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MusicWeb International, April 2013

WALCHA, H.: Chorale Preludes, Vol. 1 (Rubsam) 8.572910
WALCHA, H.: Chorale Preludes, Vol. 2 (Rubsam) 8.572911
WALCHA, H.: Chorale Preludes, Vol. 3 (Disselhorst) 8.572912

Both Wolfgang Rübsam…and Delbert Disselhorst…are erstwhile pupils of Walcha, which gives their interpretations a stamp of authority and authenticity. Whilst Rübsam has made countless CDs for Naxos, this is Disselhorst’s debut. However, his comparative lack of recording experience is made up for by a very impressive CV of tours, projects and posts, and indeed there is no question of inferiority in his performance here. The instrument itself is barely a decade old and thus benefits from modern technology, giving a satisfyingly rounded tone in a sympathetic acoustic which has been very well captured by the engineers. Rudolf Zuiderveld’s notes from volume one are recycled for the later two, but rightly so, as they are interesting and well written. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2013

We come to the third of the four volumes of Choral Preludes composed by the blind German-born organist, Helmut Walcha. To record collectors he will ever be associated with his complete edition of the organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach, though in the organ world he was to teach many of the next generation of organists, including the soloist on this disc, Dalbert Disselhorst. Intended as teaching tools, each prelude is of modest proportions, only a few of the twenty-four in this volume exceeding three minutes, most residing in the region of two minutes. He did juxtapose slow and fast tempos, together with varying moods that range from happy to sombre, and maybe he did have the hope that they would be performed as concert pieces. Certainly the Ninth would wake anyone from their slumbers, and if Bach was the obvious inspiration, there is sufficient to show that Walcha was well aware of the changes that were overtaking music during his life. Together with the previous volumes, from another Walcha pupil, Wolfgang Rubsam, we will take the performances as coming from the composer’s disciples. Why I enjoy this much more than the previous volumes could well be a matter of taste, but if you are just coming to Walcha, I would suggest you start here. The works are being recorded on the relatively new organ completed in 2004 at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois, by the American company, John Brombaugh & Associates. A three manual instrument whose pipes have been fashioned to give a singing tone, its quality and church acoustic offer excellent clarity. Excellent sound. © David’s Review Corner

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