Review by sacd-fan January 31, 2012 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|Before you listen to that SACD please forget everything you have in mind about organ recordings! This disc follows a completely different approach.
Most organ recordings (2CH or Multichannel) try to capture the sound of the instrument in a quite direct way. The room of the organ (church or concert hall) is still present but more or less in a secondary way. This is not bad and also has lead to great recordings, but it is different to this recording.
Sound Engineer Christoph Martin Frommen tried to understand the whole church (Cologne cathedral) with its two organs as one big source of sound, which needs to be recorded. Older recordings from various labels trying to do this (also in smaller churches) had the disadvantage, that many details of the sound are lost and the organ sometimes seems to mumble far away.
For this recording it is definitely not the case! The room AND the details are present in an impressive manner. Even on the conventional CD-Track this is very clear (that was the point, where I started with this disc).
A greater depth of details is audible when listening to the 2CH SACD-Track. Especially in the very silent phases of the music. A clear advantage of the higher dynamics and resolution of the SACD.
Of course, the major effect of “room feeling” can be achieved when listening to the Multichannel Area. According to the booklet 2CH and Multichannel were recorded with separate microphone arrangements. So the 2CH is not only a downmix.
The recording is very clear without processing disturbances or noise (which is the case even on some SACD from famous labels!)
The musical pieces are not too typical for organ recordings as well. Transcriptions from orchestral or piano works had been very popular in the romantic era of the organ, but they are hardly recorded today. This adds another special character to the recording. Also here the transcriptions are no simple “downmix”. A lot of work is to be done to select matching voices of the organ to get a suitable interpretation. From my point of view this goal has been reached completely.
The pace in which some of the pieces are played, is much lower than the matching orchestral works. This is necessary because of the long echo of Cologne Cathedral-if you have once visit the building, you will understand this.
For me that disc resembles something like a reference for how to use SACD capabilities for astonishing organ recordings.
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