Helsingør

Audio: Von Gott will ich nicht lassen
recorded live in Helsingør

I'm in beautiful Denmark for the start of a three year cycle of concerts focussing on the organ music of J.S. Bach. For this first recital, I have chosen to play the organ at SCT. MARIÆ KIRKE, Helsingør in a programme of Bach, Buxtehude and Scheidemann. (In 1660, Buxtehude became organist of St. Mary's, which, apparently, was known as the German church as it served foreigners of the community and the military garrison of Kronborg.) The instrument by Johan Lorentz/Hans Christoff Frietzsch (1641/1662) is truly elegant and, behind the beautifully carved Baroque facade (including original pipework in the RückWerk) Marcussen & Søn have recreated something in the spirit of the original 'Buxtehude organ'. Distinguished organist, Bine Bryndorf chose this instrument for the first two volumes of her complete Buxtehude recordings where has this to say about it: “...the organ in Helsingør has far more to it than I dreamt of and is fully a match for the most famous Baroque organs in Europe.” While the short/broken octave provides some challenges for playing Bach, the sublime marriage of instrument and acoustic, good action, elegant voicing and Neidhardt tuning (or similar) make this organ a fine vehicle for his early works. As Bach's travels to North Germany are so well known, I decided to start my own 'Bach journey' with a programme that frames free- and chorale based works by Buxtehude, (Bach) and Scheidemann with two large-scale Bach works that speak with a particularly North German accent - particularly in terms of their rhetorical structure and use of the so-called Stylus phantasticus:

 J.S Bach (1685-1750) Toccata in E (C major version) BWV 566a Heinrich Scheidemann (c.1595-1663) Dic nobis Maria J.S Bach O Lamm Gottes unschuldig BWV 656 Nun danket alle Gott BWV 657 Von Gott will ich nicht lassen BWV 658 Buxtehude (1637-1707) Toccata F major BuxWV 157 JS Bach Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV Anhang 73 Fantasia and Fugue in G minor BWV 542.

I'm extremely grateful to Søren Gleerup Hansen for hosting me and helping to tune the reeds on a particularly warm and humid evening, my wife Sonja for assisting as registrant for the concert and to Prof. Bine Bryndorf for attending and her words of encouragement!