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Thread: Johann Sebastian Bach

  1. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I'm curious about these. Can anyone tell me a good single or double CD of the organ works?
    The question’s too hard.

    About 10 years ago I asked someone the same question more or less and I got back an answer which intrigued me so much that it started off a project of exploration which continues now. I can’t do better than to give you the same answer I got, though I was (still am) specially interested in Bach’s “mature” music.

    This

    14784B6B-45D2-462E-933B-4B63666850E5.png

    And this

    D203C0B3-F8A9-4AB0-8F28-0F6D5EDB389B.jpeg



    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I've heard some of Helmut Walcha, is he the way to go?
    Why not? Whatever you do you won’t regret hearing him, I’m sure. He’s like Cortot for Chopin and Schnabel for Beethoven - very talented musician, important in the reception history, influential,popular, slightly quirky and I’d say slightly old fashioned.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-25-2019 at 22:21.

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    Good stuff, thank you my friend. I'll keep my eyes peeled for those discs. Can't say I'm familiar with either Gerd Zacher or Edgar Krapp, two extremely unfortunate names, I think. I suppose that is a plus if you're an organist though.

    On the other side of the equation, I just cheaply picked up a CD from the augustly named E. Power Biggs and am excited to check it out.

    I see Walcha has a multi disc set of Bach's organ works on Arkiv, I'll save up for it I think. Your comparison to Cortot and Schnabel is fascinating, of course those are two of the most revered musicians and personal favorites of mine, so you have piqued my interest.

    @Bourdon, I really enjoyed that. I need to explore more of Ton Koopman's recordings. I'm fond of the whole "Dutch school" of Bach players.

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    Koopman, Marie-Claire Alain, Weinberger all have made cycles that are more or less unimpeachable in very good sound. The big boxes can be so cheap that the 2CD sets might be beside the point. The downside is too many CDs to listen to.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    This Power Biggs is damn good, I think. Probably could be called an old-fashioned approach to performance. But his organ sounds clear as a bell.

    51nbTrIZm1L._SY355_.jpg

    If you ever find it for dirt cheap like I did then I think it's worth picking up. I'll be looking into some of the more colorful-looking interpretations that have been shared with me thus far in this thread, too.

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  8. #350
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    This Power Biggs is damn good, I think. Probably could be called an old-fashioned approach to performance. But his organ sounds clear as a bell.
    E. Power Biggs was the aptly-named star organist for Columbia Records back in the day (later purchased by Sony). Many of his stereo recordings were made on a three-manual Flentrop tracker organ installed in Harvard's Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is an exceptionally clear and well-articulated instrument, while not giving up any power to achieve that.

    I believe I read that Biggs commissioned and paid for the organ, so Columbia must have treated him very well financially.

    Last edited by KenOC; Jul-26-2019 at 02:15.


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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Good stuff, thank you my friend. I'll keep my eyes peeled for those discs. Can't say I'm familiar with either Gerd Zacher or Edgar Krapp, two extremely unfortunate names, I think. I suppose that is a plus if you're an organist though.

    On the other side of the equation, I just cheaply picked up a CD from the augustly named E. Power Biggs and am excited to check it out.

    I see Walcha has a multi disc set of Bach's organ works on Arkiv, I'll save up for it I think. Your comparison to Cortot and Schnabel is fascinating, of course those are two of the most revered musicians and personal favorites of mine, so you have piqued my interest.
    Forget all of that, get this

    D7B09548-9215-44B9-A8A3-B7A63228B16F.jpeg

    It’s a set released by Brilliant Classics, you should be able to pick it up for peanuts, or hear it on some streaming service, it contains recordings that Koopman made on different organs, all good historic well restored organs and well enough recorded. He made these recordings before his big complete set, for a company called Novalis. It will give you a good taste of Bach’s organ music, early and later works, you may not enjoy all the music but at least you’ll be able to see what sort of Bach excites your imagination without getting drowned in a “complete organ music” set. You have to see it as a learning process. And it will give you a taste of a range of organ types.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-26-2019 at 11:17.

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  11. #352
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    Here's my choice. Organ LPs were frequently used to demonstrate hi-fi systems in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and this one certainly fits the bill. This is an excellent recording, technically speaking, and Virgil Fox is perhaps even more radical than E. Power Biggs. It's a 2-CD.

    Fox Legacy Series IV 200 dpi.jpeg
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jul-27-2019 at 14:33.

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    The last few days I've been listening to the B minor prelude and fugue from book I of the WTC quite a bit (Schiff on ECM). Perhaps this is stating the obvious but this is really stunning music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    The last few days I've been listening to the B minor prelude and fugue from book I of the WTC quite a bit (Schiff on ECM). Perhaps this is stating the obvious but this is really stunning music.
    Yes, that's a great one and a great recording.

    I just ordered Gustav Leonhardt's WTC Book I. I don't have any recordings of it on the harpsichord so this will rectify a major omission in my Bach collection. I've been listening to Mr. Leonhardt's Art of Fugue and French Suites very much lately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Yes, that's a great one and a great recording.

    I just ordered Gustav Leonhardt's WTC Book I. I don't have any recordings of it on the harpsichord so this will rectify a major omission in my Bach collection. I've been listening to Mr. Leonhardt's Art of Fugue and French Suites very much lately.
    Be sure to listen to Leonhardt’s second AoF, the one on Harmonia Mundi, it’s more successful that the first.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-29-2019 at 21:22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Be sure to listen to Leonhardt’s second AoF, the one on Harmonia Mundi, it’s more successful that the first.
    The one I have is Deutsche Harmonia Mundi:

    51rFZWXKZOL._SY400_.jpg

    Just excellent... the earlier recording is for the Bach Guild, no? I believe it's available as part of one of their super cheap "big box" downloads.

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    Yo Tomita is a professor at Queens University Belfast, he has written many essays for Suzuki's CD booklets.

    His doctoral thesis was on WTC 2. Much of it is obtainable here

    http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/11258/1/277931_vol1.pdf



    In the thesis he writes the following

    Bach Intended to write 24 Individual pieces, and made no concession at a
    musical level to unify them as a part of the whole. I suspect that the true answer is something
    different. For If we tum to recent studies on Bach's contemporary large-scale works, viz., CU3,
    CU4, Musical Offering and the Art of Fugue, they all Indicate that in these works the structural,
    unifying element was the central pillar.10 Is there any undiscovered aspect of WTC II which
    unifies the work as a whole?
    What is CU4?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post

    What is CU4?
    The Goldberg variations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Yo Tomita is a professor at Queens University Belfast, he has written many essays for Suzuki's CD booklets.

    His doctoral thesis was on WTC 2. Much of it is obtainable here

    http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/11258/1/277931_vol1.pdf
    Thanks for this link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by premont View Post
    Thanks for this link.
    It is an interesting question, why he wrote WTC2.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-30-2019 at 19:27.

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