Robert Schumann is best known for his songs, symphonies, piano and chamber works, but this album of his complete works for pedal piano (or organ) reveals a side of his achievements that remains somewhat overlooked.
Tom Winpenny’s recording was made on the historic Furtwängler organ (1859–60) of the St Matthäikirche, Gronau (Leine), Germany; this is the first recording to be made on the instrument since its restoration in 2017. The instrument’s palette of colours is well suited to Schumann’s expressive pedal piano works, making this a most attractive addition to our Organ Encyclopedia series.
Schumann’s studies in counterpoint during 1845 climaxed in what he described as a ‘Fugenpassion’. He rented a pedalboard attachment for his piano to extend his music’s textural possibilities and to help familiarise himself with organ technique. The resulting character pieces are amongst the most attractive examples for this instrument, and they translate so successfully to the organ that they have become a significant cornerstone of the repertoire. They are performed here on the historic and recently restored Furtwängler organ in Gronau, Germany – an instrument with a wide palette of colours that is well suited to Schumann’s expressive works.
Listen to an extract from 6 Fugues on the name BACH, Op. 60: No. 5: Lebhaft
About the Artist
Tom Winpenny is assistant master of the music at St Albans Cathedral in England, having previously served as sub-organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. He is currently a trustee of the Royal College of Organists. He has broadcast frequently on BBC radio and featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. A former organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, he has performed internationally as a soloist, with recent engagements in Sweden, Germany, Italy and the US. His wide-ranging discography includes music by Mozart, Liszt, Lutyens, McCabe, Joubert and Francis Grier.
More albums from the Naxos Organ Encyclopedia catalogue
‘The sound engineering here is excellent. American organist Paul Jacobs … is a preeminent Messiaen specialist who does full justice to the music’s sheer enthusiasm and makes sure there’s never a dull moment.’ – AllMusic.com