Magazine article Czech Music

Josef Seger Complete Organ Works 2

Magazine article Czech Music

Josef Seger Complete Organ Works 2

Article excerpt

Josef Seger Complete Organ Works 2

Pavel Kohout--organ.

Text: English, French, German, Czech. Recorded: Sept. 2015, Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, Prague. Released: 2016. IT: 78:18. 1 CD, Vixen V2--0001.

Te organist Pavel Kohout has devoted to the music of Josef Seger (baptised 1716-1 782) over the long term, systematically and thoroughly, in practice and theory alike. Thanks to his endeavours, we have thus available not only the present album, containing a number of pieces performed in modern premiere, but also editions of Seger's organ pieces (published by Czech Radio). Nevertheless, I would venture to say that not even this would be sufficient had Kohout not vitalised, resurrected the music. The recording captures Pavel Kohout playing the unique organ at the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn in Prague. The two-manual instrument, built by Hans Heinrich Mundt in 1673, has been preserved in virtually its original form, with the only modification to it having been carried out in the 19th century, by the organ maker Josef Gartner, who transposed the case to the back and tuned it an entire pitch lower, which was retained when the instrument was restored. The organ at the Church of Our Lady Before tyn has a rather soff mechanics, the short octave in both the manuals and pedal, as well as delicately sounding registers, including the Zimbelstern (a "cymbal star", on which several small bells are mounted, which produce a continuous tinkling sound), which was mainly common in northern Germany throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Yet this particular instrument was not chosen for the recording only due its technical properties. Like a lofty, centuries-old oak tree, it stands as a witness and source alike--Seger himself played the organ for 47 years. In addition to serving at Our Lady Before tyn, he was also an organist at the Church of St Francis Seraph of the Order of the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star in Prague. The CD features the Eight Toccatas and Fugues, performed according to the first printed edition, by Daniel Gottlob Turk in 1793, and a wide selection of organ pieces from Kohout's edition (17 works, eight of which in modern-time premieres). The toccatas are rather preludes than virtuoso solo compositions (they were originally named as such, the title was only changed by the publisher), with the exception of the more demanding Toccata V in C major,t 5. …

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