<< -- 3 -- George Balcombe BREATHTAKING BREVITY
Since the music around 1600 owed its existence
to counterpoint, quite appropriately, the recording technique of this
disc is to make the composers' contrapuntal ingenuity loud and clear.
But this has been done at the expense of an aural sensation of
three-dimensional space. Reverberation is doubtless the enemy of
contrapuntal clarity. An organ is not only the instrument
itself but also the acoustics of the architecture around it.
Sweelinck and his pupils, who went from him to play fine organs in
beautiful churches across the whole of northern Germany and beyond,
during the metamorphosis of Renaissance music into the Baroque,
would have been among the first to agree that the magnificence of the
organ derives from its own sound heard in the context of the built
space around it. Deprived of that space the music sounds sparse.
However, Gail Archer, with this method of recording, is consistent
in the emphasis on the counterpoint. She gives a brilliant performance
culminating in the astounding outburst at the end of the recital
with Sweelinck's Ricecar
[listen -- track 20, 10:30-11:33].
Copyright © 28 August 2005
George Balcombe, London UK
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The Orpheus of Amsterdam - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and his Pupils
CACD88043 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 50'36" 2005 Cala Records Ltd
Gail Archer, organ (Charles B Fisk Organ at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA)
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621): Toccata in C; Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654): Echo ad manuale duplex, forte & lene; Heinrich Scheidemann (c1595-1663): Magnificat VII toni; Sweelinck: Malle Sijmen; Scheidt: Est-ce Mars; Sweelinck: Ricercar