GMCD 7285 – 20th Century Swiss Organ Music

Jeremy Filsell – Organ

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American Record Guide, September/October 2006

20th Century Swiss Organ

Filsell recorded this program an the 3-42 stop Kuhn (1940/1973) in the Reformed Church in Kusnacht. Except for Honegger and Martin, it is doubtful the composers are household names. All were born either in the 1890s or early 1900s. I have a feeling that unless you are a big fan of counterpoint and imitation, this recording will definitely not appeal. In fact, I wonder why Filsell decided to program an entire disc of these compositions, few of which possess a singable melody.

A glance at the program will alert you to the unquestionable predilection among these composers for older musical forms. Honegger’s ‘Choral’ may be the easiest an the Bars, but there is merriment in Muller-Zurich’s (1898-1993) Canzone and Introitus; Kuhn’s (1896-1994) four entries are quite palatable, especially the one in C; in like manner, the Praeludium by Hess (1912-68) reminds one at least in patterns and spirit of Bach’s C-major Prelude & Fugue. Martin’s Passacaille is lengthy, and though well crafted strains one’s patience a bit. The engineering is excellent, and Filsell breezes through the technical challenges. If you enjoy baroque Organ music, give this a listen.