, September 2013
The music of Heinrich Scheidemann…really is music which deserves to be better known. And this series of wonderful recordings of his keyboard compositions by Julia Brown on Naxos…is helping.
Scheidemann’s music occupies a place where the genteel meets the restrainedly passionate. Brown has the measure of the balance that’s needed to convey both animation and control. Her tempi are consistent; they use that regularity…appropriately to emphasize the gravitas that is integral to the composer’s music. It has qualities of the regal and the stately.
At the same time, Brown puts the humanity and warmth of Scheidemann’s music to the fore. The intimacy of ornamented details, repeated phrases…and melodic and tonal/harmonic reflections on previous and future material and passages make the music approachable.
The major work is the Magnificat in 8 Tones…Brown plays it with complete understanding and appreciation of the architecture and need for it to unfold in its own time, making its musical impact gently, without rush; yet without impediment. The same goes for the single longest piece on the CD, Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn for organ…which is as devotionally rich as it is melodically varied. At the same time, Brown plays the music as music: for all the passion of Victimae paschali laudes…and the pair of plaintive yet rejoicing dual Verses, Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit and Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hällt…the music is substantial enough and sufficiently well-crafted to stand independently.
If you’ve been collecting this excellent series, you’ll not want to hesitate. If the richness of Baroque organ music of the North German school is new or appealing, this is a good place to start. Recommended. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review