Joseph Kelemen, Norddeutsche Orgelmeister Vol. 3 = NICOLAUS BRUHNS: Das Orgelwerk / MELCHOIR SCHILDT: Orgelwerke (TrackList below) – Joseph Kelemen, organ; Arp-Schnitger-Organ, Norden – Oehms multichannel SACD OC641, 68:04 ***** [Distrib. by Naxos]:
This SACD collects together the complete works for organ by Nicolaus Bruhns, together with a selection by Melchior Schildt, two important names in the history of the organ in Northern Germany.
Bruhns (1665-1697) studied violin and viola da gamba with his uncle, Peter, and organ with Dietrich Buxtehude and ended up organist at the Husum City church very near to his place of birth. He was much admired by Bach who was inspired by the writings of Bruhns, Reinken and Buxtehude. The preludes and fugues are very fine works and it isn’t difficult to hear why Bach was so taken with them. Bruhns will have known of the Arp-Schnitger organ in Norden, built in 1692, an instrument of many and subtle colours which Joseph Kelemen brings out with consummate style.
Schildt (c.1592-1667) belonged to a previous generation, and was a pupil of Sweelinck in Amsterdam. He ended up, too, where he started, in Hanover as organist of the Marktkirche. And as with Bruhns, very few of his works have survived. The Magnificat is a striking piece, with fascinating registrations, double pedal in the first section, and, in the last section, cimbelstern.
In the excellent booklet, Kelemen contributes full explanations for his interpretations, making the academic history interesting to read. The booklet also includes a full specification of the instrument, and, most interestingly, the registrations used during every piece. Kelemen and Oehms have produced a thoroughly well-researched project here, and one whose contents will appeal to the non-specialist, too.
The sound quality on this disc is quite first-class, especially in the multichannel SACD programme where the acoustic and spatial characteristics of the instrument take flight. One caveat, though: if you enjoy this release, you’ll surely be tempted by others in the excellent series on Oehms of North and South German organs.
1 Bruhns: Praeludium en Gn. Pedaliter
2 Schildt: Gleichwie das Feuer
3 Bruhns: Praeludium con Fuga ex Gb Pedaliter
Schildt: Magnificat 1. Modi
4 [Primus Versus] Choral im Tenore
5 2. Versus auff 2 Clavier
6 Tertius Versus a 4 Voc.
7 Quartus Versus a 3 Voc. in Tenore
8 Quintus Versus
9 Bruhns: Adagio in D (transposed to C Major)
10 Schildt: Allein Gott in der Hohe sey Ehr
11 Bruhns: Nun komm der Heyden Heyland
12 Bruhns: Praeludium ex E. Com Pedahl “lesser” (transposed to d Minor)
13 Schildt: Paduana Lachrymae after John Dowland
14 Bruhns: Praeludium en E b. Pedaliter. “great” (transposed to d Minor)
— Peter Joelson