One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Sigfrid KARG-ELERT (1877-1933)
The Complete Organ Works - volume 7
Erste Sinfonische Kanzone (Kanzone und Toccata), op.85 no.1 (1910) [13:26]
Zweite Sinfonische Kanzone, op.85 no.2 (1910) [20:58]
Chaconne and Fugue Trilogy, with Chorale, op.73 (1910) [33:30]
Stefan Engels (organ)
rec. St Mary's Basilica, Kevelaer, Germany, 28-29 March 2011. DDD
PRIORY PRCD 1062 [68:11]

Experience Classicsonline

The German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert was no great organist, but along with much else he did write a lot of magnificent music for the organ, most of which still suffers from unforgivable neglect - none more so than the three works on this disc. Besides many transcriptions and arrangements, of his own and others' music, Karg-Elert also wrote dozens of original works for the instrument, and since 2005 German organist Stefan Engels has been recording all of them on various organs for church specialists Priory Records. This is volume seven, with eight released concurrently (PRCD 1063) (see review of volume six).
Engels is remembered by some perhaps for his two volumes of Marcel Dupré's organ music for Naxos in the Nineties (8.554210, 8.553920). Coincidentally, his Priory edition is in direct competition with that of fellow German Elke Völker on the Aeolus label, although she now lags slightly behind - volume 6 of her series, subtitled 'Ultimate Organ Works', came out at the turn of the year (AE 10721). The latter three Aeolus discs do have the advantage of Hybrid Super-Audio quality, yet the completion of Völker's traversal is, for financial reasons, by no means certain. The three works featured here appeared early on in her series, op.73 on volume 1 (AE 10121) and op.85 on 2 (AE 10171). In price terms, neither set comes cheap, with the Priory discs generally to be had for around 10% less - although shopping around will in most cases iron out the differential.
After the generally slower, softer, more reflective works in volume 6, the three featured here ratchet up the passion, especially in their massive, chromatically dazzling endings. These are among the most imaginative organ works of their time by anyone. Despite their differing structures, they are linked by much more than the year 1910: throughout, Karg-Elert exhibits a Bach-like mastery of counterpoint and a gripping sense of pace, drama and colour, approachable melodies and rhythms spiced up by free-range chromaticism and the odd sortie into virtual atonality. In sum, Karg-Elert's music here should appeal to anyone who appreciates the harmonic language and formal innovation of the likes of Widor, Reger and Vierne, although his style is his own. As for performance, Engels is audibly the right man for the job here - he has the requisite technique, stamina and expressive modesty to do Karg-Elert proud.
Recording quality is very good, with Priory's experience and expertise in this area readily apparent. The impressive 135-stop Seifert organ at the Päpstliche Basilika Sankt Marien at Kevelaer, Germany's most-visited Catholic pilgrimage hub, dates back to the first decade of the 20th century, with repairs and restorations seeing it through a bomb attack in 1945 and a fire in 2002.
Once again, Priory's booklet is a pleasure to read, with a long biography of the composer and as much again on the works heard in volume 7 by Anthony Caldicott, chairman of the Karg-Elert Archive, followed by a detailed description of the organ by Engels, and its full specification. A biography and cheery photo of Engels, plus details of previous releases in the series, make this one of the best CD booklets of the year! The only complaint is about the eye-unfriendly colour scheme: the back inlay tracklist, surprisingly not reprised inside the booklet, uses small white print on a browny-green background.
Collected reviews and contact at

























































































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.