Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 308624 times)

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Offline Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1420 on: January 21, 2012, 09:50:40 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.

IMO, Messori's twofer is certainly a worthwhile issue to have, because it's a very individual reading. And yes: instruments and recordings are great.



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It's not my personal fave though. I prefer a more combined straightforward/introspective reading of these works. But I guess that if one likes Bach interpreters like Wolfgang Rübsam (Naxos recordings), Sergio Vartolo and André Isoir, Matteo Messori would most likely become another one to adore.
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Offline Coopmv

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1421 on: January 21, 2012, 12:36:00 PM »
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.


I ordered the SACD version, which only arrived yesterday even though MDT shipped it on 1/3, speaking of the highly dysfunctional USPS ...

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1422 on: January 21, 2012, 08:47:18 PM »
I ordered the SACD version, which only arrived yesterday even though MDT shipped it on 1/3, speaking of the highly dysfunctional USPS ...

By my experience with MDT, that's not terribly late--I've had orders from the UK take 2 weeks to get to me, if they don't use air mail. 

Of course, at the moment I'm caught in a bind with Presto.  They sent out an order to me on  12/21, via something called Parcelforce Worldwide (which seems to be both part of the Royal Mail and not part of it),  but was never delivered to me (or at least I never got notice of an attempt to deliver it) although the tracking claims delivery was attempted on 12/27.  Parcelforce claims it's somewhere in the hands of the USPS;  USPS has no idea of what they're talking about.

Fortunately for purposes of this thread, no Bach is involved.

Thread duty: I finished up the Alaini II cycle last night.  I find myself less than thrilled by the chorale settings as she played them,  other than the Chorale Partitas.  Even Clavier Ubung III lacked the requisite zing.    I did like the "free form" works, however.  Now I get to wait for the Vernet to get here from JPC.

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1423 on: January 22, 2012, 02:46:32 AM »

Fortunately for purposes of this thread, no Bach is involved.
  :)  0:)

Quote
Thread duty: I finished up the Alaini II cycle last night.  I find myself less than thrilled by the chorale settings... Clavier Ubung III lacked the requisite zing.    Now I get to wait for the Vernet to get here from JPC.

. . .  h e r   s t u d e n t, as you may (or may not) know?!

Offline Coopmv

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1424 on: January 22, 2012, 07:38:50 AM »
By my experience with MDT, that's not terribly late--I've had orders from the UK take 2 weeks to get to me, if they don't use air mail. 

Of course, at the moment I'm caught in a bind with Presto.  They sent out an order to me on  12/21, via something called Parcelforce Worldwide (which seems to be both part of the Royal Mail and not part of it),  but was never delivered to me (or at least I never got notice of an attempt to deliver it) although the tracking claims delivery was attempted on 12/27.  Parcelforce claims it's somewhere in the hands of the USPS;  USPS has no idea of what they're talking about.


Was your order with Presto a large order, i.e. with many CD's?  This may be why Parcelforce Worldwide was used.  I have never heard of this outfit and all my Presto orders have always been sent by Royal Mail and delivered by USPS. 

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1425 on: January 22, 2012, 09:54:57 PM »
Was your order with Presto a large order, i.e. with many CD's?  This may be why Parcelforce Worldwide was used.  I have never heard of this outfit and all my Presto orders have always been sent by Royal Mail and delivered by USPS.

To be precise, it's the largest single parcel Presto has sent to me--I've placed orders that size or larger, but they were broken up into more than one shipment.  And this is the first time it was not sent by Royal Mail/USPS.    So you're probably right in supposing there's a connection.

Parcelforce is apparently a subsidiary of the Royal Mail--?   Perhaps one of our British members could explicate that point.

  :)  0:)

. . .  h e r   s t u d e n t, as you may (or may not) know?!

I know it now! 

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1426 on: January 23, 2012, 07:08:03 PM »
It is basically letter post versus parcel post.  A padded envelope containing a couple of jewel cases will go via the former, a large box usually via the latter.  You hand them both in at the post office, but thereafter they tend to use separate infrastructures.  They have different depots, for example, if you have to go collect something because there's a customs charge. >:(  There's a lot of air travel for letter post even internally within the UK, whereas there's more road freight for parcels.  Parcel post is inherently slower than letter post, but substantially cheaper for large/heavy items, indeed above certain sizes/weights you have no choice but to send it that way.

Thanks for the clarification.  (In the meantime we're now at the point where Parcelforce says it's at my local post office and the local Post Office declares they don't have it.  The saga continues.

Offline Geo Dude

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1427 on: January 31, 2012, 12:22:00 PM »
I'm in the midst of disc six and really loving Walcha's set.  No more 'wall of sound' problems, though I think I should have started with the trio sonatas to get myself adjusted to the organ sound.  That said, I must ask, are there any HIP organ integrals out there, or partially completed sets?

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1428 on: January 31, 2012, 12:25:00 PM »
I'm in the midst of disc six and really loving Walcha's set.

Groovy! (Monaural or stereo? I've the mono set)
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Offline Geo Dude

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1429 on: January 31, 2012, 01:26:36 PM »
Groovy! (Monaural or stereo? I've the mono set)

Stereo set, though I've also heard great things about the prior mono set.

Offline Leo K.

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1430 on: January 31, 2012, 03:28:38 PM »
I'm in the midst of disc six and really loving Walcha's set.  No more 'wall of sound' problems, though I think I should have started with the trio sonatas to get myself adjusted to the organ sound.  That said, I must ask, are there any HIP organ integrals out there, or partially completed sets?

Thanks to the recommendations in this thread, I recently decided on the integral by Bernard Foccroulle:



Quote
...a wide variety of instruments, restored baroque organs with lots of personality, virtuosity in the fugues, gravitas in the chorals, clarity of counterpoint that does not depend on metronomic rhythms or labored tempos, interesting registrations, excellent sound production, and an overall energy and personality that keeps one from becoming bored.

I'm on disk two, and enjoying this immensely!


Offline Geo Dude

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1431 on: February 01, 2012, 05:00:29 AM »
Thanks to the recommendations in this thread, I recently decided on the integral by Bernard Foccroulle:

I'm on disk two, and enjoying this immensely!

Thanks for the lead.  This sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for.

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1432 on: February 01, 2012, 08:30:16 AM »
My order from JPC arrived this morning,  including the Vernet integral.

Which is really "Complete Organ Works Plus More", with guest appearances by Marie-Claire Alain and a few others
CDs 1-15  The Works for Organ arranged sort of chronologically, so chorales and fugues and sonatas and concertos are all mixed in together--a different arrangement from the Alain and Preston sets I already have, where everything is arranged by category.  We'll see how I like this arrangement.
CD 16 "Clavier Ubung 0" "An Album for the Young"--a compilation of pieces probably not by Bach, but by his pupils, or by colleagues or earlier musicians but  used by Bach for teaching purposes.  Mostly preludes and fugues, etc. ending with the Little Harmonic Labyrinth.
CD 17  The Concertos for 2, 3 and 4 Keyboard Instruments (BWV 1060 etc), with the solo parts played on positive organs, with Alain and others sharing the solo duties with Vernet, and the Collegium Baroque doing the orchestral duties.  Period instruments, done on the premise that if works Bach wrote for the harpsichord can be played on the piano, then why not the organ (and a further argument to back up the idea that in fact they were sometimes played on organ in Bach's day.)
CD 18  Vernet's first CD, a recital of Bach pieces dating from 1988
CD 19 a collection of works by Bach and transcriptions of Bach works taken (I'm slightly guessing here) from other Vernet recordings of various dates.

Fuller liner notes than with the Preston and Alain sets, and a rather ample description of the organs used in the recording of the integral.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 08:33:57 AM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline Geo Dude

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1433 on: February 01, 2012, 08:48:16 AM »
Any recommendations for the trio sonatas?

Online Que

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1434 on: February 01, 2012, 01:49:11 PM »
I'm in the midst of disc six and really loving Walcha's set.  No more 'wall of sound' problems, though I think I should have started with the trio sonatas to get myself adjusted to the organ sound.  That said, I must ask, are there any HIP organ integrals out there, or partially completed sets?

Being still a novice in the world of Bach organ music, I discovered there are various degrees of HIP. First there is the issue of historically informed playing. There are quite some of that around. Second is the issue of the use of appropriate historical organs suitable for organ music of the North German Organ School, like Bach. The combination of both is pretty rare. Ton Koopman (Warner) is one, and I absolutely love it. But Koopman's free and rather "involved" style divdes opinions. Another is Weinberger (CPO) - gorgeous organs and a very correct HIP approach, but playing that varies from quite nice to utterly dull and boring....

Anyway, a post that is IMO a "golden oldie" in this respect is the first post in this thread by one of our resident expert, premont. Can't hurt to quote it once more! :)

Que, here is my list of some HIP recordings, which are played in HIP style on properly restored Northern or German baroque organs. and which do not constitute parts of complete cycles. The number of candidates is small, - almost all uncompromising HIP recordings are parts of integral recordings.

Collections of chiefly choral-free works:

Ton Koopman 6 CD set for Novalis (already recommended by Que).

Rainer Oster 1 CD for Arte Nova on  the Schnitger organ of Sc.Jacobi, Hamburg, (Arte Nova 74321 63644 2).

Stefan Johannes Bleicher  2 CDs for EBS on the Gabler organ in Weigarten and the Holzhey organ in Weissenau respectively.
On the same Holzhey organ he also recorded a Bach-CD for Arte Nova.

Franz Raml  1 CD for Oehms on the Silbermann organ in the Church of the Court, Dresden.

Jean-Charles Ablitzer 2 CDs for Harmonic Records, France on the Treutmann organ, Goslar-Grauhof.

Hubert Meister 1 CD for Motette on the Silbermann organs in Grosshartmannsdorf and Forchheim (contains the triosonates).

Martin Sander 1 CD for Fermate records on the Wagner organ in Trondheim

Matthias Eisenberg and Felix Friedrich 1 CD each (sold as double midprice set) for Capriccio on the Trost organ in Altenburg.

Robert Clark 2 CDs for Calcante on the Hildebrand organ in Naumburg.

Choralbound works:

Orgelbüchlein:
Rene Saorgin on French Harmonia Mundi.

Clavierübung III:
Edgar Krapp for Berlin Classics on the Wagner organs in Brandenburg and Treuenbrietzen.
or
Felix Friedrich for Motette on the Trost organ in Altenburg.


The CDs of some of the uncompromising HIP Integrals are sold separately. This is true of the Haenssler cycle, the Weinberger cycle (CPO) and the Kooiman cycle (Coronata).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 01:51:13 PM by ~ Que ~ »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1435 on: February 17, 2012, 05:54:31 AM »
I've been listening some  recordings BWV 682 -- that's is a choral prelude from Clavier Ubung 3: it's one of my favourites.

The two which I've found the most impressive are Koopman's,  and Rubsam's on Naxos. Both are contemplative readings.

According to wikipedia the music is inspired by a verse from  Romans "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." and a hymn by Luther.

Koopman really tells the story of this verse, and indeed the hymn. At the start Koopman is hushed.  The pulse is like the slow beating of a heart. There's a moment of extraordinary passion, turmoil almost,  in the middle of the performance. And the final third is radiant, peaceful.

I find it harder to say why I like Rubsam so much. He doesn't tell a story as far as I hear. He's not very colourful. He's not extrovert and impetuous like in his first recording of it on Philips.  It's just very very rapt and sincere. And when he does change registration, the effect is very powerful. It is hypnotic, a midnight listen. I can't be more articulate about it than that.

I enjoyed others of course -- especially Wolfgang Stockmeier, who's colourful and exciting, and so very much a contrast to the above.  But it's Rubsam's second and Koopman which stand out for me.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 06:00:08 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Coopmv

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1436 on: February 17, 2012, 08:44:40 PM »
Being still a novice in the world of Bach organ music, I discovered there are various degrees of HIP. First there is the issue of historically informed playing. There are quite some of that around. Second is the issue of the use of appropriate historical organs suitable for organ music of the North German Organ School, like Bach. The combination of both is pretty rare. Ton Koopman (Warner) is one, and I absolutely love it. But Koopman's free and rather "involved" style divdes opinions. Another is Weinberger (CPO) - gorgeous organs and a very correct HIP approach, but playing that varies from quite nice to utterly dull and boring....

Anyway, a post that is IMO a "golden oldie" in this respect is the first post in this thread by one of our resident expert, premont. Can't hurt to quote it once more! :)

I happen to have both versions you mentioned and agree with your assessment.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1437 on: February 18, 2012, 12:51:32 AM »
I've been listening some  recordings BWV 682 -- that's is a choral prelude from Clavier Ubung 3: it's one of my favourites.

The two which I've found the most impressive are Koopman's,  and Rubsam's on Naxos. Both are contemplative readings.

According to wikipedia the music is inspired by a verse from  Romans "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." and a hymn by Luther.

Koopman really tells the story of this verse, and indeed the hymn. At the start Koopman is hushed.  The pulse is like the slow beating of a heart. There's a moment of extraordinary passion, turmoil almost,  in the middle of the performance. And the final third is radiant, peaceful.

I find it harder to say why I like Rubsam so much. He doesn't tell a story as far as I hear. He's not very colourful. He's not extrovert and impetuous like in his first recording of it on Philips.  It's just very very rapt and sincere. And when he does change registration, the effect is very powerful. It is hypnotic, a midnight listen. I can't be more articulate about it than that.

I enjoyed others of course -- especially Wolfgang Stockmeier, who's colourful and exciting, and so very much a contrast to the above.  But it's Rubsam's second and Koopman which stand out for me.

One thing Rubsam does in that Naxos recording is this. He finds a long song-like melody in a treble voice right at the very start. The melody lasts for practically the length of the whole prelude -- about 7 minutes.  He plays it with amazing sweep: it's as if he's bitten off the whole thing in one go.  He balances the voices so that that song never becomes obscured or confused. The entire treble voice melody is played in the same slightly  piercing registration  for most (but not all) of the prelude. When he does change the registration of that melody, the result is very poetic.

Because of this there's tremendous coherence to the performance.

There's an ebb and flow in the progress of the music, so it's as if the music's breathing.  I'm not sure how he's achieved that.

At the same time, of course, the other voices are busy doing their stuff and the resulting texture is very special to me. I want to say it's a sort of impressionistic texture (it made me think   of some of the things Pletnev does in Chopin's 3rd sonata. But I really shouldn't say that until I've had a chance to check it out. )
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 01:09:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1438 on: February 18, 2012, 05:18:02 AM »
One thing Rubsam does in that Naxos recording is this. He finds a long song-like melody in a treble voice right at the very start. The melody lasts for practically the length of the whole prelude -- about 7 minutes.  He plays it with amazing sweep: it's as if he's bitten off the whole thing in one go.  He balances the voices so that that song never becomes obscured or confused. The entire treble voice melody is played in the same slightly  piercing registration  for most (but not all) of the prelude. When he does change the registration of that melody, the result is very poetic.

This choral prelude "Vater unser" BWV 682 is a five part composition, three of the parts being a kind of instrumental triosonata (one part in each hand and a walking continuo like bass part in the pedal). Added to this are two more parts one of each played with each hand consisting of the choral tune (Vater unser) played in canon. So each hand plays two parts which are one of the "instrumental" parts and one of the choral tune parts. The treble melody you mention is one of the choral tune parts, the one played with the left hand I think, which should stand out as a kind of cantus firmus. I do not understand what you think of, writing that he [Rübsam] changes registration, as he plays the entire piece with unchanged registration. The instrumental parts may seem chaotic with irregular rhytms but the choral tune is on the other hand rocksteady as a contrast. I see the piece as a picture of our chaotic world (instrumental parts) contrasted with the eternal stability of Gods word, symbolised by the Vater unser tune (the words to the tune being a picture of the Lord´s prayer). Of the two canonic parts the upper one may symbolize our prayers repeted like we have learnt them from God, who´s word is symbolized by the  lower canonic part.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 07:20:25 AM by (: premont :) »
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Offline Leo K.

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1439 on: February 18, 2012, 08:00:00 AM »
This choral prelude "Vater unser" BWV 682 is a five part composition, three of the parts being a kind of instrumental triosonata (one part in each hand and a walking continuo like bass part in the pedal). Added to this are two more parts one of each played with each hand consisting of the choral tune (Vater unser) played in canon. So each hand plays two parts which are one of the "instrumental" parts and one of the choral tune parts. The treble melody you mention is one of the choral tune parts, the one played with the left hand I think, which should stand out as a kind of cantus firmus. I do not understand what you think of, writing that he [Rübsam] changes registration, as he plays the entire piece with unchanged registration. The instrumental parts may seem chaotic with irregular rhytms but the choral tune is on the other hand rocksteady as a contrast. I see the piece as a picture of our chaotic world (instrumental parts) contrasted with the eternal stability of Gods word, symbolised by the Vater unser tune (the words to the tune being a picture of the Lord´s prayer). Of the two canonic parts the upper one may symbolize our prayers repeted like we have learnt them from God, who´s word is symbolized by the  lower canonic part.

Thank you and all for this wonderful discussion. Always illuminating to read!


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