Minster organist Andreas plays masterpieces for Advent and Christmas by Bach, Reger (Christmas) and Widor (Toccata). Advent and Christmas chorales to sing along to!
It's that time again on the 3rd Sunday in Advent: the pre-Christmas organ concert by the Basel cathedral organist has been one of the best-attended organ concerts in the region for years. Before "Corona", up to 1000 cheerful listeners found their way across the Christmas market to Basel Minster. Even if the glasses of mulled wine are left outside, the sound of the largest and most versatile organ in the region is always intoxicating, whether it's Bach's famous Toccata et Fuge in F major or the no less rousing Toccata by Charles-Marie Widor with its rhythmic drive.
Once again this year, cathedral organist Andreas Liebig invites you to enjoy Bach's Advent and Christmas masterpieces by candlelight. The radiant plenum of the large cathedral organ is reminiscent of the Christmas song of the angels "Gloria in excelsis deo". But the intimate timbres with their delicate flute and reed voices also invite contemplation and reflection in the Christmas hustle and bustle. The first three movements of the well-known Bach Pastorale BWV 590, for example, bring the shepherds with their shawms and flutes to life like a Christmas genre painting, as do the angels hovering over the stable in Bethlehem in the concluding lively Gigue. After Bach's organ arrangements, you can also join in with popular Advent and Christmas chorales to your heart's content.
For Andreas Liebig, it is always particularly uplifting when singing in many hundreds of voices fills the thousand-year-old sound space of Münster, be it the old hymn "Veni redemptor genti- um" / "Nun komm, der Heyden Heilandt", the medieval "In dulci jubilo" or Luther's "Kinderlied auff die Weyhnacht - Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her". Bach's Canonical Variations on this catchy carol are one of his last great organ works and, according to time-honored tradition, are crowned by the silvery tinkling of the cymbal star. In the year of his 150th birthday, Max Reger's enchanting fantasy "Christmas" op. 145, 3 is heard, in which he combines the two Christmas chorales "Vom Himmel hoch" and "Silent Night" in the most delicate colors after Advent chorales such as "Es kommt ein Schiff geladen". And before the concluding Widor Toccata, the enchanting Flûte harmonique in the lyrical Andante sostenuto from Widor's Christmas Symphonie gothique is heard as a second Romantic intermezzo. Afterwards, there is still time for a mulled wine at the atmospheric Christmas market on Münsterplatz...
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