Thursday, November 12, 2015

Commotio: Organ Works of the Interwar Period - Oskar Lindberg, Organ Sonata in G minor - Olivier Messiaen, Le Banquet Céleste - Hans Gál, Toccata in E minor - Maurice Durufle, Scherzo - Carl Nielsen, Commotio - Christian Wilson, Organ - Acis Records 2015

Here's another great disc of organ music, and one of my favorite recent releases for solo organ. Five composers are represented here, starting off with the rarely heard "Organ Sonata in G minor" Op. 23 of Oskar Lindberg (it has been recorded before, on BIS and Swedish Society but unless you own either of those it's unlikely you will hear it on the airwaves). Next up is "Le Banquet Céleste" by Olivier Messiaen, followed by Hans Gál's wonderful "Toccata in E minor", one of the highlights of this collection. It goes without saying that the Durufle work ("Scherzo") is very fine, and lastly, and most significantly, is Carl Nielsen's masterpiece for organ "Commotio", which is substantial at over 25 minutes. The Nielsen is an absolute knockout and one of the pillars of 20th century organ repertoire.

In a letter Carl Nielsen wrote of "Commotio", "I myself think it is my most accomplished work". That is quite a statement from one of Denmark's greatest symphonists. Commotio was one of Nielsen's last works, completed in 1931, the year of Nielsen's death.

Again when I have more time, I will try to add more info on the rest of the program, I'm trying to post several things before leaving for work!



Eion said...

Really excellent, and the Nielsen is everything you said, I had never heard it before.


bruce said...

I have Commotio on an LP I haven't been able to play for years so it will be great to be re-acquainted, also I love Messiaen's organ music and this version will be interesting.