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Koechlin Organ, Piano and String Quartets

Choral in F minor, Op. 90b (1924) Deux Vocalises, Op. 212b (1947) Choral Final du Requiem, Op. 161 (1937) Sonatine III, Op. 107 (1929) Quatre Chorals, Op. 98 [10:21] Pi├Ęce pour orgue, Op. 226 Fugue, Op. 133 no 2 Adagio, Op. 201 Sonatine II, Op. 107 (1929) Adagio, Op. 211 (1947) Sonatine I, Op. 107 (1929) Fugue modale Op. 240b

Christian Schmitt (organ) rec. June 2009, Marktkirche Hannover

CPO 777 512-2

There is a serious revival of interest in Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950). This selection of his organ music works slowly on the listener's sensibility. They relate to his intensive study of Bach's contrapuntal techniques, some pieces pushing canonic technques to extremes, others gently expressive. The Hannover organ sounds splendid & this is a distinctive addition to the organ music catalogue.

A worth-while companion to Ralph van Raat's featured new recording of Koechlin's most important piano work, Persian Hours, also this month.

I bring together links to our reviews of other Koechlin discs; I have been unable to locate my appreciation of his major orchestral work, Les Bandar Log to Kipling's Jungle Book, which the BBC championed long years ago.

Koechlin & Pärt - Ralph van Raat, piano Koechlin's major piano cycle Persian Hours, a rediscovered masterpiece by a composer whose fecundity and proliferation of music in many genres has tended to count against him, is characterised by rich exoticism which draws upon his reciprocally-admired French contemporaries and looks forward to Messiaen etc, with a musical language which takes in impressionism, free atonality and quasi-twelve tone writing.

String Quartets 1 & 2 Ardeo Quartet The long-lived Charles Koechlin is now belatedly coming into his own in recordings and here is a young quartet clearly determined not to just duplicate the standard repertoire. His 250 works and more include three string quartets. The first develops a sonata form in which themes are "intertwined - - transformed, modulated, superimposed" very freely. The scherzo has an unstable time signature, giving back a lullaby-like melody "its original innocence"... The finale can be be thought of as a Haydn parody. These first two quartets whet the appetite for the other.

Peter Grahame Woolf