ANDREAS WILLSCHER (b.1955): Organ Symphony No. 5 “Of Francis’s Preaching about Holy Poverty”.
Catalogue Number: 04S072
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25150
Description: The twelve short movements of this hour-and-a-quarter symphony symbolise various aspects of St Francis' teachings. The diversity of forms employed suggest different rhetorical devices, from urgent, discursive, energetic argument to ascetic meditation. Willscher's language is very tonal, with some movements suggesting the classical organ tradition, and others having something in common with Messiaen's use of harmony, with one containing a birdsong 'vocalise'. Two quote Gregorian chant associated with the saint, and there are toccatas (with a hint of minimalism) and fugal textures and forms. The long seventh movement is a pivotal pause for reflection, consisting of a very slow progression of unconnected chords of varying degrees of consonance and tone color, separated by long pauses. Before and after this mystical oasis, the work's coherent sequence of argument forms a clear dramatic progression. Carson Cooman (Marcussen organ of Laurenskerk, Rotterdam).