Melchior SCHILDT/Peter MORHARD Complete Organ Works Melchior SCHILDT (1592-1667) Herr Christ, der einig Gottessohn [09:55]
Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o mein Herr [03:30]
Magnificat 1. modi [16:00]
Praeambulum in g minor [00:41]
Praeambulum in G [01:25]
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr [01:31]
Peter MORHARD (d. 1685) Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ [03:10]
Alle Welt, was lebet und webet [03:07]
Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir [02:04]
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ [03:16]
Praeludium in e minor [00:40]
Herr Gott, dich loben wir [01:13]
Meine Seele erhebet den Herren [06:10]
Wacht auf, ihr Christen alle [03:21]
Was fürchtest du, Feind Herodes, sehr [05:46]
Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ [01:46]
Friedhelm Flamme (organ, Gerhard von Holy, 1710/11)
rec. 12-14 April 2007, Bartholomäuskirche, Dornum, Germany. DDD
CPO 777 343-2 [69:35]
This disc is part of a series of recordings in which Friedhelm
Flamme records the complete organ music of the composers who
are representatives of the North-German organ school of the
17th century. I don't know whether the organ works of the main
composer from North-Germany, Dietrich Buxtehude, are intended
to be part of this project. There is hardly any reason for that
as his oeuvre is well represented on disc, in contrast to the
works of the composers who are on the programme of this disc,
in particular those of Peter Morhard.
Many composers of the North-German organ school went to Amsterdam
to study with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, who had the nickname
of "the German organists' maker". Melchior Schildt,
who was born in Hanover, was one of them, and studied in Amsterdam
from 1609 to 1612. His activities in Germany after his return
until 1623 are not documented. In that year he was appointed
organist in Wolfenbüttel, and from 1626 to 1629 he was organist
at the court of Christian IV in Copenhagen. When his father
died in 1629 he returned to Hanover and succeeded him as organist
of the Marktkirche.
Schildt was a man of considerable reputation. As late as 1732
the German composer and theorist Johann Gottfried Walther stated
in his Musicalisches Lexikon "that it was said of
him: he could play, according to his fancy, in such a way that
one was forced to laugh or to cry". And his contemporary
Johann Rudolph Ahle considered him one of the most important
composers of his time. But little is known about his life or
his activities as a teacher. And his oeuvre is very small: just
one vocal piece has survived - at least nine vocal works have
been lost - and the keyboard music recorded here. Although this
series aspires to record all organ works by North-German composers,
in this case two pieces are missing: Pavana lachrymae
and Gleichwie das Feuer. It is possible that these two
sets of variations have been omitted because they are for manuals
only and therefore are intended to be played at the harpsichord.
But that doesn't mean they can't be played at the organ as well.
Within his small oeuvre Schildt shows a great variety in compositional
techniques. The five variations on Herr Christ, der einig
Gottessohn are close to the style of his teacher Sweelinck.
Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o mein Herr is a transcription
of a 4-part vocal setting. Such transcriptions were frequently
written by composers of the North-German organ school. Remarkable
is the chromatic descending figure over one and a half octave
towards the end. The Magnificat 1. modi is a large-scale
series of five variations over the plainchant melody. In the
second variation we find another frequently employed technique:
the echo, which is also present in the oeuvre of Sweelinck.
Echo effects appear frequently in the oeuvre of the other composer
on this disc, Peter Morhard. Very little is known about him,
and that includes the year of his birth. The spelling of his
name varies, and appears also as Peter Mohrhardt or Mohrhart.
The first sign of his existence is that he acted as organist
of the Michaeliskirche in Lüneburg. He held that post until
his death and was succeeded by his eldest son. Apart from the
short Praeludium in e minor he left only chorale arrangements
and chorale fantasias. In almost all of them he makes use of
the echo technique. The cantus firmus is mostly ornamented.
Some pieces are based on plainchant: the Kyrie, but also
Herr Gott, dich loben wir, which quotes the first two
lines of the Te Deum. Meine Seele erhebet den Herren
also uses two lines of the chorale, this time Martin Luther's
setting of the Magnificat.
Friedhelm Flamme plays an organ which was built in 1710/11 by
Gerhard von Holy, who was probably a pupil of the famous organ
builder Arp Schnitger. As usual this organ was adapted to contemporary
taste in the 19th century and in 1917 the front pipes were taken
for armaments production. In 1997/98 the organ was restored
to its original state by Jürgen Ahrend. The booklet states that
the temperament is "a transitional form between systematic
mean-tone temperament and a well-tempered tuning, with this
transitional form corresponding to the period around 1700".
That is probably not the kind of temperament the composers of
the music on this disc knew, but it is characteristic enough
to allow a rather convincing performance of their works.
Friedhelm Flamme is a stylish interpreter and he delivers good
performances. I would however have liked a more gestural interpretation,
and a more vocal style of playing. A little more freedom in
the articulation and in the timing would have made this disc
even better. However the music is of superb quality and most
of the repertoire played here has hardly ever been recorded.
Johan van Veen
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