Saturday, 4 April 2009

Selected concerto recordings with Walther Fischer and Kurt Grosse

I know this release is sort of incomplete. I’ve been trying find some biographical information concerning Walther Fischer, but havn’t been able to find any even though he was cathedral organist at Berliner Dom and one of the leading figures of the German late romantic school.So please help me out here. If any of you have some information and/or pictures please send it to me. Furthermore it would be very nice if someone has any informantion regarding when the Rheinberger and Händel concertos were recorded, on which organ and with whom.

It was almost as diffucult finding something on Kurt Grosse, but I managed to find a little;
“Kurt Grosse was a Berliner through and through. Born there in 1890, educated there, worked there and, as far as we know, died there. He was a student at the “Royal Berlin School of Music” from 1914-19, worked as organist at the Garrison church in Spandau and after 1920 moved across as organist and choirmaster to the Friedrich-Werder church”.
(This excerpt is from an excellent article on the Welte Mignon Organ: www.davidrumsey.ch/linzreger/english.pdf )

I’ve just learned that Kurt Grosse recorded some other pieces on the organ at Alte Garnisonkirche where he was organist, so the two movement from the Bossi Concerto might also be recorded here as well. But if you have any informations about Kurt Grosse or the recordings please let me know.
Finally I would like to have the name of the two movements of the Bossi Concerto, if anyone can help here. I haven’t been able to find anything on this Concerto.

These recordings show that although they may not have been virtuoso players as Alfred Sittard, both organists were still very skilled musicians. I would like to emphasize Walther’s Rheinberger which has a real German “Gravität”-character, and Grosse’s Bossi which is a very finely composed organ concerto, and I wonder why this concerto isn’t played (or recorded) more? Grosse plays with a fine sense of drama and renders the organ solo part superbly.

It’s a wonder why two great organists have gone so much in neglect. I hope this release can shed a little light over them, and please help me with more information.

Again great thanks to Michael Gartz for providing these recordings and to Claus Byrith for post transfer editing, cutting and CEDAR-prosessing.

UPDATE: I was finally able to track down the name of the two movement from the Bossi Concerto. Thanks to organist Federico Savio!

UPDATE (Sep. 10th 2009):
Thanks to Rob Kruijt I'm now able to present some more biographical information on Walther Fischer.

Some information about Walter Fischer (1872-1931) is to be found in:
Max Reger Briefe zwischen der Arbeit 1956.
Reger wrote letters to Fischer during the years 1902-1914.
Fischer was an admirer of Reger and played each Thursday a concert, almost always with a piece of Reger.
He was organist in Berlin:
1903-1910 Garnisonskirche
1910-1917 Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche
1917-1931 Berliner Dom