19th Century organ music beautifully played and recorded
Musica Baltica Vol.3: FW Markull – Organ Works – MDG (Dabringhaus und Grimm) Cat No: MDG9062048 Hybrid SACD TT: 67:19 (3/16/18) *** 1/2
Friedrich Wilhelm Markull began his career as a child prodigy and was appointed to the post of organist at Danzig’s magnificent St Mary’s Church when he was only twenty years old.
Markull had a great influence on Johannes Brahms, who received inspiration in Danzig not only for his own organ compositions but also for the German Requiem. Markull died in 1887.
Markull’s works are played on the Bucholz Organ, dedicated in 1841, an instrument with more than fifty stops on three manuals. Organist Andrzej Szadejko has found an outstanding replacement for the early romantic Danzig instrument Markull performed on, which was completely destroyed during World War II, in the very expertly restored Buchholz organ in Stralsund’s St Nicholas Church.
The music on the disc is very well recorded. I listened in 5.1 surround, and I was quickly transported to St. Mary’s. I was pleased to see this disc has a dedicated subwoofer channel, as often classical recordings are done in the 5.0 format. The surrounds give us a sense of space, and my subwoofer was kept busy providing the lowest notes the organ provided.
I have previously reviewed Volume 2 in this series of Markull’s works, and this latest recording is of equal quality,
Markull will never be a household name, but his music is interesting and certainly worth a listen. This 5.1 disc nicely captures the sound of this magnificent organ, and the fine performance by Andrzej Szadejko.