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Chamber Music - Released February 24, 2017 | Aeolus

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released May 29, 2015 | Aeolus

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released December 3, 2017 | Aeolus

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released December 7, 2018 | Aeolus

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Classical - Released December 1, 2017 | Aeolus

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The historic organ of the church of Saint Stefan of Tangermünde in Saxen Anhalt (about 100km west of Berlin, to give you an idea) which was made in 1620, but has suffered all manner of misadventures over the centuries – restorations in 1712, 1790, 1858, 1913, 1929, before an "original state" restoration in 1994 – at the end of which it appears that around 50% of the original baroque instrument still exists, which is quite a considerable amount. And it is on this impressive instrument that the Dutch organist Léon Berben, a regular recipient of Chocs du Monde de la Musique, the Diapason d'Or and other awards, has chosen to play us a lovely handful of works by Melchior Schildt (1592-1667) and Delphin Strungk (1601-1694), two musicians who worked in northern Germany and the Netherlands, and for whom an instrument like the Tangermünde organ would have been an open book. The writing of this music follows the teachings of Sweelinck, of whom Schildt was a follower in Amsterdam in the 1610s; and it consolidates the north-German organ tradition which would later so grip Bach. Beautiful and rich organ sounds, beautiful and rich music, all wonderfully recorded - because recording an organ is devilishly tricky - this is an excellent contribution to the knowledge of this musical world. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 1, 2007 | Ramée

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Classical - Released October 1, 2004 | Ramée

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Ramée

Booklet
Although harpsichordist Léon Berben's Ramée disc Ich Gieng Einmal Spatieren is credited to the composer "Hassler," it consists of work by two composers by that name, a long keyboard piece by the expected Hans Leo Hassler and all but one of the surviving keyboard pieces by his youngest brother, Jakob Hassler. These are played by Berben on a remarkable period instrument, a Franciscus Patavinus harpsichord built in 1561 and located in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. This keyboard provides just the right shade and color to the music of Jakob Hassler, a Prague-based musician beloved of eccentric Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II whose work culls together the influences of Venice and Germany while retaining some vestige of his own Franco-Flemish heritage. Hans Leo Hassler's set of 31 variations on the tune "Ich gieng einmal spatieren" (I'm Going Walking Again) is one of the most extensive such works to be found before the time of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations, and at 42 and a half minutes it's nearly as long. Hassler identifies the source melody as "durch Herren J.L.H." -- after Mr. J.L.H. -- perhaps meaning his brother Jakob. If so, Jakob is not known to have had a middle name or initial; perhaps it was also Leo. Léon Berben keeps the music moving and his sense of touch on this instrument is palpable; in Jakob Hassler's Toccata di quarto tono one can hear his fingers striking the keys, though it is not a distraction. This is just the result of Ramée's great recording of these performances, which is realistic and yet not in your face -- after all, the Patavinus is a quiet instrument, and the listener can still sense that. The notes, by Berben, are excellent, and this disc fills a repertory hole in the keyboard music of the late Renaissance that gaped a-yawning, yet no one seemed to notice. Hassler: Ich Gieng Einmal Spatieren is therefore strongly recommended to fans of keyboard music from the Renaissance period.
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Classical - Released September 29, 2011 | Ramée

Booklet

Classical - Released November 1, 2010 | Carus

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Classical - Released February 3, 2015 | Carus

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