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The Klapmeyer organ in Altenbruch contains a significant amount of pipework by Hans Christoph Fritzsche, a member of one of Hamburg’s most important organ building dynasties in the pre-Schnitger period. Hans Christoph’s father, Gottfried, had rebuilt the organ over which Nicolaus Bruhns presided in Husum – reason enough for resident organist Duwensee to record Bruhns’s music in Altenbruch. This is an organ in a very dry room and Duwensee’s approach, with ever-changing registrations much in the manner of Harald Vogel, perhaps works better in such an environment than the grander approach to the large Praeludia which the city organs of the period might suggest. On the other hand, such registrational practices could, more than 20 years after the completion of Vogel’s memorable Buxtehude recording on the same label, seem fussy. The comparative lack of source information about registrations in this geographical area implies that other approaches are also justified. The organ here really comes alive in chamber music mode, especially in the anonymous Lübeck tablature Kyrie-Christe-Kyrie and the Fantasia on ‘Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ’ attributed to Peter Morhard, in which the Pedal Posaun proves itself a marvellous continuo stop and the fractional length reeds come into their own. Duwensee’s absorbing narrated demonstration of the organ’s different colours reveals an instrument of enormous beauty and charm.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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