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Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Setting aside Gustave Leonhardt's excellent reputation as harpsichordist and conductor, the Dutch-born musician has been one of the most important organists of this century. His large expressive palette and wide stylistic ... more »
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Setting aside Gustave Leonhardt's excellent reputation as harpsichordist and conductor, the Dutch-born musician has been one of the most important organists of this century. His large expressive palette and wide stylistic range serve him well throughout this two- disc set. In the early '70s, he recorded these selections on some famous instruments located in Austria, Switzerland, and the Italian Tyrol. They include a 1559 organ owned by the Trapp family, the organ of the parish of St. James in the Swiss village of Compatsch, a baroque-era instrument in Wilten at the Premonstratensian Abbey, a rococo-style organ at Stams, a baroque organ from Muri in the Aargau in Switzerland, and an instrument at the Cistercian Abbey near Linz in Austria, built in 1746. --Gwendolyn Freed
Six Wonderful Old Organs in Excellent Sound Reproduction
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 03/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Organ in the Renaissance and Baroque: Organs of the Alps. Gustav Leonhardt plays works by Ammerbach, Blitheman, Eberlin, Fischer, Froberger, Fux, Kerll, Krebs, Merula, Gottlieb Muffatt, Newman, Pasquini, Pachelbel, Storace, Taylor, Zachow and Anonymi on the following organs:
1. Organ built in 1559 by Michael Strobl at Churburg Castle in Schluderns (it. Sluderno), near Bozen, South Tirolea.
2. Organ of unknown origin at St. James's Church, Compatsch/Grisons, Switzerland.
3. 18th century "gospel" organ, built 1743/44 by Joseph and Victor Ferdinand Bossard and restored in 1961/62 at the baroque church of the former Benedictine Abbey in Muri/Aargau, Switzerland.
4. Mid-17th century baroque organ at the Premonstratensian Abbey at Wilten near Innsbruck in Austria.
5. Rococo organ built in 1746 by Nikolaus Rummel the Elder at the Cistercian Abbey of Wilhering near Linz in Austria.
6. Rococo organ by an unknown master and including "string" stops at the Cistercian Abbey in Stams/Tyrol in Austria.
All recordings were made in the respective buildings between 1970 and 1972. Recording supervisor: Wolf Erichson. Engineer: Dieter Thomsen. Digital remastering: Andreas Stange and Stephan Schellmann. Originally published on LP in 1973. This Sony-Seon re-release 1998 as Sony SB2K 60364. Total playing time: 92'43".
Even 37 years later, this recording is still a miracle of gorgeous sound, combining Gustav Leonhardt's magnificent playing, glorious but rarely-heard music of the periods when the organs were built (mid-16th to mid-18th centuries), organs of astounding purity and variety (evan allowing for the mechanical noises sometimes to be heard) and, last but not least, incredibly good sound, presumably both the result of the excellent original engineering and of Sony's equally excellent 20bit SBM digital remastering. While listening to these discs, I felt myself transported to the Alpine villages where these organs are to be found - this is delightful, meditative music, both spiritual and secular, that can thrill your soul if you only take the time to listen. If you are a fan of historical organ playing, then search this one out, even if Sony allows it to go out of print - it will be worth every effort."