Organists‘ Review

From “Organists‘ Review” (UK), 12/2022

This CD brings seventeenth- and eighteenth-century repertoire into dialogue with contemporary works in a stimulating programme. The instrument is a 41-rank organ built by the Dutch firm Reil in 2009 according to North German Baroque models. It is well suited to the pieces by Buxtehude, Bach, and Scheidt, which are all engagingly performed. Registrations are always clear; the pleno is exciting but never overbearing. Metzger’s articulation is very crisp, especially in the Buxtehude and BWV 564, affording section of the pieces a dance-like quality.

The three contemporary works are all connected in some way to the traditions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century organ music. The title track by Danksagmüller (b. 1969) plays with the creative possibilities of the tracker action to create a soundworld that is variously mystical and industrial. Stops are drawn only partially and to different degrees throughout the piece, creating unexpected resonances and playing with expectations of timbre. Inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, the piece has fairly minimal melodic material which combines well with the unexpected timbres to create a whimsical and intriguing composition. Foccroulle’s Toccata draws on both the free-style and chorale-based compositional practices of the Baroque era. Glaus’ versets are a highly effective response to the Scheidt, full of fragmentary explorations of colour, texture, sound, and silence. Angela Metzger communicates these highly contrasting pieces with verve; her rhythmic precision and finely controlled articulation give the pieces a real sense of immediacy and vitality.

Martin Clarke


Organists’ Review, 12/2022, p.71