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Thread: Bach on the Organ

  1. #46
    Senior Member leonsm's Avatar
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    Here are my favorites works by the Old Wig: BWV 538, 564, 540, 582 (a lifetime favorite), 542, 543, 537, 578, 552, 639, 659, 645, 572, 548, 544, 534, 546 & 526.

    Favorite interpreters: Helmut Walcha, Marie-Claire Alain, E. Power Biggs, Hans-André Stamm and Karl Richter.
    Last edited by leonsm; Jun-12-2021 at 03:04.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Baron Scarpia's Avatar
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    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 edited by Baron Scarpia; Jul-19-2021 at 14:56.
    There are two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington.

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  5. #48
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    Though it's understated and not exactly complete, Lionel Rogg's 12-CD set, issued on Harmonia Mundi back in the 90s, has always been a favorite of mine. The playing is always sturdy and never overdone, unlike many other performers who hit the bulls-eye with some pieces and miss by a mile with others.

  6. #49
    Senior Member Marc's Avatar
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    My nightcap for today: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639.
    Jos van der Kooy, Duyschot/Vater/Knipscheer organ of the Westerkerk, Amsterdam, NL.


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  8. #50
    Senior Member Marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwv543 View Post
    Though it's understated and not exactly complete, Lionel Rogg's 12-CD set, issued on Harmonia Mundi back in the 90s, has always been a favorite of mine. The playing is always sturdy and never overdone, unlike many other performers who hit the bulls-eye with some pieces and miss by a mile with others.
    It's gone understated/undervalued maybe because the set went OOP a long time ago.
    But at the time of its first release, around 1970, it most definitely met quite some recognition, as it did during the re-release on CD.

    I'm less negative about the 'many other performers' though. Imho, there were/are many great performers of Bach's organ works. Lionel Rogg is one of them.
    It is true though, that there's probably no one who is able to meet each and everyone's preferences.

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  10. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    It's gone understated/undervalued maybe because the set went OOP a long time ago.
    But at the time of its first release, around 1970, it most definitely met quite some recognition, as it did during the re-release on CD.

    I'm less negative about the 'many other performers' though. Imho, there were/are many great performers of Bach's organ works. Lionel Rogg is one of them.
    It is true though, that there's probably no one who is able to meet each and everyone's preferences.
    The reason why it isn't much talken about to day may be, that it's approach is relatively conventional - influenced by Walcha with much legato playing and rather motoric rhythm. But there are also a few early HIP traits like avoidance of too many changes of stops. To me its value rests in Rogg's tasteful choice of stops (the organ sounds indeed beautiful) and his generally subtle expression.

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    interesting documentary: https://youtu.be/n3L3_08RGKM

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