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Folk Hymns and J S Bach

Sinikka Langeland, folksinger Kåre Nordstoga at the Baroque organ of Nidaros Cathedral

In Issue 326 of The Organ I reviewed a recording that cleverly juxtaposed J S Bach’s Orgelbüchlein with the hymns and chorales from which the works were derived. Here we get a similar idea but with a contemplative ‘new age’ outlook from a singular voice that radiates a raw power against the refinements of Bach’s keyboard equivalents.

The theme is Easter and begins with Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden played by Kåre Nordstoga on the magnificent baroque organ to be found at Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. This 1740-41 two-manual and pedal instrument, built by Joachim Wagner and restored by Jürgen Ahrend in 1993-94, has a high pitch at A=453 Hz yet produces a fine sound for the performance of Bach. Plenty of sonic colours in the detailing give the authentic taste of Bach, which will appeal to those who take their Bach seriously. Nordstoga defines Bach with uncomplicated mixtures acting as a clear conduit in the passage of ideas from organ to voice. Sinikka Langeland’s voice is receptive not only to the words but in understanding the follow-through of each instrument that gives their togetherness a natural communication of this most intense of religious themes.

English translations are included in the booklet together with details of the organ, while twenty tracks split between organ and voice complete the narrative of a disc that I can only recommend wholeheartedly.


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