The organist and the concert
On Thursday July 20th 2017, the Russian organist Taras Baginets gave an organ concert on the Vermeulen organ in Saint Lambert church in Horst, in the north of Limburg in The Netherlands.
Taras Baginets, born in 1975, studied piano and organ with Serhiy Yushkevich at the Kharkiv Institute of Arts in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Additionally he did several master-classes in Western Europe with, among others, Heinrich Walther (Germany), Michael Radulesku (Austria), Hans Fagius (Sweden), Zsigmund Zsatmary (Germany), and Ludger Lohmann (Germany). He won several prices, both in Russia and abroad.
As of 2002 he is organist of the Sverdlovsk State Philharmonic Society (Ekaterinburg, Russia). He has released several CDs and radio recordings. As of 2011 Baginets is art-director of the annual Bach festival in Ekatarinburg. Concert tours brought him in many places in Ukraine, Russia and Western and Eastern Europe.
My personal experience is that this kind organist plays exceptionally refined. In particular in the Bruhns and first Bach pieces he used rubati I never heard in this way but were well balanced and fully convincing. Furthermore in these works he has a very precise non-legato articulation. Yes, this is very well possible on this great electropneumatic organ! Well done. The Tchaikovsky transcription was very interesting. The three compositions by Tariverdiev, however, did not convince me. The concert was ended with the monumental Passcaglia of Bach.
Judge for yourself, as I was given the opportunity to make a professional recording. The mp3 music files can be found below.
The church and the organ
Saint Lambert church in Horst was built in 1952 after designs of Alphons Boosten. It is an impressive and elaborated unique buiding in post-war reconstruction ('wederopbouw') style, classified as a national monument. The original three-nave gothic church was destroyed during the end of the Second World War in 1944. However, many medieval pieces were saved and make up the monumental character of the interior. I personally find the unique and original style and set-up of the architecture the most impressive, with its wide and uniquely vaulted three naves and in particular the high steps of the choir, paved in the typical fifties travertin, and the tower-base-like apse with 'hidden' deambulatory, gallery and the asymmetrical right transept lighted with stained glass.
The organ was built in 1953 by the southern Dutch organ builder Vermeulen from Weert. It is a 49 stop three manual organ with electropneumatic action, one of the largest built in The Netherlands in the fifties. Some of the higher choruses of the Mixtures have been taken out as they were very high pitched and difficult to tune. The Ranket 16' on the Swell division has been shifted with an octave to a Vox Humana 8'. The Sharp of the Swell has been replaced by a Voix Céleste 8'. Some reed stops are of a rather thin character, in particular the Kromhoorn of the Positif with wooden resonators. A Bombarde 16' has been added to the Great, borrowing its 18 largest pipes from the pedal stop.
I was asked to do the maintenance of the electropneumatic action of this organ and to tune it partially in close cooperation with the music director Jan Rijnders, in particular for the organ concert.
I made a recording using a professional Marantz flash recorder and a pair of omnidirectional Neumann condenser microphones, placed as AB-pair on a 5 meter high stand on a distance of about eight metre from the organ, in these rather dry acoustics.
Applause was cut out if possible and a pause was maintained at about 15 seconds. After editing, the complete recording has been cut in separate files without audible cuts, so it can be played continuously. Most of the time, fugues have been separated from their prelude in a separate file. MP3s were coded at 160 bps. Timings are per file, not music.
Commercial duplication and broadcasting of this music is strictly prohibited. Contact me if you have any questions or enquiries and I will forward you to mr. Baginets.
The Saint Lambert church in Horst just before the organ concert by Taras Baginets. Photos Rens Swart
The prospect of this large organ is very wide.
The peculiar atrium at the western end of the Saint Lambert church in Horst, designed by Alphons Boosten.
The nice three manual console of the Vermeulen organ of the Saint Lambert church in Horst.
The coupler and extension action electrics in the console of the Vermeulen organ.
Part of the pipework of the Recit department.
The pipework of the Positif, at the lefthand side of the organ, with some pipework of the Great organ in front.