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New Alkmaar multimedia set


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A few days ago a new multimedia set of DVD, CD and booklet appeared about the Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger and Van Covelens organs in the Laurenskerk at Alkmaar. Anyone who has previously bought the products of Fugue State Films will need no further recommendation; this set is as good as any of its predecessors.


The DVD begins with a 30 minute documentary of the Van Covelens organ of 1511, the oldest playable organ in the Netherlands (although some other organs contain some older pipes).


Then 62 minutes on the larger organ, integrating religious, artistic, architectural and musical history to give a very comprehensive account.


An interview with Piet Kee follows - it's good to see him and hear him well over 50 years since I first bought an LP of his playing at Alkmaar.


Finally 60 minutes of demonstrations.


The commentaries are in English and Dutch (with subtitles in English, Dutch and German). If in any way this DVD surpasses the earlier ones, it may be in the quality of the photography, for which one might credit those who filmed the production, or the quality of light in the buildings.


The history covers some aspects of the organs which have been altered, and there are additional performances from the Pieterskerk in Leiden and the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam which retain some features lost from Alkmaar.


The CD is just 1 second short of 75 minutes with music from Sweelinck, van Noordt, Schuyt, Weckmann, JS Bach, Bastiaans and Piet Kee. The accompanying booklet of course lists the tracks, comments on the composers, gives the specifications and the registrations used.


A demonstration clip may be found at http://youtu.be/Ik3hcTdmJdA

and the set may be bought from http://www.fuguestatefilms.co.uk/shop/ (£31.50 in UK money)

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