Choir & Organ

The 12 movements of Andreas Willscher’s Fifth Organ Symphony (composed in 2006 and making its first appearance here on disc) are essentially ruminations, as the work’s subtitle has it, of ‘[St.] Francis’s Preaching about Holy Poverty’.

Characteristically, its influences range from Gregorian themes, the contrasting of telling silences with sound, not so much accented as underlined, derived from the German-based international Wandelweiser group and serialism. The employment of more traditional forms such as toccatas and fugues help blend such eclecticism into a coherent and occasionally forceful, largely reverential whole.

On the IV/85 Marcussen organ (1973) of Rotterdam’s Laurenskerk, Carson Cooman is a nimble, nuanced and eloquent advocate.

—Michael Quinn