Michael Unger - Organ Recital

Published Thursday 21st January 2010
Michael Unger - Organ Recital
Michael Unger - Organ Recital

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 88040-31074
LABEL: Naxos 8572246

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Canadian-born organist and composer Michael Unger is a multi-award winner, including prizes in the 2008 Sixth International Organ Competition in Musashino, Tokyo, and the 2008 American Guild of Organists' National Young Artists Competition. On this CD, his debut recording for Naxos, Mr Unger plays the Marcussen & Son Organ of the Musashino Civic Cultural Hall, Tokyo. The programme follows a kind of spiritual progression from death to life, beginning with a dramatic baroque depiction of Death's dance in Buxtehude's "Praeludium In E Minor (Bux WV 142)", and concluding with an exuberant twentieth-century affirmation of the Incarnation in Messiaen's "Dieu Parmi Nous" from 'La Navitite Du Seigneur'. In between we enjoy three pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, all showing the influence of Buxtehude: "An Wasserflussen Babylon (BWV 653)", "Allein Gott In Der Hoh Sei Ehr (BWV 662)", and "Praeludium Et Fuga In A Minor (BWV 543)". Your reviewer always enjoys Bach and these pieces were no exception. There follows two preludes by Gaston Litaize, both of which made no impression on me which also applies to Charles-Marie Widor's "Choral" from 'Symphonie Pour Orgue No. 7". However the plusses outweigh the minuses by a considerable margin. Unger is an excellent organist and whether you like compositions ancient or modern you are sure to find something of interest on this very good value release.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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