Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 635999 times)

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Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1340 on: September 16, 2011, 02:15:22 PM »
[....]
But to day you can not read a word about BWV 565 without facing the claimed fact that it is almost with certainty not by Bach. This is going too far.

Yes. But I doubt if these words are written by (serious) scholars.

More likely by sensation-seeking laymen like yours truly. ;)

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1341 on: September 16, 2011, 03:02:00 PM »
Yes. But I doubt if these words are written by (serious) scholars.

More likely by sensation-seeking laymen like yours truly. ;)

Well, it seems as if Christoph Wolff is the only well known scholar who believes that BWV 565 is an authentic work by Bach.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1342 on: September 17, 2011, 05:47:28 AM »
Of course it is impossible to claim that it is not by Bach. Even a scholar knows this.

Last night I was listening to some selection from the so-called six sonatas for obbligato harpsichord and solo violin" and I found this comment in the brief liner notes of the recording by Byron Schenkman & Ingrid Matthews: "It is easy to think of J.S. Bach in terms of the abstract, mathematical brilliance of his musical mind. But Bach's sense for music was also deeply based in his hands-his own virtuosity as a player and his craftsman's ease with the instruments he touched. With no formal training, he was something of a maverick, forever experimenting with the production of music...".   

Without formal training! I imagine Shulamit Kleinerman (the writer) was expecting that Bach had assisted to Conservatory, with 15 or 20 guys and obtained a diploma in order to don't consider him a sort of "self-taught person". Sometimes scholars need not just some extra dose of common sense, but also some history lessons.

BTW, against the general opinion I think Richard Egarr/Andrew Manze perform one of the best available versions of BWV 1019, with Egarr playing very well the elusive second Allegro for solo harpsichord.

 

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1343 on: September 17, 2011, 07:11:47 AM »
Well, it seems as if Christoph Wolff is the only well known scholar who believes that BWV 565 is an authentic work by Bach.

But I was referring to serious scholars.
Well known isn't the same as serious.
(Although Wolff is very serious, of course. ;))

Wolff's opinion is supported by Ton Koopman, professor in musicology at the University of Leiden (NL), to start with.

And what about the opinion on BWV 565 by Yoshitake Kobayashi, Kirsten Beißwenger, Hans-Joachim Schulze and Jean-Claude Zehnder, to name but a few? I've never heard them say: it's not by Bach. My guess is: they think it's authentic Bach, despite some more or less reasonable doubts.

Since both the NBA (Neue Bach Ausgabe) and the official BWV catalogue have not transported BWV 565 to the Anhang (yet), I reckon that most serious scholars still consider this work as being composed by Bach.

If there's a general conviction that a composition is doubtful and/or spurious, it will be placed in the Anhang II.
If thorough research has proven (with a probability close to certainty) that a work is not by Bach, it's off to Anhang III.

Such is the case with f.i. BWV 567 (not by Bach, subscribed to J.L. Krebs - Anhang III), 576 (most likely not by Bach, composer unknown - Anhang II), 577 (also spurious, composer unknown - Anhang II), BWV 591 (spurious, maybe composed by J.D. Heinichen - Anhang II) and chorales like 692, 693 and 748 (not by Bach, now subscribed to J.G. Walther).

So far, I do not know that this has happened to BWV 565.
The same goes for f.i. BWV 534 and 733, who are also both considered spurious by some scholars, but they're still part of the official catalogue.

OTOH, pieces like BWV 1085 ("O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig") and 1121 (Fantasia in C-minor) were once part of the Anhang (uncertain/spurious) and, since the 80s and 90s, are considered as authentic works by J.S. Bach.

Offline Opus106

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1344 on: September 17, 2011, 07:18:06 AM »
But I was referring to serious scholars.
Well known isn't the same as serious.
(Although Wolff is very serious, of course. ;))

Why the wink? ???
Regards,
Navneeth

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1345 on: September 17, 2011, 08:06:30 AM »
Why the wink? ???

To avoid writing: you know what, Wolff is both!
Well known AND serious!

;) :D ;D

Offline Opus106

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1346 on: September 17, 2011, 08:48:29 AM »
To avoid writing: you know what, Wolff is both!
Well known AND serious!

;) :D ;D

Hm. For a moment there, you made me think that the public face of Bach scholarship wasn't all that well regarded. ;D
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1347 on: September 17, 2011, 11:25:25 AM »
But I was referring to serious scholars.
Well known isn't the same as serious.
(Although Wolff is very serious, of course. ;))

I realise that I should have written well-reputed, as this was what I meant.

Quote from: Marc

And what about the opinion on BWV 565 by Yoshitake Kobayashi, Kirsten Beißwenger, Hans-Joachim Schulze and Jean-Claude Zehnder, to name but a few? I've never heard them say: it's not by Bach. My guess is: they think it's authentic Bach, despite some more or less reasonable doubts.

Since both the NBA (Neue Bach Ausgabe) and the official BWV catalogue have not transported BWV 565 to the Anhang (yet), I reckon that most serious scholars still consider this work as being composed by Bach.

If there's a general conviction that a composition is doubtful and/or spurious, it will be placed in the Anhang II.
If thorough research has proven (with a probability close to certainty) that a work is not by Bach, it's off to Anhang III.

Such is the case with f.i. BWV 567 (not by Bach, subscribed to J.L. Krebs - Anhang III), 576 (most likely not by Bach, composer unknown - Anhang II), 577 (also spurious, composer unknown - Anhang II), BWV 591 (spurious, maybe composed by J.D. Heinichen - Anhang II) and chorales like 692, 693 and 748 (not by Bach, now subscribed to J.G. Walther).

So far, I do not know that this has happened to BWV 565.
The same goes for f.i. BWV 534 and 733, who are also both considered spurious by some scholars, but they're still part of the official catalogue.

OTOH, pieces like BWV 1085 ("O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig") and 1121 (Fantasia in C-minor) were once part of the Anhang (uncertain/spurious) and, since the 80s and 90s, are considered as authentic works by J.S. Bach.

All this is very good, but so far the question of authorship often is unanswered - when cast in doubt - because of the nature of  the sources, stylistic criteria are the only way we have left, when we consider the authenticity of many of Bach´s organ works, excuse me attributed organ works. This is why your and my guesses -  even if we are not are musicologists - may be just as valid as the guess of the most learned scholars.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Bulldog

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1348 on: September 17, 2011, 11:28:11 AM »
BTW, against the general opinion I think Richard Egarr/Andrew Manze perform one of the best available versions of BWV 1019, with Egarr playing very well the elusive second Allegro for solo harpsichord.

Just curious why you refer to the solo Allegro as elusive.

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1349 on: September 17, 2011, 03:15:18 PM »
Just curious why you refer to the solo Allegro as elusive.

I meant that different performers seem to have very different ideas about the “affect” conveyed by this movement. Yesterday, I listened to Egarr, Schenkman, Leonhardt I-II and Butt and all of them offer strikingly different interpretations. Maybe a consequence of the several changes introduced by Bach himself in this work?

karlhenning

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1350 on: September 17, 2011, 05:48:13 PM »
Well, it seems as if Christoph Wolff is the only well known scholar who believes that BWV 565 is an authentic work by Bach.

What's up with this? Have they all taken tainted Kool-Aid?

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1351 on: September 17, 2011, 09:42:22 PM »
All this is very good, but so far the question of authorship often is unanswered - when cast in doubt - because of the nature of  the sources, stylistic criteria are the only way we have left, when we consider the authenticity of many of Bach´s organ works, excuse me attributed organ works.

;D

Quote from: (: premont :)
This is why your and my guesses -  even if we are not are musicologists - may be just as valid as the guess of the most learned scholars.

Well thank you! You make me blush. :-[

What's up with this? Have they all taken tainted Kool-Aid?

Relax. This problem has been drank out already. Mr. Wolff has got a lot of supporters. His house(s) may be too small to invite them all for a Kool-Aid Tasting Party.

Especially if Bach would be the DJ.

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1352 on: September 28, 2011, 01:50:46 PM »


I don't know Jacques Amade and these recordings were not in my book. Any info and/or opinion?



« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 01:53:00 PM by Antoine Marchand »

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1353 on: September 28, 2011, 07:11:27 PM »


I don't know Jacques Amade and these recordings were not in my book. Any info and/or opinion?

About 1 1/2 year ago I borrowed one volume of this set from the library. From what I remember: it's OK, but not something special. During that periode I also listened to Canadien Bernard Lagacé, but I definitely preferred Amade. (Partly caused by the choice of instrument(s).)
In the end though, I decided: not another purchase of another integral for me ;), unless I stumble across a very budget-priced issue.

Here's a more specified opinion about Amade playing Bach, by member listener:

Tempos a bit on the quick side, the organ is a smaller one with reeds and mixtures on all manuals so the counterpoint can be heard. 4 Stops in the pedal 2@16 ft. so the bass is never  cloudy, and the building is not over-resonant.  Over-bright registration over-all, and a somewhat staccato touch.   Nice display of the organ, using Bach works.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1354 on: September 29, 2011, 01:10:59 AM »


I don't know Jacques Amade and these recordings were not in my book. Any info and/or opinion?

Well, I own - I almost wrote of course - his set in the original release. Even if I got it more than one year ago,  I have not worked my way completely through it yet. His style I would describe as straight and efficient and not that deep. Organ or not, of Amade and Lagacé I prefer - contrary to Marc - the more introvert Lagacé.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Offline Geo Dude

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1355 on: October 05, 2011, 06:39:45 PM »
I read through the thread recently; I must say that it was fun to track the conversation between a small amount of members and watch for the occasional interjection by someone new (or simply by an infrequent visitor).  I originally decided to dig through this thread because I was looking to pick up an integral of Bach's organ works.  I'd heard Walcha (second integral) and Rogg in the past but don't recall much about them other than enjoying both, along with some single disc recordings by Biggs and Murray. (The latter put me off of organ listening for several years!)  In the end, after seeing that the Rogg set is OOP and only available for ridiculous prices, I settled on the Walcha.  The second Alain integral seemed a very strong contender given all the great reviews here, but I had a good feeling about the Walcha.  I can always add the Alain to my collection later; I suspect it will be in print for a while.

As soon as I can get some serious listening in I hope to join the conversation.

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1356 on: October 05, 2011, 08:32:26 PM »
I read through the thread recently; I must say that it was fun to track the conversation between a small amount of members and watch for the occasional interjection by someone new (or simply by an infrequent visitor).

Welcome to the thread! :)

Quote from: Geo Dude
As soon as I can get some serious listening in I hope to join the conversation.

Please do!

Offline milk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1357 on: October 16, 2011, 06:55:15 AM »
I'm not sure if I'm getting this right but I thought I read somewhere that some keyboardist said that even without Bach there is enough great harpsichord music to enjoy playing. However, without Bach's organ work he couldn't imagine playing the organ. I don't know whether or not this makes any sense. I spend most of my music-listening hours with Bach. Perhaps I need to devote a little time to the organ works. This is my only Bach organ recording. I've had it in my collection for a while but haven't listened to it much. I have no idea whether or not this is the best one to begin with.

 

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1358 on: October 17, 2011, 06:12:21 AM »
I'm not sure if I'm getting this right but I thought I read somewhere that some keyboardist said that even without Bach there is enough great harpsichord music to enjoy playing. However, without Bach's organ work he couldn't imagine playing the organ. I don't know whether or not this makes any sense. I spend most of my music-listening hours with Bach. Perhaps I need to devote a little time to the organ works. This is my only Bach organ recording. I've had it in my collection for a while but haven't listened to it much. I have no idea whether or not this is the best one to begin with.

 

The one disc (set of 3 discs, to be precise) I recommend everyone who wants to start on Bach organ works (and wishes to hear it) is--without a doubt--this one:


J.S. Bach,
(Important) Organ Works
Karl Richter
DG Originals


Mini-reviews here: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/03/dg-originals-review.html and here:
Best Recordings of 2005 (Re-Issue, No.6) : http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html

Quote
Karl Richter was impressive in pretty much any Bach he did, whether he led his Munich Bach
troupe in oratorios, cantatas, and passions or played the old master's organ works. (That
always and inevitably reminds me of a precious student paper's first sentence I once read:
"Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children. He was an old master of the grand organ.") DG
has collected his Richter's recordings on three discs which include some of the most famous
and important works. The famous, albeit apocryphal, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
(think movie villain in his castle, laughing maniacally), is there, as is my favorite, Prelude and
Fugue, BWV 553 (which has also seen a very smart and catchy orchestration from Arnold
Schoenberg). The booklet here is painfully flimsy. The Silberman Organ in Freiburg and the
Kopenhagen Organ sound magnificent, the resonance of the churches is well caught in these
 recordings from late 1965 through 1979 and Richter plays with verve, with near-Romantic
dedication but also clarity: in short, without fail. The completist, of course, will want to have
all the works and in several versions, but stopping short of that insanity, this might be the
right fix for your Bach organ needs.

P.S. The 2 disc set you have is certainly not a bad one to begin with.  Re-released two years ago for a reason.
The Metzler organ sounds lovely to my ears.  Lacking some non-P&F works, though, and lacking BWV 553 and
the absolutely essential Passacaglia BWV 582.

More importantly: not too much overlap with the Richter disc!


J.S. Bach,
Lots of Preludes & Fugues
Christopher Herrick
Hyperion Dyad
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 12:55:59 PM by jlaurson »

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1359 on: October 17, 2011, 08:19:12 PM »
As much as I'm interested in Jens' opinion, I do not share his enthousiasm for Karl Richter. But that's a matter of personal preferences of course. I don't feel 'at Bach's home' with Richter's style of playing. Too much mechanical sewing machine-like. If you can manage to get hold of single discs by f.i. Lionel Rogg or Marie-Claire Alain, you'd be better suited IMHO.
Or, even better maybe, try to get hold of the recordings on the label 'Arte Nova' by Rainer Oster and Stefan Johannes Bleicher. They recorded nice mixed programmes on good historic organs and did so in a very convincing way.