The eccentric Belgian acoustician Charles Houvenaghel invented his contrabass clarinet in the Leblanc workshop in Paris in the 1930s. The instrument was superior to any previous contrabass clarinet, with smoother key action and a more powerful sound. The Houvenaghel/Leblanc contrabass clarinet became very popular, and completed a series of instruments in all shapes and sizes. The extended family of clarinets on offer in the Leblanc workshop ranged from Houvenaghel´s gigantic octocontrabass clarinet, the contrabass- and bass clarinets, to the very high sopranino clarinets. The range was equal to that of a large church organ, and Charles Houvenaghel claimed they had created a “portable organ of clarinets”. It is this organ I play on the CD – Houvenaghel´s Organ.
Now that I as a clarinetist choose to make my debut as organist, I have wanted to play music central in the organ repertoire. On this album I play a Toccata by Frescobaldi, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue by Bach and two of Max Reger´s 12 Organ Pieces, Op 59. My own piece, Veils, is inspired by one of Frescobaldi´s numerous Fiori Musicali. I made several short obligato pieces compatible with the Fiore, and Veils has become a patchwork of these obligato pieces and the Frescobaldi original.
Rolf Borch, February 2015
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564
Max Reger (1873-1916)
From 12 Organ Pieces, Op. 59
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
Rolf Borch (b. 1975)
Recorded at Studio Nordheim, NOTAM, October 2014 – February 2015.
Recording engineer and mastering: Cato Langnes
Assistant recording engineers: Magnus Bugge and Mariam Gviniashvili
Editing: Cato Langnes and Rolf Borch
Producer: Rolf Borch
Clarinet arrangements: Rolf Borch
Cover art: Monica Marcella/Geir Dokken
Photo (Rolf Borch): Geir Dokken
Photo (Charles Houvenaghel): Eugene Rosseau
Design: Jonas Howden Sjøvaag
Supported by: the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, the Norwegian Academy of Music, NOTAM (Norwegian Center for Technology in Music and the Arts)