8 Feb 2013

NEW-UP. MDG. J.G. Rheinberger - Complete Organ Concertos, 3 Pieces for Organ and Violoncello: S.J. Bleicher, D. Boyd, Winterthur. SACD-ISO + CD

Sony PS3 SACD to *ISO | DST 1bit-2822,4kHz 2.0, 2+2+2 | 3.14GB
Classical | Label: MDG | Cat. Number: MDG 901-1643-6 | RAR 3% Rec.


Stefan Johannes Bleicher (organ)
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Douglas Boyd (conductor)

Review by gonzostick February 6, 2011
Performance:  Sonics (S/MC): /
Brilliant performances that flow like quicksilver, excellent orchestral playing, great conducting and brilliant solo work on a restored Walcker organ from 1887/88.
For years, SACD enthusiasts have been wishing for CBS/Sony to release the old E Power Biggs and Maurice Peress quadraphonic mastertape of these two lovely works. That, until this disc, was the best recordings of these two concerti.
This release has made that older recording unnecessary.
The biggest problem in recording these works is that conductor, organ, and orchestra can give in to the lushness and the music loses its impulse. This is why the older Capriccio SACD of these works is not good. The music just sort of plods on that one. Also, the organ is a North German instrument with screeching mixtures, where this music really requires a more symphonic organ, just like the one used on the MDG release.
I still miss the Biggs recording, but this one is really very special and completely delightful.
One small thing... The opening notes of the second concerto, which opens the disc, start way to suddenly. I wish MDG had just given us one or two seconds of room tone, before starting the music. Otherwise, this disc is lovely.
There is no indication of whether this was a DSD recording or PCM. It still sounds wonderful!!!

01. Organ Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 177: Grave 08:45
02. Organ Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 177: Andante 07:17
03. Organ Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 177: Con moto 07:10
04. Three Pieces for Violoncello and Organ - Abendlied, Op. 150/2  04:03
05. Three Pieces for Violoncello and Organ - Pastorale, Op. 150/4 04:56
06. Three Pieces for Violoncello and Organ - Elegie, Op. 150/5 04:36
07. Organ Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 137: Maestoso 07:42
08. Organ Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 137: Andante 07:20
09. Organ Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 137: Con moto 06:03

I will make this short. This SACD (plays in CD players, too, but the SACD surround is GORGEOUS!!!) is the best recording of the Rheinberger Organ Concertos since the E Power Biggs SQ Quadraphonic CBS Lp, recorded at St. George's Episcopal in New York City. Sony has NOT release almost any of the Biggs recordings and other companies are beginning to take up the slack.
THIS, IS WONDERFUL!!! The music is beautiful, played by an excellent orchestra and on a real Romantic Walcker instrument from 1887/88, with great panache and dash...
This is the kind of disc that is perfect to open up on the surround system and just let it roll about the house.
DO NOT MISS!!! Gorgeous music, sound, and performances!!!
PS: One of the things that makes this disc so good is that the performers keep the music moving and bubbling along. Most other recordings of these concerti get bogged down and plod...

password: mdg


  1. Wow, thanks! I love Rheinberger's works.

  2. An excellent post.
    Thank you :)

  3. Do you want to post the booklet please? That would be grrreat!