Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 648734 times)

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jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1300 on: September 08, 2011, 09:44:14 PM »
Anybody keen on having a particular question answered by Sir Simon Preston and/or Martin Haselböck ?
I'm a bit hesisant with this, cause it's kinda silly question but .... this one has puzzled me since I bought the boxset: why did Sir Simon Preston not include BWV 668(a) in his Bach organ integral? It's a beautiful chorale, and one of Bach's best-known.
(Of course we could also ask: why no Neumeister Chorales, but .... one question is more than enough, I think. :))

I think I can squeeze as many questions in as you could possibly have.
Re: BWV 668 I would hazard a guess, before getting his answer (if he still remembers such decisions, that is): Because it's a.) incomplete and b.) a reworking of BWV 641?

"BWV 653 & 668 – These are two of Bach's collection of eighteen chorale preludes known as the Leipzig Chorales. Actually, they were conceived during Bach's years at Weimar and later revised toward the end of his life. Also, the last piece, BWV 668, was never intended to be part of the cycle and was left incomplete after the first 26 bars."

How do 668 and 668(a) differ, by the way?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 09:57:19 PM by jlaurson »

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1301 on: September 09, 2011, 01:20:12 AM »
I think I can squeeze as many questions in as you could possibly have.
Re: BWV 668 I would hazard a guess, before getting his answer (if he still remembers such decisions, that is): Because it's a.) incomplete and b.) a reworking of BWV 641?

"BWV 653 & 668 – These are two of Bach's collection of eighteen chorale preludes known as the Leipzig Chorales. Actually, they were conceived during Bach's years at Weimar and later revised toward the end of his life. Also, the last piece, BWV 668, was never intended to be part of the cycle and was left incomplete after the first 26 bars."

How do 668 and 668(a) differ, by the way?

Jens, here's a short reaction (I'm at work): I could guess some answers, too, but I'm just curious about Preston's answers.

About the difference between the two versions: maybe this link could be helpful.

http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam033/2001052620.pdf

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1302 on: September 09, 2011, 02:39:12 AM »
Jens, here's a short reaction (I'm at work): I could guess some answers, too, but I'm just curious about Preston's answers.

About the difference between the two versions: maybe this link could be helpful.

http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam033/2001052620.pdf

Thanks much for the link!

His answer was a little fuzzy... Peter Williams, he suggested, was insistent on not including it. Preston thought Williams suggested that because it's apocryphal Bach but more likely Williams objected because of the above-mentioned status.

Wonderfully down-to earth chap, Sir Simon is... one of the more pleasant encounters in the business.

The Neumeister exclusion was more  DG-decision, though... DG wanting the "core organ works", not the complete-complete thing. SSP: "Which is is rather a nice thing, actually"
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 02:41:51 AM by jlaurson »

Offline Opus106

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1303 on: September 09, 2011, 06:06:06 AM »
Thanks much for the link!

Ditto.

Quote
His answer was a little fuzzy... Peter Williams, he suggested, was insistent on not including it. Preston thought Williams suggested that because it's apocryphal Bach but more likely Williams objected because of the above-mentioned status.

Wonderfully down-to earth chap, Sir Simon is... one of the more pleasant encounters in the business.

The Neumeister exclusion was more  DG-decision, though... DG wanting the "core organ works", not the complete-complete thing. SSP: "Which is is rather a nice thing, actually"

Jens, can we expect the interview (assuming it was one) to be up online in the future?
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1304 on: September 09, 2011, 06:09:15 AM »
DG wanting the "core organ works", not the complete-complete thing. SSP: "Which is is rather a nice thing, actually"

Makes nice sense. Actually he also ( in the course of the Bach recordings for DG ) recorded the spurious (?) Eight small preludes and fugues BWV 553 - 560, but even if the recordings are relative good, they were not included in the box-set.
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: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1305 on: September 09, 2011, 07:28:05 AM »
Thanks much for the link!

His answer was a little fuzzy... Peter Williams, he suggested, was insistent on not including it. Preston thought Williams suggested that because it's apocryphal Bach but more likely Williams objected because of the above-mentioned status.

Wonderfully down-to earth chap, Sir Simon is... one of the more pleasant encounters in the business.

The Neumeister exclusion was more  DG-decision, though... DG wanting the "core organ works", not the complete-complete thing. SSP: "Which is is rather a nice thing, actually"

Thanks for the questions & answers!

Jens, can we expect the interview (assuming it was one) to be up online in the future?

That would be nice indeed.

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1306 on: September 09, 2011, 10:59:40 PM »


Funny though, in the booklet it says Eighteen Chorales of Diverse Kinds .... yet Preston delivers seventeen. I want my money back! :P

It's fuzzy indeed, DG's and/or Williams's definition of 'core organ works': if the set f.i. offers both 'core organ works' BWV 620 and 620a of the Orgel-Büchlein (yet no BWV 634 ???), then IMHO, BWV 668 definitely belongs to the 'Leipzig' collection. It's a gem.

But my friends, let's not mourn about this for long, because, AFAIK, other organists did make a recording of it. ;D

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1307 on: September 10, 2011, 01:50:31 AM »
Ditto.

Jens, can we expect the interview (assuming it was one) to be up online in the future?

Well, it was a long morning chat conducted under the pretense of being an interview. But eventually it will make it into proper form and presumably online. Probably not before Q1 2012.
There are a few gems in it so: "Young organists sometimes semi-jokingly ask me: "when will you (finally) quit. You're in the way." What are you looking at me for? Go ask Dame Gillian..."
Or the fact that he has a quasi-family relation to Joseph Jongen, a wonderful composer of string quartets and organ works, both solo and concerto (one).
On the pleasures of recording: "Every three months I get a royalties check which pays for all the gin & tonics. Or bottles of wine, actually. Not consumed all at once, of course."




Funny though, in the booklet it says Eighteen Chorales of Diverse Kinds .... yet Preston delivers seventeen. I want my money back! :P

Do you like the set enough to suggest it's worth adding to a fairly extensive collection of Bach's organ works?
How are the liner notes in this one? (Which might determine the difference between getting a used copy of this and a new one of the budget-re-issue.

Offline Opus106

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1308 on: September 10, 2011, 02:00:10 AM »
Well, it was a long morning chat conducted under the pretense of being an interview. But eventually it will make it into proper form and presumably online. Probably not before Q1 2012.
There are a few gems in it so: "Young organists sometimes semi-jokingly ask me: "when will you (finally) quit. You're in the way." What are you looking at me for? Go ask Dame Gillian..."
Or the fact that he has a quasi-family relation to Joseph Jongen, a wonderful composer of string quartets and organ works, both solo and concerto (one).
On the pleasures of recording: "Every three months I get a royalties check which pays for all the gin & tonics. Or bottles of wine, actually. Not consumed all at once, of course."

Ha! I'll look forward to it.
Regards,
Navneeth

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1309 on: September 10, 2011, 10:05:43 AM »
[about Preston/Bach]
Do you like the set enough to suggest it's worth adding to a fairly extensive collection of Bach's organ works?
How are the liner notes in this one? (Which might determine the difference between getting a used copy of this and a new one of the budget-re-issue.

He doesn't make it into my Top 10, I'm sorry to say.

Here are some earlier comments:

About Preston: he's definitely not my fave in the 'free' works. But he offers some great things in the chorales and the Trio Sonatas, IMO.

Personally, Preston is too superficial to me, and sometimes even annoying. It feels like he's dancing on a nail bed, especially in many non-liturgical works, with the exception btw of the Trio Sonatas.
The best part of his set is m.i. the so-called Orgelmesse, played on the wonderful Joachim Wagner organ (1739-1741) in Trondheim Cathedral, Norway. In general, I have the feeling that as soon as the Almighty, his Son and/or the Holy Ghost are part of a piece, Preston seems to get more inspired. There is also some good stuff in the Orgelbüchlein and the Leipzig Choräle. Pity he did not include BWV 668: 'Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit'.

About the liner notes: they are written by Malcolm Boyd. Not too bad or too short, considering it's a boxset, but still rather general. The nice bonus is .... guess what .... a short interview with Sir Simon. ;)

Dunno about the contents of the cheaper re-issue's booklet.

Probably my fave Bach/Preston recording is the BWV 243a Magnificat he did in the late seventies with the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxhord & The Academy of Ancient Music .... but actually, that's another chapter/thread. :)



http://www.amazon.com/Bach-J-S-Magnificat-Vivaldi-Dominus/dp/B00000135F/
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 10:07:21 AM by Marc »

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1310 on: September 10, 2011, 12:05:08 PM »
For those who like Michel Chapuis in Bach, there's an interesting re-issue at hand, scheduled for release in October 2011:



http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/United%2BArchives/NUA05


Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1311 on: September 10, 2011, 01:26:35 PM »
In my book Chapuis and his strange registrations and nervous, sloppy playing ranks lower than Preston, actually close to the bottom. The only advantage in my ears is the Danish organs he uses (a bit chauvinistic, I know).
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1312 on: September 10, 2011, 02:12:07 PM »
In general, I have the feeling that as soon as the Almighty, his Son and/or the Holy Ghost are part of a piece, Preston seems to get more inspired.

Ironically, he's an atheist.

kishnevi

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1313 on: September 10, 2011, 05:21:36 PM »
I have the budget reissue of the Preston.  The liner notes consist of a three page essay which is essentially a introductory lesson for people not very familiar with Bach's organ works, and an index of titles that cross references to BWV number and CD/track number for the individual piece.  The recording itself is organized essentially by BWV number, starting with the Trio Sonatas on CD 1 and on through the Canonic Variations on Von Himmel Hoch as the last piece of the set.  The only exception is Clavier Ubung III, which is presented as a unit.

Since it's my only complete set of the organ works, I obviously can't compare it to any other integral.  I do have six CDs worth of Rogg, and in general I find Preston is as good as, and often better, than Rogg where I can compare them (particularly in the concertos).

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1314 on: September 14, 2011, 02:03:17 AM »
Got myself a set anyway... after all, I promised to contribute to Preston's Royalty ("Gin & Tonic") checks.


J.S. Bach, The (core) Organ Works
(Sir) Simon Preston
DG - 14 CDs


Not that I paid the silly price for it that used copies go for on Amazon.com...
Amazon.de has used copies (mine was/is absolutely like new) of the original edition (which is prettier and has the slightly better booklet, with pictures of all the organs) for 14 Euros.  Looks like the budget re-issue has had its market push-down effect.  Which I suppose makes my contribution to his imbibement rather indirect... but at that price I didn't (and could allow myself not to) care if it wasn't going to be the best set in my collection. And I really did want to have his Toccata & Fugue & BWV582. Not Bach the former, yes yes, but played on the smallish Klais-built Kreizberg Church Concert Organ (Bonn)

Can the collective forces here help complete a survey of all the more or less complete Bach Organ sets?
The idea is to list

[Artist], [number of cycle (where it applies)] -- [original label], [label it is available on now], [number of CDs in the set (if it is CDs)], [organ/s if known, distinguishing fact], [alternative available releases]

Here's my start, more or less OTOMH:


Marie-Claire Alain I - ??
Marie-Claire Alain II – Erato / Warner, ADD
Marie-Claire Alain III – Erato / Warner, 14CDs, DDD, historic instruments

Lionel Rogg I – EMI, LP only Oryx / Bach Recordings?
Lionel Rogg II – Harmonia Mundi, 12CDs, Arlesheim Silbermann Organ,
Lionel Rogg III – ??

Wolfgang Rübsam I – Philips, 16CDs
Wolfgang Rübsam II – Naxos,

Chapuis -- Valois (United Archives), 14CDs

Olivier Vernet - Ligia Digital, 19CDs, incl. transcriptions & a recital disc.

Koopman I – Novalis, incomplete?
Koopman II – Telarc / Warner, including sung chorales coupled with choral preludes

Preston – DG, 14CDs

Walcha I – Archiv, 10 CDs, mono, incomplete
Walcha II – Archiv, 12 CDs, stereo, 1957-71

Wolfgang Stockmeier, Arts & Music, 20 CDs

Bernard Foccroulle – Ricercar, 16CDs

Silbermann Cycle – Berlin Classics, 15CDs, 10 organists, 12 Silbermann organs   

Gerhard Weinberger – cpo, 22 CDs, complete-complete, including all apocryphal works

Bowyer – Nimbus, 17CDs, also as 8MP3 discs, Marcussen organ of the Sankt Hans Kirke, Odense

Andre Isoir – Calliope, XXCDs,

Peter Huford – Decca, 17 CDs

Bernard Lagacé – Analekta, 22CDs, including non-keyboard works played on the organ

Alessio Corti – Antes, 17 CDs, DDD

Knud Vad – Membran, 18 SACDs,

Walter Kraft – Musical Concepts, 12 CDs,

Fagius – BIS / Brilliant, XXCDs, also as a 5 non-hybrid, non-HR SACD

George Ritchie – Raven Recordings, 11 CDs,

Jean Guillou – Sono Luminus, 6CDs, incomplete + Goldberg Variations, Kleuer organ, Eglise Notre-Dame des Neiges at l’Alpe d’Huez, Kleuker-Steinmeyer organ, Tonhalle in Zurich
[isn’t he a hack/fraud?]

Hänssler collection - 13CDs?? Johannsen, Bryndorf, Lücker

Christopher Herrick – Hyperion, 16CDs,
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 06:44:09 AM by jlaurson »

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1315 on: September 14, 2011, 05:57:56 AM »
Can the collective forces here help complete a survey of all the more or less complete Bach Organ sets?
The idea is to list

[Artist], [number of cycle (where it applies)] -- [original label], [label it is available on now], [number of CDs in the set (if it is CDs)], [organ/s if known, distinguishing fact], [alternative available releases]

An afternoon at Premont's home would respond almost all your questions.  :)

Offline PaulSC

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1316 on: September 14, 2011, 07:00:54 AM »
I'll contribute the two that I own:

Werner Jacob -- EMI 16 CDs
James Kibbie -- free download from http://www.blockmrecords.org/bach/
Musik ist ein unerschöpfliches Meer. — Joseph Riepel

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1317 on: September 14, 2011, 07:40:13 AM »
An afternoon at Premont's home would respond almost all your questions.  :)

You may be right. At least I own all the ones Jens mentions except Alain I (Erato, 25 LP´s Danish neobaroque organs 1959 - ca 1966) and Guillou´s incomplete Dorian set, which I discarded - yes, because he is a fraud. There is another recent and more complete Guillou set, which doesn´t interest me the least.

Other than that I own a handful of sets which Jens doesn´t mention, among which are my favorite Kooiman II.

There  are even a few sets which I haven´t been able to get hold of (Anton Heiller Philips LP early 1950es - never seen on CD and Michael Radulescu on a small French label, the name of which I do not recall from the top of my head).
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: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1318 on: September 14, 2011, 10:07:20 AM »
Jens, check out this link:

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/Organ-Complete.htm

There are some little mistakes or missing updates on this page. For instance: David Sanger won't complete his 'in progress' set, because he died in 2010.

And I know that there are some Dutch organists doing another complete Bach, yet on very small local labels. (Pity.)
Like Eric Koevoets, who's working on a live integral (like Knud Vad) and Cor Ardesch, a former pupil of Piet Kee, who's working on a fine (IMO so far) integral.

These are the boxsets I own (so far). Apart from Fagius I collected them all from spring 2009 .... I know, I'm a monomaniac lunatic. ;D

To begin with: a very interesting boxset with recordings from the 60s (more or less), by several organists on (mostly) non-restored Silbermann organs (Berlin Classics)
Alain II
Alain III
Beekman
Bowyer
Corti
Fagius
Foccroulle
Hurford
Isoir
Jacob
Kibbie
Kooiman 2 (Coronata)
Koopman
Kraft
Preston
Ritchie
Rogg 2
Rübsam (Philips)
Rübsam (Naxos)
Stockmeier
Vad
Vernet
Walcha (mono)
Walcha (stereo)
Weinberger

Plus: slowly collecting Ardesch (as mentioned), Herrick and Van Oortmerssen.
Plus: some of the volumes of the Hänssler set.
Plus: 14 discs of an unfinished integral by Piet Wiersma, who died just hours after recording a heartfelt performance of BWV 562 (only the Fantasia). If I remember well, I uploaded it somewhere in this thread.

I know it's ridiculous, this collecting madness, and maybe I will slow down the upcoming years. :P

If I had to sell them because of total poverty, I would try to keep at least these 5 sets: Beekman, Kooiman 2, Alain 2, Corti and Foccroulle. With apologies to all the others, because there are gems in each and every integral. And there are also many gems to find with the non-integral performers. Some of those were mentioned in the first post of this thread by a certain mr. .... Premont. ;)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 10:10:32 AM by Marc »

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1319 on: September 14, 2011, 01:45:36 PM »
Jens, check out this link:

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/Organ-Complete.htm

Perfect!


Quote
Rübsam (Philips)
Rübsam (Naxos)

If I had to sell them because of total poverty, I would try to keep at least these 5 sets: Beekman, Kooiman 2, Alain 2, Corti and Foccroulle.
[/quote]

Premont, you:

Comments on Ruebsam -- Philips vs. Naxos? In-and-of-itself?


 Beekman & Kooiman 2 are local Dutch stuff, not available as sets, nor via the standard sellers... either hard or impossible to get... correct? I wonder whoever has the rights to these labels and whether they merited being brought out as a set on a 'proper', good record label. I'm sure something could be worked in that direction, if the masters are free to have.
What makes Corti & Foccroulle so good?
I actually like Rogg II. But favorites are Alain II, Walcha II, Koopman II.

Vernet, which I've listened to again over the last few days (inspired, of sorts, by the ARD Organ competition): I don't actually like in the first few CDs... but he does come around on a few discs. The other one I'm listening to is the just-acquired Preston, which has highlights among the non-Bach Toccata & Fugue and the Passacaglia... but otherwise is unvaried and not yet an eye-brow raiser. I like Bowyer's Organ Mass, but not much of the rest... Weinberger and Stockmeier have their moments, but are dry and academic more often than not. Don't remember much of Fagius. Alain III is on the list, Hurford I've enjoyed the "Greatest Hits" in a superficial sort of way... and I have a few
What I have of Isoir--except the Art of the Fugue, which I love--didn't make me seek out the whole shabang.
The Clavierübung Chorales with Christopher Herrick is also fuzzy in the memory... I see he's "missing" from your peversely comprehensive list (even if it doesn't match premont's). Any reason, other than it being OOP now and probably still expensive in 2009?