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Bach: Organ Works Vol. 7
 
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Bach: Organ Works Vol. 7

13 Mar 2007 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 13 April 2007
  • Label: Challenge Classics
  • Copyright: 2007 Challenge Classics
  • Total Length: 1:02:08
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001IJWC9O
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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By Stephen Midgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Sep 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is another in the splendid series, consisting of nine volumes so far, of Bach's organ works played by the excellent Dutch organist Jacques van Oortmerssen. Each disc contains a well-structured and varied programme of works in different formats, arranged to form a coherent and contrasting recital in concert style. The recordings are made on various late baroque Dutch, German or Scandinavian organs, the present one being on the lovely 1737 Treutmann organ of the Stiftskirche St. Georg, Grauhof in Germany.

The first item is the great Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547, the Prelude fascinating in both melody and rhythm with its 9/8 time signature. The Fugue is one of my favourites, its main theme bearing some resemblance to the opening chorus of Cantata 65 ("Das Leben der Anderen ist uns wohl bekannt", for those who are familiar with theories on Bach's proto-communist leanings). The theme appears more than fifty times in this fugue, but it would be the understatement of the year to say that it still doesn't become a bore. Altogether it's a fantastic work, one of Bach's most magnificent, and here it receives a performance to match.

The following concerto movement in C after Prince Johann Ernst, BWV 595, is an attractive piece offering an extreme contrast to the preceding masterpiece. Next we hear "In dulci jubilo", BWV 729, a short but majestic setting of this often innocuous-seeming Christmas melody. Van Oortmerssen is again on top form on his splendid instrument. This is followed by the peaceful, contemplative Pastorale in F, BWV 590. Then we have another of Bach's great organ masterpieces, the Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733; the passage near the end with the cantus firmus theme in the pedal is overwhelming.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant Bach 12 Sep 2012
By Stephen Midgley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is another in the splendid series, consisting of nine volumes so far, of Bach's organ works played by the excellent Dutch organist Jacques van Oortmerssen. Each disc contains a well-structured and varied programme of works in different formats, arranged to form a coherent and contrasting recital in concert style. The recordings are made on various late baroque Dutch, German or Scandinavian organs, the present one being on the lovely 1737 Treutmann organ of the Stiftskirche St. Georg, Grauhof in Germany.

The first item is the great Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547, the Prelude fascinating in both melody and rhythm with its 9/8 time signature. The Fugue is one of my favourites, its main theme bearing some resemblance to the opening chorus of Cantata 65 ("Das Leben der Anderen ist uns wohl bekannt", for those who are familiar with theories on Bach's proto-communist leanings). The theme appears more than fifty times in this fugue, but it would be the understatement of the year to say that it still doesn't become a bore. Altogether it's a fantastic work, one of Bach's most magnificent, and here it receives a performance to match.

The following concerto movement in C after Prince Johann Ernst, BWV 595, is an attractive piece offering an extreme contrast to the preceding masterpiece. Next we hear "In dulci jubilo", BWV 729, a short but majestic setting of this often innocuous-seeming Christmas melody. Van Oortmerssen is again on top form on his splendid instrument. This is followed by the peaceful, contemplative Pastorale in F, BWV 590. Then we have another of Bach's great organ masterpieces, the Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733; the passage near the end with the cantus firmus theme in the pedal is overwhelming. It's followed by the highly ornamented chorale setting "O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß", BWV 622, further enhanced by the organist's heartfelt performance as well as the beauty of the registrations.

The programme reaches a superb conclusion with the Prelude and Fugue (the latter often known as "St. Anne"), BWV 552, which frames the Clavier-Übung III. Again, the sheer rhetorical drama of the Prelude's opening statement provides a brilliant contrast to the contemplative mood of the foregoing work. The triple Fugue sounds simply magnificent, just as it should, and I especially liked the rather jaunty treatment of the 12/8 section towards the end. Altogether this is a terrific performance of this marvellous work.

Jacques van Oortmerssen, then, is a great Bach player, the organ sounds wonderful and the recording is equally splendid. I would heartily recommend any of the CDs in this series, each one a well-constructed selection that includes some of the finest works of JSB; my other favourites so far are Volumes 4 J.S. Bach: Organ Works, Vol. 4 and 8 Bach: Organ Works, Vol. 8. The booklet has detailed and useful notes on all the works and on the St. Georg organ. Once again, my sincere thanks to another very fine organist, Kimberly Marshall, for recommending to me this brilliant series.
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