When you take this record in your hands I wish you to feel the same joy I experienced when preparing it. I always play the organ with love, however, as an organist whenever I do so, I feel something peculiar: a sort of adventurous excitement of new experience. Each organ differs from the other ones in its sound and technology and yields various combinations of sound. Each organ has its advantages and disadvantages, is a 'personality of its own' one must learu to know well, grow accustomed to it and eventually master it. It provokes to seeking new aspects in compositions, it makes the interpreter find the ideal form again and again. Music composed in the course of centuries is variegated in its nature and the ways of its presentation are still being multiplied by the innumerable opporutnities of each organ. Is organ's endless, essential variability the reason why it is so popular, modem and in vogue now ? As far as I am concerned, organ music has become the centre of my interests, the object of my longing to master the whole broad specter of music and at the same time the source of my dissatisfaction with time limits, with the limits of my own existence and my faculties. Still, in spite of plurality of preferences, some composers or works have become milestones for me, they emerged from the sea of music, have captivated me forever and determined my development. Such compositions are the works I am presenting you now on this record; they are the lighthouses on my musician's coast, they were my starting points, my lights shining brightly for dozens of years. They are my Ithaca, the shore I always love to return to. First of all it is Bach. His magnificent music is to me the ideal of generosity, peace and stability. Still, you can feel in his works the impulsivaness of man, standing in reality by his both legs, firmly like a rock in tide. Neither sorrow for the death of ten out of his twenty children, nor the darkness of his blindness overcame him. Fifty thick volumes of his music testify to his all round life. Let us listen to his Toccata in F major. Under the fluent stream of music we can hear rhythmical pulsation measuring time regularly, beating more persistently than human heart. We can feel it in our temples, it is getting to the fore of everything, carrying the stately theme on the waves of its beats. Cantabile nature and genteel lines of the first theme are followed by the almost dancing second theme. Gradually both of them overlap and complement each other only to fuse in the finale, genially and naturally, as if they belonged forever together. Reger, Bach's follower and at the same time his counterpart, confronted the elated Apollonian beauty with the vigorous Dyonisian. His music, full of emotions and extremes, captivates and inebriates us like a passion. In Toccata in D minor, vigorous gusts of sounds are suddenly interrupted by the dreamy, poetical middle part. The theme appearing in the Fugue is rather shy at the beginning, but taking in other voices and growing faster and faster it becomes stately and great and rushes forward irrepressibly mouthing into the sea of sounds and shining at the end like the sun above it. How different from all this is the lovely music of César Franck. We must love it. In Heroic Compositions, he created a fresco of life. He did so without pomopsity, with sincerity and ardently, in the same way as we do. We hear the theme of the hero accompanied by fatal chaos already in the opening part. Then the episodes — narrative, dramatic, painful, lyrical, intimate, full of conflicts and decisive appear. The general pause surprises us as the stopping exclamation point of death. Then the victorious apotheosis crowns the hero's struggle and relievs him of his sorrows. Dupré brought about a fascinating feature in organ playing: sovereign mastery of colours, rhythm and technique combined with elegance and wit. No wonder that he was called 'the new Paganini'. In the Christmas Variations, the work which made him famous already in his early years, with charm and bravura he transforms the simple melodious tune. The nine variations, Fugue and the final Toccata are a firework of musical inventions. They are like a bright shining bouquet on glittering Christmas snow. Now when you are putting away this record, I,wish you that my lighthouses would turn into little candles, you can light whenever you feel like it, in your moments of peace and happiness. Ferdinand Klinda
Ferdinand Klinda studied in Bratislava, Prague and Weimar and has given concerts almost all over Europe and the USA. Mr. Klinda participated in many festivals on international scale: Bratislava Music Festival, Prague Spring, Weiner Festwochen, Oliva Festival, Internationale Orgeltagung in Hamburg, in Rome and in many other towns. He is member of juries in several international organ competitions and Professor at the Music Academy in Bratislava. For his musical activity he was awarded the State Prize of Klement Gottwald in 1971 and in 1978 he was awarded the title meritorious artist. He has recorded the following works for OPUS: J. S. Bach: Works for Organ performed on Czechoslovak music Instruments.
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