Sigfrid’s Unbeaten Tracks
Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Op 46 & 101
Graham Barber (organ)
Fugue State Films FSRCD016. 70’53
Graham Barber has built a reputation for exploring some of the lesser-known byways of the organ world, particularly from the 19th and 20th centuries, and this recording is an excellent example of that focus. Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) was a high profile organ composer in the UK and USA during the early years of the 20th century, so much so that the Organ Music Society of London arranged a ten-day festival of his music in 1930. He was, however, almost completely overlooked in his native Germany, where composers were taking a rather different path. A brief renaissance in the UK in the 1970s soon melted away, with the exception of the ‘March Triomphale’ on Nun danket alle Gott (Op65/59) which remains popular to this day, perhaps because it is a rare example of a German chorale melody that is also well-known in England, as ‘Now thank we all our God’.