Mozart and the Organ

Anders Eidsten Dahl, Arvid Engegard, Atle Sponberg, Enbrik Snerte

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Original Recording Format: DXD
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Mozart and the Organ is the latest album at NativeDSD from Anders Eldsten Dahl. In addition to organist Anders Eidsten Dahl, the musicians playing on the 14 Church Sonatas are violinists Arvid Engegård and Atle Sponberg and bassoonist Embrik Snerte. Mozart’s work for “Flötenuhr” was recorded in St. Margaret’s Church in Oslo on an organ clearly inspired by southern German baroque organs.

In a letter to his father Leopold, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote of his relationship to the organ: “In my eyes and ears, the organ is the queen of instruments.”

In spite of his enthusiasm for the instrument and the fact that Mozart himself liked to play the organ, he did not compose much music for “the queen of instruments”. The organists of the day improvised when they played for mass, and the organ at that time was not a concert instrument in need of a wide-ranging repertoire.

Mozart’s original music for organ consists of 17 one-movement “Epistle sonatas” — chamber music written between 1772 and 1780 for masses in Salzburg. The instrumentation for 14 of these is two violins and basso continuo, while the remaining three are written for more instruments. The pieces are short — this is music written to be played between the reading of texts. The organ is given an ever greater concertizing role from the first to the last, and the Sonata in C (K336) can be described as a small organ concerto.

In 1790 Mozart was commissioned to write music for what was known as a “Flötenuhr” — a large grandfather clock containing a self-playing organ. The instrument was popular at the time — there are also compositions for the instrument written by Handel, C.P.E. Bach and Haydn. Often the music was meant to describe an event or situation — the music Mozart was commissioned to write was to be played in a wax museum in memory of Field Marshal Laudon. Mozart was not especially fond of the “Flötenuhr” as an instrument, yet the works are compositions of exceptionally high musical quality. Here the mature Mozart reveals his gifts as a contrapuntalist and his ability to create singable melodies and forward-looking harmonies. The pieces are virtuosic and to some extent must be arranged if they are to be played by someone performing them on the organ.


Anders Eidsten Dahl, Organ
Arvid Engegård, Violin
Atle Sponberg, Violin
Embrik Snerte, Bassoon


This album has been reviewed in our blog by music reviewer Rush Paul. Go To Article

Tracklist

Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
1.
Church Sonata in E-flat Major, K.67/41h
01:37
2.
Church Sonata in B-flat Major, K.68/41i
02:26
3.
Church Sonata in D Major, K.69/41k
02:31
4.
Church Sonata in D Major, K.144/124a
02:50
5.
Church Sonata in F Major, K.145/124b
02:27
6.
Church Sonata in B-flat Major, K.212
02:54
7.
Church Sonata in G Major, K.241
02:24
8.
Church Sonata in F Major, K.224/241a
04:00
9.
Church Sonata in A Major, K.225/241b
03:45
10.
Church Sonata in F Major, K.244
03:16
11.
Church Sonata in D Major, K.245
03:24
12.
Church Sonata in G Major, K.274/271d
03:04
13.
Church Sonata in C Major, K.328/317c
04:09
14.
Church Sonata in C Major, K.336/336d
04:27
15.
Adagio and Allegro in F minor, K.594: I. Adagio
02:45
16.
Adagio and Allegro in F minor, K.594: II. Allegro
07:16
17.
Adagio and Allegro in F minor, K.594: III. Adagio
03:04
18.
Fantasia in F minor, K.608: I. Allegro
03:09
19.
Fantasia in F minor, K.608: II. Andante - tempo primo
07:43
20.
Andante in F Major, K.616
07:22

Total time: 01:14:33

Additional information

Label

SKU

LWC1257

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Original Recording Format

Release DateSeptember 8, 2023

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

This is a completely delightful album of charming, energetic music. The first track opens with a sprightly performance of Mozart’s Church Sonata in E-flat Major, K.67/41h for 2 violins and bassoon. And it is such a treat! The music rollicks along through thirteen more of his Church Sonatas, each a lively and engaging as the first. This combination of instruments is supplemented in various of the sonatas by a small chamber organ providing continuo. The contrasting timbre of the bassoon and chamber organ is a continuing entertainment in these teasingly irreverent compositions…

The sound quality captured by Lawo Classics recording and mastering engineer Thomas Wolden is once again superb. The balance among the instruments in the Church Sonatas is exemplary, with excellent detail and beautifully natural timbre. The capture of the organ of St. Margaret’s Church in Oslo is a nicely managed as any organ recording in my collection, and is greatly enhanced by Wolden’s respect for allowing the natural acoustic balance of the church itself fully resonate with the notes of the organ while maintaining utter clarity. This is simply superb engineering and a complete sonic delight…

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