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Complete Works For Organ (Alain) Box set

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (13 Oct. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 14
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000005ECW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 607,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prld & Fuge in e, BWV 548: Praludium
  2. Prld & Fuge in e, BWV 548: Fuge
  3. Choral: An Wasserflussen Babylon..., BWV 653
  4. Choral: Von Gott will ich nicht lassen..., BWV 658
  5. Choral: Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele..., BWV 654
  6. Prld & Fuge in b, BWV 544: Praludium
  7. Prld & Fuge in b, BWV 544: Fuge
  8. Drei Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr'...: Cantus firmus im Sopran, BWV 662
  9. Drei Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr'...: Cantus firmus im Tenor, BWV 663
  10. Drei Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr'...: Trio, BWV 664

Disc: 2

  1. Toccata (Dorisch) & Fuge in d, BWV 538: Toccata
  2. Toccata (Dorisch) & Fuge in d, BWV 538: Fuge
  3. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 618: O Lamm Gottes unschuldig
  4. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 619: Christe, du Lamm Gottes
  5. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 620: Christus, der uns selig macht
  6. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 621: Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund
  7. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 622: O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sunde groß
  8. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 623: Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ
  9. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 624: Hilf Gott, daß mir's gelinge
  10. Prld & Fuge in g, BWV 535: Prld
  11. Prld & Fuge in g, BWV 535: Fuge
  12. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 625: Christ lag in Todesbanden
  13. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 626: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland
  14. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 627: Christ ist erstanden (3 vers)
  15. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 628: Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ
  16. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 629: Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag
  17. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 630: Heut' triumphiret Gottes Sohn
  18. Toccata & Fuge in C, BWV 566: Toccata
  19. Toccata & Fuge in C, BWV 566: Fuge
  20. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 631: Komm, Gott Schopfer, heilieger Geist
  21. Orgelbuchlein, BWV 632: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend

Disc: 3

  1. Prld & Fuge in C, BWV 545: Prld
  2. Prld & Fuge in C, BWV 545: Fuge
  3. Fuge in G, BWV 577
  4. Prld & Fuge in d, BWV 539: Prld
  5. Prld & Fuge in d, BWV 539: Fuge
  6. Choral: Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 694
  7. Partita sopra: O Gott, du frommer Gott, BWV 767
  8. Choral: Wir Christenleut hab'n jetzund Freud, BWV 710
  9. Alla Breve in D, BWV 589
  10. Canzona in d, BWV 588
  11. Fuge in c, BWV 575
  12. Fuga sopra il Magnificat: Meine Seele erhebet den Herren, BWV 733
  13. Kleines harmonisches Labyrinth (Introitus, Centrum, Exitus), BWV 591
  14. Prld & Fuge in a, BWV 551: Prld
  15. Prld & Fuge in a, BWV 551: Fuge

Disc: 4

  1. Prld & Fuge in e, BWV 533: Prld
  2. Prld & Fuge in e, BWV 533: Fuge
  3. Chorale: Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein, BWV 734
  4. Chorale: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 730
  5. Chorale: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731
  6. Chorale: In dulci jubilo, BWV 729
  7. Chorale: Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727
  8. Prld & Fuge in C, BWV 531: Prld
  9. Prld & Fuge in C, BWV 531: Fuge
  10. Chorale: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV726
  11. Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh'sei Ehr' (Bicinium), BWV 711
  12. Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh'sei Ehr', BWV 715
  13. Chorale: Fuga super Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr', BWV 716
  14. Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr' (manualiter), BWV 717
  15. Chorale: Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 718
  16. Chorale: Ach Gott und Herr (per canonem), BWV 714
  17. Fantasia con imitazione in b, BWV 563
  18. Chorale: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 722
  19. Chorale: Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 724
  20. Chorale: Jesus, meine Zuversicht, BWV 728
  21. Chorale: Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, BWV 732
  22. Chorale: Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 737
  23. Chorale: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm'ich her, BWV 738
  24. Chorale: Wie schon leuchter der Morgenstern, BWV 739
  25. Chorale: Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, BWV 765
  26. Chorale: Herr Gott, dich loben wir, BWV 725

Disc: 5

  1. Prld & Fuge in c: Prld
  2. Prld & Fuge in c: Fuge
  3. Chorale: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 709
  4. Chorale: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 706 (1+2)
  5. Chorale: Erbarm' dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721
  6. Chorale: Wer nur den lieben Gott laßt walten, BWV 690
  7. Chorale: Wer nur den lieben Gott laßt walten, BWV 691
  8. Chorale: Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 695
  9. Prld & Fuge in c: Prld
  10. Prld & Fuge in c: Fuge
  11. Partita: sopra Christ, der du bist der helle Tag, BWV 766
  12. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 696
  13. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 697
  14. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes Sohn, BWV 698
  15. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Nun komm'der Heiden Heiland, BWV 699
  16. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Von Himmel hoch da komm' ich her, BWV 701
  17. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 703
  18. Sieben Fughetten Fur Die Weinachtszeit: Lob sei dem allmachtigen Gott, BWV 704
  19. Choral: Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her, BWV 700
  20. Fuge in b uber ein Theme von Corelli, BWV 579
  21. Fantasia: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 713
  22. Choral: In dich hab' ich gehoffet, Herr, BWV 712

Disc: 6

  1. Prld & Fuge in C, BWV 547: Prld
  2. Prld & Fuge in C, BWV 547: Fuge
  3. Canonic Vars: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her, BWV 769
  4. Clavier Ubung Dritter Teil: Prld in E flat, BWV 552
  5. Chorale: Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, BWV 669
  6. Chorale: Christe, aller Welt Trost, BWV 670
  7. Chorale: Kyrie, Gott heilinger Geist, BWV 671
  8. Chorale: Kyrie, gott Vater in Ewigkeit (manualiter), BWV 672
  9. Chorale: Christe, aller Welt Trost (manualiter), BWV 673
  10. Chorale: Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist (manualiter), BWV 674
  11. Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr', BWV 675
  12. Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr', BWV 676
  13. Chorale: Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr' (Fughetta), BWV 677
  14. Chorale: Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot, BWV 678
  15. Chorale: Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot (Fughetta), BWV 679

Disc: 7

  1. Chorale: Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, BWV 680
  2. Chorale: Wir glauben all' an einen Gott (Fughetta) (manualiter), BWV 681
  3. Chorale: Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 682
  4. Chorale: Vater unser im Himmelreich (manualiter), BMV 683
  5. Chorale: Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam, BWV 684
  6. Chorale: Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam (manualiter), BWV 685
  7. Chorale: Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir, BWV 686
  8. Chorale: Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (manualiter), BWV 687
  9. Chorale: Jesu Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 688
  10. Chorale: Jesu Christus, unser Heiland (Fuga) (manualiter), BWV 689
  11. Vier Duette: Duetto I, BWV 802
  12. Vier Duette: Duetto II, BWV 803
  13. Vier Duette: Duetto III, BWV 804
  14. Vier Duette: Duetto IV, BWV 805
  15. Fuge in E flat, BWV 552
  16. Chorale: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend' (Trio), BWV 655
  17. Chorale: Vor Deinen Thron tret' ich, BWV 668

Disc: 8

  1. Prld & Fuge in c, BWV 546: Prld
  2. Prld & Fuge in c, BWV 546: Fuge
  3. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 633
  4. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 634
  5. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Dies sind die heil' gen zehn Gebott, BWV 635
  6. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 636
  7. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Durch Adam's Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 637
  8. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV 638
  9. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
  10. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Ich dich hab'ich gehoffet, Herr, BWV 640
  11. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Wenn wir in hochsten Noten sein, BWV 641
  12. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Wer nur den lieben Gott laßt walten, BWV 642
  13. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Alle Menschen mussen sterben, BWV 643
  14. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Ach wie nichtig, ach, wir fluchtig, BWV 644
  15. Partita Sopra: Sei gregrußet, Jesu gutig, BWV 768
  16. Prld & Fuge in f, BWV 534: Prld
  17. Prld & Fuge in f, BWV 534: Fuge
  18. Fant in C, BWV 570

Disc: 9

  1. Piece d'Orgue in G, BWV 572: Tres vitement-Gravement-Lentement
  2. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599
  3. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 600
  4. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Herr Christ, der ein' ge Gottes Sohn, BWV 601
  5. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Los sei dem allmachtigen Gott, BWV 602
  6. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603
  7. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Gelobt seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 604
  8. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 605
  9. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her, BWV 606
  10. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar, BWV 607
  11. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: In dulci jubilo, BWV 608
  12. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, BWV 609
  13. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 610
  14. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 611
  15. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Wir Christenleut, BWV 612
  16. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Helft mir, Gootes Gute preisen, BWV 613
  17. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614
  18. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: In dir ist Freude, BWV 615
  19. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Mir Fried' und Freud' ich fahr' dahin, BWV 616
  20. Orgelbuchlein: Chorale: Herr Gott, nun schleuß den Himmel auf, BWV 617
  21. Fant in c, BWV 562
  22. Choral: Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, Vater, BWV 740
  23. Fant: Super Valet will ich dir geben, BWV 735
  24. Choral: Valet will ich dir geben, BWV 736
  25. Fuge uber ein Thema von Giovanni Legrenzi in c, BWV 574

Disc: 10

  1. Prld & Fuge, BWV 532: Prld
  2. Prld & Fuge, BWV 532: Fuge
  3. Trio in d, BWV 656
  4. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 656
  5. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659
  6. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Trio super 'Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 660
  7. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland' in organo pleno, BWV 661
  8. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Fantasia super Komm, heiliger Geist, BWV 651
  9. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Komm, heiliger Geist, BWV 652
  10. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657
  11. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 665
  12. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 666
  13. Orgelchorale aus Achtzehn Chorale: Komm, Gott Schopfer, BWV 667

Disc: 11

  1. Konzert in a, BWV 593: Allegro
  2. Konzert in a, BWV 593: Adagio
  3. Konzert in a, BWV 593: Allegro
  4. Konzert in d, BWV 596: (Allegro)-Grave-Fuga
  5. Konzert in d, BWV 596: Largo
  6. Konzert in d, BWV 596: Finale
  7. Konzert in C, BWV 594: (Allegro)
  8. Konzert in C, BWV 594: Rezitativ Adagio
  9. Konzert in C, BWV 594: Allegro
  10. Konzert in G, BWV 592: (Allegro)
  11. Konzert in G, BWV 592: Grave (Adagio)
  12. Konzert in G, BWV 592: Presto (assai)
  13. Konzert in C, BWV 595: (Allegro)
  14. Aria in F, BWV 587
  15. Prld & Fuge in A, BWV 536: Prld
  16. Prld & Fuge in A, BWV 536: Fuge
  17. Choral: An Wasserflussen Babylon, BWV 653b
  18. Prld & Fuge in G, BWV 550: Prld
  19. Prld & Fuge in G, BWV 550: Fuge
  20. Trio in g, BWV 584

Disc: 12

  1. Toccata in d, BWV 565
  2. Toccate & Fuge in F, BWV 540: Toccata
  3. Toccate & Fuge in F, BWV 540: Fuge
  4. Prld (Fant) & Fuge in g, BWV 542: Prld
  5. Prld (Fant) & Fuge in g, BWV 542: Fuge
  6. Pastorella, BWV 590: 1
  7. Pastorella, BWV 590: 2
  8. Pastorella, BWV 590: 3
  9. Pastorella, BWV 590: 4
  10. Prld & Fuge in a, BWV 543: Prld
  11. Prld & Fuge in a, BWV 543: Fuge
  12. Toccata in C, BWV 564: Toccata
  13. Toccata in C, BWV 564: Adagio
  14. Toccata in C, BWV 564: Fuge

Disc: 13

  1. Son I in E flat, BWV 525: Allegro moderato
  2. Son I in E flat, BWV 525: Adagio
  3. Son I in E flat, BWV 525: Allegro
  4. Son II in c, BWV 526: Vivace
  5. Son II in c, BWV 526: Largo
  6. Son II in c, BWV 526: Allegro
  7. Son III in d, BWV 527: Andante
  8. Son III in d, BWV 527: Adagio e dolce
  9. Son III in d, BWV 527: Vivace
  10. Son IV in e, BWV 528: Adagio
  11. Son IV in e, BWV 528: Andante
  12. Son IV in e, BWV 528: Un poco allegro
  13. Son V in C, BWV 529: Allegro
  14. Son V in C, BWV 529: Largo
  15. Son V in C, BWV 529: Allegro
  16. Son VI in G, BWV 530: Vivace
  17. Son VI in G, BWV 530: Lento
  18. Son VI in G, BWV 530: Allegro

Disc: 14

  1. Passacaglia E Tema Fugatum in c, BWV 582
  2. Sechs Chorale von Verschiedener Art (Schubler-Chorale), BWV 645: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
  3. Sechs Chorale von Verschiedener Art (Schubler-Chorale), BWV 646: Wo soll ich fliehen hin
  4. Sechs Chorale von Verschiedener Art (Schubler-Chorale), BWV 647: Wer nur den lieben Gott laßt...
  5. Sechs Chorale von Verschiedener Art (Schubler-Chorale), BWV 648: Meine Seele erhebet den Herren
  6. Sechs Chorale von Verschiedener Art (Schubler-Chorale), BWV 649: Ach, bleib' bei uns
  7. Sechs Chorale von Verschiedener Art (Schubler-Chorale), BWV 650: Kommst du nun, Jesu...
  8. Fuge in g, BWV 578
  9. Prld & Fuge in g, BWV 541: Prld
  10. Prld & Fuge in g, BWV 541: Fuge
  11. Choral: Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 720
  12. Prld in G, BWV 568
  13. Adagio, BWV 1027: Adagio
  14. Adagio, BWV 1027: Allegro moderato (trio) (1027a)
  15. Ricercare a 6 (aus Das musikalische Opfer), BWV 1079-5
  16. Prld in a, BWV 569

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

This is Alain's mature version of Bach. She had previously recorded the complete Bach works twice. This version was, according to herself, determined by the availability of historical organs contemporary with Bach. Those organs are not as easily played as the moderns 'baroque' instruments and must be played more slowly. Also, many of the historical organs are not as well kept as would be desirable.
Even so, Marie Claire Alain shows complete mastery of this music. She manages to blend melody and harmony perfectly and both counterpoint and expressive emotion are perfectly rendered. This is true about preludes and fugues but also of chorales and triosonatas: everything is natural, music flows, subtly expressed.
As has been said in the press, Alain manages not to impose her personality upon the music: she just plays and expresses what the music is meant to express. All phrases are natural, all tempo shifts are suggested by the score. A perfect achievement.
The organs are also very interesting. You will find instruments by G. Silbermann, A. and F.C. Schnitger, Chr. Müller, an impressive Treutmann (formidable 32' posaunenbass) and also, for the concerts, a modern Kern.
For anyone seriously interested in Bach's organ music this is a must have.
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Alain excels in the large scale pieces. She has full command of Bach's big rhetorical works and their musical logic. She gives muscular readings of his preludes and fugues, IE her performance of the b minor prelude and fugue is the best I've heard.
Less impressive are her treatment of the chorales which, as stated by another review, is unimaginative. She seems to use the same registration for everything.
Even so, she has a good sense of rhythmical drive, and these performances do not slouch.
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A mystifying product, largely devoid of the charm, delicacy, power and momentum that one ordinarily associates with Bach's organ music. Erratic timing, lifeless registration and clattering pedals make this collection unlistenable. Go to Hurford or Preston instead.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one to have. 8 Sept. 1999
By Mark Willey - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is the third complete cycle of the works of Bach that Marie-Claire Alain has recorded. In the hands of many other artists, that might seem redundant, but she clearly has something new to say.
Each piece is played with life and inspiration. The organs and the spaces they are in are gorgeous. The organs are all Baroque instruments, some that Bach may have played and others that are wonderful copies of period instruments. The recording is clean and captures, as much as possible, the feeling of listening to the music in the space.
As a teaching or resource tool, this cycle is invaluable. The booklet with each CD includes a description, in French, German and English, of each piece along with the registration that was used. The pieces are easy to find and organized to make listening to a whole CD a delight.
Though it doesn't affect the sound quality of the recordings, the packaging is amazing with different, artistic photos of the organs that are played printed on the CDs themselves and on the booklets.
I love the way Marie-Claire Alain plays just about everything. She strikes the perfect balance between rythmic integrity and musicality. Her registrations, articulations and interpretations are based in a depth of scholastic knowledge without sounding boring or pedantic.
I treasure this set and have never regretted making the purchase.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental Artistry 7 Mar. 2003
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Although I am partial to the Romantic Organ, particularly in the vein of Widor, Vierne and Rheinberger, it all begins with Bach. And in this case, one could say that it all begins with Marie-Claire Alain and her wonderful interpretations. Alain seems to understand that Bach was above all else a religious composer. Many "complete" works of Bach play short shrift with the liturgical works whereas these are some of the most satisfying of the group.
The sound is pure sonority, almost perfect, and the technical prowess is just awesome. Out of the millions of notes played, I never heard a miscue or slight jiggle. Still, keyboard wizardry is only part of the story. The registration is a work of art in itself. Alain understand the difference between the Baroque and the Modern, the French and the German and the old and the new. Just as she is a "natural" for Widor or Vierne, she also seems to have entered the Bach mind on some of these.
This is a fabulous collection worthy of any serious student of classical music. Nowhere can one derive such satisfaction that listenting to Bach played by Ms. Alain.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not _the best_, but... 23 May 2001
By Douglas S. Halfen - Published on Amazon.com
...In this category, can a true "best" ever emerge? Having said that, I can honestly tell you that this set is magnificent, having owned and enjoyed it since 1997. My only quibbles are that (1) some of Alain's registrations, while at the very least "good," are upstaged in several places by other performers whom I have on recording, and that (2) the recorded sound gives plenty of room to the organs' tones - sometimes _too much_ room, a problem that is also present on Alain's _Art of Fugue_ set, with the result that contrapuntal clarity gets smothered in a sea of reverb in some places (mind you, the "cloud of sound" approach works well with Bach's music, but I prefer clarity). Alain's technique and tempi, on the other hand, are untouchable. The disc with the trio sonatas is particularly good!
I actually consider having multiple performances of Bach's music a must - my favorite set is Lionel Rogg's on Harmonia Mundi, but he is, by no means, definitive - and neither is Alain. They complement each other quite nicely!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb! 17 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Though there are quite a few complete organ works of Bach in the market already, Alain's recordings stand out as the best. 'The lady of the organ' not only shows her excellent technique, her interpretation is stimulating and interesting. To listen to Bach's organ works played on instruments of his time is most rewarding; some are organs in Eastern Germany in Bach's time including Silberman and Schnitger organs. A rare opportunity to hear some of them in one collection! The accompanying booklet of each CD is very informative - a lot of research work done obviously! This is surely an important collection for any Bach or organ fan!
48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach on the Organ 23 Jun. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
What? Just 2 reviews?? I've had this set for close to 4 years. Where do I start..... To tell the story of Bach and the organ, I must start at the beginning. I harbor no pretext of being an authority at all, in fact I really didn't know Bach till a few years ago.
One day, I chanced to buy a CD with an assortment of classical music. I did that once every so often, since classical CD's are so cheap. I slipped it into my car not knowing at all what I'd just stumbled on. The second piece on this CD was music of an order I had not yet before encountered. To boot, I had just installed a new subwoofer in the car. Then this organ piece comes on.
My friends. From that moment, I was a different person. It didn't hit me as hard initially, but I couldn't let go of this stupendous work of such magnificence. For days on end, I would play this one piece of organ music. Treasuring it as a jewel. I couldn't get over how grand, how utterly wonderful this work was, from every single note to it's entire whole. I've always enjoyed music, but this was something else. It made me feel miniscule. How could anyone.... I'm a financial consultant, and gosh did this make me feel worthless. Alright, I'll let you know which it was --Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Dorian) for the organ. Not even one of Bach's major pieces. This was Miklos Spanyi on organ who did this. Marie-Claire does a good job on this set, but I had heard it first on the other recording, and you know it's never as good as the first time.
Brethren, this wasn't the end. After a few weeks of listening to this, I kid you not, I would break down like a child when I played it. Sobbing and crying. Weeping uncontrollably. I'm a grown man, but it happened. I could not understand. I could not remember breaking down this way, so violently, since I was young boy. I am not a sop at all, one of those guys with a soft feminine side........no, no, no. This is what Bach can do to you.
I was listening to angels. I could see them. No way I'll write my full name here in case this gets out. If I listened to it in the car, I would have to stop when Bach's counterpoints started their agonizing attacks of sheer splendor. I would stop the car on the side of the road, racked in sobs. I stopped listening to it in the morning going to work because my eyes would be red when I got into the office. In oblivion, driving home one night I did get a speeding ticket.
I would be convulsing in anguish. As the Toccata builds to its end, Bach brings your pitiful soul through a wavy staircase lined with golden crescendos that don't seem to end. He then takes your wretched spirit, once strong, but piteous in the face of such perfection, and places it on the doorstep of the Fugue. At this grand entrance on the cadence, at this very point I would invariably be out of control, bawling like a babe.
It was then I needed to see who this Bach was. Then I see a complete set of Bach Organ Works by a renowned organist. I was trembling when I got the set. It's about 3 years now, and I have since learned how to control myself. I am sorry I talk about Bach's organ and his effect on me, but please, I was just describing one gem. This is the collection. Buy it and be immersed in wonder.
There is good literature that goes with the set. If you are looking for sentiment and give up a little bit of quality, you'll notice some difference. The recordings are excellent, but the idea of this grand project was to have it on a baroque organ, sounding like it would back then.
They do mention the need for the organist to have to coax and cajole the instrument, unlike the modern electronic machines. The recordings are on a restored organ, which at first made me a little disappointed, but after a while you realize it presents the organist's talent quite a bit more. I also love hearing the slight sounds of the stops in the background - just that added sense of needing to be on earth before reaching glory.
Thank you Alain
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