New CD: Georg Friedrich Handel  Organ Conertos op. 4

G. F. Handel, arr. by Samuel de Lange
Organ Concertos op. 4
Review by Eberhard Klotz in "Organ"-Journal für die Orgel 1/2016

London Market
George Frideric Handel’s successes and failures as
an independent entrepreneur in mercantile London
are legendary. His hard-fought rivalry with his
colleague Porpora had artistic consequences amply
documented in the development of his operas and
oratorios. He then hit on the genial idea to present
concertos on the organ to his public as entertainment
during the intermissions and scored a sensational
success. Even Porpora’s star-studded ensemble of
vocalists including the famous Farinelli as a powerful
drawing card could no longer compete with him. After
four seasons the Italians quit the field. During later
generations Handel’s organ concertos inspired the
production of highly imaginative arrangements. What
Samuel de Lange (completely forgotten today,
unjustly so) did with the sources about 150 years later
is now for the first time being presented in audiophile
form on the historic Furtwängler & Hammer organ in

Free Enterprise
Handel’s score is retained without changes in de
Lange’s arrangements. However, the Dutch piano and
organ virtuoso allowed himself some freedoms when
it came to additions. Here we find plenty of secondary
parts and counterparts, harmonic expansions, and
new virtuosic elements. Handel’s organ part, mostly in
two voices, is transformed into a sumptuous keyboard
texture, and some free cadenzas offer the soloist
room for interpretive liberties.

Original Practice
The great respect shown by de Lange for his
masterful source material is reflected even in his
musical text: he precisely noted in the original when
the organ was to play and when the orchestra was to
do the same. On a three-manual instrument, like the
one available to de Lange in Rotterdam, the organist
could produce a genuine “concerto” – with solo and
tutti in alternation – just as had once been Handel’s

Lüneburg Monument
Rudolf Innig, a specialist in the special, has selected
the Furtwängler & Hammer organ at the Church of St.
Nicholas in Lüneburg (built in 1899) for de Lange’s
Handel transcriptions. This instrument’s fifty stops on
three manuals mean that it corresponds perfectly to
de Lange’s ideas. The result: rarely does one have
the opportunity to take a look at the eighteenth
century from a nineteenth-century perspective with
such a knowledgeable guide. A double historical

J. Rheinberger: Complete Organ Works
Rudolf Innig
MDG 317 1864-2 (Box with 12 CDs)
F. Mendelssohn: Complete Organ Works
Rudolf Innig, Klais Organ St. Stephanus, Beckum
MDG 317 0487-2 (Box with 4 CDs)

CD Information as pdf-file