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Organist Johannes Krahl - CD Review, 12th of June 2023
"Elements of Bach" is the title of the debut album of the organist Johannes Krahl, a young German musician whose career is in full ascension. He chose for his disc the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, but also some compositions signed by romantic composers who were influenced by the great pre-classical creator - Franz Liszt and Max Reger, the arrangements of some of these pieces being made by Karl Straube, a renowned organist who asserted itself in the first half of the 20th century.
"Bach is for me the beginning and the end of music; all true progress is based on him," said the romantic composer Max Reger, a quote taken up by Johannes Krahl as the main idea of his album recorded in October 2022 at the interconfessional St. Peter's Cathedral in Bautzen , the organist's hometown. The organ in this cathedral is a valuable instrument built in 1910 by Hermann Eule Orgelbau. Its impressive sound, rich in timbral color, is particularly suited to the late romantic repertoire. Therefore, Johannes Krahl recorded his album on this restored organ in 2018, an instrument that undoubtedly contributes to the quality of the recording. The interpretative virtuosity, expressive force and unusual maturity of such a young musician as the organist Johannes Krahl, who chose a difficult and very well-supported program for his album, should also be admired.
The organist Johannes Krahl is 24 years old and has already won 1st prizes in prestigious international competitions in Schramberg, Freiburg and Wiesbaden. He studies sacred music and orchestral conducting at the Leipzig University of Music and has so far sustained concerts in European music festivals and on the instruments of historic cathedrals such as London Westminster Abbey, Cambridge King's College and St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. His repertoire includes not only emblematic works from the universal literature dedicated to the organ, from the Baroque and the Romantic period, but also contemporary creations.
About the music chosen for his debut album, Johannes Krahl says: "At the center of my program is Johann Sebastian Bach, an important guide and inspiration for me. This cantor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig was also the inspiration for Karl Straube, Max Reger and Franz Liszt. Each of the pieces on this CD has a correspondence with the creation or personality of the Baroque master. I searched for 19th century musical expression, compositions and performances from this period. And the organ of St. Peter's Cathedral from Bautzen, with its vast sound spectrum and numerous harmonics, is perfect for this kind of repertoire".
Translated by Denisa-Elena Cincă,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu