John Barnett

Distler, Zimmermann: Sacred choir and organ music – Choral CD review

4:36, 26th May 2020

Distler, Zimmermann: Sacred choir and organ music
Christina Roterberg (s), Norddeutscher Kammerchor / Maria Jürgensen (dir); Arvid Gast, Stellwagen organ, St Jakobi, Lübeck
MDG Scene MDG 902 2156-6 (SACD) [55:02]

In a word: blissful. Here is a sublime compendium of Hugo Distler’s sacred music for choir and organ in rewarding SACD-recorded sound. Maria Jürgensen and the Norddeutscher Kammerchor make much – and with enormous, affecting sympathy – of the composer’s rich, respectful take on Reformation-era Lutheran melodies, with soprano Christina Roterberg a nuanced interpreter of his distinctive, often ethereal, word setting. Heinz Werner Zimmermann’s Choral Variations on a Theme of Hugo Distler – the Nürnberg Grosses Gloria – is a fitting, evocative filler. Arvid Gast provides sympathetic accompaniment to Roterberg in three sacred concert pieces and, sweetly so, in the op.18 no.2 Organ Sonata. Highly recommended.


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