WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Bann, Nachtschwärmerei, Fantasie, 3 Fantasies, Sinfoniae I (Mass for Organ), Contemplatio, Siebengestalt for Organ and Tamtam.
Catalogue Number: 08O082
Reference: WER 6751 2
Description: Rihm's organ works are all early; there has been nothing for the instrument since the most recent work here, 1980's Bann, Nachtschwarmerei. The very earliest pieces, the Fantasies, show the teenage composer obviously infatuated with the French virtuoso and devotional organ traditions, and trying to achieve some sort of synthesis with a modern æsthetic. The audibly present influences here pre-date Messiaen! A few years later, in Sinfoniae, Rihm has achieved this synthesis; the piece is obviously modelled after the French organ mass and symphony, but the language is much more dissonant, with the composer trying out 'orchestral' effects that he was as yet unable to have access to a real orchestra for. The last piece sounds like the composer ironically looking back on early compositions and improvisations, with movie sound-effect cliches and improvisatory passages rubbing shoulders. The organ used here was built with special features for contemporary music, and the organist makes free use of these in his registration, adding timbres and wind-pressure effects that would not have been available when Rihm originally conceived the pieces. Dominik Susteck (organ of St. Peter's Cologne), Jens Brülls (tamtam).