Mendelssohn Rarities – Rarely Performed Organ and Choral Works

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Mendelssohn Rarities from Loft Recordings is comprised of pieces for solo organ, for a cappella chorus, for choir and organ, and one meditative and very beautiful five minute work for choir with string quintet and organ that concludes the program. This is the repertoire of Loft's specialty and an obvious love and deep knowledge of it is behind the very successful concept. The Christ Church Schola Cantorum, a fine amateur group, and three organists, David Higgs, Hans Davidsson and William Porter perform. Christ Episcopal Church, home to the splendid Craighead-Saunders organ heard here, and Fountain Court in the Memorial Art Gallery are two venues where the recordings were made, both in Rochester NY.

The program is made up of remnants, unfinished works, youthful endeavors and other pieces that have been orphaned from the larger works originally intended to contain them. As such, it's rather a diverse collection of music - marches, motets, pieces that are exuberant and others that are tranquil - but Mendelssohn all, and without doubt, well worth your attention. I felt that the recording levels were aggressive on volume, but nothing a little counter-clockwise twist of the wrist couldn't remedy.