Eberlin: Toccata and Fugue No. 1; Toccata and Fugue No. 2; Toccata and Fugue No. 3; Toccata and Fugue No. 4; Toccata and Fugue No. 5; Toccata and Fugue No. 6; Toccata and Fugue No. 7; Toccata and Fugue No. 8; Toccata and Fugue No. 9

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COMPOSERS: Eberlin
LABELS: ASV Gaudeamus
WORKS: Toccata and Fugue No. 1; Toccata and Fugue No. 2; Toccata and Fugue No. 3; Toccata and Fugue No. 4; Toccata and Fugue No. 5; Toccata and Fugue No. 6; Toccata and Fugue No. 7; Toccata and Fugue No. 8; Toccata and Fugue No. 9
PERFORMER: David Titterington (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: CD GAU 177
Compared favourably by Leopold Mozart with ‘the two famous and industrious composers [Alessandro] Scarlatti and Telemann’, Johann Ernst Eberlin (1702-62) rose to the very top of the musical profession in Salzburg, holding, by 1749, the highest posts at the Court of the Archbishop. The Nine Toccatas and Fugues for organ – the only work to be published in the composer’s lifetime (1747) – show him to have been a highly skilled and imaginative composer, and it is not surprising, therefore, that the young Mozart (through the influence of his father) respected his predecessor’s achievements.

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David Titterington, playing the recently restored van Leeuwen organ at the Dutch Church in London (unfortunately an instrument too infrequently heard on disc), captures the spirit of Eberlin’s period and environment superbly. A prolific composer, Eberlin has given us a microcosm of his musical experience in this collection and Titterington is quick to explore this in expressively varied and colourful readings of the works. Whether the music is redolent of Frescobaldi or Froberger, up-to-the-minute in its allusion to opera, or seriously archaic in its contrapuntal procedures, Titterington treats it with a respect and integrity that is too often lacking in the performances of others, who perceive (unhelpfully) the repertoire to be sub-Bachian and consequently somewhat inferior. Andrew McCrea