Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 344238 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2680 on: April 01, 2018, 02:29:02 AM »
What George Ritchie and Wolfgang Rubsam have in common is that they both studied with Helmut Walcha. In Ritchie's remarks on AoF, he talks about how Walcha's method for learning contrapuntal music was to learn each melody separately, and that the essence of Bach's contrapuntal music was to do with how you put the melodies together to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts. This is, of course, the thinking behind Rubsam's independent voices with independent affects.

I don't have Ritchie's set - I just have the Leipzig Chorales and the AoF. I'd very much like to hear his CU3 and trio sonatas.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 02:31:04 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Forever Electoral College

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2681 on: April 01, 2018, 05:00:04 PM »
Yes, excessive reverb even for me. Btw, I like the organs played by Beekman. Do you know anything about them? Perhaps Dutch organs? I also like the communist organs in Berlin classics though the performance and the recording quality are uneven.

A lot of reverb, yes. A bit too much for me, to be honest... but I can stand it.
I.c. brightness: the organ was built with North European baroque organs as example. In my experience, these organs mostly sound brighter than the Southern instruments.
I'm generalizing now, and maybe other members will think otherwise: the 'strong' points of the northern organs are the bright principal stops (adding a 'bonus' to the clarity), the strong points of the southern organs are the warm and 'granular' reeds.
But, again, this is a very generalizing generalisation. ;)

I only mentioned this one American organ, but there are more well-built (baroque) reconstructions around the country, built by firms like Fisk, Fritts, Brombaugh and Noack.
To check out some of them, here's a nice (limited) integral boxset of 11 cd's, played by George Ritchie.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Organ-Works-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B000GW8RFC/?tag=goodmusicguideco

Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2682 on: April 01, 2018, 08:49:15 PM »
Did Wim van Beek record BWV 652?
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2683 on: April 01, 2018, 09:51:00 PM »


I've been listening to Marie Claire Alain II's Leipzig Chorales.

It incarnes values which I associate with Leonhardt in WTC and AoF.

Drama which comes from phrasing and touch; tempos judged to allow the emotional possibilities to come out; rubato which doesn't prevent the listener from sensing a pulse; voices which are singing from the same hymn sheet rather than in tense madrigal like opposition. The sober colouration enhances the feeling of rapt seriousness.

The dominance of full organ makes the music sound closer to harpsichord than to symphony orchestra. That austerity, that way of recoiling from seducing the listener with tawdry colours, seems a good thing to me in this music if not everywhere. It makes it all cohere, and it helps me listen to the musical thoughts rather than to sounds and tones. I'm going to start a campaign, Back To Plenum. I may get tee shirts printed.

 It's as if both Alain and Bach have abandoned themselves. The music is abstract in this sense: as a listener I'm not conscious that either the performer's or the composer's feelings are being projected. I don't feel as though I'm listening to someone sounding off or someone being artful. Yet it is expressive.

How is that possible? It must be an illusion. The siren song is making me forget that this is performed and composed by someone with blood and guts.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 10:03:06 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Forever Electoral College

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2684 on: May 06, 2018, 04:55:01 PM »
What are pros and cons for Alain 2 vs. Alain 3?
I read positive reviews on the performance and recording sound  in No. 2 and the authentic instruments in No. 3, though.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2685 on: May 06, 2018, 08:10:28 PM »
What are pros and cons for Alain 2 vs. Alain 3?
I read positive reviews on the performance and recording sound  in No. 2 and the authentic instruments in No. 3, though.

I have been listening to both of these a lot recently, and I'm more and more impressed by Alain 2. What she does in the second recording, is create a tension in the music by letting the each voice in the counterpoint flourish, and she does it in a way which doesn't damage the unity and coherence of each piece. Her restrained registrations are ideal for this, because we aren't distracted from the music's structure by the colour of the organs, the effect is more like a string quartet than a symphony.  We're impressed by the music's structure, rather than by the timbres of the organs.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 08:16:48 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2686 on: May 06, 2018, 08:12:56 PM »
Did Wim van Beek record BWV 652?

Maybe he did (in the pre-digital period or for a Dutch radio broadcast), but, AFAIK, there is no recording available nowadays.
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Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2687 on: May 06, 2018, 08:17:41 PM »
Yes, excessive reverb even for me. Btw, I like the organs played by Beekman. Do you know anything about them? Perhaps Dutch organs? I also like the communist organs in Berlin classics though the performance and the recording quality are uneven.

I apologize, I missed your question about the organs used by Beekman.
All organs are in the Netherlands, and they're built (and restored) by Dutch/German builders.

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Beekman.htm
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Offline Forever Electoral College

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #2688 on: May 07, 2018, 03:52:47 AM »
Thank you. I will visit there one day.
I apologize, I missed your question about the organs used by Beekman.
All organs are in the Netherlands, and they're built (and restored) by Dutch/German builders.

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Beekman.htm