Notes & Reviews:
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed six pairs of preludes and fugues for the piano. Adam Lenart's transfer of this magnificent music to the organ has produced astonishing gains - as his new recording at the Paschen organ in the Martin Luther Church in Detmold impressively demonstrates. He also performs the three Preludes and Fugues for Organ op. 37, pieces with which the young organist himself clearly signaled the similar character of the two cycles.
The Prelude and Fugue in E minor, the first pair of op. 35, profit extraordinarily from their new sound guise: the mighty intensification by way of which the fugue proceeds into a chorale borne by massive bass octaves develops an absolutely incredible suggestive power on the organ - as if originally intended for this instrument. The Prelude in D major was composed in the manner of a baroque trio sonata - and thus seems predestined for interpretation on the organ.
Mendelssohn occupied himself intensively with Bach's music throughout his life. He often borrowed from his great model but without ever playing down his high-romantic environment. In this way he developed an entirely new musical language to which later composers - first among them, Johannes Brahms - could later return.
The works make for a genuinely overpowering experience when heard in opulent 2+2+2 sound. The queen of instruments towers up majestically in this virtual space, and refined registrations produce the finest tonal nuances offered by the German romantic style. Moreover, the organist plays with nonstop drive and vigor. Everything adds up to a recording that is both an audiophile delight and a gripping listening experience.
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