Mozart And The Organ

Anders Eidsten Dahl, Arvid Engegard, Atle Sponberg, Embrik Snerte

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Format: CD

Cat No: LWC1257

Release Date:  08 September 2023

Label:  Lawo

Packaging Type:  Digipak

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  7090020182797

Genres:  Classical  Chamber Music  

  • Description

    In a letter to his father Leopold, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote of his relationship to the organ: "In my eyes and ears, the organ is the queen of instruments." In spite of his enthusiasm for the instrument and the fact that Mozart himself liked to play the organ, he did not compose much music for "the queen of instruments". The organists of the day improvised when they played for mass, and the organ at that time was not a concert instrument in need of a wide-ranging repertoire.

    Mozart's original music for organ consists of 17 one-movement "Epistle sonatas" -- chamber music written between 1772 and 1780 for masses in Salzburg. The instrumentation for 14 of these is two violins and basso continuo, while the remaining three are written for more instruments. The pieces are short -- this is music written to be played between the reading of texts. The organ is given an ever greater concertizing role from the first to the last, and the Sonata in C (K336) can be described as a small organ concerto.

    In 1790 Mozart was commissioned to write music for what was known as a "Flotenuhr" -- a large grandfather clock containing a self-playing organ. The instrument was popular at the time -- there are also compositions for the instrument written by Handel, C.P.E. Bach and Haydn. Here the mature Mozart reveals his gifts as a contrapuntalist and his ability to create singable melodies and forward-looking harmonies. The pieces are virtuosic and to some extent must be arranged if they are to be played by someone performing them on the organ.

    In addition to organist Anders Eidsten Dahl, the musicians playing on the 14 Church Sonatas are violinists Arvid Engegard and Atle Sponberg and bassoonist Embrik Snerte. Mozart's work for "Flotenuhr" was recorded in St. Margaret's Church in Oslo on an organ clearly inspired by southern German baroque organs.

    "Swirling turns lead to a Baroque fugue which returns with a thrilling counter-subject. […] the crisp and reedy sound of his instrument is compelling" – BBC Music Magazine (Performance 3 STARS, Recording 5 STARS)

    "This is a disc I have enjoyed a great deal over a number of repeated hearings, both for the performances of the Epistle Sonatas, which are both well-considered and full of life, and for the impressively lucid interpretations of K.594 and K.608 by Anders Eidsten Dahl. There are, of course, other recordings of all these works, but these newly issued performances are among the best I am familiar with." – MusicWeb International

    "The performances of these 14 church sonatas are delightfully energetic and spirited, and the recorded sound is clear and airy." – Fanfare

    "The performances of the epistle sonatas are stylish, enthusiastic and idiomatic, not trying to inflate the music but enjoying its verve and charm." – MusicWeb International

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. W.A. Mozart: Church Sonata in E-Flat Major, K.67/41h
      • 2. Church Sonata in B-Flat Major, K.68/41i
      • 3. Church Sonata in D Major, K.69/41k
      • 4. Church Sonata in D Major, K.144/124a
      • 5. Church Sonata in F Major, K.145/124b
      • 6. Church Sonata in B-Flat Major, K.212
      • 7. Church Sonata in G Major, K.241
      • 8. Church Sonata in F Major, K.224/241a
      • 9. Church Sonata in A Major, K.225/241b
      • 10. Church Sonata in F Major, K.244
      • 11. Church Sonata in D Major, K.245
      • 12. Church Sonata in G Major, K.274/271d
      • 13. Church Sonata in C Major, K.328/317c
      • 14. Church Sonata in C Major, K.336/336d
      • 15. Adagio and Allegro in F minor, K.594: I. Adagio
      • 16. II. Allegro
      • 17. III. Adagio
      • 18. Fantasia in F minor, K.608: I. Allegro
      • 19. II. Andante - tempo primo
      • 20. III. Andante in F major, K.616