About the album
Orgel = Büchlein. Worinne einem anfahenden Organisten Anleitung gegeben wird, auff allerhand Arth einen Choral durchzuführen, anbey auch sich im Pedal studio zu habilitiren, indem in solchen darinnebefindlichen Choralen das Pedal gantz obligat tractiret wird. Dem höchsten Gott allein zu Ehren, dem Nächsten, draus sich zu belehren.
Little Organ Book, in which a beginning organist is given instruction in performing a chorale in a multitude of ways, and also in mastering the use of the pedal, since in the chorales offered here the pedal is used to its full extent. Glory be to God alone, thereby may we our knowledge hone.
This collection, one of the most familiar and beloved of all Bach’s organ music, was conceived under dramatic circumstances. Difficult working conditions, a dismissal, and even the haunting prospect of prison form the backdrop of the 45 organ chorales and chorale preludes.
Orgelbüchlein has become a treasure chest for posterity to dip into. Mendelssohn, Reger and Busoni wrote piano editions. For Schumann, Brahms and Reger and numerous composers up to our own time, in Norway as well, the Orgelbüchlein style has been an inspiration in chorale style with its concentrated elaboration in melody, polyphony and harmony.
Bach elevates the most important hymns, the same ones often used in church life today. “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland”, “Puer natus in Bethlehem”, “Vom Himmel hoch”, “In dulci jubilo”, “O Lamm Gottes”, “Christ lag in Todesbanden”, “Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist”, and “Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier” are the most familiar. He adds new depth to the classic hymn repertoire through an ingenious union of text and opulent musical elaboration.
Kåre Nordstoga (b. 1954) studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music under Søren Gangfløt, Bjørn Boysen, and Kaare Ørnung, among others. Following his debut concert in 1978, he continued his studies under David Sanger in London, and he was for a time organist at Ullern Church, before coming to Oslo Cathedral in 1984. He has also been associated with the Norwegian Academy of Music, where he was appointed professor in 1994.As cathedral organist at Oslo Cathedral, Nordstoga frequently performs a large repertoire, which has included two popular concert series with Bach’s complete organ works. His recordings include the organ music of Bach, Brahms, Franck, Widor, and Liszt, all of Bach’s violin sonatas recorded on the cathedral’s chancel organ in collaboration with violinist Geir Inge Lotsberg, as well as several recordings of Norwegian organ music. Nordstoga is an active concert organist. In recent years he has been soloist with the symphony orchestras of Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim, and he has been invited to organ festivals abroad, including Aarhus, Notre Dame in Paris, and Musashino Cultural Center in Tokyo. In 2006 he was awarded the Lindeman Prize for his active contribution to musical life.