‘Mors et vita’ – death and life. This antithesis opens a stanza of the ancient 11th-century Easter sequence Victimae paschali laudes, where life and death are locked in mutual struggle. Zsigmond Szathmáry’s 12-minute composition of 2015, commissioned for the Freiburg Minster, interprets this primal human experience with mighty explosions of sound. Here the organ can show what it’s capable of: its grandeur and strength are fully exploited, but not at the expense of soft and gentle contrasts. Typical of Szathmáry’s compositional style is the alternation of seemingly improvised, recitative-like writing and passages in strict rhythm. Time and again the composer takes up elements from the church hymn Christ ist erstanden von der Marter alle (Christ the Lord is risen again).