Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 309598 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1400 on: January 09, 2012, 12:19:21 PM »
This is true of Alain and Walcha too, and of many others.

Thanks for this. I had the same thought, but then . . . the Walcha and Alain are the only sets I've got : )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1401 on: January 09, 2012, 12:39:17 PM »
Thanks for this. I had the same thought, but then . . . the Walcha and Alain are the only sets I've got : )

And you are very well served by these two.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1402 on: January 09, 2012, 12:42:21 PM »
Oh, I certainly agree.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1403 on: January 10, 2012, 06:25:01 AM »
I'm sure I'll come to love the Walcha in time, Karl, but this music does require a period of adjustment.  For me, at least.

Mentioned before in this thread, but here's that great free download possibility again:

http://www.blockmrecords.org/bach/

Despite Kibbie not being in my personal Top 10, I think he's a fine performer of these works. And there's a chance to listen to a nice selection of historical German baroque organs!

[....]
Out of curiosity, how does Rogg's style compare to Walcha's?

Have not listened to Rogg for quite a while, but I wouldn't pick him as an opposite to Walcha.
I find Walcha more sparkling (despite his sober approach) and I prefer Rogg if registration in the free works is the matter.
Rogg's first 'integral' (Oryx) has never been re-issued on cd, his second one (Harmonia Mundi) is officially OOP (though to be found here & there on the net) and his 3rd with EMI is only partly re-issued on cd.
Best 'Rogg-buy' IMO is this one:



http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Art-Fugue-Organ-Concertos/dp/B000NPCMHQ/
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Offline Todd

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1404 on: January 10, 2012, 07:56:14 AM »



It's been a while since I sampled any new recordings of Bach's organ music, so I opted for the above.  I listened to the Trio Sonatas last night.  Quite good, I must say, and rather different from Walcha (stereo) or Preston.  Alain seems a bit more laid back than the other two, and the registration of the organ, especially in the lower number works, produces some bright, very colorful sounds in the upper reaches of the instrument.  This is somewhat fearful.  I knew that organ recordings could be a bottomless pit.  Different instruments, different registrations, different approaches.  One could spend lots of money and lots of time listening to organ music, especially of Bach (or Buxtehude) quality.  Perhaps it's best if I just walk away now.
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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1405 on: January 10, 2012, 03:14:56 PM »
This is true of Alain and Walcha too, and of many others. I think Herrick, and particulary Lagacé and Stockmeier shine through their unpretentiousness and less hectic approach allowing more time for reflection.

Apparently, I have explained very badly my point because when I used the figure comparing "big stars" v/s "support actors", I was thinking of certain unpretentious nature ("humbleness" of intentions) of the second category. I mean, for instance, Walcha conveys a strong feeling of moral integrity, but he is not "unpretentious". On the contrary, Walcha has big plans; huge, absolute intentions. He wants to built an enormous building... And Alain, well... she is lovely in so many respects, but I won't use, for instance, "moral integrity" or "unpretentious character" as a first feature to define her style, although I wouldn't deny that she also has these features. IMO, particularly Stockmeier and Lagacé are quite unique in a certain (prevalent) ascetic nudeness (that conveys a strong sense of moral integrity too) and, therefore, I disagree this feature is shared for many other performers, especially if the counting is limited to the integral recordings. 

Offline JaapT

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1406 on: January 10, 2012, 03:31:03 PM »
About BWV 565 and its recordings:
Foccroulle is very trustworthy in any Bach piece. And Leonhardt is convincing in this one as well. No wonder, since he's very much at home in 17th century keyboard works.
Personally, I also like f.i. Daniel Chorzempa (Philips or PentaTone) and Thiemo Janssen (MDG). The latter plays on the beautiful Schnitger-organ of Norden (Ost-Friesland, Germany).

About BWV 565 and its authenticity:
I admit I'm guilty. I blabberd about this subject far too much. So, I would advice to each and everyone: plz, for a real Toccata & Fuga in D-minor by a certain J.S. Bach, LISTEN TO BWV 538! It's so much better and impressive, both as a composition as well as a spectacle. :)

Dear Marc,
BWV 538 is definitely much more mature and impressive, but I like the d-minor as well, perhaps for nostalgic reasons. For the free works I must say I like perhaps BWV 542 (Fantasia in g) most.  The discussion about the Toccata is nevertheless  interesting as the Toccata may show (or not) what compositions by the young Bach sounded like. I like in this piece Chorzempa as well, I have a compilation (Philips) with BWV 565, the passacaglia and BWV 532 (very impressive) and BWV 551 (too slow for my taste) and some chorals (very beautiful, played in the Marekerk Leiden).  In BWV 551 I like a vinyl record I have by Piet Kee (Philips) which also contains  a very nice interpretation of the partita over O Gott du frommer Gott. I don't think there is a CD version of this record.

As for BWV 538. I like Koopman's second recording on the very beautiful Müller-organ in Leeuwarden. He gives this piece a lot of momentum. Foccroulle also plays it excellently on the disc I mentioned (Groningen Martinikerk organ).

The organ in Norden is indeed beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful I have heard on disc. I have the complete Buxtehude works by Foccroulle which contains one disc recorded there. Another disc I have of that organ is by Jan Kleinbussink, which contains Northgerman organ works, including some Bach. Very impressive as well.

Offline JaapT

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1407 on: January 10, 2012, 03:41:22 PM »



It's been a while since I sampled any new recordings of Bach's organ music, so I opted for the above.  I listened to the Trio Sonatas last night.  Quite good, I must say, and rather different from Walcha (stereo) or Preston.  Alain seems a bit more laid back than the other two, and the registration of the organ, especially in the lower number works, produces some bright, very colorful sounds in the upper reaches of the instrument.  This is somewhat fearful.  I knew that organ recordings could be a bottomless pit.  Different instruments, different registrations, different approaches.  One could spend lots of money and lots of time listening to organ music, especially of Bach (or Buxtehude) quality.  Perhaps it's best if I just walk away now.

In the triosonatas I like Koopman's first recording very much (Waalse kerk, Amsterdam). I also have Alain III (less well defined sound but still good) and Daniel Chorzempa (I don't like his phrasing so much in these pieces as compared to Koopman's, Chorzempa's organ is also a bit too sharp for my taste (a Schnitgerorgan in Meppel)).  I also have Koopman third recording of the sonatas, but I find the organ too big for these more chambermusic like pieces. Koopman's second effort has some very nice renditions of some of the triosonatas. Especially in  number 6 the bass is sounds very low and not prominent enough for my taste.  By the way, there are some very nice adaptions of these works for various instruments. I particularly enjoy listening to the London Baroque (on BIS).

Offline JaapT

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1408 on: January 10, 2012, 03:53:31 PM »
By the way. I am not sure it has been mentioned here, but Gustav Leonhardt apparently gave his last concert in France in December. He canceled other concerts for health reasons. See http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/culture/20111213.OBS6572/musique-gustav-leonhardt-met-fin-a-sa-carriere.html (in French) http://www.cobra.be/cm/cobra/muziek/1.1177287 (in dutch with a bootleg video).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1409 on: January 11, 2012, 05:53:14 AM »
Greetings, Jaap, and welcome!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1410 on: January 11, 2012, 09:18:32 AM »
Despite Kibbie not being in my personal Top 10, I think he's a fine performer of these works. And there's a chance to listen to a nice selection of historical German baroque organs!
Yes, but unfortunately in rather bad sound.

Quote from: Marc
Have not listened to Rogg for quite a while, but I wouldn't pick him as an opposite to Walcha.
Nor would I. Rogg is perhaps the most Walcha-influenced of all the contemporary prominent organists except as to registrations - fortunately.
F.i. for his recording of the AoF Rogg used Walchas edition (Ed. Peters).





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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1411 on: January 11, 2012, 09:20:06 AM »
Apparently, I have explained very badly my point because when I used the figure comparing "big stars" v/s "support actors", I was thinking of certain unpretentious nature ("humbleness" of intentions) of the second category. I mean, for instance, Walcha conveys a strong feeling of moral integrity, but he is not "unpretentious". On the contrary, Walcha has big plans; huge, absolute intentions. He wants to built an enormous building... And Alain, well... she is lovely in so many respects, but I won't use, for instance, "moral integrity" or "unpretentious character" as a first feature to define her style, although I wouldn't deny that she also has these features. IMO, particularly Stockmeier and Lagacé are quite unique in a certain (prevalent) ascetic nudeness (that conveys a strong sense of moral integrity too) and, therefore, I disagree this feature is shared for many other performers, especially if the counting is limited to the integral recordings.
Given your additional explanation I see what you mean, and agree completely.
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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1412 on: January 11, 2012, 09:37:14 AM »
In the triosonatas I like Koopman's first recording very much (Waalse kerk, Amsterdam). I also have Alain III (less well defined sound but still good) and Daniel Chorzempa (I don't like his phrasing so much in these pieces as compared to Koopman's, Chorzempa's organ is also a bit too sharp for my taste (a Schnitgerorgan in Meppel)).  I also have Koopman third recording of the sonatas, but I find the organ too big for these more chambermusic like pieces. Koopman's second effort has some very nice renditions of some of the triosonatas. Especially in  number 6 the bass is sounds very low and not prominent enough for my taste.  By the way, there are some very nice adaptions of these works for various instruments. I particularly enjoy listening to the London Baroque (on BIS).

Chorzempa was the first to record the triosonatas applying strictly historically informed principles of articulation, e.g. rhythmic articulation. I think he sometimes sound a tad too didactic, but other than that I have no problems with his interpretation or the organ.

The London Baroque recording is also my preferred ensemble recording of these works. Another, almost equally playful and refreshing, is made by the Brook Street band:
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Triosonaten-BWV-525-530/hnum/2860171

And welcome to the forum. :)
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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1413 on: January 11, 2012, 10:55:56 AM »
In the triosonatas I like Koopman's first recording very much (Waalse kerk, Amsterdam). I also have Alain III (less well defined sound but still good) and Daniel Chorzempa (I don't like his phrasing so much in these pieces as compared to Koopman's, Chorzempa's organ is also a bit too sharp for my taste (a Schnitgerorgan in Meppel)).  I also have Koopman third recording of the sonatas, but I find the organ too big for these more chambermusic like pieces. Koopman's second effort has some very nice renditions of some of the triosonatas. Especially in  number 6 the bass is sounds very low and not prominent enough for my taste.

Jaap, first of all: hartelijk welkom op dit forum! :)

Another Koopman fan reporting. :D
Am I right in assuming Koopman I = Novalis/Brilliant, II = DG-Archiv and III = Teldec/Warner?

Q
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Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1414 on: January 11, 2012, 11:49:37 AM »
Jaap, first of all: hartelijk welkom op dit forum! :)

Another Koopman fan reporting. :D
Am I right in assuming Koopman I = Novalis/Brilliant, II = DG-Archiv and III = Teldec/Warner?

Nope, I think you're wrong. :P

I = DG-Archiv
II = Novalis (later Brilliant)
III = Teldec (Warner)

I agree with Jaap that Koopman's recording of the Trio Sonatas for DG-Archiv is very good. Pure musical enjoyment on a very suitable instrument.



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Offline JaapT

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1415 on: January 11, 2012, 02:21:30 PM »
Thank you for all the welcomes!!

Marc's order for Koopman is right. Ton Koopman started with Archiv, a double album (vinyl) with the triosonatas, an album with toccatas (Garrelts organ, Maassluis) and another one with some free works like the passacaglia and canzone and pastorale. Somehow he got in a disagreement and started with Novalis, which was also terminated. Archiv reissued its series in various combinations and the novalis series is now sold by brilliant. The novalis series is very interesting. Not all records are great, but I like especially the ones on which he plays on the Leeuwarden organ and the one in Weingarten. On the latter is a very spontaneous interpretation of one of Bach's Vivaldi adaptations.

A correction: I made a mistake in an earlier post mentioning BWV 551 as played by Chorzempa and Piet Kee. This should be BWV 552.


Offline Geo Dude

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1416 on: January 11, 2012, 08:04:38 PM »
Hey, for all of us there's some music (or performances) we need to warm to. Carry on! : )

Indeed!  You expressed similar sentiments some years ago when I mentioned that I had finally clicked with Kind of Blue; it took me several years due to feeling the album was too mellow.  Ironically, I occasionally reach for that album while in the mood for something mellow and in a forgetful state of mind and find myself wondering what the hell was wrong with me all of those years.

In any case, I'm having no more trouble with the Walcha set and don't find myself running back to Buxtehude when in the mood for organ works.  Two things helped:  The first was lowering the volume, in spite of a strong instinct toward cranking organ discs up to a Led Zeppelin (or King Crimson, Karl!) esque level.  The second was focused listening.  Between the two the wall of sound disappeared and I heard the music.

Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1417 on: January 14, 2012, 08:10:38 AM »
Olivier Vernet's integral for 20 euro!
No money thrown away with this one: it's a fine and enjoyable issue.

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Orgelwerke-Ges-Aufn/hnum/9069255

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Offline JaapT

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1418 on: January 14, 2012, 04:33:11 PM »
Not as cheap as Vernet's set, but Marie-Claire Alain's third set, on historical organs, is available for 35 euro on amazon.de.
It is a cheap edition with minimal booklet information, but the booklets of the original series can be download in pdf from the website.

http://www.amazon.de/Works-Organ-Marie-Claire-Alain/dp/B004RUF022/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326587326&sr=8-1


Offline val

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1419 on: January 18, 2012, 02:12:21 AM »
I don't know if anyone mentioned it yet, but the recent recording of the Clavier-Übung III by Matteo Messori (2 CD) is a very beautiful interpretation. And the German organs he plays have a superb sound.

Gustav Leonhardt is dead.

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