Author Topic: J.S. Bach on the Organ  (Read 598340 times)

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Offline hvbias

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3240 on: July 10, 2021, 10:12:28 AM »
I spoiled myself. While I can stream the Kooiman on Aeolus on Spotify in stereo, I like the performances and recordings so much I wanted them in multichannel. The purchase has been worth it. Having 5 channels operating really gives the illusion of being in the church(es). The speakers cannot be located.

This is a very fine set. After hearing it several times and getting familiar with Kooiman's Coronata cycle I'm not 100% certain I'd pass blind tests with some of his students vs himself playing. With the caveat that I am no expert and what mostly stands out to me is articulation, legato, tempo, ornamentation, etc.

I should hear this in surround in our home theater. The recorded stereo sound is extremely good; not overly dry or resonant.

Aeolus is one of the best labels I've heard when it comes to recording organ and harpsichord.

Online Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3241 on: July 10, 2021, 11:14:53 PM »


This is very well recorded and played in the grand manner, extrovert, secular, alert to the counterpoint, tasteful, imaginative interesting registrations sometimes. The Ahrend organ is clean sounding, pure tones, rather bright and fine. The lack of bass response is a weakness IMO, but others may disagree. This is Bach with atheist enlightenment values. A good find IMO.

https://susato.blogspot.com/search?q=Boyer+
« Last Edit: July 10, 2021, 11:34:00 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Elk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3242 on: July 12, 2021, 01:07:23 AM »
This is a very fine set. After hearing it several times and getting familiar with Kooiman's Coronata cycle I'm not 100% certain I'd pass blind tests with some of his students vs himself playing. With the caveat that I am no expert and what mostly stands out to me is articulation, legato, tempo, ornamentation, etc.

I should hear this in surround in our home theater. The recorded stereo sound is extremely good; not overly dry or resonant.

Aeolus is one of the best labels I've heard when it comes to recording organ and harpsichord.

I rarely watch movies though I have a plasma screen connected to what was a dedicated 2 channel system. I wanted to try multichannel, had the speakers, and bought a second hand Denon receiver to drive them after I was fortunate enough to buy a huge CD collection in which there were some 100 multichannel discs (I have added some 40 more). Initially, I wasn't impressed. Adjusting the receiver is a sharp learning curve, and the sound difference seemed subtle. However, now the openness, the sense of space, and the inability to sense the speakers means I often choose a multichannel disc rather than a stereo one though the performance of a piece still trumps all.

All of which, hvbias, is meant to suggest that, by all means, try the Aeolus on your HT system, presuming your player will unload the SACD layer.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 09:24:17 AM by Elk »

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3243 on: July 19, 2021, 03:31:21 AM »
Continuing my Bach/Organ Journey (going linearly through Alain III, then listening to the same piece in Isoir, Weinberger, Alain II). This time Prelude and Fugue BWV 544 in b minor.

What a majestic piece. The prelude is the very best of dark, ominous Bach (befitting the key). It is in ritornello form, with entries of fugato music building up to an imposing, dissonant climax, from which another fugato emerges. The fugue continues in the same mood, but more straightforward in construction, with a theme consisting largely of linear scale motion.

Alain III was satisfying, a bit clamorous in registration for my taste. Isoir a bit more clear in texture. I started out disliking the sound of the organ in Weinberg's recording, but as the prelude unfolded it became more and more convincing. Finally, Alain II was my clear favorite, beautiful organ sonorities, more clarity of line and rhythmic precision than the other options.

As a final comparison I dug out my recording of the piece in the Liszt transcription, recorded by Pizzaro. Wow! What a difference the sonority of the piano makes (along with Liszt's subtle romanticization of the harmony).

This piece seems to have a lower profile than the "named" prelude and fugue pairs, but I think it may be the best in my book. I am thinking of coming back to it soon, perhaps listening to Rubsam's account on Philips, and Leslie Howard's recording of the Liszt transcription.






« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 04:57:39 AM by Spotted Horses »

Offline Elk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3244 on: July 20, 2021, 02:27:45 AM »
I would have to agree that the Bm is Bach's greatest Prelude and Fugue. Over the years, I have bought recordings simply to hear a different interpretation. It's been a long time since I did a comparison such as yours with it. Maybe again...?

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3245 on: July 20, 2021, 02:38:59 AM »
I would have to agree that the Bm is Bach's greatest Prelude and Fugue. Over the years, I have bought recordings simply to hear a different interpretation. It's been a long time since I did a comparison such as yours with it. Maybe again...?

I don't really think of it as a comparison. I had this idea, usually I listen to a complex piece several times in a row, why not swap out the recording each time? This way I get familiar with the music, and get to hear all the recordings gathering dust on my shelves (actually my hard disk).

I was thinking of including Rubsam in the mix, but listening to one of these pieces four times seems to be my limit before fatigue sets in.

Offline Elk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3246 on: July 20, 2021, 06:21:58 AM »
I am very familiar with Bach's organ music, its being a favourite of mine for 45 years, so when I compare, it's usually to find which interpretation, or recording quality, I prefer. I once listened to all 8 versions of the Wedge, BWV 548, in Em, I have in succession. It was a bit much, so I know how you feel. I am amazed by reviewers who can compare many, many versions of a work and sound intelligent. I imagine they have taken notes that they can refer to when reviewing a new one. Anyway, they're impressive.

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3247 on: July 20, 2021, 12:29:12 PM »
For a piece I am very familiar with, to the extent I can bring the music to mind without hearing it, I usually feel satiated after one listen and could never motivate myself to do comparisons. But for a piece I am refamiliarizing myself with I like to listen three or four times, and I find that swapping versions can make the experience more enjoyable.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3248 on: July 20, 2021, 01:45:00 PM »
For a piece I am very familiar with, to the extent I can bring the music to mind without hearing it, I usually feel satiated after one listen and could never motivate myself to do comparisons. But for a piece I am refamiliarizing myself with I like to listen three or four times, and I find that swapping versions can make the experience more enjoyable.

Yes, this is mostly what I do too. With music I am familiar with I so to say never do comparisons, but try to get the most of the recording I listen to - and this includes that I do not even think of other recordings along the way. With music I am unfamiliar with - often medieval and renaissance music and 20th century music - it may be instructive to listen to a few different recordings in a row, if more recordings exist, in order to absorb some different aspects of the music already from the first exposure to it.
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Offline milk

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3249 on: July 30, 2021, 05:52:21 AM »
Samuel Kummer, AOF, anyone? It’s on the Hildebrandt organ. This is new. Sorry, I’m exhausted and too lazy to find the image of it. It’s reviewed over on musicweb this week.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3250 on: July 30, 2021, 07:11:26 AM »
Samuel Kummer, AOF, anyone? It’s on the Hildebrandt organ. This is new. Sorry, I’m exhausted and too lazy to find the image of it. It’s reviewed over on musicweb this week.

On my list. Not acquired yet.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Online Mandryka

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3251 on: July 30, 2021, 07:47:46 AM »
Samuel Kummer, AOF, anyone? It’s on the Hildebrandt organ. This is new. Sorry, I’m exhausted and too lazy to find the image of it. It’s reviewed over on musicweb this week.

Will listen soon (in fact listening now, sounds . . . no, I'm going to bite my tongue for a while.)
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: J.S. Bach on the Organ
« Reply #3252 on: July 30, 2021, 01:03:44 PM »
Samuel Kummer, AOF, anyone? It’s on the Hildebrandt organ. This is new. Sorry, I’m exhausted and too lazy to find the image of it. It’s reviewed over on musicweb this week.

I listened to a lot of clips at JPC's site. Excellent registrations, fine phrasing and impressive sound when considering the size of the organ. But I miss the unshakable calm that this music harbours and hear in many contrapuncti instead an impatient unrest of the same nature as one sometimes hears in Chapuis' and Isoirs Bach -playing.However I shall purchase it because of the organ.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.