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Passacaglia / Matthias Havinga

Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 9269  
Composer:  Max RegerDietrich BuxtehudeFelix MendelssohnJan Welmers,   ... 
Performer:  Matthias Havinga
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

• The Passacaglia is a musical form based on a repeated bass line over which variations are composed.The form was popular during the 17th century but proved to be a challenge in its structural restrictions for composers of later periods, continuously renewing and extending the form, while keeping to its basic formula.
• This original program brings together composers from 4 centuries: from Kerll, Couperin, Buxtehude and the monumental Passacaglia in C minor by J.S. Bach, far into the 20-th century with Reger, Shostakovich and Jan Welmers.
• Recorded on the magnificent Martti Pothan organ Kotka Church in Sweden, by young virtuoso Matthias Havinga, whose earlier recording on this organ (Brilliant Classics 94203) with Italian
Read more Concertos by J.S. Bach received enthusiastic reviews in the press.
• New recording, including extensive liner notes and information on the instrument.

Consisting of variations framed in a constantly repeated basso ostinato, the passacaglia is a musical form with a long and fruitful history.This release is dedicated to eight such examples which, taken from four countries and all performed on the organ, divide either side of the year 1800 to reveal the form’s extensive and inventive development over time.

The passacaglia was particularly popular during the 17th century, when it became known for its limited range of keys, slow triple meter and short, simple theme of two or four bars. While Couperin’s use of ela- borate ornamentation and rondo structure equate to a typically French rendition of the form, the leaps in Buxtehude’s theme create bolder expression and are also prominent in J.S. Bach’s C minor Passacaglia – a summit in western classical music, whose influence can be felt in this compilation’s remaining post-1800 works. From Mendelssohn’s unabashed homage, distinguished by its unusual 4/4 time signature, to Reger’s similarly Romantic appraisal of 17th-century contrapuntal techniques, the collection also showcases Shostakovich’s highly dramatic working of the form – whose complex harmonic explorations are pushed to shattering point in Welmer’s 1965 atonal composition.

Though the passacaglia is by no means limited to the organ, this compilation demonstrates just how well the instru- ment’s sustainable tone and majestic qualities suit the form. Matthias Havinga delivers an authoritative reading, full of colour and timbral invention.

• Recorded in September 2010 in Kotka Church, Sweden.
• Includes comprehensive booklet notes on each work.
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Works on This Recording

Introduction and Passacaglia for Organ in D minor by Max Reger
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Germany 
Passacaglia for Organ in D minor, BuxWV 161 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Little Pieces (2) for Organ: no 2, Passacaglia in C minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Passacaglia for Organ by Jan Welmers
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; Netherlands (Holland 
Passacaglia for Keyboard in D minor by Johann Kaspar Kerll
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk district, Op. 29: Passacaglia by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1932; USSR 
Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Matthias Havinga (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1712; Arnstadt, Germany 

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