20th Century Organ Masterworks

Author: 
Marc Rochester
GMCD7807. 20th Century Organ Masterworks20th Century Organ Masterworks

20th Century Organ Masterworks

  • (3) Sonatas for Organ
  • Pari intervalli
  • Trivium
  • Passacaglia
  • Tanz-Toccata

According to the University’s own website – the only details of the instrument provided in the booklet with this CD are its registration – the organ of Pacific Lutheran University was built by Paul Fritts in 1998. It packs a pretty hefty punch and the solidity of its tone is reinforced by an acoustic which sounds as if it is encased within thick pile carpets and velvet curtains. However, it makes the ideal vehicle for Shostakovich’s Passacaglia.

Rather like the organ music of Britten and Tippett, the Shostakovich work holds its place in the repertory by virtue of its composer rather than its musical value, and nothing can obscure the fact that it is an interlude from an opera (Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District). Nevertheless, Iain Quinn’s sturdy and purposeful account, coupled with the organ’s forthright qualities, gives considerable credibility to the piece as a stand-alone organ work.

Considering their importance to the 20th-century organ repertory, Hindemith’s three sonatas have generally fared poorly on record. Quinn interprets Hindemith’s loose registration directions convincingly and plays the works with considerable authority; and, while I miss the lightness of spirit in the dance-flavoured Second and the touches of delicacy in the folk song-based Third, these are highly commendable performances.

The two Arvo Pärt works provide ample evidence of the organ’s consistently balanced wind supply and inappropriately grating Kellner temperament but for me the highlight of the programme is Anton Heiller’s Tanz-Toccata. It has hints of Messiaen and Langlais but is a tremendously exhilarating and invigorating rhythmic tour de force which finds both Iain Quinn and this Washington State organ firmly in their element.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019