Troubled Water - Organ Music From The Film

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This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

This beautifully played and expertly engineered program, recorded at Norway's Bergen Cathedral, just may be one organ disc that nearly everyone can enjoy and will even return to often. It also may encourage listeners to investigate the film for which the music was chosen--an award-winning 2008 release from director Erik Poppe titled deUSYNLIGE (translated as "Troubled Water"). It's the story of a man just released from prison for the murder of a child, who returns to his former home town and takes the job as, of all things, a church organist. Complexities, conflicts, and confrontations of life and love follow, and along the way we hear the organ music as, in the words of the director, one of the film's "main characters."

Given the film's title you won't be surprised to learn that a significant place in the proceedings is claimed by Simon and Garfunkel's hit song "Bridge over troubled water", and we hear it twice--at the disc's beginning and end--in shorter and "extended" versions arranged by organist Iver Kleive. Kleive is a sensitive interpreter and a supremely accomplished artist who convinces us through his very respectful treatment that this quasi-religious, gospel-tinged anthem could have--or should have--been conceived for the magnificent resources of a cathedral organ, where the fullness of its soul-stirring power can truly be realized. Indeed, the longer, seven-minute version that concludes the disc could give a new generation of listeners incentive to "turn it up" and lose yourself in the sheer all-encompassing sensation of sound and harmony.

All of which owes much to the engineering, which really does literally demand that you turn your volume knob a few notches higher than usual--and you will be rewarded, as the organ really does surround you (with or without an SACD system) and shake you. And speaking of shaking listeners: Kleive's own Toccata is a tour de force that not only exploits the organ's orchestra-sized resources (and is uncannily reminiscent of the similarly-named movement from Widor's Symphony No. 5), but also, as in many of the big works of Bach, keeps you near-breathless, on the edge of your seat through an ever-building display of relentlessly exploding fireworks.

The program also features Kleive's arrangement and improvisation on Hassler's Velt alle dine veie (the tune known to many listeners as "O sacred head now wounded"), Vivaldi's Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, and Kleive's very affecting and remarkably unadorned setting of "O bli hos meg", better known to English church-goers as "Abide with me". Although we could complain that at a mere 37 minutes this disc is temporally, programmatically challenged, the consistent high quality of the content--including Kleive's masterful, conscientiously understated exhibition of the organ's capabilities as well as his own formidable facility--and the ravishing sound make any such concerns irrelevant, and make this both a disc to savor and to share. Highly recommended!

--David Vernier,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 2L066SACD

  • UPC: 7041888514725

  • Label: 2L

  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi, Iver Kleive, Johann Sebastian Bach, Paul Simon

  • Performer: Iver Kleive