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Customer Reviews

21
4.7 out of 5 stars
Bach, J.S.: Great Organ Works
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2012
I was really looking forward to an exceptional 2 CD set after reading the reviews here. I was rather disappointed.

I am not an organ scholar nor a classical music critic, so my views are as a lay person with a general interest in many genres of classical music, a lot of listening experience (live and otherwise), and two better-than-average domestic stereo systems.

I was interested to hear distinct tonal differences between the organs played, but for the most part these 1970s analogue Decca recordings do not do justice to the longest stops: all but three pieces have not much hint of anything deeper than a 16ft stop. The mid and treble ranges are clear and forward, but what other reviewers seem to regard as a "room shaking" bass register is probably well above the pitch which I presume these organs actually produce when called upon to do so.

I will not rehash the opinions of others here about the selection of music, or its interpretation, which seems to have managed to achieve something approaching a consensus. My contribution may therefore seem a little one-dimensional, but I felt the shortcomings in this respect needed airing.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2006
Well-judged tempi, good recording, the scholarship you'd expect from Mr Hurford, allied to imaginatively chosen registration. The C Minor Passacaglia & Fugue are particularly good - I've been looking for a sensitive recording of this for ages after dismissing a lot of ponderous versions which start off with the big guns already blazing!
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2005
A wonderful CD- the playing is sublime and the production quality is admirable. The sound is a little overpowering from time to time; you can almost feel the stonework shaking under the tremendous power of the more imposing pieces. This is balanced nicely by a choice of ethereally beautiful interpretations of quieter pieces. An absolute joy.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2008
I have been familiar with Hurford's Bach ever since he recorded his 70's discs in New college Oxford when I was a student. His playing always gives great clarity to the textures and counterpoint, combining thoughtful stop registrations with exciting playing. The choice of instruments is a bonus as they are particularly suited to the playing of Bach. All in all this recording is to be recommended and bound tt be a treat for all enthusiasts.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2009
Here on a a budget 2CD set are all the great Bach organ works beautifully played by Peter Hurford and lovingly recorded by Decca engineers in the 1970s. The remastering is entirely successful and the sound is so clear that the bass tones can quite literally be felt in your feet. These are not organs of Bach's time, though, but full-blooded modern machines - if you seek historical authenticity look elsewhere. My only reservation with this release is the paucity of the liner notes. One and a half pages does not do justice to these masterpieces. There is no biography of Peter Hurford himself nor any elaboration on the many different organs chosen. It's not surprising CD sales are decreasing in favour of cheaper downloads.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2012
This is a wonderful gathering of the glorious Organ music of J S Bach onto a 2xCD collection .The duration of the discs is 146 minutes and 27 seconds and Peter Hurford is the organist.The label is the well respected Decca label .The sound quality is superb and the resonance and power of the music comes across loud and clear on these discs.Disc 1 kicks off with the legendary 'Toccata and Fugue in D minor ',BWV 565.This piece of music is one of my personal favourite pieces ever and this version is the 5th that I have come to own and hear.It is certainly very distinctive from the other versions that I own .At first I wasn't sure how to rate it in comparison with the others but I have grown to appreciate it's uniqueness over repeated plays .

I believe that anyone who is interested in getting to know the Organ music of J S Bach will find a wealth of inspiration within this collection.There are a variety of approaches and their corresponding moods contained here .I have already mentioned the loud,resonant power (as have some of the previous reviewers ) that is displayed here but there are also tender musical moments ;one such piece is the devotional 'Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier', BWV 730.This collection helps to bring to the attention of the listener just why J S Bach is rightly considered as one of THE giants from out of the whole history of music .

I find this collection of his Organ works to be very atmospheric ( great for listening to during a rainy evening !)but also I would like to note that it is music that seems to get better after repeated listenings. In conclusion I will simply recommend this collection wholeheartedly .Happy listening !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
This CD sounds superb, if you have not ever heard this collection of Bach's organ music, then you are in for a treat, buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
As a fan go organ CDs this one made a change in that a lot of the compositions are not the commen ones. Lovely sounds
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on 7 January 2014
I have an eclectic taste in music ranging from 60/70's rock pop to jazz & classical. I can't think of any collection not having a copy of this the Toccata in D Minor is a MASTERPIECE, the other tracks on this CD are also as good.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2012
This is a stunning CD. I am no expert on organ music but the quality of this recording is excellent. It makes very atmospheric music; turn up the volume, close your eyes and imagine you are in a gothic cathedral.
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