The Söderström Organ in the Husby Church
Johann Ludwig KREBS (1713 - 1780)
Praeludium et Fuga in C: Praeludium [4:35] Fuga [5:20]
Partita No. 2 in B Flat Major: Preludio [3:23] Allemande [3:10] Corrente [2:27] Sarabande [3:00] Gigue [2:08]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750)
Choral Preludes: Wir glauben all’ an einen Gott, Vater BWV 740 [5:48] Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659 [4:57]
Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 - 1788)
Sonata in F Major, Wq 70:3/H 84: I. Allegro [5:18] II. Largo [3:28] III. Allegretto [3:52]
Johann Ludwig KREBS
Choral Preludes: Von Gott will ich nicht lassen [3:22] Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren [4:12]
Johann Christoph KELLNER (1736 - 1803)
Fantasia in G Minor [6:10]
Johann Ludwig KREBS
Toccata in E Major [5:11]
Jan H. Börjesson (organ)
rec. Husby Church, Sweden, 9-10 December 2011
OAK GROVE CD 2028 [67:26]
Husby Church in the Municipality of Hedemora in the Province of Dalecarlia in Central Sweden, was erected in the 14th century but completely rebuilt in the late 18th century. Fragments of 16th century paintings are preserved there. In connection with the renovation a new organ was built by Nicolaus Söderström, who at the time was organist in the church. There are only three existing organs by his hand, in Jumkil (1770), Tensta (1780) and Husby (1783), the latter being the largest. Next to the famous Cahman organ at Leufstabruk, this is the second largest 18th century organ in Sweden. Through the years it has been repaired and changed and in 1936 it was in such poor condition that the parish decided to build a new one. Fortunately the old organ was left intact and in 2011 it was restored by Bergenblad and Johnsson Organbuilding Ltd with the organist on this disc as consultant. In the notes to this disc he gives details of the renovation and also gives the specification for the organ. It is a beautiful instrument, as can be seen on the cover photo and sonically it is decidedly attractive. Christer Eklund’s recording is excellent, the playing is lean and resilient and the repertoire is fairly un-hackneyed.
The lion’s share is by Johann Ludwig Krebs, who studied with Johann Sebastian Bach and was held in high esteem by his mentor. His counterpoint writing is skilful and reminiscent of Bach’s. The fugue in the opening Praeludium et Fuga in C is particularly impressive. It seems that the Partita in B-flat was written for harpsichord and Börjesson plays only a selection of the movements, of which the beautiful prelude and the sarabande are especially atmospheric. The jaunty gigue is also attractive.
His master J.S. Bach’s two choral preludes are in no way superior to Krebs’s works. Wir glauben all’ an einen Gott, Vater is rather austere and Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland is inward and recessed. Some scholars have even suggested that the first of them could have been written by Krebs. Carl Philip Emanuel Bach was just a year younger than Krebs and became an early exponent of the galant style. The fresh and inviting Sonata in F is a fine example of this. Krebs’ two choral preludes are no doubt Bachian, Von Gott will ich nicht lassen the most ‘old-fashioned’.
The youngest composer on the disc is Johann Christoph Kellner, born 1736 and whose father is said to have been a pupil of Bach’s. His Fantasia is a riveting piece and so is the concluding virtuoso Toccata by Krebs. Both works show off the grandiose instrument to great effect.
Organ-lovers are in for a treat with this disc and visitors to the region should queue up for the next opportunity to hear this organ live.
Organ-lovers are in for a treat with this disc.