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Dip Your Ears, No. 106 (Schumann's Organ)

available at AmazonR.Schumann, Complete Organ Works,
Mario Hospach-Martini
Berlin Classics
Schumann's works for organ (or rather the pedal piano) were recently re-released on Audite in a recording written about over at WETA (Schumann From Many Angles (Pedal Piano / Organ)). Now Berlin Classics has released a beautifully produced new disc with Mario Hospach-Martini who also plays, like Andreas Rothkopf on the Audite recording, a historic Walcker organ, but the 1888 instrument in the Stadtkirche in Winterthur, not the slightly earlier instrument in Hoffenheim. No one suggests that two recordings of these works are necessary (though the beauty of them, also touched upon in "Dip Your Ears, No. 101") makes listening to them a very deserving affair.

This new recording gets mention because I am surprised just how much more enjoyment I derive from it. Registration, organ sound, recorded sound (a little less reverb), and even the playing capture my imagination much more vividly. The Sketches have a tighter, less 'grand organish' character. The Canonic Studies are calmer and linger lovingly, the Fugues are clear, precise, and work toward cumulative effect. The Rothkopf recording is recommendable for the works themselves, but Hospach-Martini also for the interpretations. A fairly clear choice between the two if you haven't yet rushed out to get your Schumann-Pedal-Piano fix in this anniversary year.

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