Thomas Augustine Arne Organ Concertos (1751)

Gdańsk Organ Landscape Vol 2
Thomas Augustine Arne Organ Concertos (1751)

MDG 902 2317-6 (MDG, SACD)

FIRST RELEASE (24 May 2024)

Playing time: 68'06"
Tracks: 20
Booklet pages: 20
℗ 2024 MDG
© 2024 MDG
Main country of recording: Poland
Country of manufacture: Germany
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Gdańsk Organ Landscape Vol 2
Thomas Augustine Arne Organ Concertos (1751) published on 11 June 2024

Andrzej Szadejko, organ, conductor
Goldberg Baroque Ensemble

Thomas Arne:

Organ Concertos (1751)

Concerto No 5 in G minor
1 Largo
2 Allegro con spirito
3 Adagio
4 Vivace

Concerto No 6 in B flat
5 Allegro moderato
6 Ad libitum. Veloce
7 Allegro
8 Minuetto

Concerto No 2 in G
9 Allegro
10 Slow
11 Moderato
12 Allegro
13 Giga: Allegro con spirito

Concerto No 4 in B flat
14 Con spirito
15 Minuetto
16 Giga moderato

Concerto No 1 in C
17 Largo ma con spirito
18 Andante
19 Allegro
20 Minuetto

Thomas Arne, prolific creator of operas, oratorios, concertos, sinfonias and sonatas unjustly overshadowed by the works of Georg Friedrich Handel, is most famous for 'Rule, Britannia!' outside his native England today. This recording of his virtuosic organ concertos (which surpass Handel's organ concertos in their artistry) will rectify that. Andrzej Szadejko, accompanied by the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble, delivers a brilliant performance on the authentic Rohde organ from 1761 - the first recording since its reconstruction in 2020. The Johann Friedrich Rohde organ in St John's Church in Gdańsk is ideal for the wonderful elegance and lightness of the music from the second half of the eighteenth century. The instrument, extensively documented as one of the most modern at the time of its construction, became a model for many others in Europe. The Second World War saw the Rohde organ's complete destruction save its façade and so it lay silent for seventy-seven years. Using historical examples and traditional craftsmanship, Guido Schumacher (Eupen, Belgium) and Szymon Januszkiewicz (Pruszcz Gdański, Poland) in close cooperation with Andrzej Szadejko, brought this magnificent instrument back to life. The organ's thirty stops offer an incredibly colourful tonal palette, perfect for the differentiated shaping of the middle dynamic range that is so characteristic of the galant style. The minuets especially showcase the elegance and lightheartedness of classical court dance. The festive Baroque pomp of the majestic organo pleno combined with the rich orchestral sound radiate a vibrant energy throughout the Gothic cathedral, captured in MDG's original three dimensional 2+2+2 recording technique.

Recorded 26-27 September 2023 at St John's Center, Gdańsk, Poland.