Author Topic: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733  (Read 14069 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2012, 02:24:30 PM »
Here are my votes:

1)  Played in the straight style which prevailed in the 1950es-60es (legato articulation, long archs of phrasing and very little rubato). I liked the registration, but the change just before the end sounds ridiculous. The playing is from a technical point of view assured, but the interpretation is IMO only middle of the road and not very interesting. 

2) A bit more informed playing. Still long archs of phrasing but more distinctive articulation. The organ is a neo-baroque organ and its distinctive character (the principals and the rattling of the 16F reed in the pedal) makes me think of the organ of the Monastery church in Sorø.

3) The playing style is now HIP with rhythmic articulation and some rubato. Probably not a historical organ, though.

4) This is also HIP, but too excentric. The tempo is ponderous and the articulation is awfully mannered. The worst of the twelwe IMO.

5) HIP in the "Dutch" way with a fine equilibrium of all the components of performance (tempo, registration, articulation, agogics et.c) on a probably historical instrument of Schnitger type. One of the best.

6) HIP, but a hectic, maybe youthful performance, with wilfull agogics, and it is utterly unsatisfying. If the organist is the one I think, he was 34 at the time of the recording and uses to be more convincing. The organ is historical in middle-German style.

7) HIP and much more mature and balanced playing. There is some nervous feeling beneth the surface, but I think it adds energy to the interpretation, which I find rather good. I am not sure that the organ is historical, but if not it is a very good copy in middle-German style.

8) HIP and played with great authority and boldness. There is some distortion of the sound, the organ may be modern.

9) Not that different from no.1 but played with more authority, and as such preferable to no.1.

10) HIP, grandiose and well articulated. Great historical organ like the G. Silbermann in the Cathedral of Freiberg or the Z. Hildebrandt organ in Naumburg. Is no.8 and no.10 played by the same organist?

11) HIP and would be quite impressive without all these unnecessary extra trills, which I find add an inappropiate comical effect to the music.. I do not know others than Koopman who plays like that, at least on recordings.

12) HIP and like no. 5 played in the Dutch way, on a bigger organ and IMO with too sharp mixtures . Of the two I prefer no. 5.

My preferred versions from the point of view of interpretation are 5., 8, 7 and 10 in that order.
The ones I like the least are no. 4. and 6.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 03:53:55 PM by (: premont :) »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2012, 04:32:14 PM »
2 (m.r. 4.11). Version 2 : Simon Preston (organ ? ; 1997?)



I unfortunately don't have the details of this recording with me.

The BWV 733 was recorded Nov.97 on the Marcussen organ (1942) of the Monastery church in Sorø. At least I recognised the very characteristic organ.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:33:56 PM by (: premont :) »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2012, 04:52:36 PM »
Many thanks for the precision. I understand why you thought it was Knud Vad, then ;) Recognizing organs is a very impressive skill :o

Yes, and Knud Vad and Simon Preston share a position as to interpretation right between straight style (pre-HIP) and proper HIP style. However I think it would be difficult to confuse them in the choral-free works.

Now I must say good night. Thanks for the game. I shall comment further to morrow.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:55:00 PM by (: premont :) »
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DavidW

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2012, 06:38:03 PM »
I was not surprised that #11 = Koopman because right after I posted Windows figured out what that track was and tagged it as Koopman! :o

I am really surprised that the sublime #2 is Preston, but really that amazingly balanced #8 is Leonhardt, I associate HIP with #6, 11 and assumed that both #2 and 8 were both traditional performances.

I think I'm going to see if I can find some Preston and Leonhardt on spotify. :)

And of course I have Fagius, I like his quick, rushed light style even if nobody else does. ;D

Offline Que

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2012, 10:41:50 PM »
So, I picked Preston, Koopman, Leonhardt and Alain as the leading pack, and picked Leonhardt and Koopman as top choices! :D

Not bad... 8) But I totally missed the boat on Vernet! :o While I do currently enjoy his cycle very much.
But then again a brief listening of twelfe versions of one short piece can cause this kind of flukes.
Next time I'll take more time for listening.

The surprise is Preston, which I always avoided. Despite not mentioning it, in retrospect I also rather liked version no. 5 that turned out to be Fouccroulle. Maybe the fact that I find it was underpowered was due to the organ, as premont suggested.

Pity Marcon ended up so low, though I do totally understand why. Still, I do appreciate the rigour and musicality of it. But Marcon is not a Bachian - his Italian repertoire is on the other hand awesome.

I really do need to get my hands on the Leonhardt recordings if those ever get reissued! :)

Q
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 10:48:12 PM by Que »

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2012, 10:56:45 PM »
Very interesting. I'll need to go back to #8 and relisten. For me this was a fantastic exercise as someone who doesn't really focus on organ. I've learned a lot from the listening as well as the many comments, including some of the impressive predictions on what kind of organ was used! That was amazing for me. I could hear there were differences of course, but still, that is an impressive feat. Thanks for including us in this Discobole!!
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Offline Opus106

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2012, 11:23:00 PM »
I've learned a lot from the listening as well as the many comments, including some of the impressive predictions on what kind of organ was used!

I was actually awaiting The Amazing Premont'sTM comments. And even wondered whether this would be a truly 'blind' test for him. :)
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2012, 11:36:04 PM »
About the versions not included in the listening
In particular Michel Chapuis, but I didn't have his (recently republished by United Archives) complete set immediately available when I prepared the listening.
This version was just restocked at Berkshire. I don't know how much it costs to send to France, but it is at least an option.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2012, 08:20:14 AM »
I was actually awaiting The Amazing Premont'sTM comments. And even wondered whether this would be a truly 'blind' test for him. :)

I have heard all the recordings before except the Francis Jacob. But that was years back and not at all recently, and I refrained from a relisten yesterday, as this would be a kind of unsportsmanlike cheating.
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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2012, 08:39:00 AM »
I have heard all the recordings before except the Francis Jacob. But that was years back and not at all recently, and I refrained from a relisten yesterday, as this would be a kind of unsportsmanlike cheating.

Hi all!

I would have loved to join in, but I'm too busy recently.
Couldn't find the time.

All I can add is: I have heard all the recordings before including the Francis Jacob. :P

[.... sneakingly sneaking away .... ;D]

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2012, 09:19:53 AM »
So I chose Foccroulle, Leonhardt, Francis Jacob and Vernet in that order and rejected Marcon and Fagius. Not surprising, except that I use to enjoy Fagius´ Bach more than I enjoyed his fussy BWV 733 yesterday.

Listing to that many versions of the same short piece may actually be confusing, and I agree with Que, that it is necessary to use more time for the listening.

If there is any interest, I might arrange a second half of this entertaining game.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2012, 09:24:19 AM »
All I can add is: I have heard all the recordings before including the Francis Jacob. :P

You are indeed a fortunate man.  ;)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2012, 09:25:13 AM »
You mean, on another piece ?

Yes, certainly.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2012, 09:51:11 AM »
That would be great, definitely count me in 8)

Do you think about another Bach composition, or something else ?

In the first hand I thought of another organ piece by Bach - this would give me the greatest flexibility, e.g. the Dorian P&F or rather the prelude only as the example else would be too long.
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Bulldog

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2012, 09:52:23 AM »
Wow!  I'm really out of step with the group.  I didn't participate in the comparisons, but your least preferred version (Marcon) has been my favorite for a few years now.  I just love the tempo, power and uplifting nature of the interpretation; at peak volume, it knocks my socks off!

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2012, 10:04:51 AM »
..your least preferred version (Marcon) has been my favorite for a few years now.  I just love the tempo, power and uplifting nature of the interpretation;
at peak volume, it knocks my socks off!

Well, I think it sucks (socks if you want).
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Marc

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2012, 10:14:37 AM »
In the first hand I thought of another organ piece by Bach - this would give me the greatest flexibility, e.g. the Dorian P&F or rather the prelude only as the example else would be too long.

What about BWV 562 in C-minor?

BTW, for those who got inspired by this thread:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,638.0.html

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2012, 10:25:16 AM »
What about BWV 562 in C-minor?

Thanks. A good alternative. I have to look up which recordings I own of it.
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2012, 10:47:58 AM »
Thank you for the results, very fascinating to see! I will make sure to purchase the winners sometime in the future... ;)

Looking forward to seeing the Schumann results now!
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Bulldog

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2012, 04:29:56 PM »
Well, I think it sucks (socks if you want).

And I thought you only disliked the tempo and articulation. ;)