Jane Parker-Smith is one of the world's leading concert organists, acclaimed by the critics and public alike for her musicianship, virtuosity and interpretative ability. Jane joins the Avie label with a unique programme linking European composers who were chiefly known as performers and proponents of specialist organ or keyboard repertoire. The kaleidoscopic range of the works on this recording suggest their compositional output deserves further exploration.
The mighty modern organ at St. Martin's Memmigen, Germany, provided the inspiration for Jane's selection of late 19th- and 20th-century works for this recording. Almost 400 years to the day after the dedication of the first important organ in St. Martin's a new, large and unique organ was inaugurated in Memmingen's main church on 8 November 1998. Built by Goll of Lucerne there are 62 stops on four manuals and pedal. Together with the impressive organ case and the similarly rebuilt organ loft - both planned by the late master organ builder Jakob Schmidt - it forms, at the west end of the Gothic church, an imposing contrast with the Gothic chancel with its famous choir stalls. The old and the new enter into a harmonious dialogue to fascinating effect.