13234 JOHN STANLEY: SIX ORGAN
CONCERTOS - FRANZ LEHRNDORFER (.pdf)
This disc is a curious hybrid.
John Stanley's organ concertos, modeled on those of Handel, are essentially
small-scale frothy pieces. The performer on this disc, Franz Lehrndorfer,
has adapted and arranged them for solo organ, and in so doing has made
substantially bigger pieces out of them than Stanley might have envisioned.
Lehrndorfer has, in the Jann organ of Munich's Dom, a symphony
orchestra at his fingertips, and he brings its grand rhetoric to bear
on this music with great success. The orchestral ritornelli are fattened
out while the solo organ passages remain quiet and intimate, thus projecting
Stanley's antiphonal intentions onto a larger canvas. He even finds
solo stops which are convincingly reminiscent of a 17th century English
organ. Though the instrument is closely miked, one nevertheless hears
the cavernous interior of the Domkirche behind the microphones, adding
an unexpected larger-scale quality to this usually intimate music. But
the rhythmic drive prevents any self-indulgence or stodginess, and the
playing is always stylish and convincing. The soundscape is excellent,
once one becomes accustomed to the issues of scale. Somehow one thinks
Stanley himself would have been delighted.