Way up in the mountains of Norway there is a beautiful baroque organ. Terje Winge has chosen this instrument as the first in his series Organum Norvegicum, and he presents the music of Grigny combined with the music J.S. Bach wrote inspired by the French organ idiom. This is a beautiful rarity from the North.
J.S. Bach’s music in relief against that of Nicolas de Grigny
Nicolas de Grigny only had time to publish one collection of organ pieces in this 31 years long life, the Premier livre d’orgue. Always interested in stylistic traits from different traditions, J.S. Bach himself copied all of the Premier livre for his own private library, where it joined his copies of Raison, d’Anglebert, Couperin and others. And it is interesting to see the influence. The Fantasia in c-minor, BWV 562, probably composed in Weimar, recalls Grigny’s many Fugues à 5. Furthermore, Bach’s theme is reminiscent of the Quoniam-movement of Grigny’s organ mass. The chorale prelude An Wasserflüssen Babylon, with its embellished cantus firmus in the tenor voice, can be seen as a variant of the French “tierce en taille,” or “cromorne en taille.” A work such as Pièce d’orgue demonstrates Bach’s masterful handling of French forms. French titles, French musical forms and French ornamentation are features that abound.
‘French’ baroque music on a new instrument in the mountains of Norway
In the later decades there has been built many copies of the French instrumental style outside of France, giving what was originally a very limited tradition a wider distribution. The Ål instrument is very special in Norway, both with regards to sound and aesthetics. The surrounding spectacular scenery and this unique instrument in the wooden church makes a fascinating combination.
Organum Norvegica – ‘mini series’ with extraordinary organs in Norway
Since his debut in 1970, Terje Winge has built his international concert activities with repertoire ranging from baroque music until the contemporary. He is also a highly valued teacher and source of inspiration at the Norwegian Academy of Music, always searching for the ‘soul’ of the instrument he is playing, allowing that to shape his interpretations. Four releases with Terje Winge will be presented in this ‘mini series’. The featured instruments are from different centuries and demonstrate the stylistic traits of particular traditions and historical periods. With important exceptions these are not original instruments, though each one embodies the characteristics of the particular tradition it represents.