Magazine article Gramophone

'The Steinmeyer Organ in Nidaros Cathedral'

Magazine article Gramophone

'The Steinmeyer Organ in Nidaros Cathedral'

Article excerpt

'The Steinmeyer Organ in Nidaros Cathedral'

Draagen Improvisation on a Folk Tune from Hornindal Dubois Douze Pieces nouvelles--In Paradisum Dupre Tombeau de Titelouze, Op 38--Placare Christe servulis Eben Sonntagsmusik--Moto ostinato Gigout Six Pieces--Grand choeur dialogue Grieg Peer Gynt, Op 46--Morning Handel Water Music, HWV348--Hornpipe Hovland Toccata over Kjaerlighet er lysets kiide Howells Six Pieces Master Tallis's Testament Karg-Elert Hommage a Handel, Op 75b L Nielsen Organ Fantasy, 'Nidarosdomens klokker' Reger Zwolf Stucke, Op 59--Benedictus Sandvold Adagio, Op 9 Widor Conte d'avril, Op 64--Marche nuptiale Magne H Draagen org LAWO Classics [F] [SACD] LWC1075 (80' * DDD/DSD)

With a specification that runs to 146 stops and an amazing 36 couplers, the 1930 Steinmeyer organ in Trondheim is one of the largest cathedral organs in Europe. It was substantially rebuilt a year ago, a few months after the appointment of Magne Draagen as Director of Music. He demonstrates the instrument in a programme highlighting various unique features, to which he draws attention in his own booklet-notes.

The recording does him proud, capturing the almost inaudible Echo division in Ludwig Nielsen's otherwise unremarkable Organ Fantasy based on the Nidaros Cathedral chimes, vividly detailing the broad dynamic sweep of Reger's 'Benedictus' and capturing the climax of Dupre's 'Placare Christe servulis' with ground-shaking intensity. Draagen can be excused for bringing certain stops and features out to play more for reasons of aural display than musical integrity; Widor's 'Marche nuptiale' gets a burst of the harp-like Celesta for no good reason; pedal chimes and a host of mutations go even beyond Karg-Elert's registration directions in the astonishing Homage to Handel-, a strangely distant Tuba makes its presence felt in the Handel Hornpipe; and, perversely, the English Solo division with Willis pipework is highlighted in Gigout's Grand choeur dialogue. …

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