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Bach and Duruflé
Samuel Kummer on the new organ at Dresden Frauenkirche

J S Bach: Concerto d-Moll nach Vivaldi; Partite diverse sopra il Corale Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig; Pièce d'orgue

Maurice Duruflé: Suite

J S Bach: Trio super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend


Carus 83.188 [SACD, TT 67 mins]

Drawn to my attention after attending James Johnstone's exemplary Master Class on Buxtehude and his recital at the Greenwich Early Music Festival, this first recording of the new Kern organ at the restored and newly reopened Frauenkirche at Dresden was completed only on 20 September 2005.

It is my first opportunity to sample the work and scope of Carus-Verlag Stuttgart. Their focus has been to publish critical editions of little known choral works from all eras, and reliable editions of older works which do not conform to the standards of modern editorial practice. They believe they have become the leading publisher of sacred music worldwide, produced to the highest scholarly standards.

This CD exemplifies those aims, and is a masterly production in every way. The young organist puts through its paces, in a suitably chosen programme, the new Kern organ at Dresdan, based on the Silbermann original destroyed in 1945 - with an additional swell manual in the French romantic style.

The Vivaldi/Bach concerto sparkles, the Partita on Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig is an ideal choice for introducing the capacities of a new instrument, and the suite by the young Duruflé (1934) is a fine example of this attractive composer's style, which relates to that of his teacher Dukas, and ends with a bravura Toccata in the Debussy/Ravel tradition.

The production is as good as you could hope for - lively and idiomatic playing, rich, clear sound perfectly caught by the engineers, and everything you could want to know about the organ, with photos, full registrations and (less usual) details of the registrations of the Bach works including the individual variations of the Partita.

An additional bonus for Musical Pointers' online readers is the availability of the Duruflé registrations to download from http://www.carus-verlag.com/download.html.

How sensible; other record companies please note and follow suit when insert booklet space is limited.

Recommended unreservedly; listen to samples and you will not hesitate!

© Peter Grahame Woolf