Music Reviews
Thilo Muster

Thilo Muster

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Organ Transcription by Eberhard Klotz


This is one of the more unusual recordings to have found it’s way to my review stack. I don’t generally review classical music. I rebelled against the repertory when I got fed up with my high school band director teaching us to play notes rather than learn music.

When I got this recording, I asked myself, why an organ transcription of a symphonic composition? I learned that before sound recordings, if people wanted to hear the new music that was being playing in the big city concert halls, they relied on the local church organist to come up with a transcription. This way, people could keep up with what was current when they lived somewhere without an orchestra.

This work is part of a larger effort to revive the organ transcription tradition. The transcription of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor isn’t a substitute for the orchestral version as the 19th Century transcriptions often were. This work was composed (transcribed) to be a new work for large organ. It is intended to offer a differet perspective on well known works. The transcription is intended to make you hear a familiar work in a completely differet was.

So much for this history lesson. How is the record?

I say this is a pretty cool record. The tones and timbers of a large pipe organ are stirring and will probably always be associated in my mind with Halloween. Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 gives Thilo Muster a fertile playground to work with. The dynamics range from terrifying when the low tegister of the organ are fully engaged to pastoral. As a history nerd, I like that the recording is preserving a bit of performance history that has been almost forgotten

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