Rheinberger, Bruhns

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COMPOSERS: Bruhns,Rheinberger
LABELS: Dabringhaus und Grimm Gold
WORKS: Organ Works, Vol. 5
PERFORMER: Rudolf Innig (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: MDG 317 0895-2
By the time Rheinberger wrote the two sonatas featured on this disc, his mature creative voice was well established. Both the sonatas come from the mid-1880s, a period of intense productivity for the composer. Rheinberger’s secure grasp of large-scale formal structures is clearly evident, theme and variation form rubbing shoulders with episodes of free-flowing fantasy and strict fugue within the span of a single sonata (No. 10). This at least guarantees plenty of textural contrast, even though the level of creative inspiration in these works fluctuates considerably. Rudolf Innig has already established his crudentials as a sympathetic interpreter of Rheinberger’s music, and he doesn’t disappoint here. In Sonata No. 9, the dark, brooding key of B flat minor gives plenty of scope for arch-Romantic musical gestures, and Rheinberger’s trademark chromaticism and rising sequential patterns come at every turn of the page. In the opening Praeludium Innig keeps any feeling of predictability at bay with flowing, forward-moving tempi, whilst the ‘Romanze’ is coloured by warm, glowing string sounds from the Kuhn and Spaich organ at the Martinskirche in Chur, and the closing Fantasie and Fugue is again well paced. Sonata No. 10 follows a similar stylistic path and is also given a convincing reading. Stephen Haylett