Samuel BARBER: Organ Works- Rudolf Innig – MDG Classics MDG 917-2010-6 -5.1 channel SACD TT: 65:04 (8/18/17) [dist. by Naxos] ****:
Barber’s Organ music well played and nicely recorded
When Samuel Barber was young, he told his mother he intended to be a musician, and not to try and dissuade him. Luckily, his mother complied, and Barber became one of the great musical voices of the 20th century.
What many do not know, is that Barber was a fine organist and composer for organ. The CD under examination today is a fine collection of Barber’s organ works, ably performed by Rudolph Innig.
The disc starts with Barber’s first organ composition, To Longwood Gardens, and ends with his Chorale Prelude based on Silent Night. Along the way we get a lovely transcription of Barber’s most well known work, the Adagio for Strings, opus11.
Barber himself did the arrangement for organ, and the piece has been performed at the state funerals of Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy and at the memorial services for Grace Kelly and Albert Einstein. This familiar piece works well transcribed, and is one of the many highlights on this disc.
Organist Rudolf Innig does a fine job with each of these works, and the sound of the Schule Organ at the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche at Detmold is fine, especially rendered in 5.1 on the SACD layer on the disc.
Barber’s organ music is worthy of exploration, and this well recorded disc and fine performance should tempt anyone thinking about hearing this less well known part of the composer’s output.