Review by canonical March 3, 2009 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
|This is a follow-on note to the first review posted here. I completely concur with that review, and so I shall limit my comments to some additional thoughts:
1. This SACD includes the magnificently funereal Adagio from Organ Concerto No.10 (track 11). Splendid piece.
I contrasted the sound of the SACD layer with that of the redbook layer: I thought the difference to be quite noticeably less harsh on the first track.
3. The Concerti
As the previous review noted, the Handel organ 'concerti' are not really concertos per se, but music usually taken from movements of the oratorios (often written to keep the audience entertained during interval). Perhaps for this reason, different recordings of the same concerti sometimes have very different structures.
For example, I compared this recording (Chorzempa 1975) with Simon Preston's 1971 recording on EMI with Menuhin conducting the Menhuin Festival Orchestra (CD, not SACD). Taking Organ Concerto No. 12 in B flat (Op.7 No.6) to compare:
ii. Adagio (from harpsichord suite No.2)
iii. Fuga (from harpsichord suite no.2)
iv. A tempo ordinario
ii. Organ (ad lib)
iii. Air (the same 'a tempo ordinario')
In both cases, the first and last movements are the same, but the middle movement(s) are completely different. Chorzempa performs two movements from the harpsichord suite no.2, while Preston appears to improvise on a La Folia type theme (though it is not perfectly La Folia).
The two performances both date from the early 1970s, but the final movement (AIR) could not be more different:
Preston/Menuhin give a slow, stately and formal account (4min 9sec), compared to a spritely dance-like rendition by Chorzempa in just 3min16sec. In Preston, the solo organ appears 23 seconds in; in Chorzempa, that role is left to the orchestra, and the solo organ only appears at 1min 38.
They are almost extremes in performance: but both versions work wonderfully.
The Chorzempa organ is tuned almost a semi-tone lower than that in the Preston/Menuhin recording.
In summary: this SACD offers a very fine performance of delightful repertoire, on a fine recording which has transferred well over to SACD. Highly recommended.
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