Review ...

... on the production
sic007-2 Hans-Dieter Karras
plays Suites for Organ
from four centuries, Vol. 1

  Hans-Dieter Karras Plays Suites for Organ from Four Centuries.
IV/67-stop Great Kienle Organ PKM IV (1990, re-equipping of "resonators" 2008) of the Église Neo-Apostolique, Metz, France.

Organist/composer Hans-Dieter Karras here offers an intriguing, attractive program of various suites, some originally for the organ, some arranged, covering four centuries. Included are Froberger's Suite in G "Auff die Mayerin", Clérambault's Suite du Premier Ton (Premier Livre du Orgue), J. S. Bach's Pastorale in F, Boëllmann's Eucharistic Suite (arranged from Heures mystiques by Bryan Hesford), Séverac's Petite Suite scholastique (five pieces based on a carillon theme of the Languedoc), and Gordon Young's Cathedral Suite.

Karras is an imaginative, energetic, and skillful player whose interest extends to digital organs. Therein lies the most interesting and perhaps (to some) disappoin-ting aspect of this recording. The Kienle organ is in fact digital, using a large panel of "resonators" that, installed as "pipes" in a werkprinzip-style case, provi-de a spatial quality to the sound that is lacking in most traditional speaker installations. While the instrument offers plenty of varied color, brilliance, power, and clarity to serve the wide variety of music here performed, it does not take long for the discerning ear to detect the artificial quality of the sound. As in other digital organs, some voices and combinations are more successful than others.

Hearing this recording makes this listener wish to hear Karras play his program on a similarly disposed pipe organ! Certainly the performer and this program are worth hearing, if one can tolerate the not-always-so-true-to-life sounds.

James Hildreth


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