Krebs: Organ Works, Vol. 1

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LABELS: Priory
WORKS: Organ Works, Vol. 1
PERFORMER: John Kitchen (organ)
‘I wish him accordingly Divine Support in his advancement, and herewith recommend him again most heartily.’ These words written in 1735 in support of Krebs were penned by no less a figure than JS Bach, and give a clear indication of the high esteem in which Bach held his erstwhile pupil. Listening to this selection of Krebs’s organ music, the first in a six-disc complete survey, it is easy to understand Bach’s enthusiasm for his pupil’s work. Although his master’s powerful influence looms large, there is a graceful lightness of touch which pervades much of Krebs’s music, and this is elegantly realised by John Kitchen on the two-manual Frobenius organ of Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh. The single substantial work on the disc is the Prelude and Fugue in F minor, an impressive and tautly constructed work, culminating in a double fugue which surely would have gained Bach’s proud admiration, and here played with considerable technical facility by Kitchen. A selection of attractive miniatures, including chorale-preludes, trios and fugues, fills the remainder of the programme, and although given admirable performances by Kitchen, the music often wants for greater expressive depth. Priory has rewarded the disc with first-rate recorded sound. Stephen Haylett