Rubsam: Joseph Rheinberger - Works For Organ vol.01-08 (8 CD, WavPack)
Rubsam: Joseph Rheinberger - Works For Organ vol.01-08 (8 CD, WavPack)

Composer: Joseph Rheinberger
Performer: Wolfgang Rubsam
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 8 CD
Format: WV (image+cue)
Label: Naxos
Size: 2.13 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 1
01. Sonata No. 1 – 1. Prelude
02. Sonata No. 1 – 2. Andante
03. Sonata No. 1 – 3. Finale
04. Sonata No. 2 – 1. Grave, Allegro
05. Sonata No. 2 – 2. Adagio Espressivo
06. Sonata No. 2 – 3. Finale
07. Sonata No. 3 – 1. Pastorale
08. Sonata No. 3 – 2. Intermezzo
09. Sonata No. 3 – 3. Fugue
10. Sonata No. 4 – 1. (Tempo Moderato)
11. Sonata No. 4 – 2. Intermezzo
12. Sonata No. 4 – 3. Fuga Eromatica

CD 2
01. Sonata #5, F Sharp Minor, Op. 111 – 1. Grave- Allegro Moderato
02. Sonata #5, F Sharp Minor, Op. 111 – 2. Adagio- Allegro- Adagio
03. Sonata #5, F Sharp Minor, Op. 111 – 3. Finale
04. Sonata #6, E Flat Minor, Op. 119 – 1. Praeludium
05. Sonata #6, E Flat Minor, Op. 119 – 2. Intermezzo
06. Sonata #6, E Flat Minor, Op. 119 – 3. Marcia Religiosa
07. Sonata #6, E Flat Minor, Op. 119 – 4. Fuga
08. Sonata #7, F Minor, Op. 127 – 1. Allegro
09. Sonata #7, F Minor, Op. 127 – 2. Andante
10. Sonata #7, F Minor, Op. 127 – 3. Finale

CD 3
01. 1. Praeludium
02. 2. Intermezzo
03. 3. Scherzoso
04. 4. Passacaglia
05. I. Andante
06. II. Moderato
07. III. Adagio
08. IV. Andantino
09. V. Con moto
10. 1. Praeludium and Fugue
11. 2. Romanze
12. 3. Fantasia and Fugue
13. VI. Alla breve
14. VII. Andantino
15. VIII. Adagio non troppo
16. IX. Moderato
17. X. Andante molto

CD 4
01. Sonata No. 10 in B minor, Op. 146-Fuge: Molto moderato
02. Sonata No. 10 in B minor, Op. 146-Thema mit Veraenderungen: Andante
03. Sonata No. 10 in B minor, Op. 146-Fantasie und Finale: Quasi Adagio-Allegro non troppo
04. Five Trois, Op. 189, Nos. 1-5-1 Andantino amabile in d flat major
05. Five Trois, Op. 189, Nos. 1-5-2 Moderato in B flat minor
06. Five Trois, Op. 189, Nos. 1-5-3 Allegretto in E Flat major
07. Five Trois, Op. 189, Nos. 1-5-4 Quasi adagio in C major
08. Five Trois, Op. 189, Nos. 1-5-5 Moderato in E major
09. Sonata No. 11 in D minor, Op. 148-Agitato: Allegro
10. Sonata No. 11 in D minor, Op. 148-Cantilene: Adagio
11. Sonata No. 11 in D minor, Op. 148-Intermezzo: Moderato
12. Sonata No. 11 in D minor, Op. 148-Fuge: Con moto

CD 5
01. 1. Fantasis: Maestoso lento – Allegro agitato
02. 2. Pastoral: Andante
03. 3. Introduction and Fugue: Lento – Con moto – Lento
04. 6. Allegretto
05. 7. Moderato
06. 8. Alla breve
07. 9. Con moto
08. 10. Andantino
09. 11. Adagio
10. 12. Andantino
11. 1. Fantasia: Mastoso – Adagaio – Temp 1 – Adagio molto
12. 2. Canzone: Allegretto
13. 3. Intermezzo: Largo
14. 4. Fugue: Alla breve

CD 6
01. Sonate Nr. 14 C-Dur, Op. 165 – Paeludium: Maestoso – Poco piu mosso – Tempo I
02. Idyll: Andantino – Moderato – Tempo I
03. Toccata: (Allegro moderato) – Maestoso – A tempo
04. Sonate Nr. 15 D-Dur, Op. 168 – Fantasia: Andante amabile – Agitato – A tempo
05. Adagio
06. Introduction und Ricercare: Maestoso – Con moto – Intermezzo – Ricercare – Andante molto
07. Sonate Nr. 16 Gis-Moll, Op. 175 – Allegro moderato
08. Skandinavisch: Andantino
09. Introduction und Fuge: Adagio – Con moto – Maestoso

CD 7
Organ Sonata No. 17 in B major, Op. 181
01. I. Fantasie
02. II. Intermezzo
03. III. Introduction and Fugue

Prelude and Fugue in D minor, JWV 10
04. Prelude
05. Fugue

6 Monologe (6 Monologues), Op. 162
06. No. 1. Con moto in C major
07. No. 2. Poco agitato in A minor
08. No. 3. Andante tranquillo in E major
09. No. 4. Andantino in E flat minor
10. No. 5. Andante amabile in G major
11. No. 6. Largo espressivo in B minor

Organ Sonata No. 18 in A major, Op. 188
12. I. Phantasie
13. II. Capriccio
14. III. Idylle
15. IV. Finale

CD 8
Organ Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 193
01. I. Praeludium
02. II. Provencalisch
03. III. Introduction and Finale

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, JWV 16
04. Prelude in C minor
05. Fugue in C minor

Organ Sonata No. 20 in F major, Op. 196, “Zur Friedensfeier”
06. I. Praeludium
07. II. Intermezzo
08. III. Pastorale
09. IV. Finale

Rich, Romantic Sound

I have returned to edit a duplicate review (one is not allowed to delete a review after it has been submitted) explaining that yes, the CD was great and no, I did not mean to submit the same review twice.
What is so outstanding about these 20 sonatas is the consumate artistry of the set. Along with their meticulous craftmanship they are also peculiarly “organistic” in a way that other organ works are not. Rheinberger was a musical genius encased in a rather parochial veneer. One cannot imagine this happily married devout Catholic engaging in shenanigans like Lizst, Beethoven or Wagner. The composer did not set out to cause waves but to make music. It is unfortunate that only his organ works are heard today, but at least we have that much. Many composers have now faded into oblivion, only to be remembered as footnotes.
These twenty Sonatas, along with the two Organ Concertos, define the German Romantic Movement. His Peace Concerto, composed prior to WWI, evidenced a naive but noble belief that the nations of Europe could live in peace. Little did he realize that his own adopted land would be the instigator of two conflicts over the next four decades.
Although the Sonatas evolve in complexity and style, their basic structure and style are set from the first – a strict sonata framerwork, a fast slow fast, and a concluding fugue. This does not imply a lack of originality since it is more difficult to demonstrate variety within a set form that establish new forms. The first Sonata in C Minor is majestic and again, utterly organistic. For example, Lizst’s organ music always sounds like a piano, Saint-Saens a symphony and Handel’s a harpsichord. The punctuated sounds of the bass, the virtuosity of writing for both hands and feet, the flowing harmonies with their semi-quaver rhythm (a Rheinberger hallmark) – all of these are present in the first Sonata.
The only complaint concerns the Third Sonata. This work is magisterial and should be taken at a more stately pace than Rubsam allows. In parts, it sounds hurried. But this is a minor quibble with what is surely a definitive recording

10 Comments

  1. Thank you, Whatever. A neglected composer but, I think, at the same nivel than Buxtehude.
    And I’m very glad to see you again, Whatever.

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