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CLASSICAL NET
November 2014

 

 


Symphonies Spectacular and Sublime
DUPRÉ Preludes and Fugues op. 7 & FRANCK
Three Chorals

Summary for the Busy Executive
Great repertoire beautifully played, beautifully recorded
… [The organ] comes through beautifully in the Franck and Dupré. Mustric reins in the sprawl of Franck and delivers beautifully coherent performances. She conquers all of Dupré’s technical challenges while keeping the music. The Duprés sound not difficult, but fun.

I must also praise the recording itself, to my mind the best, most natural recording of an organ I’ve heard – not over-reverberant, but what you would hear in a modest-size church. Alan Bise also produced and edited the best, most natural recording of a string quartet I’ve heard… CLICK HERE FOR FULL REVIEW

Steve Schwartz


 

FANFARE
Jan/Feb 2013

 

 

 


DUPRÉ Preludes and Fugues op. 7 FRANCK
Three Chorals

On this disc Mustric plays some amazingly intricate music by Marcel Dupré…He wrote the three preludes and fugues of opus 7 in 1914. The first prelude is notably difficult and the third is replete with tremendously fast tempi that involve pedal chords. Both of these pieces were said by Widor to be unplayable, and for many years Dupré was the only organist who played them…Mustric, who seems very humble about her ability both in the material accompanying the disc and on her website, evidently lets her music speak for her. Her musicianship is magnificent and she plays this most difficult music with seeming ease…

…Franck called the organ at Sainte-Clotilde his orchestra, hence Mustric’s album title Symphonies Spectacular and Sublime. With all the sound possibilities available from the Beckerath organ, Mustric can play music that approaches the symphonic and she renders these three chorals with panache while exploiting the full tonal resources of this magnificent instrument. The sound is a tiny bit dry but it allows a great deal of clarity and the perception of many details that could get lost in a warmer ambiance…

Maria Nockin

 

GRAMOPHONE
June 2008


‘East of Berlin’

Ben-Haim Prelude Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Mustric) Sokola Toccata Süda Prelude and Fugue in G minor
Florence Mustric org
MS Classics MS1270 (62" DDD)
Played on the organ of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cleveland, OH

 

 


A Fine Arranger-player Thrills with Colourful Pictures on the Organ

Even to ears accustomed to Ravel’s wondrous colours, this transcription has plenty of convincing registrations’ Certain pieces are evidently indestructible, no matter how they are interpreted, tweaked, sliced or diced. Works from the Baroque era fall most persuasively into this category, given the dearth of instrumental and expressive specifics in many of those scores. But musicians also take pleasure in appropriating popular creations from more recent eras into which performers can sink their artistic teeth.

Along these lines, the newest transcription of Mussorgsky’s oft-arranged Pictures at an Exhibition is now in the hands and feet of organists. Florence Mustric’s version provides a fresh spin on a piece originally for solo piano but best known in the orchestral version Ravel transformed into one of the most beloved concert works of them all.

Romantic-style pipe organs, including the massive Rudolph von Beckerath instrument Mustric plays with such poise and discernment at Cleveland’s Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, aren’t as nimble as a piano or even an orchestra, though they claim some of the latter’s sumptuousness. Mustric’s adaptation is a particularly spacious evocation of the Mussorgsky miniatures, with all manner of expansive tempi allowing for time to dwell on details that may fly by in other versions. Even to ears accustomed to Ravel’s wondrous spectrum of orchestral colours, the organ transcription has plenty of convincing and effective registrations. Mustric makes use of the highest wind-like sonorities with great success, just as the pedals add ample weight when needed. The instrument’s grandeur is put to magnificent use in “The Great Gate of Kiev”.

Mustric plays the Mussorgsky as if the work were born for the organ. The other pieces on the disc were conceived for the instrument, and they comprise a varied and compelling group, from Paul Ben-Haim’s richly woven Prelude and Miloš Sokola’s urgent and playful Toccata to the rapt musings and intriguing intricacies of Peeter Süda’s Prelude and Fugue in G minor. The recording’s sound is excellent.

Donald Rosenberg

 


Plain Dealer

March 8, 2009

 

 


The Thrill of the Chase: Bach Organ Works, Vol. 2

Florence Mustric, organ
MSR Classics
The organist at Cleveland’s Trinity Lutheran Church continues her fine series of recordings on the imposing Rudolph von Beckerath organ with a recital centered on Bach fugues (thus the disc’s title about the various fugue entrances arriving one after the other). Mustric exploits the full tonal resources of the instrument as she builds Bach’s massive structures and forges a celebration of organ sonority. Textures are clear, lines deftly balanced and ornaments tastefully applied. Your speakers (and ears) will be in heaven. Grade: A

Donald Rosenberg

 

 


AMERICAN ORGANIST

MAY 2009

 

 


Florence Mustric plays: Vol 1: East of Berlin. Rudolph von Beckerath organ of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cleveland, Ohio (IV/65, 1956) MSR Classics MS 1270;
www.msrcd.com.

The featured instrument is historically significant in that it was the first large mechanical-action organ to be installed in North America following the rise of the Organ Reform movement. The recording was made prior to its restoration, documenting its first half-century. In spite of needed attention, the instrument sounds robust, incisive, colorful, coherent, and clear: the recording shows little evidence of its five decades of use. The only regrettable issue is the dryness of the acoustic; however this does serve to heighten the clarity of instrument and music. Florence Mustric, who co-founded Music Near the Market in 1994 to showcase the world-famous organ, has chosen a program that is well-suited to it. Her choice of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, in her own arrangement, may seem unlikely. However, rather than the romantic virtuosic approach usually associated with this score, she performs in a classically oriented manner, with clear crisp phrasing and articulation that match the stylistic parameters of the instrument and provide refinement and clarity to the music. Her carefully controlled rhythms reveal every detail of the score, although the playing sometimes seems stiff and pedantic. There are times, especially in the fast movements, where more abandon and brilliance would have been welcome. Mustric chooses registrations that are appropriate to each tableau and consonant with the classical character of the instrument, which serves to underscore the temperament of the music surprisingly well. With this performance, one hears the familiar score in a new, revealing way. Ms. Mustric includes a wistful, exotic Prelude by Paul Ben-Haim, an émigré to Palestine. Miloš Sokola’s vigorous Toccata is played with strength, clarity, and precision. The most compelling performance is that of the Prelude and Fugue in G Minor by Estonian Peeter Süda. The BACH motif figures prominently in this substantial, well-constructed work. Replete with emotional energy, it concludes with a whisper. This disc is a welcome documentation of one of America’s most significant instruments, revealing its flexibility in familiar and unusual repertoire.

 

 

uuu©2007 text by Florence Mustric/Photography by Joe Glick Photography