Organ Festival in the Stadtcasino Basel, September 2020
In September 2020, between the two Covid-19 lockdowns, some 30 organists from across the world – from Switzerland to Latvia, Israel, France, China and elsewhere – gathered in the city of Basel to inaugurate the new Metzler organ in the city’s recently renovated concert hall, the Stadtcasino.
They were joined by the Kammerorchester Basel, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, dancers and assorted instrumentalists for 20 concerts in all manner of formats – from symphony concerts to children’s fairy tales, jitterbug dancing, Argentinian tangos and Balkan folk music.
The present album offers a representative overview of the myriad genres and styles that were featured in those two weeks in Basel before the coronavirus once again closed down all concert life.
Read more in the booklet (and German texts)
Organ Festival at the Stadtcasino Basel
4-6 and 18-20 September 2020
This selection of live recordings made during the first Organ Festival at the Stadtcasino Basel (OFSB) offers an overview of the festival’s diversity. It also documents the first concerts during which the hall’s new organ was presented to the public.
All the concerts are represented through this selection. Alongside renowned performers, orchestras, choirs and bands, the festival also included young organ students who performed during the Family Afternoon.
Read more in the booklet (and German texts)
The concert hall’s new organ at the Stadtcasino Basel
The new organ built by the internationally renowned Swiss organ builders Metzler and Klahre was conceived as a symphonic instrument with references to the French symphonic and English Town Hall organ styles. It was integrated into the hall’s existing and listed 1905-appearance in the best craftsmanship tradition and is the world’s first instrument whose pipes are built with sustainable tin certified by the Responsible Minerals Initiative.
Although space was very limited in this historic building, a clever sound and spatial concept and Andreas Metzler’s art of intonation enabled the construction of a symphonic instrument that offers both richness of colour and great dynamic flexibility in the piano range. It also has enough penetrating power in the fortissimo to face a large orchestra as an equal partner.
In addition, the instrument is the first concert hall organ to be provided with a special “Winddynamische Orgel” divison, with which the sound of a note can be influenced by freely adjustable wind pressure and other configurable parameters, even after the key has been pressed. This enables the production of totally new sounds and sound combinations. This should also inspire contemporary composers to create new works.
You can hear this division on CD 2, Track 2, and on CD 3, Tracks 2 and 7.
The instrument is equipped with flexible electronics. This makes it possible to play any division from any manual in any octave pitch, thus considerably extending the tonal possibilities. From the console positioned on the right side of the organ, both the main organ and the Winddynamische Orgel (with tracker action) can be played; the second console can be freely positioned on the stage and controls the main organ.
Thilo Muster (Translation : Michelle Bulloch – MUSITEXT)
Sinfonieorchester Basel, Ivor Bolton
CD 1, Camille Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in c minor, Op. 78 "Organ Symphony"
Thomas Trotter, organ
CD 1, Guillaume Connesson: Concerto da Requiem (World Premiere Recording)
Vincent Dubois, organ
Kammerorchester Basel, Pierre Bleuse
CD 2, Camille Saint-Saëns: Cyprès et Lauriers, Op. 156
Martin Sander, organ
Der Musikschule Basel, Musik Akademie, Raphael Immoos
CD 2, Benjamin Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30 & Jubilate Deo
Babette Mondry, organ
Taragot & Orgel
CD 3 , tracks 7-8, Doina «sus pe culmea dealului» & De Pe Salaj
Thilo Muster, organ / Samuel Freiburghaus, taragot / Nehrun Aliev, percussion
Orquesta Tipica SILENCIO, Roger Hélou
CD 3, track 9, Milonga del Angel
Roger Hélou, organ, piano / Máxime Point, bandoneon / Pablo Murgier, piano, organ / Sergio Marrini, violin / Wini Holzenkamp, bass
Nikolai's Lindy Dreamband, Nikolai Geršak
CD 3, track 10, Spain
Nikolai Geršak, organ, piano / Benjamin Engel, saxophone / Carsten Stamm, trumpet / Harald Weisshaupt, drums
(More distributions and details in the booklet)