KJELL HABBESTAD (b.1955): Introduction and Passacaglia, Op. 18, Organ Suite, Op. 22b, Fanfare and Blues, Op. 57, A solis ortus cardine, Op. 78, Gaudeamus, Op. 79, Mighty God and Loving Father, Chorale "Hear How the Church-bell is Ringing".
Catalogue Number: 08O086
Label: LAWO Classics
Reference: LWC 1031
Description: Habbestad's organ works are very tonal, with frequent reference to Baroque forms conferring a solid sense of structure. The Introduction and Passacaglia, for instance, is modeled after the form of Bach's Passacaglia in C minor - in shape, though not in content, the latter being taken from Fartein Valen's Violin Concerto, though avoiding the 12-note implications of the original material. The composer makes use of traditional church sources in other works here, ingeniously incorporated into evocations of various organ traditions and schools in the Suite (an especially appealing set of varied pieces), or providing motivic material for the impressive Gaudeamus. Habbestad's versatility and sense of humor are nicely showcased in the occasional fanfare for the retiring president of the Norwegian academy of music, based on the subject's name (with a cheeky, coincidental reference to a well-known work at the start, which must have raised a laugh when the piece was first heard), and his occasional side career as jazz pianist; and also in his reconstruction of Widor's toccata, incorporating the clever intrusion of the chorale 'Wake, awake for night is flying'. Harald Rise (organ of Bergen Cathedral).