Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 637615 times)

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kishnevi

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1360 on: October 18, 2011, 12:09:41 PM »
I'll contribute the two that I own:


James Kibbie -- free download from http://www.blockmrecords.org/bach/

Thank you for the tip: I downloaded about two thirds of this today, and listened to some of the tracks just now, and will download the rest the next time I'm at the library (dial up is not made for downloading).  It's not a replacement for the better known sets, but it might be a useful introduction to someone who's not very familiar with the organ works.
Only real drawbacks are 1) while the files are organized by categories--so all the Trio Sonatas are  in one ZIP folder, the Preludes and Fugues in a second, the Schubler Chorales in another, etc.--once each folder is unzipped, you are faced with tracks identified only by BWV number, which means if you want to look up a particular work, you'll need a BWV listing handy.  2)the files are playable on computer (I used VLC Media Player, and apparently they can also be played with ITunes) as is, but with WMP, and would need to have a format conversion and then manually burned to CDs if you want to play it on a CD player.

Speaking of Herrick, his recording of the Neuminster Chorales was (as of yesterday at least) on Hyperion's Buy Me! page at about half price--that's Hyperion's bargain basement page for works that haven't been bought in the loooongest time.  (But it's literally first come first serve--if one of you does buy it, it drops off the page and goes back to normal pricing for everyone else.)  Go to Hyperion's website and look for the "Buy Me!" page if interested.

Offline milk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1361 on: October 19, 2011, 05:47:36 AM »
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

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

Thanks for your comment and thanks to the moderator for moving my post to the proper place. I've got the Herrick recording on my headphones as I write.
I'm multitasking: I'm also looking at the Richter recording on itunes. Well, I'm beginning to enjoy Bach's organ works.
I think this Richter recording may be my next purchase - unless I see strong arguments to go in another direction.
Thanks for the recommendation. I've been having a good time with the Herrick recording. The production is wonderful. Still, I have to admit that I'm going slow.
 I find myself taking in one pair of compositions (Fantasy/fugue; Prelude/fugue) at a time and then doing something else.

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1362 on: October 19, 2011, 06:51:59 AM »
As soon as I can get some serious listening in I hope to join the conversation.

You did it already!  :)

BTW, if I conserved just two integral recordings of Bach's organ music (God forbid!), I think they would be Walcha's second and Alain's second.

Offline milk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1363 on: October 19, 2011, 07:29:44 AM »
Well now I have something else to channel my OCD into. I've been sitting up reading this thread and downloading a smattering of organ music: Biggs, Weinberger, Walcha, Rogg...Taking
bulldog's opinion into consideration, I threw some Leipzig chorals into the mix (Walcha and Weinberger)! I've gotta say, I do love the Herrick recording I mentioned earlier.

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1364 on: October 19, 2011, 07:54:35 AM »

Thanks for the recommendation. I've been having a good time with the Herrick recording. The production is wonderful. Still, I have to admit that I'm going slow.
 I find myself taking in one pair of compositions (Fantasy/fugue; Prelude/fugue) at a time and then doing something else.

Do take it slow! It's the best way. Enjoy the ride, which needn't be fast to get you places.

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1365 on: October 19, 2011, 08:31:33 AM »
Well now I have something else to channel my OCD into. I've been sitting up reading this thread and downloading a smattering of organ music: Biggs, Weinberger, Walcha, Rogg...
Taking bulldog's opinion into consideration, I threw some Leipzig chorals into the mix (Walcha and Weinberger)! I've gotta say, I do love the Herrick recording I mentioned earlier.

Beware of getting into true organ mood!
Before you know it you're hooked!

I began my serious organ travelling around early 2009 .... and now I'm a total junkie. :'(

Today I listened to the Schnitger/Timpe organ in the Der Aa Kerk in Groningen, NL. This beauty had been silent for 15 years until last weekend.
This afternoon, Jelte Hulzebos gave a great recital with Bach's Prelude & Fugue in B-minor BWV 544 as Grande Finale. Yummie!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 08:35:05 AM by Marc »

Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1366 on: November 12, 2011, 11:38:48 AM »
[....]
One of my favourite chorale arrangement compositions for organ is BWV 686 Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir, which belongs to the Third Part of Bach's Clavier-Übung. It gives me the shivers.
Ton Koopman's performance, played on the great Silbermann organ of the Freiberger Dom, is very impressive.
[....]

Mandatory ;) listening to this deeply moving piece tomorrow, since it's the 21st Sunday after Trinity ....

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1367 on: November 12, 2011, 02:14:11 PM »
The imputation upon the d minor Toccata & Fugue of spuriousness still annoys, rather.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1368 on: November 12, 2011, 02:23:42 PM »
The imputation upon the d minor Toccata & Fugue of spuriousness still annoys, rather.

Did Yoda hijack karlhenning's account?
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jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1369 on: November 12, 2011, 02:28:11 PM »
What annoys you about it, Karl?

It's as much Bach as the "Italian Concerto" or several other of the keyboard works based on italianate concertos.

Bach messing with stuff that others wrote always comes out as something that is essentially more Bach than anyone else. Even--miraculously--if he changes few (if any) notes. In that sense, the Toccata & Fugue as an organ piece is still totally Bach!

(does that help?)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 02:53:28 PM by jlaurson »

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1370 on: November 12, 2011, 02:47:02 PM »
What annoys you about it, Karl?

It's as much Bach as the "Italian Concerto" or several other of the keyboard works based on italianate concertos.

Bach messing with stuff that others wrote always comes out as something that is essentially more Bach than anyone else. Even--miraculously--if he changes few (if any) notes. In that sense, the Toccata & Fugue as an organ piece is still totally Bach!

(does that help?)

Sorry, Jens, but that doesn't make any sense at all.

The Italian Concerto (Concerto nach Italienischem Gusto) is an original Bach composition, published by him as his Clavier Übung II, while the Toccata & Fugue in D minor would supposedly be just a wrong attribution, a spurious composition (what, btw, I don't believe).

jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1371 on: November 12, 2011, 02:52:16 PM »
Sorry, Jens, but that doesn't make any sense at all.

The Italian Concerto (Concerto nach Italienischem Gusto) is an original Bach composition, published by him as his Clavier Übung II, while the Toccata & Fugue in D minor would supposedly be just a wrong attribution, a spurious composition (what, btw, I don't believe).

The Italian Concerto is presumably an original composition after a composite, real, or possibly non-existent concerto of an Italian Composer... at least a figmentary concerto in the 'Italian Style'.  Let it be all-Bach... then just skip over to one of the many Vivaldi or Marcelli et al. concertos that Bach took and turned into brilliant perfectly Bachian solo keyboard works. (I've amended above post, in any case. There are plenty other examples that make my point. )

The Toccata & Fugue is NOT a wrong attribution. It is an organ piece based on a piece that is NOT for organ but also not by Bach. And that you may believe or not, but it's the accepted and by now perfectly uncontroversial orthodoxy of Bach research.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 02:55:17 PM by jlaurson »

Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1372 on: November 12, 2011, 03:21:19 PM »
The Italian Concerto is presumably an original composition after a composite, real, or possibly non-existent concerto of an Italian Composer... at least a figmentary concerto in the 'Italian Style'.  Let it be all-Bach... then just skip over to one of the many Vivaldi or Marcelli et al. concertos that Bach took and turned into brilliant perfectly Bachian solo keyboard works. (I've amended above post, in any case. There are plenty other examples that make my point. )
I have never read any hypothesis like yours. The Italian Concerto is a work 100% by Bach and its declared purpose is to get the effect, the illusion of a complete Italian concerto for strings, but performed from the keyboard, as a sort of keyboard reduction. This imitative aspect is precisely the genial idea behind this work. It maybe existed as a real Italian Concerto for strings by Bach himself, but there are not proofs about it.

The Toccata & Fugue is NOT a wrong attribution. It is an organ piece based on a piece that is NOT for organ but also not by Bach. And that you may believe or not, but it's the accepted and by now perfectly uncontroversial orthodoxy of Bach research.
There is nothing "perfectly uncontroversial" about this. In 1980 or 1981 Peter Williams hypothesized that, maybe, the Toccata & Fugue wasn't originally an organ piece, but a piece for violin or other instrument because of certain anomalous features for an organ piece. But the question about Bach's authorship remains the same. Even some violinists who have recorded the "violin reconstruction" (like Manze), think that this is not a Bach composition (you can read the liner notes of his recording). 


« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 03:31:44 PM by Antoine Marchand »

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1373 on: November 13, 2011, 03:18:24 AM »
In 1980 or 1981 Peter Williams hypothesized that, maybe, the Toccata & Fugue wasn't originally an organ piece, but a piece for violin or other instrument because of certain anomalous features for an organ piece. But the question about Bach's authorship remains the same.

Possibly the original (supposed) violin fugue was not by Bach, but I have got a strong feeling that the organ arrangement was made by (a very young) Bach. and possibly the introductory toccata as well as the concluding toccata section were added by Bach, when he arranged the fugue for organ. He also rewrote the fugue rather much, f.i. turning some of the sequential figuration episodes into something very Bachian.
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jlaurson

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1374 on: November 13, 2011, 03:43:32 AM »
...
There is nothing "perfectly uncontroversial" about this... the question about Bach's authorship remains the same. Even some violinists who have recorded the "violin reconstruction" (like Manze), think that this is not a Bach composition (you can read the liner notes of his recording).

Did you mean to type "...think that is a Bach composition"?

Incidentally I've brushed on the topic about the T&F with Manze not so long ago and if he thought that it was Bach after all, he certainly didn't give any hint that that's what he believed. Simon Preston -- and although I might not necessarily cite him as a authoritative Bach scholar you'd think he'd know a thing or two about it -- made no effort trying to somehow 'salvage' the T&F as 'original-Bach-all-the-way'.
If there is any resistance to the notion of T&F being an organ transcription based on a non-Bach work, it's only because of the emotional attachment that has been built with that piece over the last 80 years, and how it became the Hollywood-idea of 'quintessential' Bach.

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1375 on: November 13, 2011, 04:03:52 AM »
If there is any resistance to the notion of T&F being an organ transcription based on a non-Bach work, it's only because of the emotional attachment that has been built with that piece over the last 80 years, and how it became the Hollywood-idea of 'quintessential' Bach.

Considerations like these have no weight as to me.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 04:08:24 AM by (: premont :) »
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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1376 on: November 13, 2011, 04:55:17 AM »
Possibly the original (supposed) violin fugue was not by Bach, but I have got a strong feeling that the organ arrangement was made by (a very young) Bach. and possibly the introductory toccata as well as the concluding toccata section were added by Bach, when he arranged the fugue for organ. He also rewrote the fugue rather much, f.i. turning some of the sequential figuration episodes into something very Bachian.

All very tenable.

What I find vexatious is not the hypothesis, but the methodology. The brief remark in a CD booklet to which I allude is one of those borderline-dishonest remarks which takes it as somehow established that the piece is spurious (and it is put that simply).  My point is, is this documented at all?  Or is it solely speculative?  It's disappointing enough when a fellow chattering on the internet doesn't know what a fact is, but a red flag is raised when this intellectual softness creeps into the in-print medium (and CD booklets are the marches of in-print).
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Marc

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1377 on: November 13, 2011, 07:41:57 AM »
Karl, I suppose you are referring to the booklet of Marie-Claire Alain's 2nd integral. This text is just a small general synopsis about Bach's organ works.

If you really want to dig into the problem, here are some suggestions (some are in German):

P. Williams, "BWV 565: a Toccata in D minor for organ by J. S. Bach?". In: Early Music Vol. 9, July 1981.
D. Humphreys, "The D Minor Toccata BWV 565". In: Early Music Vol. 10, 1982, No. 2.
A. Dürr, "Authenticity of Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Toccata und Fuge d-moll BWV 565' - a comment". In: Musik und Kirche Vol. 66, No. 5, September/October 1996.
R.D. Claus, Zur Echtheit von Toccata und Fuge d-moll BWV 565. Verlag Dohr, 2nd ed. Cologne, 1998 (German).
Chr. Wolff, "Zum norddeutschen Kontext der Orgelmusik des jugendlichen Bach: Das Scheinproblem der Toccata d-Moll BWV 565". In: Bach, Lübeck und die norddeutsche Musiktradition. Edited by Wolfgang Sandberger. Kassel, 2002.
P. Williams, The Organ Music of J. S. Bach. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
E.L. Altschuler, "Were Bach's Toccata and Fugue BWV 565 and the Ciacconia from BCW 1004 Lute Pieces?". In: The Musical Times Vol. 146, No. 1893, 2005.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 07:43:28 AM by Marc »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1378 on: November 13, 2011, 07:48:45 AM »
Thanks. Offhand, do you know what source documents from Bach's time are used in support of the contention that the piece is "spurious"?
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #1379 on: November 13, 2011, 08:04:57 AM »
Possibly the original (supposed) violin fugue was not by Bach, but I have got a strong feeling that the organ arrangement was made by (a very young) Bach. and possibly the introductory toccata as well as the concluding toccata section were added by Bach, when he arranged the fugue for organ. He also rewrote the fugue rather much, f.i. turning some of the sequential figuration episodes into something very Bachian.

Well, I tend to easily accept an explanation like yours because you're aware that it's merely conjectural and you don't pretend it's a pacific matter.

Anyway, as logical judgement your explanation recalls me the “Ockham's Razor”. Do you remember this principle? It's the principle proposed by William of Ockham in the fourteenth century: Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which translates as “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily". 

To explain the authorship of the Toccata & Fugue for organ as a Bach transcription/composition, this explanation creates, at least, two new uncertain entities: (1) a supposedly (and lost) original for violin (by Bach) and (2) a supposedly original violin fugue by another (and unknown) composer, also lost.

That's the reason why I simply prefer to accept the Toccata & Fugue as a composition of a very young Bach, based on the traditional attribution (which is not a minor argument, IMO) and its striking and powerful "personality" as an organ piece (which is lost to a large extent as a composition for violin).  :)