Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 282477 times)

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Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2380 on: April 10, 2017, 02:51:17 PM »
What do folks think of this?


I remember being quite intrigued by this (especially the organ, I've heard Bach played on Italian organs to great effect e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1VPSajsi18) but it turned out to be tepid and boring. I'm listening to it, and am still not impressed.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2381 on: April 13, 2017, 02:54:21 PM »
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Classical CD Of The Week: Johann Sebastian Clown

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Johann Sebastian Clown: For all those unafraid of garish colors, subwoofer-busting bass, and liberal applications of tremulant and celeste, this is the ticket!

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2382 on: April 17, 2017, 10:59:35 AM »
Cross post from the main Listening thread

Setting myself up for a 3 1/2 hour Bachathon/organathon to finish this set


CD 13
Clavierubung 3, first part
CD 14
Clavierubung 3, second part
Canonic variations on Von Himmel Hoch
Leipzig Chorales, first part
CD 15
Leipzig Chorales, second part
Ricecar a 6 from Musical Offering

General impression is favorable compared to, say, Alain II or Preston. Instruments seem all modern, registrations chosen seem generally lighter than what I remember from other sets.  Works are presented more or less chronologically. My favorite remains Vernet.

(Other sets I have: Preston, Alain II, Koopman, the multi-performer Hanssler set, Vernet, Foccroulle.

Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2383 on: April 17, 2017, 09:47:44 PM »
Cross post from the main Listening thread

Setting myself up for a 3 1/2 hour Bachathon/organathon to finish this set


CD 13
Clavierubung 3, first part
CD 14
Clavierubung 3, second part
Canonic variations on Von Himmel Hoch
Leipzig Chorales, first part
CD 15
Leipzig Chorales, second part
Ricecar a 6 from Musical Offering

General impression is favorable compared to, say, Alain II or Preston. Instruments seem all modern, registrations chosen seem generally lighter than what I remember from other sets.  Works are presented more or less chronologically. My favorite remains Vernet.

(Other sets I have: Preston, Alain II, Koopman, the multi-performer Hanssler set, Vernet, Foccroulle.

The Clavier-Übung 3 and the Ricercar from BWV 1079 are played on the historical Gabler organ in Weingarten, a rather famous one and, for this set, beautifully recorded by the Calliope team.
The Leipzig Chorales are played on the ('modern baroque') Westenfelder organ in Fère-en-Tardenois, France.

To me, the entire set has its goods and its 'bads'. Like Herrick for the British, Isoir is the most poetic of the French 'integralists'. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't. But it's certainly a nice set to have and there's plenty to enjoy.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2384 on: April 18, 2017, 04:16:08 AM »
Isoir's CU3 sounds to me like he's having a bit of a laugh playing some Bach for our entertainment. Colourful and fun, not spiritual or challenging. It's a product of its times maybe, there's something hippy-trippy about the colours of the registrations, especially combined with the danciness of the interpretations, and  the forward motion at the expense of anything contemplative.  Cool organ as Marc says.

 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 04:22:14 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2385 on: April 18, 2017, 04:36:26 AM »
My favorite remains Vernet.



Can't get in with his CU 3 at all, it sounds as if he bites off each piece with one chomp and then spits it out in one go.
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Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2386 on: April 18, 2017, 05:00:02 AM »
Isoir's CU3 sounds to me like he's having a bit of a laugh playing some Bach for our entertainment. Colourful and fun, not spiritual or challenging. It's a product of its times maybe, there's something hippy-trippy about the colours of the registrations, especially combined with the danciness of the interpretations, and  the forward motion at the expense of anything contemplative.  Cool organ as Marc says.

I was pretty impressed by his interpretation of the Passacaglia on the Weingarten Gabler organ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRPq0Vwnq8M

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2387 on: April 18, 2017, 11:13:52 PM »
I was pretty impressed by his interpretation of the Passacaglia on the Weingarten Gabler organ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRPq0Vwnq8M

Have you ever seen the Weingarten organ? What a TERRIFIC instrument. My W2B and I took a detour from our Lake Constance bike trip just to see that instrument or, initially, to see the Basilica. Only then did I return home and look which recordings I had of that instrument and was delighted to find that they were in this cycle.



Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2388 on: April 19, 2017, 04:58:41 AM »
Have you ever seen the Weingarten organ? What a TERRIFIC instrument. My W2B and I took a detour from our Lake Constance bike trip just to see that instrument or, initially, to see the Basilica. Only then did I return home and look which recordings I had of that instrument and was delighted to find that they were in this cycle.

not to mention those ivory pipes - one can't have too much bling ;-)
(part of the 2' Flageolet on the positiv)

Offline milk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2389 on: May 07, 2017, 06:12:22 AM »
Isoir's CU3 sounds to me like he's having a bit of a laugh playing some Bach for our entertainment. Colourful and fun, not spiritual or challenging. It's a product of its times maybe, there's something hippy-trippy about the colours of the registrations, especially combined with the danciness of the interpretations, and  the forward motion at the expense of anything contemplative.  Cool organ as Marc says.
this inspired me to buy Isoir's complete. He really is a trip. Two performances that stand out as particularly wild are BWV 688 and Fantasia, BWV 572 III - among many rollicking tracks. Trippy indeed! The fantasia sounds like modern art! What about his non-Bach output? Anything particularly noteworthy? I want more of this psychedelic stuff. 

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2390 on: May 25, 2017, 02:04:50 PM »
I have the complete sets by Fagius and Foccroulle but I'm thinking of adding one more. From what I've read, Koopman's set on Teldec/Das Alte Werk sounds as though it might be quite different to what I have, so I'm leaning towards that one. Any thoughts?

I was listening to the Prelude and Fugue BWV 547 from Foccroulle's set this evening. It's a great piece, but during the fugue I was wondering where the inverted version of the subject comes in. There's certainly a point where the music noticeably changes, but such is the relentless density of the contrapuntal texture that it's hard to make out exactly what the inverted subject sounds like (the description of the fugue on allmusic notes that it can be "difficult for the listener to find a foothold in the piece"!). Anyone have a link that points it out? I've come across various articles which require a level of knowledge of music theory that I don't have, so it would be useful to actually hear this thing. Any help appreciated! 

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2391 on: May 25, 2017, 02:30:45 PM »
I have the complete sets by Fagius and Foccroulle but I'm thinking of adding one more. From what I've read, Koopman's set on Teldec/Das Alte Werk sounds as though it might be quite different to what I have, so I'm leaning towards that one. Any thoughts?

I was listening to the Prelude and Fugue BWV 547 from Foccroulle's set this evening. It's a great piece, but during the fugue I was wondering where the inverted version of the subject comes in. There's certainly a point where the music noticeably changes, but such is the relentless density of the contrapuntal texture that it's hard to make out exactly what the inverted subject sounds like (the description of the fugue on allmusic notes that it can be "difficult for the listener to find a foothold in the piece"!). Anyone have a link that points it out? I've come across various articles which require a level of knowledge of music theory that I don't have, so it would be useful to actually hear this thing. Any help appreciated!

It seems like the inverted form of the subject (rather than just the inverted head motif, which appears earlier) starts to take over the texture at approximately 6:14 here, simultaneously with the cadence that precedes it (which is why it's not as noticeable of an event as you might think).  It is then taken up and developed at length.

An augmented version of the inverted subject (note values twice as long) is played in the bass at 8:28 too.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/nvVFRo_4b0o" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/nvVFRo_4b0o</a>
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 02:44:24 PM by Mahlerian »

Offline amw

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2392 on: May 25, 2017, 02:55:53 PM »
While I'm thinking about it: any WTC recommendations on organ?

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2393 on: May 25, 2017, 03:59:40 PM »
It seems like the inverted form of the subject (rather than just the inverted head motif, which appears earlier) starts to take over the texture at approximately 6:14 here, simultaneously with the cadence that precedes it (which is why it's not as noticeable of an event as you might think).  It is then taken up and developed at length.

An augmented version of the inverted subject (note values twice as long) is played in the bass at 8:28 too.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/nvVFRo_4b0o" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/nvVFRo_4b0o</a>

Thanks, that's very helpful. Listening to what occurs at 6:14 and 8:28 I can clearly hear the same melody so I now know what to listen for. The notes in Foccroulle's set state that the inverted subject enters in four parts, which I'm guessing means there are four distinct entries. I can't tell if there are that many; if there are they don't appear to occur in very quick succession, but I guess they're in there somewhere. By the way, by "head motif" do you mean just the first part of the subject rather than the whole thing? I didn't notice the first part of the melody that starts at 6:14 occurring earlier but I may well have missed it. Apparently there are literally dozens of entries of the subject, albeit in different forms, in this fugue. No wonder it can be so hard to follow!   

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2394 on: May 25, 2017, 04:15:03 PM »
Thanks, that's very helpful. Listening to what occurs at 6:14 and 8:28 I can clearly hear the same melody so I now know what to listen for. The notes in Foccroulle's set state that the inverted subject enters in four parts, which I'm guessing means there are four distinct entries. I can't tell if there are that many; if there are they don't appear to occur in very quick succession, but I guess they're in there somewhere. By the way, by "head motif" do you mean just the first part of the subject rather than the whole thing? I didn't notice the first part of the melody that starts at 6:14 occurring earlier but I may well have missed it. Apparently there are literally dozens of entries of the subject, albeit in different forms, in this fugue. No wonder it can be so hard to follow!

You're welcome.

The entries at that part are in very quick succession, one after the other, going from soprano to bass in descending order.  Yes, I meant that you can hear the motif used in inverted form just as a way of continuing the texture earlier on, rather than as an independent subject.

Looking at the score of the piece, I'm not at all surprised that it's considered difficult to follow.  In addition to the constant activity, the harmony is quite wayward at moments.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2395 on: May 25, 2017, 11:46:54 PM »
I have the complete sets by Fagius and Foccroulle but I'm thinking of adding one more. From what I've read, Koopman's set on Teldec/Das Alte Werk sounds as though it might be quite different to what I have, so I'm leaning towards that one. Any thoughts?


You might find this list helpful, with all (?) the extant Bach Organ Cycles listed. Many of them have the instruments listed on which they are performed. (Mouse-over)
A Survey of Bach Organ Cycles
http://ionarts.blogspot.co.at/2013/09/a-survey-of-bach-organ-cycles.html


I really like Koopman's set, even if it often doesn't seem to be included among the hard core cognoscenti's recommendations. Foccroulle is awfully laid back for my taste, but very imaginative at times -- and Fagius beautiful but monochromantic. I think that Koopman - but also Alain II or III - would be a considerable departure and worthwhile addition. As would be Weinberger, but perhaps more for his completeness and rigor than his colorful playing and outright impressiveness, which are two strong points of the aforementioned sets.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2396 on: May 26, 2017, 12:03:16 AM »
While I'm thinking about it: any WTC recommendations on organ?

You mean the whole thing on organ? If so, then no recommendations from me without reservations - but you may want to try Robert Costin. Just don't expect too much.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 12:20:53 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2397 on: May 26, 2017, 12:22:43 AM »
I have the complete sets by Fagius and Foccroulle but I'm thinking of adding one more. From what I've read, Koopman's set on Teldec/Das Alte Werk sounds as though it might be quite different to what I have, so I'm leaning towards that one. Any thoughts?

I was listening to the Prelude and Fugue BWV 547 from Foccroulle's set this evening. It's a great piece, but during the fugue I was wondering where the inverted version of the subject comes in. There's certainly a point where the music noticeably changes, but such is the relentless density of the contrapuntal texture that it's hard to make out exactly what the inverted subject sounds like (the description of the fugue on allmusic notes that it can be "difficult for the listener to find a foothold in the piece"!). Anyone have a link that points it out? I've come across various articles which require a level of knowledge of music theory that I don't have, so it would be useful to actually hear this thing. Any help appreciated!

Koopman by all means,  but I think you would find more food for thought if you bought all of Wolfgang Rubsam's organ CDs on Naxos.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2398 on: May 26, 2017, 12:36:09 AM »
You mean the whole thing on organ? If so, then no recommendations from me without reservations - but you may want to try Robert Costin. Just don't expect too much.

Tastes differ. Costin is just the one, I would put at the bottom.

Agreed, that none of the five available versions is ideal. On my part I prefer Thiery by a narrow margin. He is the only one who does not treat a substantial number of the P&F's as great organ pieces.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2399 on: May 26, 2017, 12:42:10 AM »
Koopman by all means,  but I think you would find more food for thought if you bought all of Wolfgang Rubsam's organ CDs on Naxos.

Both these gentlemen's recordings are a hit or a miss. But I agree that Rübsam's interpretations are more rewarding, as long as you do not have too many idiosyncrasies.
res severa verum gaudium

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