Joseph Rassam – Scheidemann: Keyboard Music (2017) [FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Joseph Rassam – Scheidemann: Keyboard Music (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 02:10:53 minutes | 2,31 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Brilliant Classics

Previous albums on Brilliant Classics have illuminated significant figures in the school of North German organ music in the generations before Bach: among them Georg Ludwig Bohm (BC94612), Johann Gottfried Walther (BC94730) and Dieterich Buxtehude (BC94422).

Here is the work of another, hardly less significant figure, Heinrich Scheidemann. Hamburg-based, Heinrich took over from his father as organist at the church of St Catherine’s in 1629 and remained in post until his death in 1663. He wrote almost exclusively for his instrument, and in the expected forms of chorale fantasias, motet arrangements, preludes, toccatas and fantasias which constituted the bread and butter of the 17th-century church musician’s diet.

On this newly recorded album, the French organist Joseph Rassam plays a selection of all these genres, juxtaposed for maximum variety. In fact Scheidemann invented the genre of chorale fantasia, later so refined and developed by J.S. Bach, where a well-known chorale melody is played as the soprano line and reworked by means of superimposition, canon and imitation for the effects of grandeur and spiritual elevation. There are several Praeambulum movements in which Scheidemann builds on the legacy of the Dutch master Sweelinck, more freely composed, allowing full rein for the performer/composer’s own virtuosity.

Until quite recently, all Scheidemann’s keyboard works were thought to have been written for the organ, but scholarly research has now shown that more than a quarter of the hundred or so pieces known to be by Scheidemann (or attributed to him) were actually written for the harpsichord and intended for performance in a secular context. Joseph Rassam’s recording is therefore one of the first to place such pieces in their original, intended context. In doing so, it reveals new and extrovert facets of the music which was hitherto characterised as more solemn and monumental according to an eccelesiastical context.

Joseph Rassam has chosen to use three instruments appropriate to the historical and stylistic context of Scheidemann’s music. The organ is a relatively new one, inaugurated in 2010 by Gustav Leonhardt in the church of St Martin, Amilly, and built by Bertrand Cattiaux in the style of North-German Baroque instruments. He also plays an original 17th-century harpsichord of unknown manufacture, beautifully decorated and recently restored by Alain Anselm, and one of Anselm’s own virginals.

1. Præambulum in E Minor (01:20)
2. Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott: I. Versus 1 (01:57)
3. Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott: II. Versus 2, on 2 Manuals (02:32)
4. Cantzoenn in G Major (03:32)
5. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her: I. Versus 1 (00:59)
6. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her: II. Versus 2 (01:01)
7. Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her: III. Versus 3 & 4, on 2 manuals. Pedaliter (02:14)
8. Præambulum No. 13 in G Major, WV 73 (04:41)
9. Toccata in G Major (07:34)
10. Mensch, willst du leben seliglich: I. Versus 1, Choral in Tenor, Versus 2, Choral in Bass (03:26)
11. Mensch, willst du leben seliglich: II. Versus 3 & 4, on 2 Manuals (02:58)
12. Confitemini domino: I. Prima pars (04:00)
13. Confitemini domino: II. Seconda pars (04:08)
14. Christ lag in Todesbanden: I. Versus 1, Pedaliter (02:43)
15. Christ lag in Todesbanden: II. Versus 2, on 2 Manuals. Pedaliter (02:34)
16. Christ lag in Todesbanden: III. Versus 3 (01:45)
17. Præambulum in G Minor (02:51)
18. Vater unser im Himmelreich (02:27)
19. Fantasia in D Minor (03:32)
20. Jesus Christus, unser Heiland on 2 manuals. Pedaliter (09:15)
21. Præambulum in D Minor (03:27)
22. Fuga in D Minor (01:20)
23. Französischer Allemand (00:55)
24. Courant & Variatio in D Minor (02:06)
25. Omnia quæ fecisti nobis domine (07:03)
26. Ballett & Variatio in F Major (02:34)
27. Canzon in F Major (03:02)
28. Mio cor, se vera sei salamandra (03:22)
29. Courant & 2 Variatios in A Minor (03:53)
30. Fantasia in G Major (04:06)
31. Mascarata & Variatio in G Major (02:19)
32. Toccata in C Major (02:40)
33. Præambulum in C Major (01:10)
34. Benedicam domino (05:47)
35. Jesu, wollst uns weisen (01:14)
36. Englische Mascarada oder Juden Tanzt (03:27)
37. Allemand & Double in C Minor (04:18)
38. Betrübet ist zu dieser Frist (03:05)
39. Pavana lachrymae (05:07)
40. Galliarda & Variatio in D Minor (04:15)