Kei Koito (1702 Arp Schnitger organ, Der Aa-kerk, Groningen)
deutsche harmonia mundi 888751636224
Music by Albinoni, Handel, Telemann, Torelli & Vivaldi
This programme consists of concertos by Vivaldi, Albinoni, Torelli, Telemann and Handel arranged for organ by Walther, Bach and John Walsh, complemented by more modern arrangements of Handel and Vivaldi designed to show off the organ sounds that are not otherwise used. You do have to study the booklet (Ger/Eng/Fre) quite closely to all find this out but the information’s there somewhere. And the organ (Schnitger or older at its core) is the star. A rich plenum, wonderful reeds and colourful solo combinations all get a thorough airing. As a player I’ve always found it quite hard to relate to even Bach’s transcriptions – they never feel really idiomatic – and after listening to this I’m still not convinced, but Kei Koto certainly sets about her task with every conviction. Some of the articulation sounds a bit forced and the registration in the Handel/Walsh F major concerto (the one that’s also a recorder sonata) doesn’t quite work for me; but if you want to hear a fine instrument being put through its paces this is for you.