New Classics

Andreas Willscher has won many awards for his compositions, which range widely from symphonic forms and oratorio to cabaret jazz and rock. His organ works are especially fine and varied – involving often a mélange of post-tonal modernism, minimalism, and jazz and rock elements. Willscher is also an active writer of literary and scientific articles and as a collector and preserver of ‘lost’ and forgotten music of the past. Organ Symphony Nos 19 and 20 were both composed in 2017 so are truly contemporary. They are lively, thrilling works with great rhythmic vitality. The third work is a suite – The Beatitudes – composed in 1974 at the beginning of the composer’s career. Carson Cooman is organist of the Memorial Church at Harvard University and this is his second recording of Willscher’s music for Divine Art as performer. It was made on the Schulze organ (1868) in St. Bartholomew, Armley, Leeds in a live performance using the Hauptwerk system.

—John Pitt