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Review in GregersDH Block

April 5, 2022

Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld

Schumann: Orgelstykker Jens E. Christensen (Orgel) 6.4. 2022 af Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld
FORSKERREJSEN MOD KONTRAPUNKTET. 3 stjerner
Jens E. Christensen på forskertur i Robert Schumanns sjældne orgelværker.
Robert Schumann: The Roots and the Flower. Orgelstykker opus 56 og 60. Solist: Jens E. Christensen ved orglet i Vor Frelser Kirke på Christianshavn. OUR Recordings marts 2020.
SCHUMANN? Jeg har lige siddet og genhørt pianisten Katrine Gislinges meget indtagende Schumann-indspilninger. Schumann er i den grad det lyriske-romantiske klavers mester. Men hvad med orgelet og Schumann? Var det noget? Og er det? Vor Frelser Kirkes glimrende, nu afgåede organist Jens E. Kristensen må på et tidspunkt have tænkt det samme. Han har spottet et par Schumann-værker, skrevet for orgel midt i 1840’erne. Og så kastet sig over dem med hele sin favnfuld af nysgerrighed og trang til at udforske, forme og farvelægge med, hvad han har til rådighed af tangenter, pedaler, registre og muligheder. Egentlig det samme, som har stukket Schumann selv, da han sammen med sin kone, pianisten Clara Schumann brugte kræfter på at dykke ned i Bachs værktøjskasse af kontrapunktiske arbejdsredskaber langt mere end hundrede år tidligere. Jens E. har gjort det som dét, han er: “et disciplineret intellekt, hvis svale apollinske grundstemning ofte udforskes af ustyrlige dionysiske fristelser.” …en flot og rammende affyring af komponisten Sven Erik Werner i en net-artikel om Jens E., da han forlod jobbet i Vor Frelser Kirke i 2021.
SCHUMANNs opus 56 og opus 60 er dels ’Seks stykker i kanonisk form’ og ’Seks fugaer over navnet BACH’ – de sidste indlysende manøvrer med de fire toner, der ligger i Bach-navnet – oplagt og sjovt at følge i stykkerne – i miniformat så interessant som at tage på rejse i Bachs Goldberg-variationer. Men ja, ok: I miniformat. For vel håndterer Jens E. Kristensen de seks fugaer med virtuos sikkerhed, men – ligesom i de ’Seks stykker i kanonisk form’ slipper man ikke gennem oplevelsen uden momentvise suk over, at dette eller hint kunne have været oplagte stikord og idéer til pianistiske udfoldelser af schumannsk original-aftapning. Vi holder os nøgternt rolige i bevidstheden om, at det for Schumann og fru Clara har været nysgerrighed, spænding og forskerlyst, der især har drevet dem. Bachs egne værker har monumental slagkraft i sammenligning med disse to stykke-bundter fra Schumann – på samme måde som Schumanns lyrisk-poetiske drivfjedre skaber små undere i sammenligning med hans nærmest pædagogiske studier i kanon og kontrapunkt.
MUSIKHISTORISK ved vi, hvordan en Bach-renæssance netop i midten af 1800-tallet voksede op, bl.a. efter at Mendelssohn havde bragt interessen for Bach til live med en opførelse af Bachs Matthæuspassion i 1829 – nodematerialet var ved et tilfælde havnet i hans fars hænder ved en auktion i Hamborg i 1805. Den næsten glemte Johann Sebastian voksede ud af passions-opførelsen i Berlin. Som andre blev Schumann-parret optændt af interesse for hans usik.
JENS E. CHRISTENSENs Schumann-indspilninger er lidt en parentes i hans mange orgel-indspilninger af både klassiske og noderne værker – Carl Nielsens f.eks. eller Per Nørgaards ’The Organ Book’ og hans ’Canon’. Senest er orgelmusik af Aksel Borup-Jørgensen på vej. Nu ligger Schumann-stykkerne der og supplere Jens E.s samling for os. Vi deler hans nysgerrighed. ’So ein Ding müssen wir auch’… Og vi bøjer os for Jens E.’s ubestridelige orgel-begavelse. Men undrer os i øvrigt over de søgte og ubehjælpsomme noter i det ledsagende teksthefte, der forsøgsvis motiverer cd’ens titel ’The Roots & The Flower’ med en langt spunden historie, der munder ud i, at ’Die Wurzeln & Die Blume’ – rødderne og blomsten er et citat fra en anmeldelse, Schumann skrev i 1837 af Mendelssohns ’Præludier og fugaer opus 35’. Vi er langt ude. Bare for at forklare, hvad der kommer ud af at interessere sig for Bach. Det nærmer sig grandiost volapyk.

Google Translation:

THE RESEARCH JOURNEY TO THE COUNTER POINT. 3 stars Jens E. Christensen on a research trip in Robert Schumann's rare organ works. Robert Schumann: The Roots and the Flower. Organ pieces opus 56 and 60. Soloist: Jens E. Christensen at the organ in Vor Frelser Church in Christianshavn. OUR Recordings March 2020. SCHUMANN? I just sat and listened to pianist Katrine Gislinge's very captivating Schumann recordings. Schumann is to that extent the master of the lyrical-romantic piano. But what about the organ and Schumann? Was it something? And is it? Our Savior Church's excellent, now retired organist Jens E. Kristensen must at some point have thought the same thing. He has spotted a couple of Schumann works, written for organ in the mid-1840s. And then threw himself over them with all his embrace of curiosity and urge to explore, shape and color with what he has at his disposal of keys, pedals, registers and possibilities. Actually the same thing that stung Schumann himself when he and his wife, the pianist Clara Schumann, used their energy to dive into Bach's toolbox of contrapuntal work tools far more than a hundred years earlier. Jens E. has made it what he is: "a disciplined intellect whose cool Apollonian basic mood is often explored by uncontrollable Dionysian temptations." Flot a beautiful and apt firing of the composer Sven Erik Werner in an online article about Jens E. when he left his job at Vor Frelser Kirke in 2021. SCHUMANN's opus 56 and opus 60 are partly 'Six pieces in canonical form' and 'Six fugues over the name BACH' - the last obvious maneuvers with the four notes that lie in the Bach name - obvious and fun to follow in the pieces - in mini format as interesting as traveling in Bach's Goldberg variations. But yes, ok: In mini format. Well, Jens E. Kristensen handles the six fugues with virtuoso certainty, but - just like in the 'Six pieces in canonical form', you do not escape the experience without momentary sighs that this or that could have been obvious key words and ideas for pianistic expressions of Schumannian original bottling. We remain soberly calm in the awareness that for Schumann and Mrs Clara it has been curiosity, excitement and the desire for research that have driven them in particular. Bach's own works have monumental impact in comparison with these two bundles from Schumann - in the same way that Schumann's lyrical-poetic drive springs create small wonders in comparison with his almost pedagogical studies in canon and counterpoint. MUSIC HISTORY we know how a Bach renaissance grew up in the middle of the 19th century, i.a. after Mendelssohn had brought interest in Bach to life with a performance of Bach's Matthew Passion in 1829 - the sheet music had by chance ended up in his father's hands at an auction in Hamburg in 1805. The almost forgotten Johann Sebastian grew out of the passion performance in Berlin . Like others, the Schumann couple were ignited by interest in his insecurity. JENS E. CHRISTENSEN's Schumann recordings are a bit of a parenthesis in his many organ recordings of both classical and sheet music works - Carl Nielsen's e.g. or Per Nørgaard's 'The Organ Book' and his 'Canon'. Most recently, organ music by Aksel Borup-Jørgensen is on its way. Now the Schumann pieces are there and complement Jens E.'s collection for us. We share his curiosity. ‘So ein Ding müssen wir auch’… And we bow to Jens E. ’s undeniable organ gift. But we are also surprised by the sought-after and unhelpful notes in the accompanying textbook, which experimentally motivates the CD's title 'The Roots & The Flower' with a long-spun story that culminates in 'Die Wurzeln & Die Blume' - the roots and the flower is a quote from a review Schumann wrote in 1837 of Mendelssohn's Preludes and fugues opus 35 '. We are far out. Just to explain what comes out of being interested in Bach. It is approaching grandiose volapyk.