is notable for the inclusion of an unknown Adagio
in D. This is two minutes of durezze e ligature style
writing, which must surely come from another piece. Unfortunately
this is the only remarkable feature of the Bruhns. Friedhelm
Flamme’s playing, despite his obvious digital dexterity rather
flatters to deceive through over-complex - and often unconvincing
- registrations, a rather one dimensional approach to articulation,
and a dubious handling of time signatures. The two fugues of
the G major Praeludium are taken at almost identical
tempi despite the completely different notation. Additionally
I find his feeling for different affects somewhat lacking. The
result on the whole is just rather dull.
organ however is anything but. Bernhard Edskes’s 2000 reconstruction
of Christian Vater’s 1724 three manual instrument in Melle is
an instrument of extreme quality, with scintillating choruses
and beguiling reeds. Vater was a pupil of Arp Schnitger and
the instrument features only minor departures from his style.
this to acquaint yourself with the very interesting music of
Georg Dietrich Leyding.
organ works and Selected Cantatas: Jan Willem Jansen, Ahrend
and Delauney organs in Toulouse. La Parlement de Musique/Martin Gester
Temperaments TEM 316011
playing is entertaining, if a little wild. The organs are impressive
as are the stunningly musical performances of La Parlement de
Musique. Additionally this is the only recording to offer ‘Nun
Komm der Heiden Heiland’ in both the Walther and Agricola manuscripts.
(Flamme plays only the Walther copy).
organ works of Bruhns and Hanff: William Porter, Roskilde Cathedral,
Denmark. LOFT LRCD 1012
plays expansively, but musically in this release featuring the
seldom played chorale preludes of Hanff and the marvellous Rottenstein-Pock
organ of 1554.