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Léon Berben
Lucerne, Switzerland
Saturday, 18 August 2012 - 9:00 PM
Presenter: Lucerne Festival
Artist: Léon Berben
With the third part of his “Clavier-Übung,” which came out in1739 in Leipzig, Johann Sebastian Bach advanced a kind of Christian catechism for the organ—as well as a paradigm of a theologically oriented mysticism of numbers. The collection comprises 27 pieces, or 3 x 3 x 3 numbers, an intensification of the Holy Trinity, which is further mirrored in the framing pieces by the tonality of E-flat major (with its three flat signs). The cycle’s 21 chorale preludes on the one hand encompass the Protestant hymns that are the German counterpart to the Kyrie and Gloria of the Latin Mass; on the other they revolve around the six “chief points” of Lutheran catechism: the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the sacraments of baptism, communion, and confession. Dutch organist Léon Berben, a pupil of Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman who has repeatedly won the German Music Critics’ Prize, immerses himself in this resounding cosmos of faith, which simultaneously offers a compendium of liturgically oriented organ playing.
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Bach: Clavierübung III
Great Organ Mass, BWV 552 and 669–689
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