St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer 2015

St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer 2015
Manfred Novak, Pieter van Dijk, Peter Planyavsky organ
Ad Artem Musicae AAM 002-2015. 78’23

As well as the CD demonstrating the 2003 Westenfelder organ in the Abbey of Sankt Lambrecht, Austria (reviewed here), Ad Artem Musicae has also issued a CD of live recordings from four of the concerts in the 2015 St. Lambrechter Orgelsommer. Each concert features some contemporary music, and three of the four also have pieces for, or with, another instrument or a choir. The first and last recitals feature the Abbey organist, Manfred Novak. In the first he combines with Wolfgand Fleischhacker, playing saxophone and clarinet. In the final sequence of pieces, he is joined by Hansgeorg Schmeiser playing flute.

The opening piece is the Fugue from the Praeludium and Fuge in C (BWV547). This is one of the few Bach Prelude and Fugue pairs that were clearly intended to be performed together (most are found separately in the sources, and were put together, sometimes rather arbitrately, by much later editors), so the fugue played on its own sounded a bit lonely. The following Monolog by Erland von Koch is an evocative piece for solo clarinet, sounding very effective in the Abbey acoustic.  The Chanson et Passepied by Jeanine Rueff brought organ and saxophone together – a fine combination, with some jovially spiky organ registrations in the Passepied.

The selection from Pieter van Dijk’s concert starts with a Clerambault Suite, the French registrations all working well. It also includes the fascinating Oneliner by Andries van Rossem, an inventive monody for organ that plays around with small motifs jostling around a recurring note as it builds an arch form of momentum. He follows this with an outstanding performance of Bach’s notoriously complex Vater unser im Himmelreich (BWV 682), the chosen registrations making the five intertwining lines absolutely clear. Peter Planyavsky opens with Bach’s Fuga sopra il Magnificat and is then joined by the Grazer Choralschola who sing the alternatim chants in Scheidt’s Magnificat noni toni. He concludes with a piece of his own.

The final selection comes from another concert by Manfred Novak, this time with flute. He weaves eight of Böhm Partitas on Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele around pieces with the flute, finishing with the curious full-blooded 11th Partita. There are some rather alarming background bumps and bangs during Poulenc’s Un joueur de flûte berce les ruines – or perhaps this represents the ruins waiting to be calmed. There are occasional moments elsewhere where the presence of an audience is audible. The CD notes are only in German, and include the organ specification. Combing solo organ pieces with other instruments makes for very effective recital programmes, as this CD demonstrates.

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