French organ romance with Norbert Trierweiler

César Franck in the spotlight

It was only during the preparation of a symphony by the Belgian-French composer César Franck with the Bergheim Symphony Orchestra that he became aware of Franck, the organist Trierweiler describes, and it was like a revelation for him, "a great music".

On Sunday, he shared his experience with listeners at a concert in the Church of Christ the King. To this end, he placed two great organ works by César Franck at the centre of his concerto, which he described as "French Organ Romanticism", the chorales No. 2 in B minor and No. 3 in A minor. And in the great Seifert organ of the church he found the appropriate instrument.

It is an organ that is excellently suited to depicting French organ works, Trierweiler explained before the concert. The instrument has many voices, the flutes and tongue voices of French design and instructions for assembling the timbres through the registers, as the composer requires.

And so Trierweiler already in the first piece of the afternoon brought the chorale No. 2 to one of the registers, on which smaller equipped organs miss. It was, for example, the Vox Humaine, the human voice, a very quiet register of tongues, which became noticeable as a squeal in the piece, which otherwise rises to a great deal of sound. Trierweiler had chosen a slow tempo with a floating meditative character for the connection to the first great work of the concerto, Louis Viernes Arabesque op.31. As an "opportunity to take a breather" as the organist said, before Bartholdy's organ sonata in A major went back to full strength, radiance and majestic fullness in the first movement with a quiet final part and fitting for Lent because Bartholdy hid Luther's chorale "Out of deep distress i scream to you" in the pedal under the fugue.

Excursions into Baroque music

Excursions into the baroque music of Buxtehude and the difficult trio sonatas for organ by Johann Sebastian Bach, which one can often imagine as music for two violins for the right and left hand and a cello for the pedal, presented Trierweiler before the furious end of the concert. Franck's Choral No. 3 surprises after a sensitive middle section just before the toccaten-like and loud game towards the end with a deep pedal tone that stands in the room for a long time.

Trierweiler had promised that the Seifert organ could not quite keep up with the great French originals, which were so fond lynoted by students. And he was right, the audience thanked them with long-lasting applause.

More than just organist on site

It was the first concert of the new music support group at St. Clemens and St. Ulrich, after the members of the Horremer Förderkreis Musik decided to extend the funding to the entire pastoral care area. Norbert Trierweiler presented himself at the concert in a triple function, as chairman of the new support group, as organist on site and interpreter. 

Close meeting: the clarinettist Ulrich Junk and Norbert Trierweiler

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