Volume 4 of our Sigfrid Karg-Elert Edition contains an impressive collection of large scale secular organ works: Kaleidoscope, Seven Pastels from the Lake Constance, Rondo and Homage to Handel.
As already on volume 3 (AE-10431) of this editon, the Georg Stahlhuth organ (1912) of Saint-Martin in Dudelange, restored by Thomas Jann in 2002, again is an ideal instrument for Karg-Elert's music - and Elke Völker is absolutely in her element here. She found incredibly beautiful registrations (based on Karg-Elerts indications of course!), especially in the Seven Pastels from the Lake Constance.
Kaleidoscope op.144 is a rather unknwon composition and can be considered as a brother of the big Symphonie in f sharp (op.143, recorded on Vol.1, AE-10121), because of some similarities in structure and harmonic language. The Seven Pastels are really close to the technical limits of the organ. The cycle is Karg-Elert's only large-scale impressionistic composition and takes the expressive potential of the organ to its outer limits.
Rondo alla campanella is a dazzling 169-bar Allegrissimo in 3/8 time, in semiquavers throughout like a french Toccata.
Homage to Handel is a series of 54 variations on a ground bass of Handel. It's a guide through all kinds of registrations of the wonderful Stahlhuth organ. This is the first time we recorded this instrument in surround sound and as far as we know the first available Super Audio CD of this organ! The recording comes along in a nice digipack format with 28 pages booklet.
Elke Völker prend un visible plaisir aux frissons sensuels qui agitent la partition, et elle sait nous les communiquer avec naturel et talent.