RAIMUND SCHÄCHER (b.1960): Sonata antiqua, Op. 40, Fantasia (Tintinnabuli - Homage à Arvo Pärt), Op. 23, Treuchtlinger Partita, Op. 11, ANDREAS WILLSCHER (b.1955): Suite romantique, Aria, Partita on “Creator alma siderum”.
Catalogue Number: 06T066
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25168
Description: Two German composers of richly Romantic organ music in the European tradition. Schächer has great experience as an editor of Mediæval and Renaissance keyboard music, and this shows in his stylistic and harmonic preferences. His Sonata consists of an impressive opening prelude evoking Renaissance dances, a set of variations on an original theme with an Irish folk flavour, and a passacaglia on 'The Song of the Volga Boatmen'. The restrained and meditative Fantasia is an homage to Pärt, in simple, chiming, modal harmony. The Partita is named for the town where the composer makes his home. An imposing prelude is followed by a two-part treatment of a 16th century hymn tune. The third movement is a study for pedals alone - organ composers love showing off lie this - which frames a virtuosic toccata with grand outer sections. There follows a rich harmonization of a chorale, and a sombre, dignified aria with a haunting modal melody. The final movement is an homage to homage to Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644–1704) in the form of a stately, monumental passacaglia. Willscher's three-movement Suite is an early work, reflecting his long-standing enthusiasm for French organ music, evident in texture, melodic contour, harmony and form (the finale is a typical French toccata movement, as exuberant as any of the familiar examples on which it draws). The Aria is lyrical and reflective, with an unexpectedly powerful climax. The Partita is a set of variations on the plainchant hymn “Creator alma siderum". The plainchant melody is presented in a wide variety of guises and moods from imposing and solemn to humorous (the 'nightingale' stop is, let's say, unexpected), drawing on the organ traditional from the Baroque, the Romantic period and echoes of Messiaen's 20th century. Carson Cooman (organ of St. Peter and Paul Parish Church, Görlitz, Germany).